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I know all the talk lately is about how the Trump Administration will kill the electric car,
but let's forget that and turn the discussion to future GM BEV's.
I could see GM using the current Bolt platform for these vehicles.

Buick-
Bring back the Electra name.
Make it a Tesla fighter based on the Avenir.
Enough said.

Cadillac-
(Name to be determined)
Base a small car on the Cadillac Urban Concept,
and it would be a global car to introduce the brand
to countries with bans on ICE cars, small roads, etc.

GMC-
The Capacitor.
Base it on the Granite CPU, as a small around town
hauler. Include a midgate design and removable panels
like the Avalanche had that store under the bed.

Chevrolet-
Bring out the E Ray.
Base it on the Miray Concept.
A small sporty car for Chevy that they never got
in the Pontiac Solstice vein.

Any more ideas?
 

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The problem with proper BEVs is, they need their own dedicated BEV platform like the Bolt's. Converting gas cars is a waste of time. So whatever new BEV product GM may have in mind for the near future will have to come off the Bolt's platform, which I think they are calling simply "BEV II" instead of the usual Greek alphabet letters.

Simply stretching and widening the platform for bigger vehicles, while simple to do for hot rodders and show car builders isn't that simple for production cars. Handling dynamics, structural strength and suspension issues need to be addressed. For these reasons, I believe any upcoming BEVs from GM will be not only be on the BEV II platform, but also about the same size vehicle as the Bolt.

Given America's passion for SUVs and CUVs, I expect to see an AWD little CUV along the lines of a Jeep Patriot. Something a little boxier, a little more brawny looking and bit higher off the ground. There likely could be a GMC version as well with different sheetmetal and interior.

I also see an SS version of the Bolt with more hp and a lower gear ratio plus a stiffer sport suspension.
I would also bet on a Buick version of the Bolt with different sheet metal and interior. This vehicle will be mostly for the Chinese market, but we're likely to see it here too. The platform is just too small for a Cadillac offering.

Another very remote possibly (probably my fantasy only) is a small fun convertible version of the Bolt kind of like the Mini convertibles. This is a segment of the EV market that just is not served at all but could be. This would be a way to steal a little thunder from Tesla's Model 3. A BEV that is fun to drive, fun to ride in and looks fun.

Looking further down the road, I see eventually a second, bigger, heavier platform, possibly BEV III that can serve for a serious competitor to the Model S for Cadillac and also Buick. I can also see a mini van, commercial van, bigger SUVs and even a small mini pick up (remember when mini pickups were actually small?) based on this platform.

However, one step at a time. The Bolt has to be a success first.
 

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The Bolt EV has its own platform, so it will take GM some time to add new models based on that platform. Originally many (including myself) thought that it would use the Sonic platform, since it is manufactured at the same Orion plant, so a sedan shaped BEV couls have been possible. GM likes to hold their secrets until a year before production, so we may see a true sedan BEV by 2018.
 

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I read that Cadillac has an aggressive plan to launch a number of new vehicles over the course of the next few years so when you factor in that with the Voltec powertrain and how that can be diversified, maybe we're onto something?

XT4 might be the next Cadillac product, one I think would be great with an electric option.


XT4 spied:

 

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What if, what if ...
 

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Another very remote possibly (probably my fantasy only) is a small fun convertible version of the Bolt kind of like the Mini convertibles. This is a segment of the EV market that just is not served at all but could be. This would be a way to steal a little thunder from Tesla's Model 3. A BEV that is fun to drive, fun to ride in and looks fun.
I think that is a great idea! A sports car version of the bolt platform wouldn't be all that hard to do. Lower stance and a lower roof puts you half way there
 

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I think that is a great idea! A sports car version of the bolt platform wouldn't be all that hard to do. Lower stance and a lower roof puts you half way there
The thing about convertibles is, they are most successful when they are designed to be convertibles from the beginning. Taking a unibody car that was designed to be a sedan and lopping off the roof creates serious structural problems. These problems can be overcome by adding beefy stiffeners in strategic locations, but it adds a lot of weight and takes up space.

Having said this, the Bolt uses the battery pack as part of it's structure and maybe in the case of the Bolt, taking the roof off might not require so much additional reinforcement. Hopefully GM thought ahead about the possibility of a convertible and have at least laid some plans for this.

Later this year and all of next year it's going to be all about the Model 3. Tesla will get Car of the Year and all the rest of it next year. There will be a huge buzz about the Model 3. Because they went second, I expect the Model 3 to be quicker and probably slightly better range then the Bolt. I don't expect the Model 3 to come anywhere near the Bolt in price, or utility.

One way for GM to put a little light back on themselves, is to announce a performance version of the Bolt and my afore mentioned convertible concept would put them back in a class of their own again. Currently, I have seen zero plans by any manufacturer to make a convertible BEV. While the vast majority of the car buying public has little interest in owning a convertible, they do have an amazing halo effect for the brand and would draw a lot of attention back to the hatchback Bolt.

I personally am a huge fan of convertibles and if they were to announce a convertible Bolt, it is the one car that would likely get me to trade early. Alas, GM is more conservative then competitive, so I do expect a better performing Bolt in the future, but the convertible is likely just a dream.
 

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A lot of the affordability of a manufacturer to develop a specific vehicle is the business case behind it regarding the return on investment to get the car though environmental and safety testing. Each engine/transmission version of the same car has to be separately crash tested per DOT regulations. This is why we see a lot less manual transmissions in various car models, because the cost to develop and crash test a manual transmissioned version of a particular model is not cost beneficial to the manufacturer. The low sales volume of the manual transmission version doesn't generate the additional profit to design the manual transmission, support the parts and repair logistics, and achieve the crash test ratings. Convertibles are relatively low sales volume vehicles. Throw on top of that, taking the roof off kills the aerodynamics when the top is down, which for a BEV is range killing as well.

