Don’t get excited, this isn’t an all-new electric car, but the European version of the Chevy Bolt is set to take a bow at the Paris Motor Show.
It will be called the Opel Ampera-e and it will be rebadged again for the UK market as a Vauxhall and in Australia as a Holden. So don’t be surprised to see the Bolt with a variety of disguises in the coming months.
The ‘new’ car gets more than a badge. There are subtle differences to the bodywork and front end to bring the Ampera-e into line with the rest of the Opel range.
How does it perform? Like the Bolt
Opel hasn’t released all the details of the new car as yet. But it’s safe to assume it will have more or less the same performance and range as the Bolt.
It is curious that Opel has quoted a top speed of 93mph, compared to the Chevy’s 91mph, but something could have simply got lost in the translation when it comes to converting the numbers. It’s more likely, though, that GM’s aesthetic tweaks have created a more streamlined shape that allows the Ampera-e to cut through the air more effectively. With less wind resistance, it can go faster without more power.
It might end up with a slightly longer range, too, as the European testers tend to give a better result than the American EPA rating. If it is slightly slippier, too, then the reduced drag should give it a longer range and GM might subtly incorporate some of these changes when it’s time to give the Bolt a facelift.
A longer range than the Bolt?
It will still hit 60mph in less than seven seconds and comes with the 150kW (200bhp) motor. GM will almost certainly produce the car in Michigan and export them to Europe, although that could change if the Ampera-e gains serious traction and starts to sell in big numbers.
That will come down to cost. Thanks to the 200-mile range, this is arguably the first real rival for the Tesla Model 3 and that isn’t here yet. If Opel can get the pricing right and undercut the Tesla by a significant margin, as well as beating it to the showrooms by a full year, then GM could really make some waves with this new model and take a solid market share before its competitors have a chance to react.