Home » A Chinese Automaker Has Designed An SUV That Can Apparently Swim In Water And There’s Video Proof

A Chinese Automaker Has Designed An SUV That Can Apparently Swim In Water And There’s Video Proof

Yangwang U8 Ts2
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The general perception of electric vehicles is that they fare poorly when submerged in water, with smoke and fire a typical result. If you’re in a Yangwang U8, however, you’ll have no worries should you find your path blocked by water. That’s because the U8 is capable of “sailing” through surprisingly deep water for up to half an hour at a time, according to YangWang.

The U8 is rated to wade water at depths of up to 3.3 feet (100 cm). In the case of the off-road focused Master Edition, that’s increased to 4.6 feet (140 cm) with the addition of a snorkel. The vehicle continuously monitors the prevailing water depth, and if things get too deep, it can automatically activate an emergency floatation mode.

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Upon activation, the range-extending combustion engine is automatically shut down and all the windows are closed. The sunroof is then automatically opened to provide an escape route if needed.  In this mode, the U8 behaves more like a boat. The wheels may not be touching the bottom, so instead, they’re used as a crude source of forward propulsion in the water. Since the U8 has a motor per wheel, it can spin the wheels differentially to execute tank turns in the water.

The U8 is by no means a fully amphibious vehicle. It’s only rated to operate in this way for up to 30 minutes, and can only move in water at speeds of up to 1.8 mph (3 km/h). It’s also a requirement to have the vehicle inspected at a service center after using the emergency floatation mode. That’s no surprise, as any water trapped inside the vehicle or battery could cause damage.

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BYD (the Toyota to YangWang’s Lexus, if you’re not hip to Chinese brands) notes that the emergency floatation feature is only meant to be used in emergencies. Using it to cross through deep lakes and rivers for pleasure is officially not recommended. Think of it more as a neat feature to get you out of a tough spot, rather than something you’d use on the regular. Regardless, if this thing becomes available in the US, you know every big YouTuber full U-boat with the U8 at the first opportunity.

During wading, the Yangwang’s infotainment system displays the current water depth.

The feature isn’t the only way the Yangwang U8 stands out in the crowded luxury SUV market. The range-extended EV is also the most powerful SUV presently on sale, thanks to four electric motors that deliver a total output of 1,180 horsepower. Despite handily exceeding the Tesla Model X Plaid in that regard, it posts a slower zero-to-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds. Also notable: the U8 only has a 49 kWh battery on board, recharged on the go by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. The 268-horsepower engine is not connected to the wheels and acts solely as a range extender.

Byd's Yangwang Showcase Emergency Floating Mode 3 33 Screenshot

Byd's Yangwang Showcase Emergency Floating Mode 3 8 Screenshot
The U8 can execute tank turns in the water thanks to its individually driven wheels.

The U8 isn’t the first expensive luxury Yangwang model with a neat gimmick; we saw the U9 sports car doing bunny hops last year, after all.

Ultimately, the Yangwang U8 is kind of like what might happen if you took a BMW i3, made it way bigger, and gave it the ability to float for a while. If you happen to be in China, Europe, or Australia and would like to get through the next big flash flood with dry socks, consider getting a YangWang U8.

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Image credits: Yangwang, CarNewsChina via YouTube Screenshot

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Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
1 month ago

The problem with all these water-fording hype videos (especially common with the Tesla Cyber) is that some unknowing idiot is gonna get swept downstream and drown. It’s very difficult to judge the current intensity in flood conditions.
At GM when we did water fording tests on a military FMTV truck (20,000 lbs or so) we had a tether cable attached to a big stationary vehicle safely located on solid ground just in case.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago

Great for ice fishing

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 month ago

This is really a missed opportunity for Canoo.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
1 month ago

It’s perfect for if you miss the boat.
https://youtu.be/J2M06kxaHeA?si=m_ikZ_z-9sKLbC-a

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

Now we know how they intend to secretly invade Taiwan.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
1 month ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

The main island may be too far away, but places like Kinmen and Matsu should be quite do-able.
They are like 3 miles from Mainland China.

10001010
10001010
1 month ago

So how does its aquatic performance compare to the 1981 Porsche 928 in platinum metallic?

Sklooner
Sklooner
1 month ago
Reply to  10001010

Hmmm doing that sounds like some sort of risky business

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  10001010

Pretty sure it’s better than a Citroën SM, anyway

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Well, the Citroën SM’s yard was the longest, that’s for sure

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
1 month ago

If you make a truck into a boat, I’m taking my truck-boat fishing. None of this only for emergency crape.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
1 month ago

Yeah but don’t you just hate when your YangWang gets all wet? I guess context is important..

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

It can ford the river, but it can’t dodge the tariffs

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 month ago

Amphicar may have something to say ????

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
1 month ago

Ok, this is neat. Yangwang now needs to offer a hitch-mounted outboard motor for those really rough waters. Oh and Linden B. Johnson would have loved this.

The President, with Vicky McCammon in the seat alongside him and me in the back,was now driving around in a small blue car with the top down. We reached a steep incline at the edge of the lake and the car started rolling rapidly toward the water. The President shouted, “The brakes don’t work! The brakes won’t hold! We’re going in! We’re going under!” The car splashed into the water. I started to get out. Just then the car leveled and I realized we were in a Amphicar. The President laughed. As we putted along the lake then (and throughout the evening), he teased me. “Vicky, did you see what Joe did? He didn’t give a damn about his President. He just wanted to save his own skin and get out of the car.” Then he’d roar.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
1 month ago

Well the YangWang beat the Yank Wang to an electric floating truck. Neat.

Alexk98
Alexk98
1 month ago

It may float, but does the YangWang U8 shrink over time when in the water? Particularly in cold water? Asking for a friend…

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
1 month ago
Reply to  Alexk98

And does it get shy during its mandatory service center inspection post-float?

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Alexk98

And if it leaks in that water will anyone notice?

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
1 month ago
Reply to  Alexk98

You can counteract the effect by tuning in to BBC World Service.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

That’s pretty wild. Coming on the heels of the Munro evaluation of the CT’s battery pack with the revelation that the underwater-burning Model Y might have happened because of repeated dunking of the battery’s one-way vent valves, I have to wonder how they are handling that. People are basically monkeys: you tell the public that this vehicle will get you to safety once through deep water, and some bro is gonna be taking his buds out on fishing trips in it at his lake house every weekend. Just human nature

JTilla
JTilla
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Yeah that is exactly what I was thinking after reading this and the Munro eval.

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