Exclusive Report: Next GM EV To Be Bolt-Based Buick Crossover

3 months ago by Jay Cole 194

Report: Buick set to get all-electric crossover (akin to Encore design) based on Chevrolet Bolt EV platform!

Earlier this year, GM CEO Mary Barra said the new Chevrolet Bolt EV was not to be a standalone offering, “…the Bolt is our platform that we’re going to continue on and have a huge range of vehicles.”

Apparently, that first new Bolt-based EV will be a Buick crossover.

Zero-Emissions

Chevrolet Bolt EV to underpin new Buick crossover

The information comes to us via a very trusted/known source who recently attended a focus group in California (which we might add was where the first foretelling of the Bolt EV took shape in August of 2014, and the production details on the 1st gen Chevy Volt was made known).

Thankfully, the source is a very knowledgeable person when it comes to electric vehicles, and the Bolt EV itself…and took lots of notes!

The reported future Buick EV Crossover is essentially an badge-engineering product at its heart (with some exterior modifications to give it a unique look), a first for GM inside the US market with a plug-in offering, but the Buick EV has a twist – it has all the features you wanted in the Bolt EV, but couldn’t get.

Like new seating, complete with power controls!

Of note: The Bolt EV is also known as the Opel Ampera-E in Europe, while the original Chevrolet Volt was badged as the Opel (Europe)/Vauxhall (UK)/Holden (Australia) Ampera, the new 2nd generation Volt is also sold in China – as the Buick Velite 5.

Report: The new Buick to be more than just a light re-badging experiment, and will feature its own distinctive look (Buick Velite 5 AKA Chevy Volt shown above)

The focus group was asked to rate the new Buick EV crossover in relation to other current plug-in offerings (which had their OEM badges removed, to eliminate brand bias we assume), such as the Hyundai Ioniq, Kia Niro PHEV, a photoshopped next-gen LEAF, the Tesla Model 3, BMW i3…and of course the Chevrolet Bolt EV itself.

Our source says his first impression of the Buick EV was that it looked “next generation Buick Encore-like”, and featured the same fundamental specs as the Bolt EV, such as the 60 kWh battery, but its appearance was considerably different.

“They asked questions like: “Does this look like an SUV to you?” and “Does this change your opinion of Buick?” Most people thought Bolt EV and the Buick were different vehicle types, some completely trashed Bolt EV and loved the Buick, so I guess the designers did a good job. The proportions on the Buick look very similar to an Encore or Trax.”

New Buick said to have the same ~238 mile range as the Bolt EV, but a little less giddy-up

Here are some additional details on the Buick EV crossover from the focus group discussion:

  • same 60 kWh battery and motor (FWD only)
  • roughly the same overall vehicle dimensions as Bolt EV, but 3″ more rear legroom
  • slightly slower acceleration: 0.4 more seconds to 60 mph
  • approximately $3,000 more than Bolt EV
  • premium and striking appearance: floating roof, aggressive LED lights
  • larger center touch screen – integrated tablet appearance, like Mercedes E-Class
  • dashboard stitching
  • dashboard flows into a tall center console, unlike Bolt EV’s minivan-like console
  • Honda/Acura-style PRNDL buttons instead of gear lever

Also of interest, the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s Orion, Michigan plant (which is currently adjusting production levels of the underachieving Chevrolet Sonic, and apparently increasing Bolt EV production), recently had produced the Buick Verano – essentially a optioned-out Chevy Cruze, but GM discontinued the car for 2018.

It would now seem that GM’s plan all along was to replace that Buick petrol car production for one with a plug.  Given the US focus group, and Buick’s presence in China, we assume North America and China to be logical places for the EV to ultimately be offered.

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194 responses to "Exclusive Report: Next GM EV To Be Bolt-Based Buick Crossover"

  1. Bacardi says:

    We all knew it, China is a bigger market and loves Buick…

    1. Prad Bitt says:

      An announcement on the day of the Model 3 final reveal. They couldn’t do otherwise!

    2. Tom says:

      It’s so obvious, it’s ridiculous. Also do a Volt drivetrain one too.

      My other suggestion has been resurrect Saturn. Clean dealer slate and all.

    3. FISHEV says:

      Well then thanks China. A practical hatchback like the Bolt but adding the power seats and hopefully the dynamics cruise, both missing from the Bolt.

      The FWD (vs. easy to achieve AWD) is a bit disappointing but FWD is snow worthy with good snow tires. You’d think they’d use the bigger frame for a 75 kWh battery pushing 300 mile range AND AWD considering Tesla’s experience that AWD is what customers want.

      1. jo says:

        Good wintertires are more important than AWD !

  2. Leeper says:

    Starting at $41,000. Getting closer GM. As much as I’d like a full BEV fleet. I think the wife won’t handle pure BEV. Now if you would make the equinox phev, I’d be first in line.

    1. SJC says:

      Equinox PHEV makes sense, that is why GM won’t do one.

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        Yes, we have been waiting for a Voltec Equinox since 2012.

        1. CCIE says:

          I’ve been waiting for one since they announced the PHEV Saturn Vue at the same time as the Volt!

      2. Stimpy says:

        LOL nailed it. And I said this as a current (but reluctant) Equinox owner!

      3. speculawyer says:

        Yep, that could be a great car. I still think all the automakers are refusing to do it though since it cuts into their juicy thick profits for ICE SUVs.

        Saturn VUE PHEV should have been launched but at this point, it is probably quite obsolete. Not enough battery.

        1. CCIE says:

          Plus Saturn has been dead for quite some time! lol

  3. madness says:

    Still sounds small from this article. How ’bout something a little bigger?

    1. CCIE says:

      Agreed, if it’s just a re-skin of the Bolt to make it look more SUV-ish, there’s no point. We need a real mid-size SUV!

      1. Ziv says:

        The Bolt has a 102″ wheelbase and is 164″ long. The Encore has a 100″ wheelbase and is 170″ long. If the new /CUV/BEV has at least a 102″ wheelbase and is at least 170″ long, it will be large enough/spacious enough for a lot more people than is the case for either the Volt or the Bolt.
        This would be a big deal for GM. Much bigger than the Bolt ever will be. Probably bigger than the Volt as well.

        1. Assaf says:

          +1

          Disagree about Bolt’s legacy though: first of all, this SUV and all other “relatives” will be part of the Bolt legacy.

          Second, the Bolt can sell in heaps in Europe and Japan/Korea.

          1. Ziv says:

            I hope GM starts sending Bolts overseas soon. Seems like you would want to send them where the demand is high. But this is GM we are talking about…

          2. taser54 says:

            I agree. Especially, because GM chose to create an entirely new EV platform when they designed the Bolt. By doing the work up front, it’ll be simple for them to create different vehicles.

            The real question, will it be built in the US or just imported from China?

