General Motors has used this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to unveil the final production version of the Chevrolet Bolt electric hatch.
Styled by the Holden design centre in Melbourne, the Bolt concept first appeared at the 2015 Detroit auto show, previewing a small new companion to the new-generation Volt EV that debuted at the same event.
In its final production form, the Bolt has been given a styling makeover that softens the concept’s sharp and angular face, debuting a new look that brings the small hatch more in-line with its larger Volt sibling.
Changes include taller and rounder headlights, flanking a larger faux grille finished in a gloss black look.
The concept’s lower grille shield has also been dropped, with Chevrolet’s familiar large panelling and grille now featured in its place.
The Bolt’s glasshouse also gains a completely new look, with the concept’s simple lines swapped out for a Volt- and Cruze-inspired A-pillar point, matched to a new cut-through design at the D-pillar - an effect that is becoming increasingly common in the new car market.
The rear is likewise transformed, gaining larger deep red tail-lamps and a blacked out finish through the centre.
That theme of change continues into the cabin, where an even bigger display, now measuring 10.2 inches, dominates the dash.
A larger instrument screen is also now featured behind the steering wheel.
Conventional dials and switches have been added to the mix, offering a more tactile control of air-conditioning and other functions.
Technologies in the production Bolt include a surround-vision camera display, along with navigation mapping specific to electric vehicle commuting - which means that it can tell you whether you’ll make it to your destination on the remaining charge, and where you might need to stop for a little extra juice.
On the power front, the Bolt is aptly named: not only in wordplay reference to a lightning bolt, but also as a point of its acceleration capabilities.
According to Chevrolet, the Bolt is capable of hitting 96km/h (60mph) in "less than seven seconds". This EV is no GTI, but acceleration like that scrapes into hot-hatch territory.
Those figures come thanks to a 150kW/360Nm electric motor, which draws power from a 60kWh lithium-ion battery set packaged in the floor.
A 'shift by wire' single-speed transmission is also featured, sending power to the front wheels. MacPherson struts are set up front, with a torsion beam design at the rear.
The company claims a 320 kilometre driving range for the Bolt, along with a price tag that will land below US$30,000 (AU$42,000).
The Bolt’s big brother the Volt has been ruled out for an Australian launch, but, for now, the Bolt’s potential for a local berth remains unclear.
GM has so far only confirmed the Bolt for production in the US, where it will focus on left-hand drive markets.
"Bolt is a game-changing vehicle that looks really exciting. If there is a right-hand drive production program, we will of course look into whether it's right for Australia - but we have nothing to announce at this stage," Holden communications manager Kate Lonsdale told CarAdvice this week.