Hopefully, GM's second attempt at a luxury EV will be better than the first.
GM's first attempt at a luxury electric vehicle wasn't a huge success. The Cadillac ELR was sold from 2014 to 2016 before GM discontinued it due to slow sales (only 2,874 were delivered). It isn't hard to see why the ELR never took off. It was essentially a gussied up Chevy Volt with a starting price of over $75,000. GM is currently working on its second attempt at a luxury EV, this time as a Buick SUV.
Earlier this year, Buick showed off the Enspire Concept at the Beijing Auto Show and it immediately looked like a winner. The details on the Enspire were minimal, but Buick said it would be powered by the company's eMotion electric propulsion technology and will produce a maximum of 550 horsepower, a four-second 0-60 time, and a 370-mile range. If these figures turn out to be true, the Enspire will easily make up for the ELR's shortcomings.
Those numbers do seem a bit optimistic, and there is a chance that the Enspire will turn out to be slightly less inspiring. Sources at Automobile claim that Buick will release two EV models based on the Chevy Bolt, one of which will likely be the Enspire. The Bolt uses a 60-kWh battery pack with a 200 hp permanent magnetic drive motor, which can travel 238 miles on a charge. Automobile states that the Buick's taller and longer body will allow GM to increase power and range, which will be important if the company wants to avoid building another failure like the ELR.
The Buick Enspire will already have a major advantage over the ELR: it is an SUV, not a coupe. Luxury coupes have been dwindling in sales while SUVs have been thriving. If GM can figure out how to make the Enspire feel like more than a leather-covered Bolt, it should be a success.
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