Remember last year, when Tesla boss Elon Musk proudly proclaimed that his electric pickup, the Cybertruck, would be able to “serve briefly as a boat?” Well now, while we were all waiting for that car to materialize, Chinese automaker BYD has only gone and made an electric SUV that can manage just that.
The latest model from Chinese automaker BYD is the YangWang U8, a luxurious off-roader that’s targeting the likes of the Range Rover and the G-Wagen from Mercedes, but with electric power at its heart. In its super-rugged Off-road Master Edition, the YangWang comes with a neat trick: Yachting Mode.
According to CarScoops, the mode takes a few essential steps like sealing the doors, switching the A/C to recirculation and opening up the sunroof to offer passengers an easy escape route should things go south. Once all of those settings are confirmed, CarScoops reports that the 7,000 lb SUV can then float on water for up to 30 minutes.
What’s more, the electric SUV won’t just float aimlessly with the current, the car’s four wheels will still be operable and can propel the car along at a speed of up to 1.8 mph.
If you aren’t quite brave enough to take your 1,089,000 yuan ($149,008) electric SUV sailing just yet, the car is equally capable in shallower waters. BYD claims that the Off-road Edition can wade up to 55 inches, which is more than you can manage in the new Defender.
But before you can do this, you have to engage the car’s snorkel, as it needs one to keep air pumping to the two-liter turbocharged engine, which serves as a range extender on the YangWang U8.
The onboard engine can recharge the car’s batteries at a rate of 49.05 kWh. And with a full charge and a brimmed tank, the U8 can cover up to 621 miles before you have to stop again.