Watch Chinese car maker Yangwang show off SUV’s crazy pirouette on the spot party trick

  • Bosses currently weighing up whether to bring premium SUV to the UK
  • Yangwang U8 can turn on the spot using clever motors in each wheel
  • BYD’s premium range likely to be sold alongside BYD models by its dealer network if it comes here

Time 7:22 am, March 14, 2024

As if Chinese car makers aren’t being talked about enough, BYD’s premium Yangwang U8 has a party trick up its sleeves: It can spin on the spot.

The premium brand is weighing up plans to come to the UK and showcased its U8 – a 1,100bhp hybrid SUV – at Goodwood’s media day yesterday.

In the middle of the paddock, representatives of the brand unveiled the car’s pirouette on the spot party trick. 

Using the clever four-wheel drive system with an electric motor on each wheel – all of which can work independently – the U8 spun on its axis, like a tank, and even drove sideways. 

Executives told the PA news agency that it can help the car ‘park in tight urban environments’. There were plenty of open mouths watching as the car spun around on the asphalt. Watch it in the video below.

The very fact the brand was at the event was a statement of intent. Other marques showcasing their cars to journalists ahead of the estate’s popular motorsport events yesterday included Ferrari, Lamborghini and Rolls Royce.

Yangwang is the premium arm of BYD and is currently weighing up plans to launch in the UK. BYD only arrived here last year and already has a three-car line-up.

At last week’s Car Dealer Live event, BYD’s marketing director Mark Blundell told the audience the firm is busy building a network of dealers.

He said: ‘We’ve been incredibly busy. We’ve launched three models in the UK and since then, really our approach has been to establish ourselves as a credible brand in the UK and make sure we are recognised as part of the automotive landscape.

‘You know, our approach is slightly more traditional and we’re very much committed to the dealer model. So we’ve been building the network and we have 24 sites at the moment. 

‘We’ve got our eyes firmly set on doubling that by the summer of this year to make sure we have representation.’

Car Dealer got a closer look at the U8 at this week’s Goodwood event. It’s billed as the brand’s range-topper and has the Land Rover Defender and Mercedes-Benz G-Class in its sights. The latter is one it’s borrowed its spinning trick from – the latest electric G-Class showed off a similar 360 degree spin around a year ago.

The U8 aims to combine off-roading capabilities with ‘supreme luxury’. The maker says its tech even enables the car to ‘float on water for up to 30 minutes’, and keep the car stable in the event of a blowout.

The U8 is a range-extender with a 2.0-litre engine used as a generator to power the car’s four electric motors and 49kWh battery pack. Yangwang also builds a fully-electric version and it costs around £118,000 in China. 

It can also lay claim to being the world’s most powerful SUV thanks to its 1,184bhp power output and 0-62mph time of 3.6 seconds.

The car went on sale in China last year and has already clocked up 1,000 sales. BYD execs said order books ‘are full’ and there are still some doubts as to whether it is the right car for the UK market – but they haven’t ruled out a launch.

BYD is a brand that likes to test and develop its models by sounding out journalists and dealers ahead of launch. You’ll remember it dropped its controversial ‘Build Your Dreams’ name for the shortened BYD moniker after feedback.

The same could happen with the Yangwang name. Bosses told the PA news agency that the name could be changed for something more ‘European friendly’ before launch. 

BYD and Yangwang will be at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, which will run from July 11 to 14. 

Additional reporting: James Baggott

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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