An Electric Vehicle (EV) insider has issued an exclusive report stating that an all-electric 2018 Buick small SUV will be based on the Chevy Bolt EV. Initially, Chevrolet wanted to integrate the chassis and platform of the next-gen Chevy Sonic subcompact crossover to build the Chevy Bolt EV. However, it ended up using unique underpinnings premeditated exclusively for the battery-electric model.
Almost all auto manufacturers do not limit their dedicated architectures to only one vehicle when developing their new editions. The main reason is that reserving specialized structures for a single car is expensive. For that reason, we expect the Chevrolet Bolt EV platform and chassis to spawn other new cars, such as a small Buick SUV.
2018 Buick small SUV – Overall Look and Interior Fixtures
Previous speculations had suggested the likelihood of the small Buick crossover utility vehicle being Bolt EV derivative, and our EV insider has ascertained those rumors. This insider was part of the focus group that laid down plans for the future electric SUV. He says the little Buick SUV would bear a lot of resemblance to the newly released Buick Encore crossover.
The Buick Encore subcompact crossover first premiered with the Chevy Sonic underpinnings in 2013. Although it is now aging gracefully, it remains a favorite vehicle in the Buick’s lineup. As per our insider’s revelations, the future Bolt-based Buick little SUV will incorporate Chevrolet’s basic structures, but the interior fixtures, sheet metal and styling will be different.
One of the outstanding differences in this crossover is the presence of a floating roof as well as a sizeable tablet-like touchscreen display in the center of the dashboard. The source insider listed many vehicles that seemingly inspire the 2018 Buick small SUV, including a BMW i3, a new generation Nissan Leaf, a Hyundai Ioniq, and a Tesla Model 3.
Two Key Inquiries on the Revived Small Buick Crossover Unanswered
Our insider regrettably left two key questions unanswered, perhaps for reasons best known to him. The first question is whether or not the 2018 Buick small SUV includes an all-wheel-drive option, which qualifies it to become a real utility vehicle.
The second inquiry is whether or not GM has improved the DC fast-charging abilities above the 50-kilowatt rate offered by the Chevy Bolt. Boosting the DC fast-charging capability would make long-distance trips more practical.
2018 Buick small SUV On-sale Date and Market
As far as timing goes, the 2018 Buick small SUV could have until 2020 to go on sale if the focus group will stick to the same schedule taken by the Bolt EV groups. Maybe a 2020 model could arrive sometime in 2019, but we think GM will leverage its under-utilized Orion manufacturing plant located in Michigan to release the first electric Buick before 2019.
GM is targeting China and North American auto bazaars with its 2018 Buick small SUV. The company boasts a more significant market share in those regions, selling up to five times in China and North America than in the United States and Canada. These countries have ambitious and aggressive goals for zero-emission cars, which is why they have become a global focus for EVs. We expect the 2018 Buick small SUV to battle it out for more sales in these regions.
There is another big question that still lingers in our minds, and that is whether the brand is planning to revive the nameplate that made Buick land yachts famous in the last century. Could this upcoming electric SUV premiere as the Buick Electra? And if yes, could the brand resurrect the renowned Electra 225 label to mark either power (in horsepower) or range (in miles)? Perhaps there are plans to introduce the “Deuce and a Quarter” for the drivers of the new century. Let’s wait and see as things unfold.