BYD has become one of the world’s largest automakers by sales volume, primarily selling affordable vehicles, but it wants more than that. Through its Yangwang premium brand, it wants to start winning customers from established luxury automakers, and one of the ways it’s doing that is by launching an ultra-high-performance electric supercar.

It’s called the Yangwang U9, and to prove BYD means business with its performance halo car, it brought prototypes to the Nurburgring to put them through their paces. This will not only help it improve the car’s track performance, but it’s also an image booster for a manufacturer that currently nobody associates with luxury or performance, especially outside China.

Get Fully Charged

BYD is moving up in the world

With over 3 million cars sold around the world in 2023, BYD is becoming an automotive giant, but it also wants to produce cars that show off its technical prowess, like the Yangwang U8 and U9.

This is a smart move by BYD, following in the footsteps of Hyundai, which realized the importance of testing cars around the Ring to improve the company image. But this is more than just an image-boosting exercise—the U9 has the specs to warrant being honed around Europe’s most famous race track; it’s a serious performance car.

The U9 looks really quick around the Ring. Its test drivers are seriously on it in this video published by CarSpyMedia. The car can be seen firing itself out of corners and braking hard, with its rotors glowing red-hot as it approaches some of the slower bends at the end of long straights.

Gallery: Yangwang U9

With four motors, one driving each wheel, the Yangwang U9 makes a combined 1,287 horsepower and 1,239 pound-feet of torque. It’s fairly heavy, though, weighing in at just under 5,500 lbs, so it can’t challenge a Tesla Model S Plaid or a Lucid Air Sapphire, but hitting 62 mph from a standstill in 2.36 seconds still makes it among the quickest-accelerating cars on the planet.

The Rimac Nevera, which has 1,914 hp from its four motors, is considerably faster too, putting down a quarter-mile time of around 8.5 seconds to the Yangwang’s 9.87 seconds. The U9 is still supercar-quick, though, and its quarter-mile time is comparable to that of a Porsche 911 Turbo S.

With a price of around $230,000 in China, the Yangwang U9 is pretty affordable given its bonkers performance and radical looks—just look at that huge rear wing. It rides on a bespoke EV platform with trick suspension that not only eliminates roll through the corners, but it can actually make the car jump or drive on three wheels like an old Citroen. It can charge at a reported 500 kW, which is good for a 30 to 80% charge in just 10 minutes, per BYD.

Get the best news, reviews, columns, and more delivered straight to your inbox.
For more information, read our
Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

It draws from an 80-kilowatt-hour BYD Blade battery pack with an LFP chemistry, which should give it a range of 289 miles on the CLTC test cycle. That range will be impossible to achieve in the real world given that CLTC yields very optimistic range ratings (even more so than Europe’s WLTP) and whoever drives this won’t refrain from using its power or active suspension, both of which will result in much quicker draining of the battery.

BYD is not messing around with the Yangwang brand, also used for the U8, its impressively capable extended-range electric SUV. The only problem, which will surface the second it tries to sell vehicles bearing this brand in Europe or the US, will be the name—nobody wants to spend nearly $230,000 or more on something called Yangwang; it needs to come up with a better name for non-Chinese markets.

Got a tip for us? Email: