Chinese electric car startup company Byton introduced its concept crossover at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. Now, the company started working on the production version of the SUV, which will most likely be introduced early next year as the 2020 Byton M-Byte. The compact electric crossover is not going to stay alone for a long time as the automaker has a plan to add a K-Byte sedan in 2020 and a flagship full-size SUV sometime later.
As for the upcoming M-Byte electric SUV, well, the production model is going to have a lot in common with the earlier concept both inside and out. The exterior styling reveals unique body lines that create a dynamic crossover. Up front, the car hosts a bit larger headlights from concept’s ultra-slim lights. In addition, the air intake looks restyled too, while the model gets an additional vent. The production will not use the “invisible” door handles and “side-view cameras”. Instead, the automaker decided to add traditional mirrors and door handles.
Inside, the 2020 Byton M-Byte is going to keep the concept’s amazing 49-inch long digital screen, as well as an additional tablet-styled screen mounted in the middle of the steering wheel. There are no actual buttons or knobs available inside as everything works via gesture control. The automaker can’t finish a Level 4 capability on time, so the crossover will have to rely on Level 3 self-driving capability. Still, this system will be improved shortly after the debut via a software update.
The carmaker has a plan to introduce two drivetrain systems for the upcoming SUV. The starting option will rely on a rear-wheel-drive system which will be mated to a 71-kilowatt-hour battery pack and an electric motor that delivers 250 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. By using the powertrain the 2020 M-Byte will be able to cross 249 miles on a single charge. This version will reportedly cost around $45,000.
The more expensive model will use a far more capable drivetrain. According to the automaker, the topping 2020 Byton M-Byte will get an all-wheel-drive and 95-kWh battery which will provide a driving range of 323 miles. The model will deliver 470 horsepower and 524 lb-ft of torque.