Byton M-Byte: ‘not a car but a mobility platform’
With its M-Byte, the new Chinese car manufacturer, Byton, wants to leave its mark in the luxury SUV segment. This electric concept has been thought out to be connected, autonomous and shared. The road-going version will be launched next year in China.
The M-Byte, presented at the beginning of the year during the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES), is the concept of Byton’s future first production vehicle. A fully electric vehicle coming from China but to be sold worldwide.
While presenting its concept, Byton doesn’t ever refer to its car. The new Chinese car manufacturer prefers to talk about a ‘mobility platform’. That’s because, being new in the game of car production, Byton doesn’t see the car as a product to be owned and driven but more as a shared autonomous car.
Inside, differences with classic car manufacturers are obvious. Atop of the dashboard sits an enormous 1,25 m wide and 25 cm tall high-definition screen. “We’ve thought out the automobile like a smartphone”, explains the brand. Every passenger gets a tablet, while the driver can use a touch screen sitting in the middle of the steering wheel to command different functions.
Autonomous and shared
The design is clean, buttons are scarce and there is no central console. At the touch of a button, the seats rotate. One thing is for sure: this car has been created with the idea of self-driving in mind. But, technology is also used to configure the car to every driver and passenger. The doors are to open thanks to facial recognition and the interior automatically adapts to the driver’s profile. The M-Byte has been created to be autonomous but also shared.
2020 in EU and USA
According to Byton, their M-Byte concept is 85% of the way toward the production-ready vehicle. Of course, slight changes will have to be made, such as the addition of a glove department and air outlets in the inside and a real rearview driving mirror outside, but the design won’t change.
In terms of powertrains, this electric SUV will come as standard with a 71 kWh battery and a 200 kW electric motor offering a 400 km range. A range topping 95 kWh model will also be available with two motors (350 kW), four-wheel drive and a 520 km range. For both versions, the fast charge will bring the batteries to 80% in 30 min. The road-going M-Byte will be launched next year in China and it will arrive on the European continent and in the USA in 2020.