Byton has revealed a K-Byte concept electric sedan in a night event in Shanghai, China.
The company announced the sleekly designed vehicle in a gala event labeled “Byton Night” held on Tuesday night ahead of the 2018 CES in Asia, where the K-Byte concept will make its official appearance on Wednesday.
The company recently raised 500 million dollars to help realize their dream of launching a fully-electric SUV by 2019. The Tuesday announcement is a clear indicator that the Chinese EV startup isn’t sleeping until they dethrone Tesla of the electric innovation crown.
Byton made their official debut during the 2018 CES in Las Vegas showcasing an SUV concept, which they have since referred to as the M-Byte concept. Byton plans to have the SUV in the Chinese market by 2019 with a starting price of $45,000.
The electrified sedan will follow later in 2021. Even though the two concepts will share a platform, the K-Byte concept will offer an improved performance due to its aerodynamic design, and less weight.
The Byton’s new baby doesn’t try in any way to hide how unique it is from other autonomous cars. It has retractable sensors that sit right under the side mirror. Called by the name LiGuard, these sensors pop out when the autopilot is engaged, and draw back when disengaged.
The LiGuard also lights up to warn nearby pedestrians that there’s no one behind the wheel in this beautiful K-Byte sedan.
A LiBow design on the roof of the car connects the front and rear LIDAR sensors. At first glance, you can know that the Byton electric sedan is not designed for everyone.
Byton said in a statement during the release that K-Byte “is not a pre-production concept; instead, it embodies BYTON’s intent to reinterpret what has become an outdated body type: the sedan.”
Earlier this year, Byton announced a major partnership with a self-driving car startup Aurora to deliver level 4 capability prototypes by 2020. The level 4 is meant to enable the self-driving cars to move without human help under some circumstances.
Byton says that they are first focusing on the home market of China, but later will expand its routes to Europe, and the United States by 2020.
With their global headquarters in Nanjing, China, Byton plans to have brand stores like Tesla in major cities rather than the traditional dealership.