Australian design and engineering has been showcased for a second time at the 2015 Detroit motor show, with the new Chevrolet Bolt EV concept crossover debuting just hours after the Buick Avenir show car.
The new Chevrolet Bolt EV concept was constructed in GM Australia’s design studio in Port Melbourne, with the Australian workshop one of only two in the world with the capability to bring such a project to reality.
The five-door, tall-bodied crossover has been touted by GM CEO Mary Barra as a “game changer”, one that she insists “is no stripped-down science project”. Indeed, Barra indicated on the floor at the Detroit show that there are plans to bring the Bolt to market in the US with a price target of US$30,000 ($36,900), while also stating a production version could boast 200 miles (322 kilometres) of range.
According to the company, the Bolt will offer drivers a number of operating modes from “daily commuting” to “spirited weekend cruising”, with changes to the mapping of the throttle as well as the suspension height and tune.
The shape of the Bolt allows it a roomy looking cabin, with a flat floor further enhancing the space. Interior treatments include slimline seats, a floating centre console, and a 10.0-inch touchscreen interface.
Tech highlights include the Bolt EV Connect app that allows a smartphone to double as a key to the car, while the app also works as a ride-sharing hub – according to GM it can process reservations, vehicle location and payments. The concept can also park itself, with the smartphone operator using the app to summon the car back to their location.
The project was part of a collaboration between GM Australia, GM Korea and GM North America, and GM Australia design director Richard Ferlazzo said the project reiterated the importance of the Australian design team in the way GM brings concept models such as the Bolt to reality.
“Bolt EV clearly reflects GM’s collaborative approach to global design programs,” Ferlazzo said. “Our design centre is no longer focused on cars only driven on Australian roads.”
Indeed, it’s the second such concept for global consumption that the Australian team has played a part in, following the unveiling of the aforementioned Buick Avenir concept large sedan.
“We are a global design centre and as such we have the talent and capability to lead, collaborate and support global programs for international markets such as this,” Ferlazzo said.
“The products revealed at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit clearly demonstrate our role within GM Design today and showcase the breath of talent we have here in Australia, enabling us to work on different vehicles for different brands in different countries,” he said.
The Bolt is part of a double-act of EV models at the 2015 Detroit auto show for Chevrolet, with the brand also unveiling the new-generation Chevrolet Volt.
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the Chevrolet Bolt.