Byton showed off a high-tech, premium electric SUV concept at its European launch at Milan Design Week. Company boss Carsten Breitfeld said the concept is “85 percent there”. He said the car’s touchscreen-dominated interior is “series production-ready”. The company says the focus of the machine is on allowing drivers to ‘enhance’ the time they spend in the car, instead of focussing on its on-road performance. The car is said to be ‘the coming era of truly shared, smart mobility and autonomous driving.’ You will get the car in two versions - a single 272hp electric motor driving the rear axle to produce 400Nm and a four-wheel-drive version with motors driving each axle. The two motors in the four-wheel-drive version will put out a total of 475hp and 710Nm of torque. There are modular lithium-ion batteries, though Byton hasn’t revealed the capacity of the batteries, which will offer a range of 399km, which can increase to 520km with an upgraded battery pack.
The front of the car has slim LED headlights with what the company calls a ‘smart surface’. In place of door handles, the concept features facial recognition cameras that check biometric data to open the doors and operate the car. The car is fitted with a 1,250mm x 250mm ‘Shared Experience Display’ that fills the dashboard. The brightness and background colour adjust based on the light. The Shard Experience Display features gesture and voice control and can be operated by a smartphone app. There are two displays at the back too. Information, including navigation systems, is displayed in a touch-controlled 8.0-inch Driver Tablet integrated into the steering wheel.
Byton's SUV will come equipped with driverless car technology provided by industry expert Aurora – it’s technology enables Level 4 autonomy. The company has tested the first prototype at Byton’s factory in Nanjing, China, last week. A small batch is now being built now for crash tests. The all-electric car will go on sale in China next year and it will promise a range of up to 520km.