Chinese start-up Byton could bring its M-Byte electric SUV to Europe if there's enough interest.
After two years in development, the Byton M-Byte will be launching on the Chinese market first, with the first deliveries expected for the middle of 2020. Chief technical officer David Twohig said the Byton M-Byte could come to some European markets if there’s enough interest
The Byton M-Byte is a high-tech electric SUV, set to rival the Tesla Model Y. And when we say high-tech, we really mean it, rumour has it the Byton M-Byte has more screens than an Apple shop.
The Byton M-Byte is said to have a starting price of around £40,280 for the entry-level version when it reaches European markets. It's quite a bit more expensive than its more established rival, the Tesla Model Y, but it is still early days for the Chinese start up.
The Byton M-Byte is expected to land in Europe in 2021. Byton has already claimed that it has taken more than 50,000 reservations worldwide as well as undergoing crash tests to US and EU standards.
A choice of rear or four-wheel drive options will be available on the M-Byte and will come with power outputs of 268 or 402bhp. The rear-wheel-drive version is said to sprint from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds. The four-wheel-drive variant can do the same in around 5.5 seconds.
There will be three versions to choose from, the entry-level model is a rear-wheel-drive version with a 71kWh battery, this is expected to have a driving range of around 224 miles from a full charge. A 95-kWh version will also be available, increasing the range to 286 miles.
One of the biggest highlights of the Byton M-Byte is technology. Whilst the interior takes a very minimalist design, it’s certainly not minimalist in the technology department. Previewed at the 2018 Consumer Electronic show, the M-Byte showed off its 48-inch curved screen, Byton has called this the ‘Shared Experience Display (SED).
The screen will allow both voice and gesture control, allowing drivers to navigate the system with an on-screen cursor. The SED display doesn’t have touchscreen functionality but it will have a touch pad along with a 7” screen in the steering wheel that will allow drivers to control the SED display.
The M-Byte will also feature machine-learning, analysing a driver’s schedule, preferences, application data, location to allow the car to take advantage of functions such as scheduling reminders, online shopping and remote charging management.
When the Byton M-Byte does go on sale it is expected to come with autonomous driving features.
Founded in 2017, Byton is a Chinese startup company co-founded by Carsten Breitfeld, CEO and Daniel Kirchert, president. Byton is a subsidiary of China Harmony New Energy Auto Holding Limited.
The Byton production facility is based in Nanjing, China and so far has built about 100 prototype vehicles.
When Byton cars go on sale throughout Europe, there won't be any traditional dealerships, just a handful of showrooms throughout that will be served by a distribution partner.
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