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The Yangwang U8 is an 1,100bhp SUV that can turn like a tank – and it may come to the UK

Chinese carmaker BYD is mulling over launching its premium Yangwang brand in Britain.

Chinese challenger brand BYD is mulling over bringing its premium Yangwang sub-brand and its range-topping U8 off-roader to the UK.

Despite only launching in the UK last year, BYD has caused a stir with its three-strong range of electric cars that major on long ranges at competitive prices.

Now, the Chinese carmaker is considering expanding its reach in Britain by also launching its upmarket premium brand Yangwang.

The U8 is the brand’s range-topping SUV and rivals the Land Rover Defender and Mercedes-Benz G-Class, with a similar focus on off-road ability and supreme luxury.

Aside from its imposing styling, the U8’s trump card is its clever technology which allows the car to float on water for up to 30 minutes, keep the car stable in the event of a blow out, and turn on a sixpence.

The clever four-wheel drive system employs an electric motor on each wheel – which can work independently from the others – enabling the U8 to turn like a tank, and even drive sideways. BYD executives told PA that it helps the car park in tight urban environments.

If that’s not impressive enough, the U8 is also the world’s most powerful SUV thanks to its 1,184bhp power output and 0-62mph time of 3.6 seconds.

Unlike the Defender plug-in hybrid, the U8 doesn’t use a petrol engine mated to an electric motor. It’s a what’s called a range-extender with the 2.0-litre engine only being used as a generator to power the car’s four electric motors and 49kWh battery pack. Yangwang also builds a fully-electric version.

The U8 has been on sale in China since late last year and has already clocked up over 1,000 sales. Order books are full, according to BYD, and there are doubts the UK would be the right market for the car. However, bosses haven’t ruled out a UK launch.

(Source: BYD)
(Source: BYD) (Source: BYD)

If the U8 were to come to Britain, it may be sold alongside other smaller Yangwang models and almost certainly be offered in BYD’s UK dealer network. Bosses are reportedly undecided if the Yangwang name would be dropped for something more European friendly.

BYD and Yangwang are expected to be present at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, which will run from July 11 to 14.