with two concept cars revealed in 2018 alone, BYTON is much more than a start-up. they aim to build premium intelligent electric vehicles for the near future, with their first model, the M-byte, set for production at the end of 2019. the cars, seamlessly integrated with an abundance of advanced and enriching technologies, intend on creating a smart, safe, comfortable, fun and eco-friendly mobility experience. however, at the same time, the brand are balancing the age-old traditions, practice and craftsmanship of automotive manufacturing. at an event where the finest of automotive heritage is merged with concept cars, designboom travelled to the 2018 pebble beach concours d’elegance to see first hand how BYTON is enriching the mobility experience.


the BYTON M-byte concept
all images courtesy of BYTON

 

 

although first known as a chinese start-up, BYTON is global. the brand comprises of over 1000 employees from over 15 nations, and is spread across locations at their intelligent manufacturing base in nanjing, research and development center in santa clara, silicone valley, and design offices in munich, beijing, shanghai and hong kong. with young and experienced talent – led by visionaries formerly from apple, BMW, google and tesla – the brand pulls upon the best from around the world. diversity is key as different experiences and knowledge creates a better understanding of markets and their client demographic – currently affluent, tech-savvy 30-40 year olds.


although smaller in height than traditional SUVs, the car offers an incredibly spacious interior

 

 

this diversity of ideas and understanding of global needs are how BYTON designs a balance. they are not just a start-up for another electric car or another high-performing, sculptural design; BYTON is actually all these things and technology is at its heart. their venture is inspired by the ever expanding possibilities of smartphones, which was first realized in the revolution in 2006. however, they are developing the breakthrough for the next mobility experience instead. their design team, led by benoit jacob, crafts emotional three-dimensional forms that are furthered by warm, receptive and engaging technology.


its 3/4 rear view showcases the muscular bodywork and smooth styling

 

 

with the M-byte to start with, which was first unveiled at CES 2018, the electric car showcased the semantics DNA of BYTON’s design and, as such, debuted the smart surface that replaces where the radiator grille would traditionally be placed. this highlights its digital power rather than horsepower, where lines on the front also represent connectivity. the proportions of the vehicle are balanced with a confident, sporty character thanks to a tight tapering roofline, gliding C-pillars and big fenders at the rear. on the inside, users – not drivers or passengers – can enjoy themselves in a welcoming space of high quality and crafted materials. its long-wheel base creates spaciousness in the interior, where even the chairs can spin at 12 degrees. most notably though, it features a gigantic, 49-inch shared experience display that communicates driver information as well entertainment options.


the SED is divided into three customizable sections with one always reserved for driver information

 

 

the K-byte, which will feature a similar interior, communicates the adaptability of BYTON’s emotional design language for a sedan. in an even more premium aesthetic, the 5 meter-long car once again features smart surfaces on the front and rear. its taught, modern styling is paired with pronounced rather than hidden autonomous technological details, such as LiDARs on the roof and sides. these features make the vehicle appear more approachable, understandable and warmer for customers. furthermore, it highlights how software enhances both the design and digital experience.


prototypes of the M-byte are being tested by aurora

 

 

their provocative designs create surprise and inspire curiosity, none more apparent than when people hear that the premium M-byte is expected to retail at $45,000 USD. the K-byte will follow in 2020 and then an E premium MPV is set for 2022. in time for 2019, the cars will be equipped with level 3 of autonomy and they believe technology, such as this and gesture controls, will further improve in their cars by that time. 300,000 models can be produced in nanjing a year, and prototypes are already being developed. earlier in august 2018, drivable prototypes of the SUV started being tested under real-worth conditions with the help of aurora, self-driving technology experts. this strategy sees BYTON partner with other brands to excel mobility rather than eradicate automotive traditions.


the K-byte sedan and its front’s smart surface

 

 

these are the benefits of being a start-up; BYTON is not restricted by traditions or by historic, out-dated boards. they can partner with whomever, explore new technologies, challenge the norms, and deliver beautiful, enriching design experiences. just looking at the M-byte and K-byte concepts, it is clear to see that they are not different just to be different, they are progressive but not distant, and, although they use advanced technologies, the cars are welcoming. BYTON is not redefining cars, they are redefining life and creating a future of mobility that is a very near possibility.


modern, muscular styling is once again showcased with the exterior of the K-byte

 


autonomous technologies are visibly integrated into the bodywork

 


LiDARs on the roof and sides highlight its technological advantages to customers

 

 

BYTON brand video

  • At least the styling is generic enough to not scare people. I wish them luck.

    Jim

    JimCan says:

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