Chevrolet To Launch Performance Electric CUV, According To Leak


Every so often, word of a new vehicle leaks out from a dealer convention.

Such was the case in Las Vegas, Nevada where Chevrolet held its dealership convention (more specifically, the North American Dealers Association convention, where a Buick, GMC, Chevy franchise meeting took place on March 24)

As is typically the case with these leaks, you get just a tidbit of information. This time around the leak comes to us via Van Bortel Chevrolet in Rochester, New York. The dealership had attendess at the convention, at least one of whom later leaked some info onto CorvetteForum. Much of the leaked material relates to the new Corvette (not a plug in, so no interest to us), but a few sentences contained some pertinent info.

Highly Related – General Motors’ EV Teaser Reveals Hatchbacks, Crossovers

Here’s the relevant intel from the posting on the forum:

“Another interesting announcement there is a performance electric car coming out, looked like a cross-over. Alan Batey was very clear in saying it is a performance model. If it is a cross-over, this will be interesting.”

Batey is executive vice-president and president of General Motors North America and global leader of the Chevrolet division, so clearly he’s high enough up the chain to know what’s up.

A performance electric CUV would sell like crazy in the U.S., provided it beats the Tesla Model Y to market and as long Chevy puts some push and production behind it. It would likely cannibalize Bolt sales though, so perhaps the Bolt will exit as this electric CUV enters? Or maybe the performance CUV will be expensive enough that the two won’t compete for sales? Lots of unknown right now.

This leak may actually be in response to Ford’s recent announcement of a “Mach 1,” Mustang-like electric SUV. If Ford’s gonna do it, you can bet GM will too.

Of course, we welcome all new plug-in electric cars, including a potential performance CUV.

Our hope now is that GM comes through with what was shown to dealers in Vegas. What happens in Vegas, need not always stay in Vegas, ya know!

Source: Corvette Forum

Categories: Chevrolet

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79 Comments on "Chevrolet To Launch Performance Electric CUV, According To Leak"

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Well it didn’t matter that GM’s Bolt beat the Tesla Model 3 to market, tho.

As well if there wasn’t Tesla’s vast Supercharger network then “A performance electric CUV would sell like crazy in the U.S., provided it beats the Tesla Model Y to market” and it didn’t have utilitarian look.

In the end the more *EV competition the better tho!!! ICE is the real competitor.

1) Can’t have enough performance Electric CUV’s on the market.
2) Will they be able to build more than 30,000.
3) Will GM dealerships buy and sell them, because the Dealer network is GM’s customer, not the customer.

If they can get the dealerships on board, they may survive.
Also, will they be offering a BMW REX type solution, because there are no High Speed Chargers in Allentown PA, Mount Pocono, PA, or Homer, NY for example.

GM you are falling behind! Kona electric , MB, Audi, all coming out with pure electric SUV

Kona EV is a great entry to market, but it is not an SUV. It is basically a Bolt EV clone (except the Kona is smaller, and slower) with different sheet metal and a lot of wasted space in front where the ICE engine would normally go. Also, will only be sold in the US as a compliance car in ZEV CARB states. For the money, the Bolt is the better buy.

Kia sells the Soul EV in Washington state so it’s very possible a few non-CARB states may see them show up within six months to a year after debuting in California.

So far, the vehicles currently offered are pretty underwhelming.

You mean like ioniq which still is being sold in California. I will go with bolt over the kona

The Soul EV is supposed to be available for order at dealerships nationwide, unlike the Ioniq EV.

Sorry, I went to a dealership to look at Bolt. The A pillar was blocking my view, the seat was too hard. The space was OK. NOT CONSIDERING AT ALL because the view problem. I agree Kona wasted lots of space in front, but the plastic speed projector screen is a good design. Maybe Kia Niro EV will do! But at that price , why not MB or Audi? I have a plugin hybrid now which would serve me for another 10 years easily. I want a built in USA product too. You all don’t have to pull the salesman trick on me, it’s so sad they don’t educate people to be scientists and engineers in this country anymore! I am an engineer if I have to pull tricks like you I can do much better! Haha, nice try!

The A Pillar’s are quite wide on most new cars.
Would you like to surviving a rollover?

The A pillar on most new cars are enormous and really do block visibility, but they do save lives in rollovers, so there is that. I have gotten used to ducking my head a bit to the side when I am at intersections to see into the A pillar blind spot. I think that better engineering with regards to trim will reduce this problem a bit in the years to come but right now it is dangerous.

GM made a point of beating Model 3 with the market, maybe it will do it again with Model Y?

Let’s hope GM puts a bit more effort into this than in Bolt which was clearly designed with compliance rather than volume/profit in mind, going for a relatively small production run befitting the mismatched $40K compact hatch concept.

I’d love to hear more of your theories. How would you have designed the Bolt for “volume/profit”? The Bolt is a fantastic car and does exactly what it says it can do. I bought one. If others refuse to buy one that is their choice, but that does not mean its a “compliance” car. GM hasn’t failed in it’s EV commitment, rather the EV community has failed in their commitment.

The Bolt clearly has “disadvantages” for a $45,000 car.
1) Interior quality should be higher.
2) Seats should be better.
3) Rear suspension really needs a modern independent suspension. In this price range you’re competing with BMW and Audi.

Given the fact that a base Bolt costs you $35k less $7k or $28k net, and that a fully optioned up Bolt costs you $41k less $7k or a net $34k, your “$45,000 car” comment makes no sense.
Unless you just want to give Uncle Sam money by refusing to accept the credit, or that you refuse to bargain to get the credit rolled into your lease.

If you lease the Bolt there’s no way you’re going to see a $7500 discount on your lease, currently from the dealership network, except in California.

Also, why don’t you stroll over to BMW’s web site and check their pricing, and leasing. My statement still stands, compare what you get for the price. One thing is you get a high quality suspension, and always a nice interior.

You cannot ignore what’s in the market and who you’re competing against. An EV has to win by more than just being an EV.

The Bolt is a subcompact hatchback with twin ibeam suspension that starts at $36.6k with crappy seats and an interior fit for a $20k car.

It gets a big battery with TMS and good acceleration. To get that 238 miles of range you get rock hard LRR “green” tires that compromise grip and handling.

Bolt was designed to get CARB credits, to lower GM’s fleet average CO2 grams/km in Europe into compliance and now significant numbers are sent to Quebec to meets its CA clone ZEV requirement.

In other words a compliance play.

Hope this performance CUV is a better effort.

Sure, be a prima donna and wait for your Tesla, but some of us recognize value when we see it and want to drive electric today… actually a year ago. If driving electric isn’t all that important to you fine, go buy your ICE BMW, or Audi, or whatever. Just don’t call the Bolt a compliance car. It’s available, I bought one a year ago, it works as advertised and I love it. Anybody who wants a great electric car today can get one.

Not really comparable to $20k. Find me a $20k car with 200hp, 200ft-lb of torque, 0-60 of 6.5sec, 4G LTE and WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth, Apple Car Play, back up camera, and heated seats. The Bolt is a great car, full stop. And true value after incentives.

I don’t buy the CARB comment. I don’t see the Bolt as a compliance car.

I do agree that it’s an economy car on a very, very expensive EV platform.

They do need to come out with a Buick version with an upgraded interior and fix the seats in the Bolt version.

True, but it’s a pretty good compliance car. I gave it a B overall, and while it’s no Model 3, you can get one for quite a bit less ATM.
Also if don’t do a lot a lot of trips, stick close to home, and can charge at home or work, it looks ok.
They went cheap as you suggest, but no in the drivetrain, battery department.
I think, as you suggest that the CUV P will be better, and it will probably beat the Y to market.

Just went to BMW’s site. There you can see the $44,450 (base car before credits and rebates) i3 with fancy interior, superb suspension and 114 mile range. I’ll take double the range for less money please.

My Bolt cost me $30,219 out the door, taxes, license, rebates and credit included. It wasn’t a 45,000 car. Are you so ignorant as to not know that battery powered cars cost more than ICE powered cars? The extra $10,000 on my $20,000 ICE equivalent is for the battery. Gladly paid.

It’s OK that you don’t like the Bolt, just don’t go calling it a compliance car just because you chose not to buy one.

It’s a bummer about the seats. Very uncomfortable to me. Otherwise, I would definitely be looking at the Bolt when my e-Golf lease runs out in a few months. I don’t think decent seats cost that much to make. I love the seats in my e-golf. Not sure why GM made that trade-off.

I have seen a video of a guy peeling the seat cover back then installing a piece of foam, looked to be about 18″ by 18″ by 1.5″ thick and it seemed to make a big difference in comfort. Pity Chevy didn’t bother to do it to start with.
I am getting paranoid about GM’s motivations w/regards to electric cars. Maybe they did it to make the Bolt seem cheap, thereby throttling demand?

The 2 (later 3) state only Spark EV was more of a compliance car than the no powerless/weird seated Bolt EV and the powered seated but FWD-only Buick Encore EV will be less of a compliance car than GMs next offering…

Most of GM’s vehicles have powertrain offerings and just about all of the vehicles they’re calling crossovers have 2WD and AWD/4WD options…Much more profit is made on higher trims and expensive options than on base trim…

The Bolt was originally meant to be an international car. It should have sold as an Opel Ampera-e in Europe. And for Europeans this is not a weird car, it is right at the heart of what they like and buy. Sadly, however, GM decided to sell Opel to PSA. So now there is an extra middleman, because now the sales chain is GM > PSA > dealer > buyer. This added more than 5000 dollars to the price, unexpectedly, which slowed reservations. However PSA is still selling every single Ampera-e they get and the waiting lists are approaching a year in some countries.

Ever since GM officially launched the Bolt EV to production, I predicted GM would do the same with a true Crossover / small SUV and beat Tesla Y to market.

Expect the Bolt to eventually be priced below $30k before incentives. The closesest ICE comparison is the Golf GTI that starts at $27k.

The new performance CUV will be priced just above $40k. Maybe $45k.

GM is not going to act until threatened. It actually came from German brands this time. So sad for Tesla which has only limited time now or the pure EV long range advantage will be no more! I think it deserve a place in the EV hall of fame, but it may be a flashing history mark soon.

@tesla tools: the model 3 interior looks like it belongs in an amusement park ride. don’t complain about the bolt’s interior as though the model 3’s could ever be considered superior. talk about cheap and cost saving the car doesn’t even have an instrument cluster let alone the other bells and whistles.

Bolt is designed for robotaxi fleets, which are supposed to be able to remove up to 90% of car demand. GM doesn’t want to be caught with ability to manufacture orders of magnitude more of them than they actually need to.

Yes, it will. “A performance electric CUV would sell like crazy in the U.S., provided it beats the Tesla Model Y to market..” That is already a fact because Tesla announced the Model y for November 2019 (and we can bet it will be for late 2020 instead). So GM will have another head start and “spank” Musk again.

The electric CUV better have at least 230 miles of AER, a roomy interior and a faster charge rate than the Bolt. And ACC plus AWD as options wouldn’t hurt, either.

It’s the most logical direction, really. CUV height and a floor for the skateboard, is the ground up recipe. CAFE (even light truck) could be met on auto demand, just like the Clean Power Plan is being met by cheap natural gas and renewable portfolio standards (CPP targeted 1.6-1.8Gt CO2 and is already in the 1.7? area). We’ll see. GM never did put Volts out front.

And a pony. I know there is a pony in there somewhere.

Soon we will have big, fast, luxurious, cheap, electric SUVs, and all will be right with the world.

I’ve got a president I’d like to sell you.

Thanks! I’ll just take ‘The Governator’, please! 😀

However, GM’s recent considerations regarding doing more for EV Charging Infrastructure, is realy an item worth looking more into, as to how seious they are with that?!?!

As Teslanatics know, it’s not just how far your EV can go on a charge, but where and how easy it is to Charge Up Fast, AFTER the first charge is done, on a Road Trip! If GM finally gets THAT into their Business Plan, it may be a Sign of better things to come!

Hiwever, since the CARB CREDIT PROGRAM Offeres nothing for expanding EV Charging Infrastructure, in any ratio or % of Total Sales, or even % of EV sales, I still see that even if Tesla has Saturated all the best Interstate Freeways, And State Roads, with Superchargers, the rest of the Automakers Still Won’t ‘Get It!’

I don’t know. I’m actually coming around to the thinking that road trip charging doesn’t matter. In fact, I might even consider a 200 mile EV with no quick charge at all (the only real reason I care on a low range EV is there’s a chance of accidentally running low).

The problem is if you’re on a road trip, even in a Tesla, you’re waiting an hour+ at each recharge stop vs 5-10 minutes at a gas station. It’s ok if you’re only going a couple hundred miles, but if you’re planning on just going all out for 10 hours it’s going to slow you down a lot.

Based on my experience with road trips you’re better off just packing in a couple of ten hour days and getting to your destination, rather than piddling around with 4-5 hour days which are basically shot anyway since you arrive too late to see any sites. So frankly I’d rather still just have a gas car for road trips if it comes down to that.

Crazy, crazy to have proprietary charging systems. All gas stations serve all cars and clearly post the price in large numerals.

Until EV fast charging stations move in this direction EVs will remain mainly a niche product and mainly a local driving product for those who can charge at home.

