Dave Lee
North America technology reporter

Publishedduration7 January 2018shareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingmedia captionWATCH: Exclusive first look at the Byton

A new car designed by former BMW and Apple employees has been unveiled.

The Byton – which sports a huge touchscreen dashboard – reimagines what it feels like to be inside a car.

While on paper the electric vehicle doesn't quite match Tesla on performance or price, the firm behind it told the BBC it hoped people in future would care more about "digital power" than horsepower.

But experts say it currently lacks the charging infrastructure it requires.

The name Byton refers to the phrase Bytes on Wheels.

"We want to be the company bringing into the market the first real smart car," said Carsten Breitfeld, its chief executive.

image copyrightBytonimage captionThe car features a huge dashboard screen

Ahead of the concept vehicle's official launch at the annual CES trade show in Las Vegas, Byton gave the BBC an exclusive look at the technology. It was being kept in an unmarked warehouse just off the city's famous strip, hidden from spying eyes behind a black curtain.

More from CES 2018:

  • Bodybuilding in the virtual reality gym
  • App uses saliva to recommend what to eat
  • Preview of CES's coolest new tech
  • The house that hears burglars

image copyrightBytonimage captionThe company refers to the car's interior as being a "digital lounge"

The company is bankrolled with money from China, and believes it has the development know-how to overcome the hurdles that see most new car companies fail.

To solve perhaps its biggest problem, Byton will need to strike a deal with Tesla's Elon Musk.