GM teases new Chevy Bolt with Super Cruise, sets February release date

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GM says two new versions of the Chevy Bolt are expected to be unveiled in February 2021. The company has released a new teaser that highlights an upcoming new feature for electric vehicles: GM’s Advanced Driver Assistance System, Super Cruise.

GM plans to release a refreshed Chevy Bolt, which first debuted in 2017, along with a Bolt Electric Utility Vehicle, or EUV. The teaser was timed to coincide with GM CEO Mary Barra’s opening speech at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show – which is being held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The refreshed Bolt will feature a sportier look, new seats, adaptive cruise control, and a few other minor changes. GM increased range in last year’s version of the Bolt, from 238 miles to 259 miles, but no further increases are expected in the refresh.

The Bolt EUV (not an acronym we’d expect to understand, but I guess) will have a longer wheelbase than the regular Bolt and should appeal to customers looking for a more crossover SUV look than a sedan. The UVU looks longer than the regular Bolt, but much taller.

One major change will be the inclusion of Super Cruise, GM’s advanced “hands-free” driver assistance system. When it debuted in 2017, Super Cruise drew immediate comparisons to Tesla’s autopilot system. It uses cameras, radars and LIDAR map data, combined with a robust driver monitoring system, to reduce the stress of highway driving. When engaged, drivers can take their feet off the pedals and their hands off the steering wheel, and the car typically drives on separate highways.

The two new Bolts are the last GM vehicles to get Super Cruise, and the first from Chevrolet. Super Cruise is also available in the 2018 Cadillac CT6, 2021 Cadillac CT5 and CT4, 2021 Cadillac Escalade and GMC Hummer EV.

Both the Bolt EV and the Bolt EUV will be built on GM’s BEV2 platform, which is separate from the new “Ultium” battery pack announced in early 2020. The recently unveiled Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV will be the first vehicles to be released. be built on this new electrical architecture. As such, the Bolt EV and EUV were slated to go into production in late 2020, but were delayed until this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Bolts can’t come quickly enough, given the controversy surrounding the current versions of the EV. GM was recently slapped in a class action lawsuit alleging that the Chevy Bolt’s battery is “prone to ignite.” The lawsuit comes on the heels of GM announcing that it was recalling 68,000 Bolts for a faulty battery.

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