China's Buick Velite 7 previews the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt crossover.
We've known for a while now that General Motors is planning to build a crossover version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV to compete with the Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID.4. Compared to the regular Bolt, the new EUV (electric utility vehicle) will be around five or six inches longer, while the wheelbase is expected to increase by three inches to increase the cabin space for rear passengers.
We'll have to wait until next year for the Chevrolet Bolt EUV to launch in the US, but Buick's new electric SUV designed for the Chinese market gives us an idea of what it could potentially look like. Based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Buick Velite 7 Electric offers an electric range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles) based on the NEDC.
For comparison, the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV offers an EPA-rated range of 259 miles on a full charge, an increase of 21 miles compared to the 2019 model. It may share its underpinnings with the Chevrolet Bolt EV, but the Buick Velite 7 looks taller and has a more aggressive front fascia than the Bolt EV.
"Buick is strengthening its EV lineup with an all-new entry for today's consumers, giving them the functionality of an SUV and the confidence to go further with an impressive 500 kilometers of range," said Molly Peck, executive director of Buick Sales and Marketing at SAIC-GM.
"We topped it off with a suite of leading technologies to meet the needs of progressive and eco-minded Chinese drivers." Technical details haven't been confirmed, but GM says the Buick Velite 7 Electric features a new modular high-performance lithium-ion battery with a "higher energy density through improved cell chemistry and an optimized design".
There's a good chance the Buick Velite 7 Electric shares the same powertrain as the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is powered by a single motor that generates 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a single-speed automatic transmission. More details will be shared about the Buick Velite 7 Electric closer to its market launch in China later this year. Hopefully, we'll also learn more about the Chevrolet Bolt EUV by then.