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Byton Unveils First Model at Milan Design Week

The China-based startup is also set to unveil a concept version of its second model in June, which this time will be an all-electric sedan.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:April 18, 2018, 1:39 PM IST
Byton Unveils First Model at Milan Design Week
Launch of Byton's first all-electric luxury SUV. (Image: AFP Relaxnews)
Byton is a Chinese vehicle brand that's been teasing its upcoming first model in concept form for a while now, but a near production-ready version of its first model has just had its European launch as part of Milan Design Week. It's a 469 bhp all-electric luxury SUV with a claimed range on a full charge of 323 miles, and it looks as good as it seems it will go.

The boss of Byton, Carston Breitfield, said at the event in Milan that the vehicle was "85 percent there." Although some relatively minor modifications are likely to be needed to meet various legal requirements, Breitfeld went on to describe the touchscreen-dominated interior as being what he described as "series production ready."

Seeing its first model going on sale is now within touching distance for Byton as the first prototype version of its luxury SUV EV was completed at Byton's factory in Nanjing, China last week. A small number are now being completed for crash testing, and the first development prototypes are scheduled to be completed sometime around the middle of this year.

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Production models are set to go on sale first in China in late 2019, before arriving in Europe and the USA in 2020. As well as that range of up to 323 miles on a full charge, the Byton SUV will be available in two different powertrain configurations that will include a twin-motor four-wheel-drive system with 469 bhp. Prices are expected to start from the equivalent of around €37,000, but it's not the only Byton we're going to be seeing soon.

The China-based startup is also set to unveil a concept version of its second model in June, which this time will be an all-electric sedan. It will be built on the same platform as the SUV and will make its global debut at CES Asia in Shanghai. It will be the second of three EVs that will form the early backbone of the Byton model range, and we're told the last of the trio will be a seven-seat MPV that's to follow later.

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Byton's design chief, Benoit Jacob, says of the fledgling range: "We worked on the family from the beginning, and designed it so we can avoid re-engineering things every single time from an architecture and platform point of view. That means we can have a price point that is really attractive."

This implies the sedan will come in at a similar price to the SUV, which would make it a direct competitor for the likes of the Tesla Model 3.

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| Edited by: Ayushmann Chawla
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