Fresh off our GM electrification media and analyst tour, where we weren’t allowed to take pictures or video, I had some time to sit in the redesigned 2021 Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV. Below, I’ll discuss changes to the Bolt and will post a second article to cover the new, longer Chevy Bolt EUV.
So at first glance, the 2021 Chevy Bolt looks a lot like the current Bolt. Bolt owners will notice significantly updated front fascia and rear lights. There’s also a bigger suite of cameras on the front windshield that will allow for adaptive cruise control (but not Supercruise, which the EUV will offer). Overall, I’m neutral on the new look. It’s certainly sportier, but it still looks like a Bolt. It reminds me of this Cruise Bolt we saw in this PowerPoint a while ago, but not exactly.
Oh, and modders will be happy to learn that the Chevy Bowtie is now black instead of yellow both front and back.
The tires are the same as on the current 2016-2020 Chevy Bolt, but summer tires are now an option (they came over from the Opel Ampera E, which requires summer and winter tires in some EU markets). By the way, this update isn’t making it to Opel, as the Ampera is now over.
2021 Chevy Bolt interior sees biggest changes
Chevy Bolt seats! The seats are so much better. They feature much softer materials, lumbar support, more premium stitching, and electronic controls, at least for the driver. The dashboard is also more high-end, with nicer faux leather-type materials. There’s less neon blue lighting.
The steering wheel is now sportier, with a leveled-off bottom. It feels great. The HVAC buttons are all a lot more premium, and as far as I can tell, less redundant. The screens all got a UI refreshment, but they will be familiar to current Bolt owners.
Chevy now has USB-C ports that I’m told are more powerful than the 5W USB-A ports that it also still features. I was told they can also power laptops and tablets.
The shifter is gone, and there are now RND buttons where the shifter was. In addition, there is a one-pedal driving switch that you can leave on, which I suspect most Bolt owners will do. Currently you have to double tap to put it into “L” mode which is 1 pedal driving. The regen paddle is staying as well, behind the steering wheel.
Infotainment gets a big upgrade, with more OTA update functionality.
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
The Qi charger moves into the dashboard where it will allow you to just throw the phone down and not only charge but also project CarPlay and Android Auto. They don’t yet know the Qi charge speed, but I imagine 7.5W is a good guess.
Strangely, the cool flip-down camera/rearview mirror is gone, but it stays in the Bolt EUV.
2021 Chevy Bolt Powertrain is mostly the same
Same 66kWh battery. Same motors. