Not exactly groundbreaking either, but certainly an improvement.
Chinese cars have so far been mostly cheap copies of cars from other countries with hilariously poor performance and build quality. But this latest offering from BYD might prove to be an actual big boy car. Called the Tang 542, the new SUV is a hybrid, boasting a combined 505 horsepower. The name comes from both the Tang Dynasty and “acceleration under 5 seconds, 4 wheel drive, and less than 2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.”
It's kind of a weird stretch, but it's not really any different from the “442” in the old Cutlass 442, which stood for a lot of things, but none of them were 442 of anything. The car offers an air purifier, which is more important in China than it is elsewhere, but is never a bad thing to have. The styling isn't completely unique, but neither is it a blatant rip off. Pricing starts at $48,000, which is pretty reasonable for a 505-horsepower SUV in China, although the “Ultimate Edition” version that you see here goes for $96,430. Quality and safety could still be issues, but we'll have to wait and see.