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Say hello to the Byton K-Byte Concept

Chinese startup's second concept does all the EV, self-driving stuff you'd expect

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Welcome, everyone, to the Byton K-Byte – the Chinese start-up’s second concept after the SUV it brought to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Since renamed M-Byte – ‘Crossover Concept’ is a bit, well, on the nose – we’re promised production of that car will start by the end of 2019. The K-Byte, which is based on the same modular EV platform, we’re told will go on sale in 2021. 

The Americans among you might call it a ‘sedan’. Because that’s what it is. Its silhouette is a reasonably conventional three-box affair Byton says “celebrates masculinity, stability as well as sportiness”, with proportions roughly equalling a Tesla Model S.

Certainly looks like more of a concept than the M-Byte, mainly thanks to the ‘Smart Surfaces’ on its front- and rear-ends which are said to create a 3D visual. The front lights are arranged like diamonds, too. Byton has worked on making the sunroof and windows as large as possible to create a ‘generous greenhouse’ so that passengers can enjoy much sunshine.

Byton calls the K-Byte a “next-generation smart device”. So naturally there’s integrated autonomy courtesy of many lidar sensors dotted around the car - front, rear and on the sides - that deploy when the car goes into self-driving mode. Speaking of which, Byton is said to be working with a company called Aurora to develop level four autonomy. It imagines that by the end of 2020, both will have a fleet of prototypes ready for mass production.

We’ve not been told anything about its interior – although no doubt it’s got as spectacular a setup as the M-Byte, which has a 49-inch wide infotainment screen – or its powertrain. Very much a concept then.

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