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by Tim Beissmann

General Motors has given the world a preview of its vision for the future of city transportation with the unveiling of the Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 concept at the 2012 Beijing motor show.

The concept is an evolution of the first-generation EN-V concept (pronounced ‘envy’, for ‘Electric Networked Vehicle’) that debuted at World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

The second-gen concept retains its upright pod motorcycle-helmet styling but adds two extra wheels (now four in total) for improved stability and performance.

Unlike the initial concept, the two-seat EN-V 2.0 includes climate control and a luggage compartment, and its engineers say it is now capable of driving in any weather and across all city roads.

Chevrolet is yet to reveal the powertrain details of the new concept. The first EN-V was powered by a lithium-ion battery, giving it a top speed of 40km/h and a total range of 40km.

Its combination of GPS and vehicle-to-vehicle communications facilitated an autonomous mode, taking the stress out of congested city driving, while its ultra-manoeuvrability meant it could turn on itself, making parking a breeze.

GM initially showcased three EN-V concepts in China in 2010 including one named Xiao that was designed by Holden. The EN-V 2.0 borrows its design cues from the more masculine Miao concept that was styled at GM’s Advanced Design Studio in California.

GM China Group president and managing director Kevin Wale said the EN-V 2.0 concept was developed to show the possibilities for alleviating concerns of traffic congestion, parking availability, air quality and affordability.

“Our designers and engineers are exploring a range of options for turning the EN-V concept into a reality,” Wales said.

“The EN-V 2.0 concept would use technologies such as the mobility internet, electrification and telematics to help change the automotive landscape and ensure a sustainable future for our industry.”

GM plans to use EN-V 2.0 prototypes in pilot studies in China in the near future.




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