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.

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.