If you’re eager to buy the world’s first production car with a 48-inch digital dash, well, you’ll have to wait a little longer – but you can see it in its final form.
China’s Byton has finally unveiled its M-Byte electric crossover in production guise at the Frankfurt Motor Show, though it will take a while until it starts rolling off the assembly line.
The EV startup plans to deliver the first cars to Chinese customers in the middle of 2020, followed by Europe and North America in 2021. The company also says it will start taking pre-orders in these two markets in 2020.
Byton is confident it can start production of M-Byte for the Chinese market in the middle of 2020 although it hasn’t finished yet tooling its plant in Nanjing. It’d better stick to its promises, too, since it has currently over 50,000 reservations from all over the world.
The main selling point of the premium SUV is the 48-inch curved display — the world’s largest in a production car. It seems to have been carried over unchanged from the concept and is controlled by two other displays: a 7-inch touch screen located in the middle of the steering wheel and an 8-inch one between the front seats. Besides these two screens, multiple interaction modes with the vehicle will be offered, including touch gesture, voice and air gesture control, driver’s face recognition, as well as physical buttons.
On the outside, the production model tones down the design of the M-Byte Concept, but not by much. The rearview cameras are dropped for more conventional side mirrors, the headlights received two “moustaches” acting as LED DRLs, the bumpers have been revised and the door handles are now visible, although they do feature a sleek pop-out solution.
Byton promises a very competitive drag coefficient thanks to the low roofline and aerodynamically-optimized body featuring a fully enclosed front fascia, flush door handles, and floating C-pillar design which channels air flow around the greenhouse.
The entry-level M-Byte with rear-wheel drive is powered by a single rear-mounted electric motor making 200 kW (272 PS / 268 hp). A 72-kWh battery enables a driving range of 360 km (224 miles) as per WLTP. There’s also a 4WD version with two electric motors rated at 300 kW (408 PS / 402 hp) that features a 95-kWh battery providing an estimated driving range of 435 kilometers (270 miles).
Depending on the region, Byton will offer fast DC charging of up to 150 kW and AC charging between 3.7 and 22 kW. Using a 150 kW charger, the battery can be brought up to 80 percent capacity in approximately 35 minutes. Prices for the M-Byte will start at €45,000 (approximately $49,700) in Europe, excluding VAT and local government subsidies.