Byton has announced that its inaugural model, an electric SUV, moves closer to production, as testing has begun on test tracks ahead of its launch late next year.
Early prototypes have taken to closed test tracks and open public roads in China and the USA, with production mooted in 2019. Byton has also announced that prices for the car will start at €37,500 in Europe (around £34,000).
“The development of the BYTON M-Byte is progressing extremely well, with everything on track. In recent months we have already successfully completed crash and stability tests with the initial set of prototypes – now the first prototypes are being road tested. The team’s pace and motivation is incredible”, said company CEO Carsten Breitfeld. Cold-weather tests will take place later this year.
The company"s new headquarters in Nanjing, China, opened earlier this year, while construction of the first prototypes has been completed at its new-build production facility.
In addition to these, the company has also announced a three-figure-million-dollar investment to help achieve its production goals from Chinese automotive giant FAW, with company co-founder Daniel Kirchert saying: "The Chinese automobile market offers excellent conditions for our company. The infrastructure developments, the market forecasts and the keen interest of the people in our products strengthen us enormously. Of course, our deep understanding of the Chinese market as a basis for our economic success also helps us.”
Byton revealed the near production-ready version of its first model, a high-tech, premium electric SUV, at its European launch as part of Milan Design Week, last year.
The Concept shown at the event in Milan was described as being “85% there” by company boss Carsten Breitfeld. Minor modifications are likely needed to meet legal requirements, although Breitfeld described the touchscreen-dominated interior as being “series production ready”.