News: GAC Shows EV Crossover Concept in Detroit

The Chinese May Finally Be Coming—With Electric SUVs

Guangzhou Automotive Corporation (GAC) unveiled a surprising battery-powered compact crossover and a compact sedan, the GA4, as part of their display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week. The Chinese manufacturer plans to start selling cars in the U.S. by the end of next year.

CAC Electric SUV concept

While the scissor doors may not make it, most of the rest of the car appears ready for American roads

The pure-electric Enverge crossover concept boasts a 71-kWh battery good for a range of 370 miles, according to Zhang Fan, GAC vice president of engineering. The zero-to-60 time is a quick 4.4 seconds, and top speed is about 99 mph. Fan claims the car has off-road ability as well.

The EV concept features butterfly doors typical of a concept car, rooftop storage and detachable fog lamps that can be used as flashlights. The interior “feels like a floating space capsule,” according to Fan.

While the Enverge attracted the most attention with its extreme styling and features, the more traditional looking GA4 sedan could be sold in the U.S. as well. GAC likely will start with its competitive GS8 three-row crossover.

As it begin to build its dealer network, GAC is also planning facilities in Los Angeles and Detroit after opening an R&D center in Silicon Valley last year.

GAC, the sixth largest Chinese automaker, sells cars and SUVs in China under the Trumpchi name, but will use a different English brand name in the U.S. The company, founded in 2008, is growing fast, and hopes to sell a million cars worldwide in 2020, which would represent a 25 percent growth from its current sales numbers.

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About Author: Steve Schaefer

Steve Schaefer has written a weekly automotive column for 26 years, testing more than 1,250 cars. Now, he’s focusing on EVs and hybrids. Steve remembers the joy of riding in his father’s Austin-Healey. After discovering the August, 1963 issue of Motor Trend, he became entranced with the annual model change, and began stalking dealers’ back lots to catch the new models as they rolled off the transporter. Coming from a family that owned three Corvairs, Steve was one of the first Saturn buyers, earning him a prominent spot in their 1994 product catalogue. To continue the GM tradition, Steve now has a Chevrolet Bolt EV. Steve is a founding member of the Western Automotive Journalists. Recently, Steve became a Climate Reality Leader, trained by Al Gore, and is focused on moving to EVs and 100% renewable energy. Read his EV/hybrid blog at stevegoesgreen.com.

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