BYD wants to bring a Land Rover-style SUV that can ‘float on water’ to Europe

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Chinese EV behemoth BYD may bring two off-road electric SUVs sold in China to Europe that could rival the Land Rover Defender, the Mercedes G-Class, and Ford Bronco. BYD claims one can float on water for a full 30 minutes.

BYD may consider exporting two SUVs – the Yangwang U8 and the Fang Cheng Bao 5­ – to Europe, company executives told Automobilwoche.

So Europeans can get an up-close look at the SUVs, the company plans to showcase them at the Geneva auto show in February.

In China, the U8 SUV is a full-size luxury SUV priced at around $152,000 and powered by a 49-killowatt-hour battery and a range-extender gasoline engine, giving it a range of 1,000 km. For its off-road capabilities, each wheel comes with an electric motor that allows it to turn on the spot or slide sideways into parking spaces.

Plus the company says it is so tightly sealed that it can float in water for a good 30 minutes, despite its hefty 3.5-tonne curb weight.

The Bao 5 is a plug-in hybrid that starts at around $43,500 in China, putting it in the same range as the Bronco and Defender, the report said.

BYD currently sells five models in Europe – the economical Dolphin, Seal, Han, and the Atto 3 and Tang SUVs. Last December, the automaker said it would build a factory in Hungary for the European market, with an initial capacity of 200,000 units a year.

Last year, the company sold 1.6 million fully battery-electric vehicles, overtaking Tesla in overall BEV sales. Adding up sales for all so-called new energy vehicles, including battery-only vehicles and plug-in hybrids, BYD sold a whooping 3 million vehicles in 2023. BYD tripled its profits to $1.5 billion in the first half of last year, according to Car News China.

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