Is the Buick Velite a Volt by any other name? That's a question worth asking after General Motors said that the Buick Velite concept vehicle will make its global debut at the Guangzhou Auto Show later this month. GM says the car "will provide a template for upcoming models being launched under the Buick Blue new energy vehicle strategy."

Whether that means the Velite is a variant of the second-generation of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in is open to interpretation. Some automotive publications, including Autoweek, are saying that's the case, but GM China doesn't mention the Volt in its press release, only saying that the car is a "high-performance" plug-in hybrid vehicle. As we know, GM doesn't use the "PHEV" descriptor for the Volt, which makes us thing the Velite's powertrain is more like the Cadillac CT6 PHEV. Either way, the concept was developed by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), which is a joint venture between GM and Shanghai-based SAIC.

As far as the name, GM has been shopping the Velite moniker around for a while now. The automaker first used Buick Velite for the convertible concept vehicle it showed off at the 2004 New York Auto Show. More recently, GM in 2014 filed to use the name for the US variant of its Opel Cascada four-seat convertible model, which debuted in 2013.

As for the second-generation version of the Volt, that model appears to be gaining favor in the US. Domestic sales of the Volt through October have surged 64 percent from a year earlier to more than 18,500 units. The new version boosted its all-electric range by 40 percent to 53 miles while increasing its power output by 20 percent.

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