Byton’s first model—the 2022 M-Byte SUV—is a truly global effort that the upstart automaker hopes will make a splash in the premium EV marketplace. Similar in size to compact luxury SUVs such as the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-class, the M-Byte adds a competitive all-electric driving range and ground-breaking interior technology in the form of an absolutely massive 48-inch curved infotainment display that stretches nearly the entirety of the SUV’s dashboard. As with key EV rival Tesla. Byton says the M-Byte should hit the market sometime in 2021.
What’s New for 2022?
The M-Byte is a brand-new entrant in the compact luxury SUV segment and will be the first vehicle from the all-new brand Byton to reach the market.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Since buying an electric vehicle is all about how far you can drive on a single charge, we’d opt for the long-range model. We’ll know more about pricing, features, and options closer to the M-Byte’s on-sale date.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
When it goes on sale, the M-Byte will be available with either a rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive electric powertrain. Rear-wheel-drive models are powered by a single 268-hp electric motor, while all-wheel-drive models come with two motors and a combined horsepower figure of 402. Byton says the single-motor rear-wheel-drive setup is good for a 7.5-second zero-to-62-mph time but the dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain shaves two seconds off that time.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The M-Byte’s driving range will likely vary from model to model, as entry-level models will come with a 72-kWh battery pack while more expensive variants will offer a 95-kWh unit. Byton says the smaller battery pack can provide up to 224 miles of driving range on the global WLTP cycle; the larger 95-kWh battery is good for up to 286 miles. Either battery can be charged via 150-kWDC fast charging for up to 80-percent battery capacity in just 35 minutes; the M-Byte also will be able to charge at home outlets using either 110 or 220 volts.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA hasn’t released estimates for the M-Byte’s fuel efficiency and obviously, we haven’t completed our own testing. We expect to get a chance to take the M-Byte on our 200-mile highway fuel economy-test route closer to the SUV’s on-sale date.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Besides being packed full of tech features, the M-Byte’s interior appears to be well-appointed in stitched leather with metallic accents. Diamond-patterned textures throughout the cabin provide some visual punch, but the M-Byte’s party piece is the front seats, which can swivel inward to make it easier to have a conversation with rear-seat passengers while on the move. The rear seat can be optioned as a three-across bench or as two individual bucket seats divided by a tall center console with integrated cupholders. There’s no word yet on how big the M-Byte’s cargo hold is, but it should be similar in size to key rivals such as the Jaguar I-Pace and the upcoming Tesla Model Y SUV.