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Chevy Bolt-based prototype may be a Buick EV for China

It may also give us a peek at an updated Bolt

Chevy Bolt-based prototype
Chevy Bolt-based prototype / Image Credit: KGP Photography
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Late last spring, we got a look at a GM prototype that was clearly based on the Chevy Bolt EV, but with updated styling. It seemed like it could be a more crossover-styled Bolt, given the recently trademarked name of EUV. Now we get another look at the prototype, but the bodywork seems less suggestive of a Chevy, and more of a Buick.

This vehicle definitely still appears to be based on the Bolt, rather than on another small GM platform. In the photos of it next to the current model, the size, wheelbase and profile are extremely similar. There are differences, though. The nose isn't as sloped or as rounded, and the rear window kicks up a little earlier.

The biggest changes are in the front and rear fascias, and it's here that we see hints of Buick. There are prominent air inlets on each side of the front bumper that give the car a more aggressive look. The headlights still have a fairly rounded, organic look, but with little extensions like fangs underneath. The styled running-light section, rounded shape and the smoked lenses seem very Buick-like. The grille features a large badge that doesn't fit the shape of a bow-tie, and is more that of a round logo like Buick's. Around at the back, the full-width taillights stand out, and in the middle there is obviously a round badge, again like a Buick. The wide taillights would also be a natural evolution of Buick's current light design language that uses somewhat wide and thin lights. The rear bumper has been redesigned with new lower taillights.

Now that we've established that this seems very much like a Buick, we don't think we'll see this particular version offered here with the badge. This is more likely a Buick version of the Bolt for the Chinese market, where the brand is associated with luxury and has been the spearhead for GM's electric and hybrid models. In fact, the Chevy Volt hybrid was sold there as the Buick Velite 5, which was part of a family of a electrified Velite models. This would probably also carry a Velite badge as well.

While we might not see this specific Buick variant, we probably will see it offered as a Chevy in some form. With its more aggressive, crossover shape, it could be the rumored EUV model. Or it could be just a refresh of the current Bolt, since the model has been largely unchanged since its introduction for the 2017 model year. And extrapolating from this prototype, we can see how the headlights could be tweaked to tie into those air scoops as on the Suburban and Silverado. In any case, we'll probably see the final products, both Buick and Chevy versions, in the next year or two.

Chevrolet Bolt EV Information

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