          3. Tom says:

            Korea should eat the Bolt up. Whole place isn’t 200 miles across as pointed out in another thread. And it qualifies for the ‘home team’ discounts being the drivetrain is made there.

      2. Throwback says:

        Fastest growing segment is compact Crossovers. Makes sense to make an EV Compact crossover. The Chevy Trax and Buick Encore are selling well.

        1. Brian says:

          My only comment is…. this isn’t a compact.

          The Equinox at 183″ of length is compact. A Bolt at 164″ is a subcompact.

          It’s too small. STRETCH the Buick as much as the platform allows, guys! Need more rear seat room AND more cargo space. You can’t hardly put one large suitcase standing up inside the Bolt behind the rear seats.

          At least split the difference between the Bolt and Equinox in size. Trax/Encore is subcompact still.

      3. jo says:

        Nobody needs SUV. Farmers maybe…

  4. Bacardi says:

    Odds of it receiving optional:
    AWD/”homelink”/sunroof/power seats/non-pinching seats/supercruise?

    1. Dave86 says:

      I want 300 miles of range + AWD (like Ford’s 2020 EV SUV).

      But improving the Bolt’s styling and badging it a Buick is a good first step.

      Exciting news.

      1. rad says:

        238 miles is not enough for me without SC. We take a 620 mile trip each way, interstate, twice a year. The Bolt would need two and probably three recharges along the way. Too much for a one day trip. A Tesla could do it easily with two 30 minute boosts. A bunch of SC along either of our two preferred routes. Hoping the Model 3 has enough ooomph to pull a pop up camper (1500 lbs).

        1. unlucky says:

          A Tesla model S only adds (at best) 169 miles in a 30 minute charge. That’s if you aren’t sharing power and your pack is completely empty. Source: Tesla’s website.

          I think you’ll find that to make that trip you end up charging more than 60 minutes. Probably a lot more. And that’s with a Model S 100D. A Model 3 could be more efficient, helping out, but it depends on the charge rate curve and initial range to know how long it would take.

          Still, in a Bolt you’d be hard pressed (basically impossible) to get below 2 hours charging.

          If you’re planning on pulling a camper count on charging a lot more.

          1. Rad says:

            Camper would be for short (10 – 50 mile) trips to the lake.

          2. Doggydogworld says:

            A Model S 100D can go 640 miles on 60 minutes of Supercharging. 300 miles on the first leg then two 30 minute, 170 mile fast charges.

            Few people drive more than 600 miles in a day. I’m the exception to the rule.

        2. Tom says:

          Owning an SUV and all the extra cost etc for 2 trips a year is pretty dumb. Just rent a vehicle for those trips.

          1. Asak says:

            Exactly, people need to seriously consider renting. It really is quite affordable, especially if you rent from a non-airport location (the difference in cost can be 50%).

            1. CLIVE says:

              Exactly.

              Call Enterprise they will pick you up.

        3. Wayne Wittmus says:

          For the cost of your battery upgrade you could just rent a car for those 6 weeks.

  5. Ryan says:

    I guess there’s no chance they’ll add a towing option, but that would complete the deal for me. They couldn’t take my money fast enough.

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      Sadly the Trax and Encore are not rated for towing either in the US. Doubtful this Buick BEV will be.

      The Cadillac XT4 PHEV probably will be, but expect it to be way more expensive than this!

  6. Jim says:

    I have a great idea for a name: Buick Electra. Have you heard that model name? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just…I came up with it and I thought it was good.

    (Extra points to whoever gets the reference for the last three sentences).

    1. alohart says:

      Probably best for Buick not to revive the Elektra name. My recollections of the Elektra are that it was a huge land yacht favored by people in my grandfather’s generation.

      1. Jim says:

        I think that the Electra name has been out of use long enough that most people wouldn’t necessarily make the association. Years ago when gm knew that the Volt wasn’t going to hit the under $30,000 msrp, I had been saying that it should have been turned into a Buick. And it would have been awesome after bankruptcy if GM had moved to make Buick and electrified brand, then as the technology was perfected move it to cheaper Chevy models.

        1. Dave86 says:

          My thoughts exactly on all accounts. Been writing the same thing on Internet forums for years.

    2. Doggydogworld says:

      I don’t get the reference, but I’m old enough to remember the Buick Electra. Especially the classic Electra 225 convertible…..

      Interesting that they had the focus group compare it only to other EVs. It shows GM still thinks of EVs as a separate segment, made up of “EV people”. That segment does exist, but it’s tiny. To get high volumes one must compete directly against gascars. But that means highlighting gascar downsides, which is counter-productive.

      Making a cute ute version of the Bolt won’t help, because cute utes aren’t $40k.

      1. Treedom says:

        European ones are. Buick isn’t Audi…but Audi only offers only a 14-mile PHEV, so …

    3. bro1999 says:

      Makes total sense. And bet this thing will be sold in China eventually.

      Even though it is badge engineering, this Buick will probably offer options quite a few Bolt owners have been clamoring for (power seats, moon roof, etc). Albeit with a slight range hit.

      1. WadeTyhon says:

        I wouldn’t be too worried about a major range hit.

        Despite a 238 mile EPA range, I start every day with 270 miles estimated. (310 max) Not incredibly slow speeds either. Between 40 and 60 mph the whole way.

        Do not care about sunroof or power seats personally, but would love supercruise on my Bolt. I’m glad I leased, because I may end up buying a lightly used buick version instead at lease end!

        1. Kevin Cowgill says:

          Wade, sounds like you’re enjoying your Bolt. Good deal😀
          What’s your take on the seat issue? There’s a chorus ofcomplaints.
          I’m not that small of a guy and haven’t been in one yet.

          1. WadeTyhon says:

            There isn’t as much of a chorus as it sounds like! But certainly some people do not like the seats. I find them perfectly fine. Better than my Spark EV seats were. The seats are not quite as comfy as our Volt, but the Bolt overall is more comfortable than the Volt.

            Opinions do not seem to just come down to the size of the individual. I saw a photo posted on a forum where they compared the leather seats to the cloth ones at a dealer… from the photo, the leather appeard to have inadequate padding. So I examined my own leather seats, and mine looked closer to the cloth photo. Plenty of cushion. I wonder if there might have been quality issues with some of the early seats?

            In any case, I would suggest trying it out for yourself without any expectations going in. Just be sure to drive it how you currently drive – for instance I always remove keys, wallet and phone before driving. You’ll know pretty quick if you find it comfortable or not.

        2. Asak says:

          I’ve found the EPA range for EVs can be conservative if you drive efficiently. I made a 85 mile round trip in my e-Golf with 15 miles left, when I should have not even made it back according to the EPA. Of course in other situations (harsh northern winters) you may only get half the EPA range.

