BYD teases electric SUV Yangwang

BYD has released images of a camouflaged prototype of its upcoming SUV, which will be sold under the new Yangwang brand.

The premium brand will launch in the first quarter of 2023, with the first model reportedly sporting the R1 nameplate.

Photos show that the first Yangwang model is a chunky, upright SUV in the style of a Land Rover Defender, Mercedes-Benz G-Class or GWM Tank 300. As with these models, the spare wheel is located on the tailgate.

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delivered Recognition: car expert
delivered Recognition: car expert

Patent images released by Car News China reveal the Yangwang model will also feature an intricate grille and running lights that sit on the front fenders, as well as three raised bumps on the windshield that may house either lights or sensors.

There are also rumored to be four electric motors, one powering each wheel, like the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQG.

Chinese outlet Yiche also reports that the R1 will have a tank turning function, like the Rivian R1T and R1S, citing a patent BYD has filed for a “floating” mode that can help it wade to greater depths.

delivered Recognition: car expert

Although BYD is best known in Australia for its Atto 3, one of Australia’s most affordable electric vehicles, the Yangwang R1 will be priced closer to an EQG.

In a statement reported by Reuters, Yangwang vehicles will cost between 800,000 and 1.5 million yuan ($171,850 to 322,219) – making them the most expensive vehicles produced by BYD – and the brand’s first model will be an SUV.

As BYD has stopped producing conventional internal combustion engine vehicles, Yangwang will offer electrified vehicles – though whether it will offer a choice of plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles, or just the latter, is unclear.

delivered Recognition: car expert

Unlike those models – or indeed any other BYD vehicle – there appears to be a distinctive double-skin dashboard with an expansive and seemingly curved portrait touchscreen.

The Yangwang models will be priced well above BYD’s current flagship offerings, the Han sedan and Tang crossover.

BYD is enjoying record sales, with units trebling to 1.4 million in the first 10 months of this year. This is despite the end of combustion vehicle production in March 2022 in favor of an exclusively PHEV and EV range.

It wouldn’t be the first Chinese automaker to spin off a more upscale SUV-focused brand.

GWM Panzer 300 Recognition: car expert
Jettour T-1 Recognition: car expert

Great Wall Motor has two: Wey for (mostly) crossovers and Tank for more rugged body-built SUVs. Models of the latter are expected to be launched here next year, albeit with GWM tank badges.

Chery has its Jetour brand and is also preparing a new blocky off-roader called the T-1 with a particularly Defender-like design.

It is due in 2023 and will offer petrol, hybrid and electric powertrains. It will be the first in a line of T-Series vehicles for the Jetour brand. BYD teases electric SUV Yangwang

James Brien

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