Both are production models, with the PHEV to go on sale first later this year.
[UPDATE, April 25] Live images from the Beijing Motor Show have been added at the beginning of the gallery, below.
Following yesterday’s unveiling of the Enspire Concept, Buick is ready to roll out a pair of production models. Both go by the name of Velite 6, but one of them is a plug-in hybrid whereas the other takes the shape of a fully electric vehicle. Before you ask which is which, the one on the right lacks the combustion engine (and the fuel cap on the rear fender).
Speaking of the ICE, the plug-in hybrid version comes with a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter gasoline engine that has been “tuned for hybrid vehicles.” It works together with two electric motors, an electronically controlled variable transmission, and a lithium-ion battery pack to give the partially electrified Velite a maximum range of 700 kilometers (435 miles).
Fuel consumption in the combined cycle stands at a remarkably low 1.4 liters / 100 km. Doing a quick conversion, that works out to 168 miles per gallon, but bear in mind the number is not exactly accurate considering the method the cars are being tested in China and in the United States is significantly different.
The plug-in hybrid Velite 6 will offer several driving modes, allowing the owner to switch between the power of the combustion engine, the punch delivered by the electric motors, and their combined forces.
As far as the pure electric version is concerned, details about the zero-emissions model are rather scarce at this point. Buick says it benefits from a new-generation powertrain that will provide customers with a “smooth, quiet and natural driving experience.” Like with the PHEV model, the entirely electric Velite 6 will be accessible via the owner’s smartphone set to work as a virtual key to enter and start the car.
The first to go on sale will be the plug-in hybrid scheduled to be launched in China this year, with the EV programmed to arrive at a later date.
Gallery: 2018 Buick Velite 6
Buick VELITE 6 Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Enspire All-Electric Concept SUV Make Global Debut in China
WUZHEN – The Buick VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV made their global debut this evening at a launch event in the scenic Chinese city of Wuzhen, Zhejiang.
Buick also announced that the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will be launched this year and its sibling, the VELITE 6 electric vehicle, will be introduced in China at a later date.
Buick VELITE 6
Buick is focused on electrification, connectivity, intelligence and sharing in line with its Buick Blue new energy vehicle strategy. The VELITE 6 represents the latest application of this strategy.
The two VELITE 6 models leverage electrification and connectivity technology from SAIC-GM’s parent companies, including Buick’s newest electric propulsion technology and connectivity technology. They are based on the VELITE Concept new energy vehicle that was unveiled in November 2016.
The VELITE 6 has a dynamic posture coupled with a wide stance. The modern, streamlined shape aptly represents the innovative exterior styling that matches the new nameplate’s exciting technological character.
The high-performance propulsion system of the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is composed of an EVT electronically controlled variable transmission, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors with a high-performance lithium-ion battery, and a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine especially tuned for hybrid vehicles.
The motors and engine efficiently optimize power in different driving modes – such as the hybrid-driven mode of the motor and the engine, the single-driven mode of the motor, and the single-driven mode of the engine. It has a range of 700 km and combined fuel consumption of 1.4 liters/100 km.
The new-generation modular high-performance ternary lithium-ion battery pack will be assembled at the new state-of-the-art SAIC-GM Power Battery Development Center in Shanghai. The battery incorporates leading battery heat management technology, providing independent and uniform temperature control of each battery unit via liquid cooling. This will ensure a longer life cycle and more stable performance.
The VELITE 6 electric vehicle will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience.
The flexible and open cloud-based Buick eConnect technology in both models enables cutting-edge services and over-the-air update capability. With exclusive accounts, users can personalize their settings for OnStar, navigation, internet use and more. Music and destinations can be sent to the car display screen via WeChat in real time, for one-button navigation and listening. Users can also directly receive information about their vehicles’ condition and recommended maintenance.
VELITE 6 users’ smartphones serve as a virtual key to enter and start the vehicle. They can authorize others to use their vehicles through their phones as well. Additional functions and new features will continuously be added to improve the user experience.