Chevrolet’s forthcoming Bolt EV will electrify more than just North American consumers, and as expected, it’s changing its name to the Opel Ampera-e and will be unveiled at September’s Paris auto show.
As you can see in the photos, the only exterior difference is the European edition gets Opel’s lightning flash insignia on the grille.
Like its American twin, the Ampera-e is a five-door, five-passenger hatchback – GM calls it a “compact crossover” – and will be an affordable rival for the likes of the Volkswagen e-Golf, the Ford Focus Electric and BMW’s i3.
Opel has only confirmed that the Ampera-e will be fed by a flat battery pack mounted underneath the cabin floor, which should be good for 200 miles or so of emissions-free driving. Actually, European NEDC numbers in kilometers are not announced, but the Bolt EV is promised this much range in the U.S.
The electric motor produces 200 horsepower and 266 pounds-feet of torque, as true of the Bolt EV.
Opel says the compact EV hits 31 mph (50 km/h) in 3.2 seconds, which means that it has the edge in traffic-light-to-traffic-light sprints for those so inclined. A whimsical computer-generated video Opel put together illustrates this concept for intenders.
Another detail is the car picks up speed from 50 mph (80 km/h) to 75 mph (120 km/h) in 4.5 seconds, indicating that passing other vehicles is not an issue.
The top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h) is more than enough for those living anywhere but that European country with unrestricted autobahns.
Ampera-e will debut with OnStar with available connection to seven mobile devices simultaneously to the car’s Wi-Fi hotspot.
Also available is the latest IntelliLink infotainment system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so passengers have full access to their favorite music via a smartphone.
General Motors’ Opel division formerly sold a re-badged Chevy Volt called the Ampera in Europe for which the Ampera-e is a substitution. That car sold poorly and GM chose not to bring it back when it revised the second-generation Volt.
Opel has otherwise said it would have an alternative and was otherwise committed to automotive electrification. To date the Vauxhall Ampera-e variant in the UK has not been announced on the company’s media site. It’s hoped this new 200-mile hatch form factor will resonate well with Europeans, and Opel CEO, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann expressed optimism.
“The Opel Ampera-e makes electromobility fully feasible for everyday use and ready for the future” he said. “The Ampera-e demonstrates impressively how well sustainability and driving pleasure can form a unity. And with its strong-as-an-ox electric motor, it delivers pure fun-to-drive.”