It has only been two years since the Chinese startup Byton started designing their first electric car, but apparently the company is almost ready to start production. Byton showed off the finalized design for their first vehicle, the 2020 Byton M-Byte, at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show, and it looks like it has been well received.
2020 Byton M-Byte
The car unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show is intended to be the final production design, and it does not seem to differ too much from the concept vehicle we originally saw back in 2018. There is a slightly different headlight design that still sticks to the concept car’s original C-shaped visuals, and some of the body creases look to have softened a bit over time. The newest version also sports traditional wing mirrors rather than rear-mounted camera pods, and the electric door poppers have been replaced with pop-out door pulls. The wheel design has changed as well.
From what we can see, the only original feature that did not make it to production was the facial recognition sensor pod. It turns out that Byton has done away with their previous heavy dependence on facial recognition technology, and it has also reduced reliance on gesture control for the main viewscreen. There have also been a few more physical buttons added where there were none before.
That said, the company is proud of the technology incorporated into this vehicle, especially the underlying software. “Our UI and UX is so far ahead of everything else that we’re seeing out there,” said Byton co-founder and CEO Daniel Kirchert. Considering that one of the defining features of the vehicle is the 48-inch screen that spans the length of the dashboard, they had better have some good software running behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. There is also another 8-inch touchscreen in the center of the steering wheel.
The initial BYTON M-Byte prototype was unveiled to the world in early 2018, with mass production expected to start mid-2019 and the first M-Bytes slated to arrive in the U.S. by 2020. The latest news makes it sound like actual production should start sometime close to the end of 2019, and that deliveries could be delayed by about 6 months. This means we could expect to see the M-Byte arrive in China by mid-2020 and in the U.S. and Europe by about the beginning of 2021. The starting MSRP will likely be around $45,000.
The 2020 Byton M-Byte will be hitting showrooms with two different versions. The first, entry-level M-Byte comes with a 72 kWh battery that is capable of a range of about 224 miles (360 km) on a single charge. It also comes with a single rear axle-mounted electric motor which has a peak power output of 200kW (about 270 horsepower).
The more expensive version of the M-Byte comes with a 95 kWh battery, capable of a range of about 270 miles (435 km) on a single charge. This M-Byte also has all-wheel drive and a peak power output of 300kW (about 402 horsepower).
Founded in 2016, this electric car startup boasts a management team made up of former employees from big names such as BMW, Tesla, Google, Apple, and others. Its headquarters, manufacturing, and R&D centers are based in China. In its North American branch, Byton focuses on developing cutting edge technologies to boost the intelligent car experience, autonomous driving, and whole vehicle integration. Munich holds the company’s concept and design center.
Please note: While we are sponsored by BYTON, the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text above belong solely to the author and E For Electric. BYTON does not necessarily reflect these views or opinions, and they have no control over our content.