Buick Velite 6 Hybrid is GM's First Vehicle in its Ambitious EV Plan

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【Summary】Buick has unveiled a new vehicle for the Chinese market – the Velite 6 that’s available as a fully-electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jun 01, 2018 8:30 AM PT
Buick Velite 6 Hybrid is GM's First Vehicle in its Ambitious EV Plan

Last October, General Motors unveiled its ambitious plan to come out with 20 new electric cars by 2023. The automaker recently unveiled the first vehicle to help the brand reach its lofty goal – the Buick Velite 6 that's a Chinese-only special. Buick took the wraps off of the vehicle before the Beijing Auto Show. 

Two New Electrified Vehicles To Be Introduced In China

The Velite 6 will be available in two powertrains: a fully-electric model and a plug-in hybrid variant. The vehicle, according to the automaker, "will be introduced in China at a later date," reports Automotive News. 

Unlike the Velite 5 that was a rebadged Chevrolet Volt, the Velite 6 is a bespoke model that is unlike anything else that Buick, or General Motors as a whole, sells at the moment. Underneath the unique body, though, sits the Volt's powertrain, at least in the plug-in hybrid version. 

That model is powered by two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors and a lithium-ion battery pack. The latter is paired to a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The vehicle will have a range of 435 miles, which is 15 more than what the Volt has. 

Buick isn't giving a lot of details away for the all-electric variant right now, but stated that the EV "will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience." 

While General Motors didn't state what platform the new Bolt was sitting on a few years ago, we'd be surprised to hear that the new Velite 6, at least the all-electric version, doesn't share some of its powertrain with the compact EV. The two new Velite 6 models, though, are sitting on a new platform that General Motors designed with SAIC Corp. as part of the companies' joint venture. 

Buick Velite 6 2.jpg

Personalization And Fuel Economy Go Hand-In-Hand

In addition to its electrified propulsion systems, the Velite 6 is also a step forward for Buick when it comes to connectivity. The vehicle allows owners to use their smartphone as a physical key for the machine. The system also allows owners to authorize other users to utilize their smartphones as keys, as well. 

The new vehicles also feature Buick's eConnect cloud connectivity system. Personalization is a big part of the new system, as it allows owners to personalize OnStar, Internet use, and navigation settings. Owners can also interact with their vehicle through China's WeChat social media outlet, which allows them to receive information about the car's upcoming maintenance schedule and current condition. 

Both variants of the Velite 6 will make their official debut at the Beijing Motor Show on April 25th. 

The move to make bespoke electrified vehicles for China's market shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. The country is the world's largest automotive market and is forcing automakers to come out with hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles in an effort to clean its air. To stay competitive, various automakers have come out with sweeping plans to introduce multiple, fuel-efficient models in the country. 

Buick doesn't have any plans to bring the Velite 6 to the U.S., reports Automotive News, but the automaker could use the vehicle as a way of testing new technology for a future model. 

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