        3. David Drake says:

          I do too! I am an Uber driver and if the infrastructure is good, the Bolt is a perfect Uber vehicle. My charge of 270 miles goes for almost a ten hour day! I do a lot of freeway driving too! With L mode you can pick a hole accelerate into it and back off, and push the Cruise set button. If too close push the set button to reduce one mile per hour each push and if not fast enough, push the top button to increase one mile per hour.

      2. taser54 says:

        That’s NOT what badge engineering is.

        Cmon bro, you know better.

        1. bro1999 says:

          I guess we’ll have to wait and see the final product. I was just reusing the term in the article.

          What is true “badge engineering? The Equinox/Terrain? Or Trax/Encore or Traverse/Enclave?

          1. taser54 says:

            True badge engineering is what Chevy did with the City Express van. It took the Nissan NV van, slapped a Chevy badge on it, offered it for sale.

      3. Dan says:

        The only thing shared is the platform. The Bolt and the Encore aren’t even in the same class of vehicle. How is it badge engineering???

        The Tesla S and X share a platform. Are they badge engineered too???

    4. SouthWaves says:

      It’s obvious they will call it Buick “WOLT”

      1. Nix says:

        Saturn Cult? Pontiac Dolt? Hummer Jolt? Oldsmobile Molt?

        I keed! I keed!

      2. James says:

        Big L 😂 L .

        But it’s the Buick Jolt. There will be a Jolt Cola edition.

        1. Asak says:

          I know we’re doing a play on the Xolt theme, but moving beyond that, I think the Buick Surge has a good ring to it.

    5. Spider-Dan says:

      It’s like GM is “priming the pump” for EVs.

      1. Jim says:

        Bingo, Spider Dan!

        My thinking of ‘Electra’ reminded me of when our President claimed that he created the term ‘priming the pump’. I’m sure I’m not the first one to think that Buick Electra would be a great resurrection of that nameplate. Ideally based on the LaCrosse platform-sized vehicle, IMHO, to compete with the Model S.

        1. Asak says:

          It’s honestly pretty ridiculous that Trump even in his little mind could somehow convince himself that he came up with the term “priming the pump”. I doubt the man has ever primed a pump in his entire life, so how could the term possibly occur to him?

    6. Jk says:

      Maybe “Buick Prime Electra” would be better. Prime, now that is a new word for a car. Buick Electra Pump is an option too.

      1. Bill says:

        Prime is already in use: the Prius Prime… but it wouldn’t be the first time an adjective in in a car was shared between different manufacturers. GM should go for it.

        The Buick Gore, maybe? for those environmentalists out there. Brought to you by the company that originally named the EV-1 the Chevy Impact. ☺

      2. vic says:

        Buick Patriot Prime Electra Pump Coal Country USA should be its official name –

    7. David Drake says:

      I had a 1964 Buick Electra 225. A great automobile!

  7. georgeS says:

    Fail.
    Same body size and wheelbase.

    1. theflew says:

      Seems like the Trax, and Encore do ok at their size. The Bolt already has a longer wheelbase than those. It has a longer wheelbase than the Honda HR-V and a fraction of an inch shorter than the Toyota C-HR.

      Honestly the biggest criticisms of the Bolt have been front seats and plasticity interior. Sounds like both are fixed in the Buick. It also sounds like they are pretty far along with development. So it will probably be a late 2018 release. The big question is will AWD be an option?

      1. Doggydogworld says:

        Trax/Encore are 4″ longer and 2″ higher. The Bolt platform could support that, though range would suffer a little.

        Trax/Encore MSRP are $21,000/22,900. That’s the real issue. You can’t charge almost twice as much for less functionality.

        1. James says:

          Agreed.

          I call it “Volt Syndrome”. If GM introduced Volt in 2011 as a $35,000 Buick with a $7500 tax credit, sales would have been brisk. It also would’ve helped a whole lot if they’d skipped the corny TV ads and just compared it to Prius.

          Now they’ll enter the market with a $48,000 Buick Bolt! I can see some success in China but nix in N. America, especially if it’s truly “badge engineered”.

          Possibly either the focus group leaker or the author doesn’t fully understand the term. Badge engineering refers to a process where a new grille and rear cap are slapped onto an existing model along with some new bits and labels inside. Then they attach a new name onto the model and market it as some new exciting car for another one of their brands. Perfect examples are the Ampera-e and Buick Velite.

          Apparently, GM was testing public opinion on how that would be received in the American market. If the new Buick does appear in the market with a new, longer body with as many changes as were described, it is a new model and not badge engineered. Verano was borderline badge engineered as it had proprietary body stamping (expensive) for it’s doors PLUS the requisite new grille and tail. Surely GM lost money on that one.

          This article intrigues because the group sounded as if they were really impressed by the Buick design, although concept drawings can be deceiving. Interesting is the part about 2″ more legroom but same outside dimensions. That does not compute.

          So there are some mixed messages here. Overall, a Bolt with nicer seats, a bigger touchscreen in console, along with a substantially different body appearance (“next generation Encore”) make this exercise sound much less badge engineered than a whole new model built upon Bolt’s platform and powertrain.

          GM could go three ways. They could slap styling cues on Bolt and sell it as Buick – basically a Buick Ampera-e with nicer seats and ACC, or they could try selling an expensive restyled Buick for near $50,000. Or this could be a China-only move once they get all the consumer data.

          Bottom line: GM, quit dipping your toes in the EV water and just dive into the new market by MASS PRODUCING THEM so you can sell them as Chevy’s for $25,000 out the door without any government incentives needed!

          I mean, no kidding, right?

          1. James says:

            I’ll add that GM bean counters probably sign off on the new steel body stamping which adds creases or “scuplturing” to the sides if they think they can sell a lot of these in China. Buicks sell nicely over there and I assumed this is why the Verano got the green light as well.

            Verano tanked. You’d think that would weigh heavily on this decision.

            Add that to the consumer reaction described in this focus group and my guess would be no lipstick on a Bolt for you!*

            Pressure applied by Model 3 success could turn the tide, though. With that looming future of Model Y on the horizon… This Buick Bolt with a new body could appear just before the Y hits the scene.

            Still, it’s GM small thinking vs. Tesla big market intention all the way. At some point, GM will just have to bite the bullet and MASS PRODUCE electric cars.

