When we think of remote control cars, we generally think of scaled-down vehicles that can easily get caught up underfoot. Not so Chinese automaker BYD, which has upsized the remote control car with the release of its Su Rui model in China. The mid-size family saloon that seats five includes Remote Driving Control technology that allows the driver to get out of the car and drive it using the included remote control “key.”
Although the vehicle boasts acceleration of 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.9 seconds, remotely controlling the vehicle is a slightly more sedate affair. In remote control mode, the Su Rui is limited to a speed of just 2 km/h (1.2 mph) but it can be started and stopped, driven backwards and forwards and turned left and right. The air conditioner can also be started so the interior can be preheated or cooled before entry.
But why remote control, you ask? BYD says remotely controlling the car is perfect for squeezing into parking spaces that are too tight to allow the doors to open once parked, or for bringing the car closer in windy or rainy weather. Although the shelter you’re huddling in will need to be within 10 m (33 ft) of the car due to the range of the remote control.
BYD offers the Su Rui with either a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine generating 109 hp and 145 Nm of torque coupled with a five-speed manual transmission, or a 1.5-liter turbo four cylinder producing 154 hp with 240 Nm of torque mated to a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), which comes with the remote control tech as standard.
The vehicle also includes a Bosch 9th generation Electronic Stability Program (ESP), tire pressure monitoring system, electric park brake system, front right wheel blind spot visibility system, color reversing video surveillance system, remote control power windows, 13 types of intelligent voice reminder and 5.1 channel, 10 speaker sound system with independent power amplifier and in-car cinema.
BYD, which released its all-electric e6 late last year, has launched the Su Rui in China for a price of 65,900 yuan (approx. US$10,365) for the 1.5-liter base model, ranging up to 99,900 yuan (US$15,710) for the 1.5 turbo.
Video of the Su Rui being remotely controlled can be viewed here.