IMO., Forget Mercedes , BMW, VW, & Audi they will be Priced in the Stratosphere ..For “No Good Reason” Other than Their “Badge” …Yes, at Times They Were worth the Premium ,(((Yrs Ago))) But Lately Hyundai, Honda , Kia, Toyota , Mazda , Mercedes ,Audi BMW & So On, Are Pretty Much On Par Or Very Close as Far As Build Quality , Give or take a Bit Here & there . I Don’t think I will Buy another German Marque because of their High Pricing , When I Go to an EV This time Around , Unless There is a Price Adjustment .

Lamata, you are right on. Confirming the Bolt is indeed one of the best value EVs out there and the Tesla fanatics are all whining about the price!

And, non Quebec, Canadian EV Buyers that might want one, are complaining they have to order on, and wait, still, for 3-6 months at least, possibly longer, to actually Get One!

I see the Bolt EV as a good Technical Exercise, hampered by Management Control, and Pride of Supposed Leadership, in their chirping about bringing the ‘First Affordable Long Range EV’, which might be nice for Awards, & Bragging Rights, but if they limit production to multiple markets, simply because they can, since there are no laws requiring them to bring more, that is on Management’s Head!

It’s about economies of scale for one. Though it’s true that they are not really pushing the car, since losing money on a few cars is not so bad, but losing money on a lot of car is.

hehehe, yeah Derek its a Scream.

First, the Tesla Fanboys inflate the price of actually purchased Bolt EV’s by about 50%. And of course, they DEFLATE the price of the M3 since that Model will be released supposedly in the indefinite future..

GM of course – doesn’t want to make the BOLT ev, per these big experts – not withstanding my dealer’s lot was FULL OF THEM – it was the VOLT that was in short supply.

If there is even the slightest constructive criticism of the car invites their attacks – even though the “Homely, uncomfortable BOLT ev” gets attacked with every article.

My only complaint about GM is I hope they at least do SOMETHING else besides the BOLT ev or its derivatives. But so far so good.

I agree with you about BMW, Mercedes and Audi, but VW isn’t really priced at a significant premium. VW pricing seems pretty much in-line with the higher end Japanese manufacturers (Honda/Toyota).

“Another interesting announcement there is a performance electric car coming out”


If it’s coming out in 2019 that’s a huge deal. If it’s coming in 2021 or later then add it to the list of all the others.

One problem for GM is that they can’t make an electric car to beat their corvette, as that constituency is one of their most faithful. They are stuck.

Well, do they need to make one that “beats” the corvette? The Vette is a pretty low selling vehicle. About 1,500 sales separated them last year. Bolt will likely outsell the Corvette this year with room to spare. So clearly it’s in higher demand than the Corvette!

I think it is more important if GM comes out with an electric sports car that can match the performance and sales of the Camaro! 🙂

I bet we see it at the Beijing Auto Show later this month.

Please let it have a 3rd row!!! At least an option of a 3rd row. The Pacifica plugin has the 3rd row but no option of all wheel drive and not great ground clearance. Model X fits the bill except there’s that price thing. My Toyota highlander hybrid is annoying since one must essentially hypermile to hit the claimed mpg. I’m tired of burning gas.

Wait, sorry. I suppose CUV’s dont usually have 3rd rows.

Just make it bigger and more SUV than the Bolt and it should sell well. Maybe even a Voltec version for longer trips?

Can’t GM bring a Voltec (Volt) Drivetrain to the Bolt EV, & make one a Bolt EREV? A 40 kWh Battery, + about an 8 Gallon Gas Tank, could get it 140-160 EV Miles & another 250-320 Gas Miles! Put the Seats from the Volt in it, and it could Do OK, I think!

Bolt EV SS anyone? 😀

It would have to be redesigned. No SS Dorkmobile, but with a new design, you could call it the “Zap”.


The “Electra” is an exclusive Buick name, not Chevrolet.

Yes yes yes

Start with the Bolt platform….

* update battery technology for 260 miles of range
* add AWD & ACC
* improve exterior styling
* improve interior
* AWD gives about 5 second 0-60 performance
* badge it a Buick


The Bolt is a tiny package, I doubt there’s room for a rear motor in there. Stretch it 10”, add the rear motor, call it a Buick. I’d buy that.

It’s too small (even if large inside) to be on the short list for most American buyers. Moar biggerer!

Existing Bolt has room between rear wheels for second motor for AWD.

Hopefully, a stretch also enables a bigger battery.

Agree on most points except performance needs to be in the 4.5 second and lower range. It needs to beat every car in it’s price range and even more expensive cars as well because it’s an EV… it needs to outperform it’s ICE counterparts by a wide margin. And it needs to do it consistently… no tricks. Just put it into launch mode, pedal to the metal, and let go of the brake, the car will do the rest.