            *N.American consumer

          2. Bacardi says:

            The Encore is an all new model so I doesn’t surprise me that they found a way to add more legroom however even if was the same model they could simply move the seats back 2″ and gain that extra 2″…

            You can check out the 2018 Regal and TourX as they’re all new models to get a pretty good idea of the design language but the big question will the hood/front end keep the same extreme rake? If so it’ll hinder sales due to having the geek/weird stigma attached to it…Look at the Enclave, it looks at least “good” and normal…But it does scare me that they were asked “does it look like a SUV?” which leads me to believe GM isn’t confident enough that it does…I don’t think if they had a focus group for the Enclave they asked participants if it looked like a SUV…

            I’d love to say that GM is learning that they made just about every wrong decision when selecting a limited featured vehicle to put their awesome EV drivetrain into, but I don’t think that…I think GM is doing this mainly for China and the United States second…We read right here within the past month that GM (along with other automakers) we’re badgering China to roll back their PHEV/EV requirements and China loves Buick…

          3. Spider-Dan says:

            Setting aside the fact that the Gen1 Volt was already the best-selling EV in the U.S. for most of its life, if $35K is the magic price point then why haven’t Gen2 Volts been flying off the shelf since release?

            “Mass production” is not some sort of magic wand that allows you to instantly cut $10k off the cost of new technology.

      2. Stimpy says:

        They do ok only because they are the lowest priced crossover. Literally no other reason.

        Take that away and they’d have ZERO sales.

        1. WadeTyhon says:

          ZERO sales you say?! Oh no! Somebody warn Buick before it is too late!!!

          Something tells me the quiet, smooth ride and better performance will be a good upsell. 🙂 Especially after tax credits.

    2. bro1999 says:

      Another plug-in offering from a manufactuer is a fail? Interesting take.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Hey bro. I’m a fan of gm ENGINEERS. Gm mamagement NOT. Gm could have had a success on their hands if they put this power train in a more desirable body. Now all they have done is re badge it and charge more money for it. Its already too expensive. I guess management never learns. This is what they did with ELR. Maybe it will sell in china

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Don’t you think we should at least wait to see what it looks like, and how many it seats, before pronouncing it a failure?

          I’d rather hope for the best here. Perhaps GM will finally make a compelling PEV (Plug-in EV) with wide appeal. And ditching the Chevy badge might well help sales! Putting a Chevy badge on a MSRP $39,995 car is crazy.

          1. James says:

            I agree with George, because if you read my posts above – either of those moves would be destined to fail because of MSRP.

            It’s scale and only scale that can produce good margins for an electric car. Without good margins. GM is playing games not entering a marketplace to do serious business.This Turkey Buick could end up with a near or over $50,000 pricetag depending on how extensive the redesign. Banking on China success didn’t pan out for Verano.

            This is why George brings up ELR – a total “what the hell were they thinking?!” move by GM.

            Notice the predictable GM pattern. This Buick shows up 9 months to 1 year before Tesla’s Model Y crossover. GM gets their, “we did it first!” press PR and they move on,producing high margin trucks…”NOTHING TO SEE HERE, FOLKS, MOVE ALONG!”.

            Tesla needs to break the logjam. GM will be forced to build affordable EVs in non boutique numbers.

    3. Jacked Beanstalk says:

      Encore is bigger than the Bolt. Far roomier inside.

      But it drives like a Buick. Basically made for people who are afraid of driving.

      1. theflew says:

        The specs say differently. The Bolt wins in almost all categories except rear headroom.

  8. Mike says:

    Not clear how a more expensive Bolt is going to compete with a model 3. GM needs to be reducing the cost to remain competitive. You would think they would learn from the ELR fiasco. There isn’t going to be much interest in a more expensive but less functional car that only looks cooler.

    1. theflew says:

      Let’s be honest if the Bolt would have looked like the prototype more, the Encore or the Trax the Model 3 would struggle. And personally I still don’t see the model 3 selling more than 100k. Nobody is in a hurry to buy a sedan right now.

      1. Stimpy says:

        Wow, if you really think this you may be a bit out of touch with the market for a technologically advanced car that supports a well designed charging network!

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “…if the Bolt would have looked like the prototype more, the… Model 3 would struggle.”

        You are claiming the Model 3, with a production target of 400,000 per year, with wildly enthusiastic coverage from the media, would “struggle” against a car which is being made by an auto maker who doesn’t advertising it, most of whose dealers don’t want to sell it, doesn’t have control of its own battery supply, and is targeting only ~30,000 units of production per year?

        Ummmm… No. Just no.

      3. unlucky says:

        The Bolt looks very much like the concept version of the Bolt.

        There’s only 3 differences:

        Smile grille instead of open mouth
        Black hatch treatment.
        No floating C pillar.

        These amount to almost nothing. I can’t see why one would think this styling change amounts to much of a difference in Bolt sales.

        1. bbock says:

          The Bolt concept also had a glass roof, which looked fantastic. But I’m actually glad they did not do, Although I wish they’d have added a moon roof.

        2. treedom says:

          The concept was blocky, with a butch stance, fat chunky wheels and wide rocker panels, pug nose, wraparound rear glass and glass roof. It was masculine yet cute, futuristic yet slightly retro. Fantastic. The production vehicle is generic Euro/Asian tall hatchback, rounded and spindly, with the extreme upward rake of a second generation Dodge Neon and a couple of chrome spears thrown in. The dimensions and number of doors may be the same, but the styling of the two could not be more different.

          When I told people I was thinking of getting a Bolt, they’d Google it and see an image of the show car. “Oh!” they’d exclaim, pleasantly surprised. Then I’d help them find an image of the production car. “Oh,” they’d say, disappointed.

          I know they probably added the rounded edges, bulbed-out beltline etc. for good aerodynamics, but I’d trade 15 miles of range for the show-car styling.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Not clear how a more expensive Bolt is going to compete with a model 3.”

      Perhaps it’s not at all intended to compete directly. After all, GM’s response to the news that Tesla was going to put the Roadster into production was to put the original Volt into production. Not a lot of cross-shopping there!

    3. Taser54 says:

      Selling a ton of Buick EV’s in China with the same battery pack and powertrain will sure as heck reduce costs.

      1. Dave86 says:

        Definitely potential here to increase volumes on the Bolt’s power train.

    4. Asak says:

      It’s not really clear yet whether the Model 3 is actually going to be cheaper. That being said, I suspect a price cut is in the near future for the Bolt, to at least $35K MSRP. And I agree that GM needs to try to reduce the price if they want more sales (it’s possible right now they don’t).

      1. Asak says:

        To clarify, we don’t know yet whether the $35K model will be widely available, or how soon it will be available, and also whether the base model is so stripped down that the defacto cost is more like $40K.

  9. Assaf says:

    Wow, totally in line with my op-ed yesterday… I hope this is right and that they are quick to market with it

    Then the Bolt can be predominantly for export.

    1. mx says:

      There is no charging infrastructure in most of America, they need to Examine the BMW i3 REX too.

      1. theflew says:

        There is tons of charging in America. What is lacking is infrastructure between cities.

        1. menorman says:

          And even that is likely to change by time this is likely to reach the market.

      2. Spider-Dan says:

        There’s no need to examine the i3 REx when it is inferior to GM’s existing Voltec in nearly every way: less powerful, less efficient, more expensive.

