Detroit LIVE: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
The production EV stays close to the concept, promising at least 200 miles of electric range.
General Motors officially revealed the production 2017 Chevrolet Bolt at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, but we have our first live photos from the show floor in Detroit.
The official debut provides a closer look at both the exterior and interior, after spy photographers recently spoiled the surprise. The production model stays fairly close to the concept, though its smooth EV facade has been outfitted with a faux grille and thicker LED headlight housings.
Out back, the Bolt's taillights have been reshaped with a bit of inspiration from the Volt hybrid. The red LEDs are integrated into the full-width hatch, with supplementary LEDs located on the lower bumper.
The company aimed to give the compact "the look of a small crossover," with a 102.4-inch wheelbase that is two inches longer than the Chevy Trax and Buick Encore. A flat battery pack is mounted beneath the interior floor, enabling seating for five passengers and 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat -- more than the Honda Fit and BMW i3, as GM proudly notes.
"[The flat battery pack] really opened up the interior and created a fantastic view from every seating position," said design managing director Stuart Norris. "All of this additional space gave us a lot of opportunities to play with creative design and storage solutions."
On the inside, a 'floating' instrument panel brings a horizontal focus centered around a 10.2-inch touchscreen. A rear-facing camera provides a wide-angle view, presented on a digital display built into the rear-view mirror, while other cameras provide 'surround vision' when parking or driving at low speeds.
The company has reaffirmed its promise to deliver at least 200 miles of electric range, though a specific figure has not yet been announced. Production is scheduled to begin before the end of 2016, potentially giving the company a head start against the Tesla Model 3.
Several automakers are expected to introduce long-range EVs in the next two years as battery prices continue to decline. Tesla's Model S has established a luxury pedigree that could help drive sales of the company's first mass-market EV, presented as an electric BMW 3-Series rival rather than a battery-powered econobox. GM is the first to show a contender in final production form, however, with a seemingly solid launch window and price tag around $37,000.
Live photos by Brian Williams.