Home » BYD Created An Electric Car That Can Freaking Moonwalk

BYD Created An Electric Car That Can Freaking Moonwalk

Bydcrab Top

Every luxury SUV these days needs to have a party piece. The Mercedes-Benz GLS can bounce, the Range Rover can let you see through the hood, and the Cadillac Escalade has that massive OLED screen. There’s a new luxury SUV that’s just been unveiled at CES, and its party piece is being able to moonwalk. Meet the YangWang U8, BYD’s electric answer to the Range Rover that can float, spin around on its own axis, and even crab sideways.

So how do you even go about getting an SUV to move sideways in a straight line? Well, the big party piece that lets this visual feat happen is the four-wheel-drive system. Each wheel gets an electric motor, and all four of them put together are good for more than 1,100 horsepower. Incredible torque and the ability to distinctly control what each individual wheel is doing are the keys to making this dance work.

Let’s use the front wheels as an example since it’s pretty easy to see what they’re doing. By rotating the right front wheel in reverse and the left front wheel forward, YangWang’s able to induce clockwise yaw. Reverse directions on the rear axle, and you get anti-clockwise yaw. Put it all together and you get a car on which both ends want to move right. From there, it should just be a matter of managing torque to make the YangWang U8 crabwalk. As cool as it would be if the U8 functioned like a ZIL-2906, driving both wheels on an axle together at the same speed probably wouldn’t do a great job of moving the U8 sideways on high-friction surfaces.

Mind you, being able to crabwalk sideways on high-friction surfaces isn’t the weirdest part about the YangWang U8. That would be its claim of being amphibious. BYD claims its e4 drivetrain meets IP68 standards, which is funny because well-sealed motors aren’t a guarantee that a car will float. Either way, BYD’s released this handy video should you wish to watch a U8 do its best dinghy impression. Oh yeah, this thing can also do 360-degree tank turns on grooved concrete and climb some big dunes, if that’s your sort of thing.

Yangwang U8 Ev Suv 1

As for styling, the BYD YangWang U8 looks properly rugged, with a squared-off silhouette strongly hinting at its body-on-frame underpinnings. Lighting seems particularly unique, almost like BYD ran it through a dot-matrix printer, and it’s cool to see a new SUV with a rear-mounted spare tire. Sure, details like the trailing edges of the fender trims are a bit fussy, but the fundamentals here are solid.

Byd Yangwang U8 1

[Editor’s Note: Hot damn, I love those taillights! – JT]

The BYD YangWang U8 looks to be a very impressive electric luxury SUV that’s getting out there ahead of the upcoming electric Range Rover. Pricing runs between 800,000 and 1,500,000 yuan, or between $116,985 and $219,347 at the time of writing, which doesn’t seem bad for an electric SUV of this caliber, but is still a pretty penny no matter how you slice it. Still, don’t expect this neat machine to be sold in America any time soon.

(Photo credits: BYD)


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24 Responses

    1. I have contained my anger for as long as possible, but now I shall UNLEASH MY FURY UPON YOU LIKE THE CRASHING OF A THOUSAND WAVES! Begone from me. BEGONE VILE MAN! Starter car‽ THIS CAR IS A FINISHER CAR! A TRANSPORTER OF GODS! THE GOLDEN GOD! I am untethered and my rage knows no bounds!

  1. I think it was the great and wise Jim Kaat, on a Yankees broadcast in reference to Taiwanese baseball pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, who once said, “… it looks like it should be pronounced WANG, but you really say WONG”.

    1. Came here to point out the same thing. These wheels/tires are often used on fork lifts and you can also buy RC cars with them (I got two for my boys this year, they do mind-bending stunts).

  2. #holup just one second here. Let me emit some autistic robot nerd energy real quick.

    Thomas’ explanation of the wheels moving in their respective directions is correct, but missing one piece. Look at the video in full screen and pay attention to the wheels. They are actually Mecanum wheels dressed up to look like car tires. Ref: https://ozrobotics.com/shop/a-set-of-12-inches-305mm-heavy-duty-industrial-mecanum-wheel-nm305a/

    Regular rigid tread tires would just make a lot of noise if you spun the wheels opposite each other like that, with no resulting motion. The 45 degree crossed rollers permit the opposed rotation of the adjacent wheels to be summed into a sideways motion.

    They pretty cleverly hid the crossed rollers in a wheel profile that looks like a concept car wheel. Look at the inside of the driver’s side front tire and you can see the bolts and fasteners holding the two halves of the wheel together.

    1. Now, that said, the Hummer EV could do this as well in crab mode if it had one motor per wheel and was off-road (so it could slip sideways, effectively using the dirt/gravel as many many tiny little Mecanum rollers).

      1. My username says enough but I will say the reason why Rivian never made tank turn happen was because it destroyed both axles and tires if you tried to do this. Even doing it on dirt as a suicide mission for the drivetrain

    1. I like that a single name that sounds goofy in English has led to this site degrading into commentariat dick jokes for the entire afternoon. Never change, Autopian…

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