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Chinese brand Byton reveals near-production-ready electric SUV

Motors | Published:

High-tech EV aims to be a pioneer of smart mobility; builds on concept shown at CES in January

(PA)

The electric start-up brand Byton has shown off a new concept version of its forthcoming electric SUV, at an event held during Milan’s Design Week.

The concept car builds on the model first shown at CES in Las Vegas, but is far closer to a production model – Byton estimates the new concept is around 85 per cent production-ready.

The production model is set to launch in China towards the end of 2019, with European sales following the next year. Byton says the price will start from $45,000 – around £31,500 – and all models will feature headline technology inside and out.

The brand calls the car’s interior a ‘lounge experience’ – a phrase which here refers to the car’s totally flat floor, individually adjustable and swivellable seats and the so-called ‘Shared Experience Display’. This is essentially a massive screen which spreads the whole width of the car’s dashboard.

Occupants can interact with the display via touch or Amazon Alexa, which also provides access to video and audio content. As you’d expect, the car is intended to be fully driverless.

The firm’s focus is clearly positioned away from driving thrills, but that hasn’t stopped it endowing the Byton with considerable performance. The two powertrain options provide 268bhp and front-wheel drive, or 469bhp and four-wheel drive – with battery packs allowing range of 249 and 323 miles respectively.

Byton says that a saloon concept will join this SUV. We’ll see a preview of this later in the year.

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(PA)

Speaking about the decision to display at Milan Design Week, Daniel Kirchert, president and co-founder at Byton said: “Design Week turns the whole of Milan into an international stage and source of inspiration for an entire week. It’s all about spaces in which people feel comfortable, a communicative atmosphere, and a positive lifestyle – this fits perfectly with our ethos and values.

“Byton isn’t just about transforming mobility; it’s also about redefining the time we spend together – even in the car. Ultimately, for us it’s always about offering an enjoyable time and real advantages in the process.”

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