BYD Electric 4X4s: The New Generation of Waterproof Off-Road Vehicles

2023-11-27 10:53:14

These are not amphibious vehicles but rather electric 4X4s whose engines are more difficult to drown since they do not need either an air intake or an exhaust.

Published on 11/27/2023 11:53

Reading time: 2 min The Chinese manufacturer BYD is launching a new generation of 4X4s capable of floating like boats. (SCREENSHOT)

We all remember the streets transformed into rivers and the cars swept away by the floods. That might no longer happen, thanks to a new generation of 4X4s capable of floating like boats.

A first model has just been presented by the Chinese BYD. From the outside, the vehicle looks like a large classic 4X4 like a Land Rover or Jeep. Except that with its telescopic suspensions, it can cross fords up to 1m 40 deep. Whereas, until now, the record was around 90 cm. We are therefore talking about a good fifty centimeters more.

It also offers a “pleasure” mode which allows the car to float as if it were a boat. So the wheels will no longer touch the bottom, they will serve as a propeller to move the car forward or turn. This will make it possible to navigate streets transformed into canals after a flood. Or to cross a river directly by the bank when the bridge is impassable.

Waterproofing guaranteed for 30 minutes

This is not an amphibious vehicle, it remains a classic 4X4, but an electric 4X4. You may remember the Teslas that we saw continuing to drive with 40-50 cm of water. This is the advantage of electric motors: they are more difficult to drown since they need neither air inlet nor exhaust. This does not however make them amphibious vehicles. Impossible in pleasure mode, for example, to take to the sea or a river with a little too much current. You cannot go faster than 3 km/h and waterproofing is only guaranteed for a maximum of 30 minutes.

Moreover, the manufacturer recommends carrying out a complete service after each activation of this mode, which remains an emergency function, to be activated only when there is no other solution.

This function could be offered by other manufacturers. With the increase in flooding, several manufacturers, such as Volvo, are starting to pay particular attention to the waterproofing of their vehicles. As for Tesla, after armored windows, it is considering adding an anti-flooding option to its Cybertruk, its large 4X4 whose marketing finally begins during the week of Monday, November 27. We made fun of 4X4s in town whose big wheels were only used for extreme crossing of sidewalks. The floods will, perhaps, be the next pretext to justify them in the city.

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