Update: Introduction updated.
On November 8, Reuters reported that BYD will introduce its new premium brand ‘Yangwang’ in the first quarter of next year in the Chinese market. The report said that the inaugural launch will be an off-roader. As per BYD, said Reuters, the price range of Yangwang vehicles will be between 800,000 and 1.5 million yuan ($110,287 to $206,763), depending on the model.
Going by an earlier report from d1ev.com, BYD R (internal codename for BYD’s upcoming premium EV brand) will have launches in segments such as the electric MPV and electric sports coupe in the future.
BYD’s product roadmap emerged on Chinese media portals in late 2021 (published on Sohu), revealing details about the future premium brand. The first model will rival Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class, or “大G (Big G),” as the document states. It will be available as a PHEV and an EV, and the latter could rival the Mercedes EQG due in 2024, as per those reports.
On BYD’s upcoming premium brand
At the 2021 Guangzhou Motor Show (19-28 Nov 2021), Du Guozhong, deputy general manager of BYD’s brand and public relations division, had said that the initial model from the future premium brand, and the brand itself, will be launched in the first half of 2022. Du Guozhong said that the first model of the high-end brand will be a hard-core off-road vehicle and arrive in the first half of 2022. The project is running behind schedule, but it is active.
According to a report Sina Finance filed on August 25, 2022, the hardcore off-road model will utilize BYD’s most advanced automotive technology. The company will have new and independent teams for the brand, product, sales and service network, operations, and other aspects. Like its mainstream models, BYD should study the potential for the off-road vehicle in the export market.
Design & Interior
Spy pictures of the off-road SUV (view on Autohome) have revealed some interesting details about its design. It’s a boxy, traditionally designed SUV, and from the sides and the rear, it reminds us of the Land Rover Defender 110, which will likely be its biggest rival.
Like the British off-roader, the Chinese SUV has a purposeful upright stance, solid shoulders, a straight roof line, powerful wheel arches, and short overhangs. Big windows let in plenty of natural light and provide a good view of the surroundings. There is an indication of a side-hinged tailgate, but we can’t say for sure yet. BYD has mounted the spare wheel on the tailgate, making it easily accessible.
Inside, the Yangwang off-road SUV features a curvaceous dashboard with swooping lines separating the driver and passenger sides from the center. There’s a giant touchscreen infotainment system housed in the center, above which there are three slim AC vents. The instrument cluster is a large display integrated into the dashboard, and right above it, there’s a similar-looking AC vent for the driver. These observations from spy shots aren’t conclusive, as the final design could have visual and/or functional changes.
Chinese media reports suggest that the off-road SUV is planned in plug-in hybrid electric and pure-electric variants. No other details about the specifications are available at the moment.
Features & Specifications
While we do not have product specs, the Chinese media indicate that the electric SUV (and an electric sports coupe which will follow) will feature a state-of-the-art powertrain. The launch vehicle will come with 800+ km (500 miles) of range, active suspension, and possibly four-wheel steering with BYD’s version of a CrabWalk (seen on the GMC Hummer EV).
The BYD Blade Battery which features lithium iron phosphate and has singular cells arranged together should power the products. Blade Battery improves space utilization by over 50 percent, BYD claims. We expect the upcoming electric SUV to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in sub-5 seconds and offer an 800V charging architecture.
Another product the sub-brand will look at introducing will be an electric MPV, considering the relaxation by the Chinese government on the two-child policy. On November 8, 2021, Zhao Changjiang, BYD’s director of the high-end brand, took to social media to collect feedback for a large 7-seat MPV. Other companies have scrambled to launch electric MPVs, and there are over a dozen expected by 2024.
The Yangwang SUV will likely be a proper old-school model designed with a strong focus on off-roading capabilities and space. We doubt it’ll have a totally unique character that forms the basis for an iconic design in the future, but it’ll likely make head turns with some distinctive elements of its own. The Chinese off-roader can be an alternative to the Land Rover Defender and the more expensive Mercedes G-Class.
Featured Image: BYD MPV model, courtesy BYD