BYD launches 1,287 hp Yangwang U9 with price tag matching its performance

Max McDee, 25 February 2024

It seems like every week brings a fresh announcement of another mind-bogglingly fast electric supercar, and China's BYD is joining the fray with their Yangwang U9. The U9 instantly becomes one of the most powerful EVs on the market and the company is not shy about its ambitions, asking an eye-watering $236,000 (RMB 1,680,000) for one of China’s first electric supercars.

BYD launches 1,287 hp Yangwang U9 with price tag matching its performance

BYD claims the U9 deals with the 0-60 mph sprint in just 2.36 seconds, thanks to four electric motors that churn out a ridiculous 1,287 horsepower. This beastly powertrain can even propel the 5,456 lb behemoth to a top speed of roughly 192 mph. That's impressive, though a bit puzzling considering the likes of Tesla S Plaid or Lucid Air Sapphire are a tad quicker, despite having less power.

The answer hides underneath the U9. Unlike most supercars that use fancy (and expensive) battery chemistry, the U9 relies on BYD's more affordable lithium iron phosphate "Blade" battery. With only an 80 kWh capacity, the range isn't exactly groundbreaking – BYD claims around 290 miles, likely on the forgiving Chinese CLTC cycle. Expect less range in the real world, especially if you're tempted to unleash those horses regularly.

The penalty of the LFP battery is its 1,396 lb weight which is about 331 lb heavier than the one found in Model S Plaid. Altogether, the U9 is nearly 500 lb heavier than the Tesla S Plaid and about 150 lb heavier than the Lucid Air Sapphire. That’s probably 0.3 seconds worth of heft right there.

The U9 also boasts some unusual party tricks. It can crabwalk like a Hummer EV, perform tank turns on the spot, and somehow even drive on only three wheels. That's all thanks to BYD's fancy (some would say gimmicky) height-adjustable suspension system. While entertaining, how often will owners actually use these features on a dedicated supercar? Social media will provide an answer to that question fairly quickly.

Despite all the bells and whistles, as we reported earlier, the U9's interior is a bit of a letdown. Three chunky, dated-looking screens and a massive steering wheel don't scream "modern supercar." At least it's supposedly packed with tech, touting autonomous parking and a Qualcomm-powered intelligent cockpit system.

BYD wants to position the Yangwang brand as their luxury play, but they've got some serious competition. The U9 will need to woo buyers away from established players like Ferrari and Lamborghini at this price point. It also faces a challenge from other Chinese upstarts like the Lotus Emira and GAC Aion Hyper SSR. There’s no doubt, that Yangwang has a steep hill to climb.


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Reader comments

  • Anonymous

The biggest problem with Chinese cars are their names. Other than cybersecurity!



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