This electric SUV maintains its shape while dropping 30 meters, despite weighing 3.5 tonnes

The large Chinese SUV didn’t just roll over on the road and end up on its roof. He rolled down a cliff before coming to rest on the roadway below in this position. Rather durable, this YangWang U8.

BYD’s YangWang U8 is not your average large electric SUV. It is also a machine with surprising characteristics and functionalities. Some even say he’s a real little tank. However, after a few incidents, he is also quickly mocked when photos immortalize him in unexpected and relatively incongruous positions. This is the case of the images discovered this November 18, 2023 on the Chinese social networks.


It’s a traffic police report which allows us to learn more about the conditions that caused the vehicle to end up on its roof in the middle of the road. With the images and description of the accident, it’s hard not to be pleasantly surprised by the resilience of the YangWang U8.

No injuries: the vehicle was empty when it rolled down the cliff

According to the police report, reported on Twitter, the vehicle was returning from a promotional shoot, it was secured on the trailer of a flatbed truck. The electric vehicle was quickly exonerated, because it is not registered to be able to drive on open roads.

The driver of the truck apparently missed a turn and hit the opposing concrete wall. The force of inertia would have pulled the U8, breaking the fasteners that held it on the board, and causing it to tip into the void. He then rolled down the cliff for around thirty meters, before coming to rest on the road below on the roof.

Return to the YangWang U8 incident // Source: @TychodeFeijter on X
Back to the YangWang U8 incident. // Source : @TychodeFeijter on X

The photos seem consistent, since we can see that a rear axle was completely torn off, probably at the time of impact with the wall, when the vehicle became detached from the trailer under the effect of the impact. The SUV therefore had no occupants at the time of the accident, however the driver of the truck was slightly injured.


Even if it is possible to observe damage to the front of the vehicle and to the rear wings, it is still quite surprising to observe that the cell of the vehicle did not collapse, nor under the effect of the shocks, nor the weight of the vehicle. It is worth remembering that the YangWang U8 weighs 3.5 tons. You must be able to support this mass once the vehicle is returned to the roof.

This is not the first time a U8 has been seen on the roof

During dune crossing tests, a YangWang U8 also found itself with all 4 wheels in the air, stuck in the sand, upside down. The driver had perhaps slightly overestimated the machine’s ability to tackle a 40° slope. The vehicle ended up overturning.

Barely turned on its 4 wheels by another vehicle, the U8 was able to roll again despite the scars of the impact.

A vehicle that stands out on the market

If you don’t know the YangWang U8, it’s still a fairly atypical machine. It can, for example, do a 360° on itself thanks to the u-turn function (and its independent motors). This is partly why it is considered a mini tank. It can also float in water up to 1.30 m deep for 30 minutes. Finally, it even does better than floating, since it can even navigate in the water. The idea is to allow owners to escape flooding, it is not really a question of confusing the vehicle with an amphibious vehicle. Finally, it also has good off-road crossing capabilities.


The U8, however, is a range-extender electric vehicle (EREV). It is therefore equipped with a gasoline engine (with a 75 l tank) which directly powers the 49 kWh battery to provide up to 1,000 km of autonomy (according to Chinese standards) and 180 km in all-electric mode.

The model features four electric motors with a combined output of 880 kW (1,197 hp) with all-wheel drive. Despite its spectacular weight of 3.5 tonnes and a length of 5.31 m, it can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds.

YangWang U8 // Source: BYDYangWang U8 // Source: BYD
YangWang U8. // Source: BYD

The vehicle still remains above all a toy for rich owners in China. In any case, for the moment, it is the most expensive vehicle marketed by BYD. It is sold for more than a million yuan, or around 130,000 euros.

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