Report: Focus Group Shown Encore-Like Buick EV Crossover Based on Chevy Bolt
The future, at long last, seems increasingly likely to be an electric one for the automotive industry. Among those leading the charge is General Motors, whose new Chevrolet Bolt EV has been tapped to begin its nationwide rollout this month and has thus far been a hit in its limited release. This might lead one to believe that GM will only continue to increase its EV offerings for other brands utilizing the technology underpinning the Bolt, particularly with CEO Mary Barra stating that the Bolt platform is one “that we’re going to continue on and have a huge range of vehicles.” One’s assumption, it seems, would be correct.
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According to InsideEVs, a trusted source—pegged as “a very knowledgeable person when it comes to electric vehicles”—attended a focus group in California where members were in some capacity shown a Buick EV crossover based on the Bolt and 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,” as well as the Bolt.
The source tells InsideEVs that the Buick EV gave them the impression of being similar in looks and proportion to the next-generation Encore. It was also said that the vehicle shown to the focus group is FWD only, offered with the same 60 kWh battery and motor setup as the Bolt, would feature around three inches more rear legroom, could cost upwards of $3,000 more than the Bolt, and gets a floating roof and “aggressive LED lights.”
Interestingly, the source reported that the Buick was quite superior to the Bolt, adding that “some completely trashed the Bolt EV and loved the Buick.”
Adding to the plausibility of this story is the fact that the Orion plant where the Bolt is built is tweaking its output of the sagging Sonic to accommodate more EV production and is set to lose the Verano next year.
While any kind of confirmation is likely a long way away, it does lead one to ask the most obvious question: does this focus group thing mean that the advertising for the Buick EV crossover will be somef fetid combination of Buick’s “That’s Not a Buick” ad campaign with Chevy’s “Real People, Not Actors” shenanigans? Oh, the horror.
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News Source: InsideEVs