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SUV owners need their vehicles to do a myriad of functions. People hauling, towing, and sailing come to mind. Wait, what? Nobody has ever had the need to sail their Suburban or Durango, at least not on water. But such a beast does exist, and it is built by BYD.

Called the YangWang U8, it is yet another example of Chinese designers and engineers throwing everything they can at a segment to see what sticks. According to BYD, the U8 can float on top of water for 30 minutes, like a real boat. Beyond that time, it doesn’t say what might happen.

Can you use the YangWang U8 as a pleasure boat?

2024 BYD YangWang U8 floating SUV front 3/4 view
2024 BYD YangWang U8 floating SUV | BYD

YangWang is the premium division of BYD. Lower down the BYD line are the Seagull and Dolphin EVs. But the U8 is a hybrid and is also waterproof. Its targets are the premium SUVs by the likes of the Mercedes G-Wagen and Range Rover.

According to CarNewsChina, it has a rating of IP68, which means it can be dunked into water when in Yachting Mode and is also dust-tight. But there are caveats. First, BYD recommends it only traverse in 4.5 feet of water and only for emergencies, not for recreation. It can sail, too, but at a rather slow rate of 1.8 mph.

How far can the YangWang U8 SUV travel on a charge?

Also, once you deploy the U8 into the drink, you must bring it back to a BYD dealer for inspection. So that should either comfort or terrorize you, depending on how you look at it. 

We’d love to use it like a 1960s Amphicar, but alas, BYD is not recommending owners treat it like a recreational vehicle. However, the quad-motor PHEV can trek up to 621 miles if that is any consolation. And it has quick charging, going from 30% to 80% in just 18 minutes. 

How much power does the YangWang U8 SUV have?

2024 BYD YangWang U8 floating SUV front 3/4 view
2024 BYD YangWang U8 floating SUV | BYD

If you don’t need to float your U8, it can still tackle water. The Premium Edition trim can go into thirty-nine-inch deep waterways. With the Master Edition trim, that depth increases to 55 inches because a snorkel is part of this package. 

Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. Numbers are only available for the Premium Edition; its zero to 62 mph figure is 3.6 seconds with over 1,200 hp. So it beats the GMC Hummer by 200 hp. 

How much is this floating SUV?


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YangWang says that tire blowouts don’t affect driving, so there’s that. And it can do 360-degree turns like a military tank since every wheel has its own motor. So that beats the Hummer’s crab walking feature, too.

We’re sure you want to know what this floaty fun costs. The Premium Edition has a base price of 1,089,000 RMB, or about $150,000. We don’t have numbers for the Master Edition, but it won’t be available until next year anyway.