    2. William says:

      Your op-ed light a fire underneath GM. Good reading, thanks!

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Congratulations, Assaf! Well done.

      When I said that nobody had a working crystal ball… perhaps I was wrong. 😉

  10. WadeTyhon says:

    I keep telling people that the Bolt is a Trax/Encore without AWD and a shorter front end. 😛 Looks like theyre giving this Buick traditional SUV/Crossover styling so people get the message that it has crossover utility in a compact body.

    I just wrote a reply to Pushmi regarding the XT4 plug-in hybrid and how GM is proud of and better positioned to build EVs than most traditional automakers. Where was this article then! lol

  11. Ziv says:

    If it is truly similar to the Buick Encore they will have a hit on their hands if it has 200+ miles of AER, and I can’t see how it would have much less than 220.

    1. James says:

      At mid to high $40,000s up to over $50,000 with no AWD and near subcompact size? I doubt it.

      It still is all about MSRP. Buick branding or not.

      Volt would sell near Prius levels if it cost in the $20,000s.

      Price matters. Look at the sales numbers. Now that used Volt’s are in the market for $13,000 – $20,000 I’m seeing gen 1s all over.

      Remember,that tax credit will be history by the time e-Encore arrives.

  12. AlphaEdge says:

    Homerun!

    Love the design.

    1. Mikey says:

      The picture at the beginning of this article is a gas powered Buick Encore.

      1. AlphaEdge says:

        I know.

        What else does the article indicate?

  13. unlucky says:

    Makes sense. The Bolt is clearly already derived from the Encore/Trax anyway. It shouldn’t take much to re-encorify it a bit.

    As to “features I want but I can’t get on the Bolt”. I think that list would start with adaptive cruise. LED lighting comes up soon after. I’m sure a lot of people would like memory seats too, but it isn’t an issue for me.

    Shifter buttons is the way to go. I don’t know why GM still has a lever on the console. Get me that center console space back. Either shifter buttons or a column shifter.

    1. Bacardi says:

      I basically agree with everything except LED lights, while a nice to have, people are saying “I’d totally would have bought a GM EV/PHEV if it only had LED lights”…

      Remember the “standard” margin on higher trims and optional features is 50% which and sometimes the optionless base can be a “loss leader”…Give the thing supercruise even if it’s a $12K option…

      1. unlucky says:

        I’m not saying I would have bought it if it had LED lights. I already bought it.

        But there’s no reason not to have LED head and taillights. LEDs are much cheaper than HIDs. And they should be cheaper than projector incandescents (but I’m not sure). The only reason to still have HIDs is because makers of HIDs have their equipment better amortized already. They can cut their margins easier.

    2. Bacardi says:

      With the “real shifter” GM said they wanted a “regular car you can drive”; don’t worry, sales show GM usually make the worst possibly decisions…

  14. David Murray says:

    Well, at least it is only $3,000 more than a Bolt EV. Hopefully they won’t be making the same pricing mistake as they did with the Cadillac ELR.

    1. Bacardi says:

      GM has never failed to disappoint us on every EV/PHEV offering…

      The only way they can get it right is to offer a 2WD “ECO” version without power seats, etc to satisfy the green crowd then on the AWD Premier offer every imaginable GM option including cooled seats and supercruise…

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        Two of the most awarded cars in GM’s history “never fail to disappoint.”

        Perhaps your expectations are unreasonable.

        1. Bacardi says:

          My expectations are simply, I’d want to pull up to a valet stand and have them smile at me…

  15. Hans Hammermill says:

    Interesting; this prompted me to look it up — out of three similarly-sized badge-engineered Gamma II cars (Sonic, Trax, Encore) the Encore sells the best and sales are rising (where as sales are falling for the Sonic and appear level for the Trax).

    This looks like a good badge-engineering move for the BoltEV platform.

    1. James says:

      Some of you don’t understand the term, “badge engineered”. See my posts above. Just because vehicles are built upon the same platform, they are not badge engineered – even if they share the same drivetrain. Trax, Sonic and Encore all have different bodies. This is much more than a badge.

      Where you are correct is if GM ultimately decides to sell Bolt in China as a Buick – An Ampera-e with a Buick badge, essentially.This could be what they eventually decide to do. Focus groups are obviousy no guaranty of what direction a company will take.

      I’m thinking the success of Model 3 (or the opposite) will largely dictate what the General does with this e-Encore concept. Naturally, if the M3 succeeds the Model Y crossover is not far behind.

      1. Tom says:

        Well I’m not sure what badge engineering is exactly but if you use the same drivetrain and put a prettier skin around it and sell it for more money then you did it right. Chevy just doesn’t have as nice of a look as Buick for nearly everything and Buick is considered more upscale even if that isn’t factually true (or is) so they can demand the premium. China and Buick seem to be wedded.

  16. Texas FFE says:

    A rebadged Bolt EV headed to the China market. The US needs a REAL BEV SUV.

    1. Ryan says:

      If it was only headed to China they wouldn’t be doing focus groups in California.

      I agree on the need for a proper SUV, because I live on a hobby farm and actually need to tow and deal with a real winter… but the funny thing about American consumers is they seem to want “SUV” shape but without SUV capability. It’s ridiculous really, driving around oversized tank cars that steer wide and tip easier, but can’t tow, have s**** clearance, and waste gas.

      It’s hard to buy anything in a small SUV/SUV form factor that actually has utility. Equinox isn’t rated for towing until you go up to their biggest engine.

      Only Mazda CX-5 does the deed (rated for 2000lbs) from my search so far.

      I want a BEV or PHEV vehicle in this class.. but really would prefer if it can tow and has decent clearance. Something like a Subaru outback with a battery.

      1. Paul says:

        Have you seen the new Buick TourX? Reminds me of the Subaru Outback. I would love to see a Voltec Buick TourX with 40 EV miles and 40 mpg.

        1. JeremyK says:

          +100

        2. fpierce says:

          I just looked, seems like a station wagon to me. But, I’m an old guy, so take that into consideration.

        3. Ryan says:

          Hadn’t heard of it, and here’s why: “2018 Buick Regal TourX Will Not Be Available In Canada”

          http://gmauthority.com/blog/2017/04/2018-buick-regal-tourx-will-not-be-available-in-canada/

      2. James says:

        Focus groups are far cheaper than initiating an entirely new vehicle program. L 🙂 L.

        Consumer data acquisition only indicates that a company is considering several options.

    2. WadeTyhon says:

      If it were China only that would make very little sense to do an american focus group. But I guarantee they will sell this in china as well.

    3. kubel says:

      Headed to? More likely it will be built over there and exported to the US since demand for Buicks in Chi-na far exceeds demand in the US.

      1. bro1999 says:

        In 2015, 80% of global Buick sales were in China.

    4. taser54 says:

      “Rebadged”? You don’t know the meaning of what you wrote.

