The Byton M-Byte electric SUV

However, it is only about a batch of test electric SUVs.

Byton is a new Chinese automobile brand focused on the development and production of electric cars. Future Mobility Corporation (FMC) founded by people from BMW, Infiniti and Tesla in 2016 is behind it. BMW’s former employees – Ex-Vice President Engineering Carsten Breitfeld, Ex-Head of Design Benoit Jacob, and Ex-Head of Product Management Henrik Wenders — co-founded the new Chinese company. Steve Iverson, who had been in charge of Tesla’s sales department for four years, also joined the company. The team was led Infiniti's Managing Director in China Daniel Kirchert.

Byton M-Byte Byton M-Byte

FMC presented the first Byton model — the M-Byte electric SUV — at CES in January 2018. Two years later, the car’s preliminary assembly began at the company's factory in Nanjing, China. This batch will be used for durability and crash tests. The M-Byte’s serial production will be launched in the middle of this year.

The Byton M-Byte electric SUV photo 2

The final version of the SUV has lost rear-view cameras: it will have traditional side-view mirrors instead. Also, the serial M-Byte has got a revised bumper and headlights, and traditional door handles instead of sliding ones. But the huge curved 48-inch display — a combination of the dashboard and multimedia system — is still in place. The SUV has five displays in total. Apart from the above mentioned one, theses displays are located in the center of the fascia panel and steering wheel. In the first case, the diagonal is 8 inches, and in the second case, it is 7 inches. The screen on the steering wheel is used when the car is in offline mode: the SUV can be controlled with voice and gestures. The other two displays are mounted in the back of the rear row seats. Their task is to entertain passengers.

The Byton M-Byte electric SUV photo 3

The Byton M-Byte will be available in two configurations in China. The basic RWD configuration has a single 272-hp (400-Nm) electric engine and a 72-kwhr battery. The top-end configuration has received two electric engines (one for each axle) with a total power output of 408 hp and a battery pack of 95 kwhr. The drive range of the RWD and AWD models is 360 km and 435 km (WLTP), respectively. The electric SUV charges from a 150 kW charging station up to 80% in 35 minutes.

The Byton M-Byte electric SUV photo 4

European and American pre-orders for the Byton M-Byte will be opened in the second half of this year. The first deliveries will only be made in a year. The minimum price for the EV is €45.000.

Byton plans to release three electric cars by 2022. The presentation of the second model – the K-Byte electric sedan with Level 4 — took place at 2018 CES Asia in Shanghai. The show car was built on the same platform as the M-Byte. It is assumed that the models will also have the same powertrains.

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