I see Cadillac using the bolt platform for a 2-door sport coupe model similar to the ELR based off the Volt. And a badge engineered Buick version. No Pontiac or Oldsmobile versions though...

No flame meant here, but I see GM as the least conservative of the Big Three (er... Two) of the American manufacturers. Ford really has no Corvette, no rear-drive sports sedans to take on the European manufacturers (e.g. Cadillac and the Chevy SS), no extended-range EV (the Volt), nor a from-the-ground-up BEV (the Bolt). Fiat-Chrysler - LOL.
 

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A lot of the affordability of a manufacturer to develop a specific vehicle is the business case behind it regarding the return on investment to get the car though environmental and safety testing. Each engine/transmission version of the same car has to be separately crash tested per DOT regulations. This is why we see a lot less manual transmissions in various car models, because the cost to develop and crash test a manual transmissioned version of a particular model is not cost beneficial to the manufacturer. The low sales volume of the manual transmission version doesn't generate the additional profit to design the manual transmission, support the parts and repair logistics, and achieve the crash test ratings. Convertibles are relatively low sales volume vehicles. Throw on top of that, taking the roof off kills the aerodynamics when the top is down, which for a BEV is range killing as well.

I see Cadillac using the bolt platform for a 2-door sport coupe model similar to the ELR based off the Volt. And a badge engineered Buick version. No Pontiac or Oldsmobile versions though...

No flame meant here, but I see GM as the least conservative of the Big Three (er... Two) of the American manufacturers. Ford really has no Corvette, no rear-drive sports sedans to take on the European manufacturers (e.g. Cadillac and the Chevy SS), no extended-range EV (the Volt), nor a from-the-ground-up BEV (the Bolt). Fiat-Chrysler - LOL.
The real reason we don't see many manual transmissions is, Americans overwhelmingly reject them. Even with cars like Ferrari, Porsche and Corvette, they are sold here 80% or more automatics. Most American drivers now don't even know how to drive a stick.

Manual shift in North America is only viable now as an image enhancement for performance cars and in low cost imported economy cars. The low cost cars work out because they are already made manual for markets in other countries and the manual transmission is still cheaper to manufacture than an automatic.

I don't know about a new coupe for Cadillac. They have been burned three times in recent history by coupes. The Corvette based XLR, the CTS Coupe and the Volt based ELR were all sales disappointments. Much like the manual transmission, North American buyers largely reject two door vehicles too. Even our pick up trucks must now have four doors. There are of course exceptions that sell well enough, such as the Camaro, Mustang, Fiat 500, Mini, Challenger, Corvette, etc.

The common theme for two door success in North America is performance. Try as they might, GM still can not convince buyers that Cadillac is a performance brand even though their V series cars are fantastic on the track and go head to head with anybody else. For these reasons, I don't see Cadillac getting a BEV based on the Bolt. They will require a larger (Model S size) RWD BEV platform and I suspect they will get it looking forward.

You're right, GM is the least conservative of the "big three" (whatever that means anymore) and historically they always have been. GM's history is one of innovation, experimentation and cutting edge and this has both helped them and also damaged them. Today's GM is starting to behave more like the GM of their golden era and that is a good thing, but they still have a tremendous amount of baggage to deal with.
 

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No flame meant here, but I see GM as the least conservative of the Big Three (er... Two) of the American manufacturers. Ford really has no Corvette, no rear-drive sports sedans to take on the European manufacturers (e.g. Cadillac and the Chevy SS), no extended-range EV (the Volt), nor a from-the-ground-up BEV (the Bolt). Fiat-Chrysler - LOL.
Ford is bringing back the GT:
https://www.ford.com/performance/gt/
http://www.motortrend.com/cars/ford/gt/2017/2017-ford-gt-first-ride/
http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/first-drives/a31818/first-ride-the-all-new-ford-gt/

It still is more expensive than the best Stingray but Ford isn't out of the sportscar market.

And the Shelby GT350R can match the Camaro Z/28 but the final choice is very personal. I have driven a 1967 Camaro RS, a 1969 Z/28, and a 1970 Mustang Mach 1, and I prefer the Camaro.:)

For the extended range EV, the Ford Fusion Energi is a better five-seat midsized sedan EV in every point against the Chevy Volt except range*. If it had a 50 mile EV range, then the Energi will even make Volt owners trade up!

And Ford does have a BEV that many Volt owners (and some Bolt EV owners) know and respect: the Focus Electric. It may not be a "from-the-ground-up" BEV but it does sell in small numbers. What I am bothered by Ford is the slowness of their developments. The Fusion was a hybrid since its first generation (2010) after the Escape Hybrid, but after eight model years, it hasn't imporved much. And Ford stopped producing the Escape Hybrid, never offering one for the newer generation which sells very well as a gas only model. Either way, Ford started in hybrids just as Toyota's Prius was selling better, yet has only few hybrids now. Their best deal is still the 2017 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, which is the leader as the domestic luxury hybrid sedan. The Cadillac CT6 Hybrid hasn't arrived here in the U.S. so this Lincoln is the ONLY competition against the imports.

* I have the owner manuals for the Chevy Volt and the Ford Fusion Hybrid/Energi (also available online in PDF), I have compared both, and the Fusion has much more features than the Volt.
 
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