Buick Velite 5 EREV To Launch In China Soon, Teaser Image Released

8 months ago by Eric Loveday 25

Buick Velite 5

Buick has now confirmed that its upcoming EREV offering for China will indeed be the Velite.

First reported by us some 6 months ago, the Velite is basically a rebadged Chevrolet Volt with some subtle exterior and interior changes.

Buick has released just the one lone teaser image of the Velite (as shown above). However, from previous spy photos, including the pair of images directly below, we get a solid idea of what Velite looks like in the flesh.

Buick Velite

Buick Velite

Buick officially calls the car Velite 5, possibly due to its ability to seat 5 individuals.

The press release from Buick has a few more details on Velite:

Buick announced today that the Velite 5, its first extended range electric vehicle (EREV), will be launched shortly in China.

The Velite 5’s pure electric driving mode is prioritized to meet daily user demand for zero emissions and fuel consumption, with the electric driving range surpassing an estimated 100 km. In EREV mode, the model can deliver a total driving range of over 750 km, eliminating so-called “range anxiety” and opening a new chapter for electric mobility in China.

Further down the road, Buick says it will launch a PHEV and BEV in China. Both of these vehicles will hit the market within 2 years.

Here’s a look at the dramatic Velite concept so that you can see how much its design changed in the production version.

Buick Velite EREV Concept

Press blast from Buick China below:

Buick Announces Velite 5 Extended Range Electric Vehicle Coming to China

SHANGHAI – Buick announced today that the Velite 5, its first extended range electric vehicle (EREV), will be launched shortly in China.

Leveraging GM’s proven EREV technology, the Velite 5 also offers advanced connectivity and safety technologies.

It is equipped with GM’s latest electric drive system that features the company’s patented EVT electronic controlled intelligent variable transmission. The system has a double high-performance, permanent-magnet electric motor drive unit. This supports its hybrid-exclusive 1.5L direct injection engine as well as its new-generation liquid-cooled, high-performance ternary lithium battery pack.

The Velite 5’s pure electric driving mode is prioritized to meet daily user demand for zero emissions and fuel consumption, with the electric driving range surpassing an estimated 100 km. In EREV mode, the model can deliver a total driving range of over 750 km, eliminating so-called “range anxiety” and opening a new chapter for electric mobility in China.

Last year, Buick launched the all-new LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle and hosted the world premiere of the Velite Concept, which served as the template for future new energy vehicles under Buick’s strategy in China.

In the coming two years, Buick also plans to introduce plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in China.

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25 responses to "Buick Velite 5 EREV To Launch In China Soon, Teaser Image Released"

  1. Kdawg says:

    Where will these be built?

    1. Bacardi says:

      Interesting question, if not built in China (for Chinese customers) it’ll cost a ton to import and miss out on incentives…

      Also interestingly, the Velite would caught in the streets of Chicago wearing only camo on the front/rear bumper covers…

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        I was wondering the same thing about where they’ll be built and how that’ll affect the cost and incentives. Can GM pull any tricks with “final assembly” being in China?

    2. taser54 says:

      I presume at the Shanghai-GM plant.

    3. Acevolt says:

      According to car news china, it’s being assembled at the Shanghai plant:

      https://www.carnewschina.com/2017/03/28/buick-turns-the-chevrolet-volt-into-the-velite-5-for-china/

      1. Kdawg says:

        I wonder where the batteries will come from. LG in South Korea?

  2. GeorgeS says:

    Nice looking.
    Why didn’t gm do this in the US?

    1. Kdawg says:

      They did. It’s the Gen2 Volt. Only difference is the badge.

    2. Bacardi says:

      GM believes the car’s target market do not care about brand names/style/power seats/performance/etc, just efficiency…I’d take a Vegas bet the MY18 Volt will tone down their bright silver “braces” in favor of the Bolt EVs grills, dark gray or black…

    3. Koenigsegg says:

      Obvious troll is obvious. Rofl

  3. DTM says:

    100 km full electric? What battery size does it have then?

    1. Bacardi says:

      Not U.S. EPA, it’s most likely the exact same powertrain as the Gen2 Volt…

  4. unlucky says:

    They didn’t even change the wheels from the Volt. Not that those are bad wheels.

    They saved a nickel by removing the wraparound side marker lights on the rear and replacing them with blackout and a silver strike that says “Buick” on it.

    It’s interesting they switched the rear lower valance lights from horizontal to vertical. I say this because the Volt already had vertical lower lights on the front, the Volt could have had the same orientation front and rear all this time it seems.

    1. Koenigsegg says:

      Actually those wheels are ugly. The base LT rims look the best which is why I got those and got them painted gloss black which are by far the best looking rims on any Volt I’ve ever seen. Batman edition.

