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China’s BYD Tang crossover is faster than a Cayenne and more efficient than a Prius

Smashing nearly every stereotype associated with Chinese cars, Build Your Dreams (BYD) has introduced a new crossover that packs a heavy punch thanks to a 505-horsepower plug-in hybrid drivetrain.  The soft-roader is called Tang, the name of China’s most prosperous dynasty.

The Tang’s drivetrain consists of a turbocharged 205-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors each rated at 150 horsepower and 147 foot-pounds of torque. The three power sources send a total of 505 horsepower and 531 foot-pounds of torque to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, enough to propel the Tang from zero to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds. To put that figure into perspective, a base Porsche Cayenne performs the same task in 7.7 seconds while the Cayenne GTS takes 5.1 seconds when fitted with the optional Sport Chrono package.

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BYD claims the Tang returns up to 117 mpg in a mixed Chinese cycle when driven with a light right foot. Alternatively, the two motors can draw electricity from a lithium iron phosphate battery pack to propel the crossover by themselves for up to 49 miles.

Power-hungry buyers who act fast can step up to the Tang Ultimate Edition. Limited to just 200 examples, the Ultimate Edition gains carbon fiber trim inside and out, an aggressive-looking body kit and a more powerful drivetrain that lowers the 0 – 62 time to 4.4 seconds.

In addition to offering Cayenne-like performance and jaw-dropping efficiency, the Tang stands out as one of the most expensive crossovers ever built by a Chinese company. The Ultimate Edition model carries a base price of 600,000 yuan, a sum that converts to nearly $96,500, before national and local incentives are factored in.