Look out LandCruiser, Patrol, Range Rover, Benz, BMW: Huge, powerful, pricey BYD Yangwang U8 SUV confirmed for Australia

The outrageous BYD Yangwang U8 luxury SUV is headed for Australia.

Local BYD importer Luke Todd has confirmed the deal is done and examples of the 880kW heavy duty off-roader could roll into local showrooms as soon as late 2025.

A far cry from the affordable battery electric vehicles led by the Atto 3 with which BYD has established in Australia, the plug-in hybrid Yangwang’s Chinese price converts to about $240,000 here.

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2023 Yangwang U8.
2023 Yangwang U8.

That means the U8 will be potentially $100,000-plus more expensive the Toyota LandCruiser and Nissan Patrol large SUV stalwarts. So it is more realistically a Range Rover and Benz rival.

That’s because Yangwang is a new subsidiary brand of BYD devoted to luxury vehicles. The U8 is its debut model, along with the U9 supercar.

But Todd insists there is a market for the U8 in Australia, he’s just not sure badge it will wear.

“We’ll bring the U8 to Australia whether it’s under [the] BYD [badge] or Yangwang,” Todd confirmed to carsales on the BYD stand at the Japan Mobility Show this week.

2023 Yangwang U8 interior.
2023 Yangwang U8 interior.

“It’s got to have a right-hand drive development program to make that happen.

“We know how good that vehicle is and we know that there’s a very strong market in the right hand drive segments,” he insisted.

While Chinese media report a pure BEV U8 is coming as soon as 2024, the launch U8 powertrain combines a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that recharges the 49.05kWh LFP Blade battery, while four independently torque vectored electric motors rated at a combined 880kW and 1280Nm drive the wheels.

It is claimed to reach 0-100kmh in 3.6 seconds and attain a 200km/h top speed.

2023 Yangwang U8.
2023 Yangwang U8.

Weighing in reportedly at an incredible 3460kg, it is claimed to have a 180km electric-only range and a 1000km range when fully charged and fuelled (based on Chinese domestic CLTC measurement). The maximum DC fast charge rate is 110kW.

The U8 is a bonafide off-roader with height adjustable hydraulic suspension and the ability to perform tank turns. It has a 1000mm wading depth but can float if it gets in too deep.

Handily it also comes with 6kW vehicle to load function to run your cooking gear at the campsite.

2023 Yangwang U8 cockpit.
2023 Yangwang U8 cockpit.

Measuring up at 5319mm long, 2050mm wide, 1930mm high and with a 3050mm wheelbase, the U8 seats only five people despite its length. The boot swallows 1031 litres of luggage.

The cockpit features a 12.8-inch OLED Galaxy Curved Center Display, dual 23.6-inch longitudinal screens for the driver and front passenger, and high-end Nappa leather seats combined with Sapele wood from Africa.

There are three wireless charging spots compatible with 50kW fast charging, while a Dynaudio Evidence Series high-end audio system pumps out the sound via 22 speakers.

Todd, the managing director of EVDirect, reached the U8 deal with BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu at the Japan Mobility Show this week.

“I’m in there with the chairman trying to push as hard as we can to get as much as we can for Australia and that’s definitely one of the first questions I asked is ‘when can we get the U8?’.”

2023 Yangwang U8.
2023 Yangwang U8.

The answer is – pretty darn soon!

“It’s not going to be more than two years.,” Todd confirmed. “That’s what I know, we started the conversation today.”

The Yangwang isn’t the next BYD headed for Australia. The Dolphin and Seal are launching around now, while the as yet unnamed ute and Seal U SUV are expected in 2024.

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