If the car came out with a 5 second 0-60, it would be laughed out of existence because it doesn’t even come close to Tesla’s PxxxD models.

Tesla made a reputation not on build quality, but looks and performance (as in 0-60 performance). If GM wants to enter this space, it needs to create a rival.

Interesting, the guy in the Corvette forum deleted mention of the electric performance CUV that he had posted about. Guess he let the cat out of the bag too early. Oops.

A few things…

1. On behalf of my fellow Rochesterians, I accept your thanks for this tidbit of information.

2. Someone mentioned upthread that the real customer is GM’s dealers, not the final consumer. I agree strongly, but with the generalization that it isn’t just GM with this albatross around their neck. Around here it is VERY hard to find dealers that know anything about EVs and actually stock them and try to sell them. Of the 4 Rochester area Nissan dealers, only 2 carry the Leaf, and they’re blindingly ignorant about the car and EVs in general. I ran into the same mess when I was car shopping recently and looked at Bolts. (Not one, but two different Chevy dealers told me that the Bolt had manual seat adjustments to save electricity. The self-restraint I displayed at those moments was uncharacteristic, to say the least.)

3. Every please remember that we’re still(!!!) in the very early stages of the lifecycle of EV technology. There will be model and feature and capability churn, companies continuing to make many promises (and hopefully keeping at least half of them), and hopefully a few positive surprises.

It’s funny. Here in CA EVs aren’t even that unusual to see. I see Leafs all the time. I’d be surprised if a Nissan dealer didn’t stock the Leaf–if so they’d be part of a small minority. Even the Chevy Bolt ownership apparently has been building up because I’m starting to see them fairly frequently now.

My local Chevy dealer told me the seats were crappy to save weight.

A bit of a crude way to tell the truth, but, OK! Or, they are crappy so that they don’t sell too many?

In under 3 Months, the next 2 months worth of Model 3 Sales and Deliveries, after that, will be close to a years sales and Deliveries of the Bolt EV, it seems, but, yeah, the Bolt EV Seats don’t help sell it!

An electric truck would sell like nothing else

What would your response be, if GM put the Volt Motor & Engine part of that Drivetrain in the Front, and the Bolt EV Motor in the back, of a Colorado sized pickup, with all 60 kWh from the Bolt EV, & about a ten gallon Fuel Tank for the Range Extender, in an EV/EREV AWD Pickup?

Seeing as this config would cost $60k, I seriously doubt they would be a volume seller.

Yup. Lots of comments here completely disregard the price. Bolt has hard time selling as is at ~$30K (ie, not having 500K+ wait list), and overpriced compact truck is going to be even worse.

Yes..I thought about that and came up with that exact figure. My model Y price estimate is 80K currently.

And if a “beef sandwich” is better than nothing else, then that sandwich is better than an electric truck.

Looking for a Chevy electric equinox or
similar size with 100kwh battery pack in
the 4-500 mile range.
Love my bolt, which gets 275 miles on a
charge, but my wife wants something
larger for the grandkids and dogs that we
can travel in.

Agreed. Equinox would be the proper size. I was spending out a Bolt, the slanted A pillar plus hard seats just killed the deal! I am not going to pay that much for a highly compromised ordeal just for EV cause. 20K maybe. There was an gasoline Equinox next to it and it just felt more comfortable ergonomically, safety, trunk space and everything else. If GM put the EV drive train in Equinox then it’s EV reputation can be saved. But I am not counting on it. Good thing is MB, Audi all have reasonabl6 sized equivalent coming out next year. Sitting tight on my plugin hybrid for another 5 years to welcome all the new comers to pick and choose from! Thanks to us EV enthusiasts and shale oil, gasoline is not going to cost that much more in next 5 years.

Correction: specing out

I believe you nailed it. Perfect. Equinox style what’s needed in styling and performance specs you stated.
1. The Bolt EV is a good program. I bought it, love it.
2. The styling is already selected for the new CUV and GM is waiting for the new battery technology packs from Korean research labs and engineering facilities. Call it the proposed Equinox EVX program.
3.No mention of the release date or showing of even a concept car showing at a trade show. Talk is cheap. I believe its now 21 months away from production.

There are Electric Chevy Equinox in the market. Not new or cheap. Besides, the Equinox was the first electric CUV in existence (in 2009 and made by GM), but just for fuel cell testing.

I will be in the market for a CUV like that come Jan 2020 and I hope it will be similar in style and dimensions to the Chevy Equinox. 300 miles+ range faster DC charging…