Buick's Velite 5 is a rebadged Chevy Volt for China

And more plug-ins are planned.

There's nary a mention of the famous Chevy Bowtie badge in Buick's press release for its new Velite 5. No shoutouts to the extended-range Volt, with which the Chinese-market Velite clearly borrows its hybrid gasoline/electric technology. But that's okay; to borrow an adage, if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. And, as you can see from the image above, the Buick Velite 5 is a duck Volt with a Tri-Shield badge.

The Velite 5's 1.5-liter engine and lithium ion battery pack provide up to 466 miles of range, with the first 62 miles or so coming on battery power alone. That's more range than Chevy quotes for the Volt, so we're not sure what methodology Buick is using to calculate mileage. Still, even if it's more like the Volt's estimated range of 53 real-world miles, it would be enough for many Chinese drivers to avoid the gas station altogether.

Buick showed off a Velite Concept late last year that doesn't appear to share much at all with this new Volt-based production model. But since the brand is promising more plug-ins and EVs in the coming years, we wouldn't be surprised to see further models carrying the Velite moniker, perhaps one based on the all-electric Chevy Bolt EV.

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