      It also could have had better LED DRL’s in general. I’ve seen and counted 6 different types of cars from different brands that have the same exact LED DRL’s as the new Volt.

      Which is pathetic and cheap

      1. unlucky says:

        It’s not a $300,000 car. There’s no way the lights on it are going to be completely unique.

        Companies copy each others’ headlamp and taillight treatments all the time. The only way you can make it unique is to make it so expensive that other cars can’t afford to copy it. And the Volt just can’t afford to do that because it isn’t an expensive car.

        1. James says:

          I remember when Mercedes were the first cars to show up in my neck of the woods with LED DRLs. When one was behind you it really caught your eye. “Very distinctive!”, I thought.

          Today those LEDs are on everything from a subcompact all the way up, and it’s interesting to see how manufacturers try to make their LED dots unique. Now they’re smoother and have some translucent plastic treatments in front of them so you don’t see the individual round LEDs.

          I was disappointed when I saw the new Volt with a fairly typical LED setup for it’s DRLs, but we must remember, final design gets finalized a couple of years before the production model hits the streets, so GM must have thought that design was pretty fresh for the time.

          It’s tough to get out ahead of trends, years in advance. The way to deal with this is to go a new direction and set the new trend. Easier said than done.

          Mercedes has gone with the “eyebrow”. I can see new Mercedes a mile away due to their LED
          eyebrow that curves down from the top. To me,
          it’s a homely look, and I’m tired of it already. Kudos to them for trying to be different, though.

          I like Tesla’s DRLs. I always see a Tesla coming 1/2 mile down the road, as I’m sure most of you do also. One neat thing I noticed is that when a Tesla driver hits his turn signal, the DRLs surrounding the headlights blank off while the turn signals blink. I never realized this until I saw one change lanes coming towards me. Now it seems that is the older configuration, as the adaptive headlights of the 2016s and beyond don’t seem to do this.

          Can anyone owning a Tesla here confirm this?

    2. ClarksonCote says:

      We don’t know that. Those spy/test photos are not necessarily the final version.

  5. Koenigsegg says:

    Ugly logos in the rear. They look out of place and are unnecessary.

    Badge up front is ugly and doesn’t flow with the design.

    Headlights look black which is how they should have been on Gen 2 just how they were on Gen 1. GM boggles my mind with their stupidity on simple aesthetic features.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      This is for China, so any badging decisions would be based on the market there.

      1. Ziv says:

        And upper middle class car buyers in China have been mad for Buicks since the days of the Christian Missionaries back in the 1920’s and 30’s. And to give Buick their due, the cars they sell in China do tend to stand out as being fairly impressive compared to other cars sold there.

        Go to a fairly nice restaurant in Beijing and the car occupying the valets “position of pride” is frequently a Buick. It sounds crazy but I have seen it dozens of times.

    2. realistic says:

      …and you are not a successful auto manufacturer in China, so your comment is duly noted. You may see in the following pictures 2016’s #4-selling auto in China at >306K, the Buick Excelle:

      https://www.carnewschina.com/2015/03/09/new-buick-excelle-gt-launched-on-the-chinese-car-market/

      Note “stupid and ugly logos” on car that is extremely popular in a crowded market.

  6. James says:

    I personally like the Volt’s Premier wheels.
    Looks are subjective, and to me, GM successfully tried to do something complex, yet tasteful instead of the typcial “turbine” theme that is so popular now in wheels. BMW knocked off Tesla with it’s turbine alloys and other makers are making Tesla-esque turbine wheels also.

    I wish GM would make the concept Velite and sell it here in N. America. That is a car that would have adequate rear seat headroom and also taller rear cargo capacity. More of a Cruze hatch that a “4 door coupe” which Volt
    tries to be.

    It would seem that the Chinese won’t buy a ton of Velite 5s. They want to be driven around, and stretch out in a hotel-like back seat. The
    Volt, with it’s small accomodations and sure high MSRP will be a niche of a niche. The cars will be built in Hammtramck at first – probably Shanghai at a later date if GM decides to go with a gen 3 Volt – a proposition I think is up in the air due to the Bolt EV being thier new “green halo”.

    The PHEV and EV will most likely be Chinese versions ( Buick ) of Bolt EV and Malibu Hybrid.

  7. vdiv says:

    If the stereotype is true wouldn’t people in China have a hard time pronouncing the L in Velite? Seems like an odd choice for a name in that market.

  8. M2 says:

    Why not call it a Buick Electra? It would look better and sell more if it looked like the concept imo.

  9. Aaron says:

    Why does GM insist on calling it an EREV?