  17. WadeTyhon says:

    “Also of interest, the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s Orion, Michigan plant (which is currently adjusting production levels of the underachieving Chevrolet Sonic, and apparently increasing Bolt EV production), recently had produced the Buick Verano – essentially a optioned-out Chevy Cruze, but GM discontinued the car for 2018.”

    Despite cries of the Bolt EV being a failure, the Bolt is currently outselling 2-1 or 3-1 the Buick Cascada, Regal and Verano. Numbers for the Bolt will be very similar to the Buick LaCrosse next month I think. (in the 2000 -2500 range) And I believe the Bolt msrp is more expensive than all of their entry level models.

    If they can get this Buick out in the US by next spring… in time for the limitless tax rebate period as Chevy hits 200k plug-ins… 😀

    Plus the incredible success of the Encore for Buick… this could be a very successful addition to GMs lineup!

    1. James says:

      Let’s try selling them in all 50 states and all Canadian provinces for starters…

      At that, your numbers are more of a statement that those Buick models have tanked rather than Bolt EV being a zuccess.

  18. MTN Ranger says:

    The legroom is already fine on the Bolt EV, this Buick should just be about 2-3″ wider.

    1. Assaf says:

      More crucially, a foot longer at the back.

      Then it becomes a direct competitor to the most successful vehicle class in the current US market: “compact SUVs”.

      1. David Lane says:

        Assaf, I agree. Give us 10 inches longer in the back for our sporting stuff.

        Overall, this new ev sounds like great news.

        1. M3 - Reserved Niro -TBD says:

          Absolutely. Trunk space for suburban stuff is needed — give enough to pile in a standard cooler (= 2 suitcases) and basic beach/camp gear for four for a day

          Develop a plug to access the 60kwH battery for entertainment –stereo, fan, lights

          This will KILL the market.

          1. Treedom says:

            Sounds like an EV version of my Ford C-Max Hybrid, which is an AWESOME car camping vehicle. Yes: it’s crazy for GM to have a high voltage battery but no 120 volt outlet to blow up that air bed, recharge those devices, etc., and to have a big rear hatch but not much length behind it (although the depth of the Bolt’s cargo area is great: YouTube user newscoulumb’s got a video where he unloads his fully packed C-Max into his new Bolt and everything fits just fine).

      2. James says:

        Lest we make the mistake thaf any ICEmaker really wants to sell EVs that directly compete with their gas models.

        A fun study is to watch how adroitly every legacy carmaker performs the task of positioning electrified product as to not overlap it’s high margin gas products. They don’t want you to compare apple’s to apples.

        1. WadeTyhon says:

          The Encore is Buicks biggest selling product.

          Followed by the envision, enclave and lacrosse.

          What margins are higher? Not sure. But by next year, margins may actually be higher on a BEV encore than a gas one.

          I’d say a BEV Encore-sized crossover is a head to head apples to apples comparison.

          It will cost 10,000 more than a similarly optioned gas Encore. But if they can get it out next year… with tax rebates and better performance than the standard encore… I can see it being a hit for Buick.

  19. Jean-François Morissette says:

    Any hint at when this could be available? Late 2018? Or sooner?

    1. bro1999 says:

      I bet it is unveiled at the 2018 NAIAS. Assuming that’s the case, expect it sometime late 2018/early 2019.

  20. News flash- the Buick name is HUGE in China. EV sales are REQUIRED in China (like California and the 9 other CARB-ZEV states).

    Guess where this will be primarily sold?

    1. bro1999 says:

      Cuba?

      I don’t really get the Buick craze in China. How did it become such a desired brand?

      1. CCIE says:

        Buick used to be a respected name in the US too. It was mid-range but considered closer to a Cadillac than a Chevy. Apparently GM managed to keep the brand relevant in China.

        1. James says:

          My big question always was – where did Oldsmobile fall into GM’s lineup? Halfway between Buick and Cadillac?!!! 🙂

          Naturally, that’s why Olds is now history.

          Hopefully, this new Buick EV is a new model, not badge engineered. American companies have now sworn off ever falling back into their old 1980s ways. Back then, a Chevy Citation looked just like a Caddy Cimarron with Buick and Pontiac versions tossed in as insult to the American auto buyer. That was the era of American badge engineering, which is ironic because marketing guys and beancounters cannot really engineer anything!!!

          Gee, I wonder why it failed and GM, Ford and Chrysler nearly died?!

          Badge engineering does work well overseas. Folks on other continents could care less if their car is sold as a Chevrolet somewhere far away.

          1. Tom says:

            Don’t forget Pontiac!

            GM had some brand diarrhea for awhile. They could still get rid of one more. Drop Chevy trucks and just do GMC…what??? That’s what Dodge did. Parsed out all their trucks into rebadging them as RAM. When there used to be GMC/Buick dealers and those were different than Chevy/Pontiac dealers maybe but the financial crisis caused a great deal of badge consolidation on the same dealer lots. They could just make all the Chevy dealers that still exist without being GMC (if such a thing exists anymore) a GMC franchise.

          2. Treedom says:

            IIRC the ladder was supposed to go Chevy, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Cadillac. You started out life with a blessedly affordable Chevy. You became a bit of a hotshot yuppie and got a faster, flashier Pontiac. You got married and had responsibilities and got a plusher, more adult Oldsmobile. You got promoted to regional manager and got a Buick: the Cadillac for the working rich, and understated old money. You wanted to show off, you got a Cadillac, the glitzy standard of the world. Obviously that all fell apart starting in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The first years of wage stagnation combined with brand loyalty meant brand meaning was diluted (quick, we need a Buick version of the Nova!). The popularity of Japanese cars and demand for quality at all price points decimated GM’s low end (quick, let’s rebadge Isuzus and Toyotas as Geos while we try to make our own equivalent as Saturn!) while yuppies’ move toward European cars on one hand decimated GM’s high end (quick, let’s buy Saab!), and their embrace of the SUV craze on the other saved GM’s bacon (quick, let’s reposition GMC from fleet-order Chevy pickups to a premium SUV brand!).

            Sounds crazy, but when you own a huge share of the market, you can do it. That’s how the VW group does it in Europe: Chevy=Skoda (roomy and cheap), Pontiac=Seat (sporty but attainable), Oldsmobile=VW (nicer interior and sound deadening), Buick=Audi (understated luxury), and Porsches and Bentleys for the tax-shelter crowd.

      2. SparkEV says:

        “The last emperor of China, Pu Yi, owned at least one Buick in the 1920s.”

