Electric SUV previews 2019 production model

Chinese electric start-up firm, Byton, has revealed its first concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.

First teased last September, the Byton Concept takes the form of a high-riding electric crossover that features new-age in-car infotainment and semi-autonomous driving systems.

In terms of design, the Byton Concept is bold and futuristic, though it doesn't push the envelope as much as some previous show cars of the same ilk.

Byton isn't making massive claims or breaking any records either, hinting that a base version of the production model will cost around US$45,000 ($57,215) and have a driving range of 250 miles (402km).

The entry-level variant features a rear-mounted electric motor with 272hp (203kW), though a high-performance dual-motor version should put out around 476hp (355kW) while extending range to 325 miles (523km), courtesy of a larger battery pack.

The claimed figures for the base variant compete with the entry-level Tesla Model X 75D, which features a 417km range, while the high-performance version has comparable range to the Model X P100D (565km).

Meanwhile, the US-based and Chinese-funded startup Faraday Future's FF91 claims "over 600 kilometres" of range from its 130kWh battery - but that's if they actually manage to build it.

The Byton's showpiece, however, is its tech-heavy interior.

Instead of a conventional dashboard, the Byton Concept features a massive 1250mm by 250mm display that spans from each A-pillar, allowing the driver and front passenger to configure their respective 'zones'.

A supplementary 8.0-inch display also sits within the steering wheel's centre, while rear passengers are also treated to large displays with facial recognition and gesture control.

According to reports from the CES presentation, the Byton Concept represents around 85 per cent of the forthcoming production version, which should then spawn an all-electric sedan and compact vehicle built on the same modular architecture.

The aforementioned market model - set to arrive around 2019 - will feature Level 3 autonomous driving systems, with Level 4 technology to be made available after the turn of the decade.

Byton is in the process of building a factory in Nanjing, China, which will be responsible for producing the company's upcoming electric vehicle (EV) range.

Reports claim the new facility should have an output of 100,000 vehicles annually when it goes live in 2019, increasing to 300,000 units per annum when it is fully completed.

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