Chinese automotive startup Byton has announced that the first M-Byte test vehilces are being put through their paces of application runs under actual traffic conditions and on test tracks in Nanjing, China.
Dr Carsten Breitfeld, CEO and co-founder of Byton, together with Dr Daniel Kirchert, president and co-founder, accompanied the rollout of the first test vehicles at the prototype manufacturing plant in Nanjing. “The development of the Byton M-Byte is progressing extremely well, with everything on track,” said Breitfeld. “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.”
Menawhile, Kirchert added: “The fact that the first M-Bytes are now undergoing road testing is a sign of the success of our developers and engineers at our locations in the USA, China and Europe. Thanks to the expertise of our international network we have rapid processes, and we’re constantly focused on efficient implementation despite our thirst to innovate.”
Prototype testing marks a significant step forward for production of the SUV, which is slated for fall 2019. Rigorous testing will be conducted in this current phase, including of vehicle reliability under different conditions, with the first cold-weather tests due this winter.
The M-Byte production model will be available in two performance variants: A rear-wheel drive vehicle with a 71kWh battery (400km/249-mile range) and a four-wheel drive vehicle with a 95kWh battery (520km/323-mile range). The rear-wheel drive motor will have an output of 200kW (400Nm of torque), while the four-wheel drive M-Byte will have two motors with a combined output of 350kW (710Nm of torque).
M-Byte pricing will start at US$45,000. Following the SUV’s launch in China in 2019, the vehicle will launch in the USA and Europe in 2020. A sedan will follow in 2021, with a seven-seater planned for 2022.