      3. Ziv says:

        It was one of the few “luxury” brands of cars in China in the late 20’s and 30’s. It was a symbol of wealth there and it kept that reputation right up til today. And if you see the cars that Buick builds in China, you would kind of understand why. The paint jobs that Buicks get is pretty amazing, for instance. You walk by a parking lot of VW’s, Chery’s, Dongfengs and Nissans and they all look ok, then you see this Buick and it is just gleeming like a gem alongside gravel.
        Odd fact, back in the 1930’s, the Royal Family of the UK actually owned a couple Buicks.

      4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        For one thing, the Chinese apparently love big flashy grilles. Prominent grilles are perhaps the most obvious mark of a Buick. Also, the Chinese love foreign car brands because, frankly, the build quality and quality control on their domestic brands suck. I understand BYD has recently improved on the latter a lot, but likely other Chinese brands have not, and it takes awhile for any brand to shed a bad image once acquired.

    2. taser54 says:

      That’s why they had US focus groups.

  21. bro1999 says:

    GM filed to trademark the “Buick Electra” name back in 2012. According to some quick Google research, a trademark application, once granted, is good for 10 years. I wonder what this Buick-Bolt variant will be called. 🙂

    http://insideevs.com/gm-files-trademark-for-electra/

    1. CCIE says:

      The Buick Electra was in production from the 60s till the 90s, so I’m not sure how GM didn’t own the trademark long before then.

    2. James says:

      Hey, I wrote that piece! 😀

      1. James says:

        It does dovetail quite nicely with their SUV nomenclature, doesn’t it?

        Enclave

        Envision

        Encore

        Electra

        Or will they want another E+n name?

        Endear?

        Endow?

        Enclose?

        Endomorph?

        The Buick Endo might be a faux pas like when they named Bolt/Volt/Bolt or the original name for tbe EV-1, the Chevrolet Impact!!! 😲 True story!

  22. Joe says:

    Will it have 150kW DC fast charging or not?
    Any car offering without it will be as dead in sales as the Bolt is already.

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      “Will it have 150kW DC fast charging or not?
      Any car offering without it will be as dead in sales as the Bolt is already.”

      No it will probably not have 150 kW DC fast charging.

      And also, no it will not fail.

      And neither has the Bolt.

      This car does not threaten Tesla. It doesn’t need to.

      But it is a positive result of Tesla’s goal to expand EV availability across the entire industry.

      People should be proud of the contribution and influence Tesla has had. And also able to recognize the contributions of others. 🙂

    2. unlucky says:

      No, it probably won’t. It’s only a 60kWh pack. That would be a very fast charge rate compared to the pack size (which is how you properly measure it).

      Tesla’s 60kWh packs never charged much more quickly than the (rumored) max charge rate of the Bolt pack, around 60kW.

      These higher charge rates will be more employed to allow cars with bigger packs to be charged in a reasonable time then to charge smaller packs (like existing packs) in 15 minutes.

      Remember, people want EV SUVs. And SUVs are less efficient so will need larger packs. We’re going to see bigger and bigger packs for a while. In order to keep “fast” charge rates from shooting out to 2 hours we need faster chargers. And that’s what these 150kW and up chargers will be fore.

    3. menorman says:

      As long as they don’t try gouging people an extra $750 for the DCFC option (whatever it is), it will be a success.

    4. Bacardi says:

      Charging speed, while important won’t have a huge effect on sales…Very few households do not have routine access to an ICE vehicle…Most single people who go on road trips beyond the range wouldn’t bother with an EV and if they do, it’s a Tesla…

    5. Asak says:

      Where do people come up with this stuff?

  23. Lawrence says:

    If it were offered today. This is what I would get to replace my eGolf. I’ve never been a GM fan and definitely not Buick, but it would be a compelling offering compared to everything out there right now.

  24. Someone out there says:

    Make it 2×80 kW motors with a tow hook and they have a winner.

    1. SparkEV says:

      GM already has 105kW SparkEV motor and 150kW Bolt motor, why introduce yet another motor at 80kW? Better is 105kW SparkEV motor in front for efficiency, and 150kW Bolt motor in rear for power. Even 2 X 105kW SparkEV motor would be great for lower cost option.

      1. an_outsider says:

        As former Spark EV owner, an AWD traction (dual motor would be a bit overkill) is what I wish the most (with longer EV range) when you have so much instant torque available, instead of being limited by a FWD + traction control.

        “Torque without adequate traction is meaningless” or something like that 🙂

      2. Someone out there says:

        Because the battery doesn’t like high discharge rates. 2×80 is more than plenty already.

        1. Tom says:

          Agree but also not enough has been said about the advances in electric motor packaging and efficiencies along with inverter changes. This seems to be changing as fast as battery tech. Any new SUV probably needs fresh designs on the electrical stuff.

        2. SparkEV says:

          If you’re worried about battery wear, why even 2X80 kW? 2X40 kW or even 2X25 KW would be enough to get on the highway. Maybe Leaf people like it, but GM already has far more powerful motors, no need to create weaker ones, and then have to keep inventory, etc.

          2X80 is only 10kW more than what Bolt makes already. Considering SparkEV has 5.7C discharge rate, 250 kW using 60 kWh battery is only 4.2C, low end of most EV like i3 and Tesla. Quite simply, having to create another weaker motor makes no sense when the current systems far outperform 4.2C.

  25. Nix says:

    This is a natural evolution of the Bolt as they will eventually have to continue to build more and more EV/PHEV options.

    It all goes back to the reality that there will need to be as many different sizes and shapes of EV’s/PHEV’s as there are ICE cars. People will demand the same wide variety of choices that currently support literally thousands of different models and trims of cars from car makers around the world.

    I’m sure this won’t be everybody’s choice, the same as not everybody would choose to buy an F-150 (despite it being the best selling vehicle in the US). It will take a number of years before there is the amount of selection for EV’s and PHEV’s that there are for ICE vehicles currently.

    1. Brandon Cutright says:

      I’m still a fan of Bob Lutz
      http://www.viamotors.com

      1. speculawyer says:

        Conversions are dead at this point. If they actually start selling, the OEMs will release their own version & undercut them.

        Oh…and Lutz is a putz. Man-made climate denier that lead GM into bankruptcy.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Loyalty is a fine quality. 🙂

        But even the tiny niche market for EV conversion vehicles is disappearing, as more and more EV cars and commercial vehicles are put into production.

        Bob needs to find a new gig.

  26. BillT says:

    GM,

    Please Please Please in “roughly the same overall vehicle dimensions as Bolt EV, but 3″ more rear legroom” include about 50% more storage space behind the 2nd row. One can hope.

    1. Assaf says:

      +1!

      Hopefully they recognize this obvious need, and it was just left out of the participant’s notes

  27. Pdkj says:

    Hay Elekrta is what we named our model X. Quote we have heard several times: “That’s not a Buick”

  28. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Hey, I guess someone at GM read all our comments suggesting that the Volt should have been a Buick! 😛

    But seriously, if this is the PHEV crossover they were talking about making when the Volt 2.0 is retired, which won’t be for five years… Well, it’s kinda hard for me to feel much excitement about a car that isn’t going to appear for five years. And in five years, it likely won’t have much impact on the EV revolution. In five years, it will be just another “me too” EV.

  29. lucariffer says:

    Buick BEV absolutely needs to include Level 3 fast charging capability . . no new US market BEV should require the owner to camp out at a slow Level 2 charger for 3-4 hours.

    1. Dave86 says:

      Level 3 charger capability should be standard in all EVs, and particularly in a Buick badged EV.

  30. unlucky says:

    Except in China I don’t see any reason making the Bolt a Buick would make a big difference. Calling it a crossover might. Of course Chevy already does that. We just ignore them when they do.

    Some of the other changes have merit but like other changes that increase price I can’t see why they would increase sales. Increased price usually means less sales. Of course having a higher and lower and model (a Chevy and Buick) can easily increase total sales.

    1. Jacked Beanstalk says:

      Maybe GM wants to sell EVs to the old geezer demographic that likes Buicks?

  31. mzs.112000 says:

    Let’s see them come out with an Impala with the Bolt EV drivetrain.
    That would be a 300 mile range car.
    Boot the DC charge limit to 80kW, sell at same price as the Bolt EV.
    And watch as EV’s take over the new car market.

    1. Bacardi says:

      It wouldn’t though, first sedans are falling out of favor including ICE Impala sales and both the Malibu and Cruze outsell it by a lot, some months over ten times as much…

      The Equinox is the Chevy vehicle that would do, by far, the best…However it needs to offer AWD, allow for some towing and be priced right…They don’t need to use expensive aluminum nor create a whole new EV specific interior, just find a way to put the Bolt EV powertrain into the existing ICE Equinox…

  32. bro1999 says:

    It is interesting that this news “leaked” on the day of the Model 3 reveal.

    Coincidence? 😉

    1. Dave86 says:

      Very suspicious.

  33. Terawatt says:

    Does anyone care about Buick?? I’m not too sure I’ve ever seen one, and my idea of a Buick is basically even worse than that of any other pre-existing Tesla American car, which is to say a cheap but inferior, inefficient, dangerous heap of junk.

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      “my idea of a Buick is basically even worse than that of any other pre-existing Tesla American car, which is to say a cheap but inferior, inefficient, dangerous heap of junk.”

      BOY you sure have strong opinions about the car brand considering you have never seen one. 😉

      https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability/car-brands-reliability-how-they-stack-up/

      3rd most reliable car brand behind Lexus and Toyota. Nice cars. Kinda boring. The only one I have driven recently was the lacross eassist hybrid when we were shopping around before buying a Volt. Was a pleasant drive with a nice interior. Gas mileage and performance were good but not great.

    2. Peter G. says:

      @Terawatt

      Cutting down Buick will not make the POS you drive any better.

    3. treedom says:

      Most Buicks are either redbadged high-trim Opel models from Europe, or plush restyles of large North America-only GM vehicles.

      Exactly like how most Acuras are either rebadged high-trim Euro-model Hondas, or plush restyles of North America-only Hondas.

      Buick and Acura compete for a vanishingly thin entry-luxury slice of the market. Generally Acura’s the sportier one, Buick’s the plusher one.

      Buicks are nice: extremely quiet and smooth, handsomely styled, and they routinely tie with Lexus for the best initial quality of any North American car.

  34. Bacardi says:

    Also I wonder why the delay for a AWD/Dual Motor? Perhaps GM already knew years ago that you can gain range with two motors and if they didn’t, they certainly did on the Tesla reveal…They should have immediately put tremendous efforts into making dual motor a reality…It’s inevitable GM will offer a dual motor EV, the Bolt EV was fast tracked but it’s now being built…GM needs to fast track dual motor as doing so would allow for some Bolt EV variants to help boost sales…That would be an AWD SS, lowered with a firmer suspension and a more “rugged” AWD raised Z71 variant…Creating either variant requires very little effort compared to creating an all new model…

  35. Warren says:

    Wow! Not even a day since I said the Bolt Lt would be the last sensible EV sold in the US. Power seats. How did we live without them? 🙂

  36. William says:

    Model Y contender or pretender?

  37. Don Zenga says:

    Good news. Now Buick will also start selling Bolt like vehicle in China. Hope GM will soon ship Bolt to Korea since 1/2 the parts for Bolt comes from there.

    Just 1 more thing, Bolt sales expands to all states in August, so lets wait until then.
    I am hoping that Bolt sales will cross 2,000 mark.

  38. Jacked Beanstalk says:

    Slower than a Bolt? Model Y will crush it.

    I’m getting sick of GM’s half-assed EV attempts. Stop making very, very good cars and start making great cars!

  39. Jordanhm says:

    Does the world really car about GM’s EV’s? Tesla now has over 500k reservations on their model 3. They have to find a way to produce them quickly. GM can barely sell the Bolt.

  40. Treedom says:

    If this gives you better seats, a nicer dash, and a slightly bigger and more SUV-looking body and stance, that’s excellent, as it addresses common objections to the Bolt, and not incidentally beats the Tesla Model Y to market. Merge the pretty but miserable-driving Encore my wife likes, with the dorky but great-driving Bolt EV that I like, size it up and butch it up just a bit, and you will have a hit in my household and many others.

    But as essentially the luxury version of the Bolt, the Buick CANNOT be a little slower and have a little less range than the Bolt. Completely unacceptable. The upgraded version of the Tesla Model 3 has almost 100 miles more range and almost 1 second faster 0-60 acceleration than the base model. Granted, that upgrade is a *lot* pricier than the $3000 premium over the Bolt they’re talking about here. Fine, charge however much more you need to in order to squeeze another row or two of battery pouches in there so it can go faster and further than the Bolt, even if only by a nose, because nothing is more annoying — and evocative of customer-contemptuous “old GM” — than being asked to pay more for less.

    As it is, with Buick’s “little nicer Bolt alternative” being priced the same as the Premium trim of the Bolt, they’d just cannibalize Bolt sales; it’s OK for the price delta to be bigger if you’re getting real value for the upcharge.

    (A bigger battery might let them speed up the DCFC rate too.)

  41. Werner Molders says:

    How did you get into the focus group?
    I’ve always wanted to get into one of these EV Focus groups.

  42. Texas FFE says:

    I know this post will probably get buried but is Buick considered a separate manufacturer from Chevrolet? Will Buick EV’s be eligible for the $7500 federal tax credit after Chevrolet has already reached its 200,000 unit mark? Or will Buick EV’s and Chevrolet EV’s be added together under GM to reach 200,000?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      No, all under the same 200,000. “Buick”, like “Cadillac”, like “Chevrolet” are all considered sub-brands. Chrysler and Fiat are also sub-brands of FCA, etc.

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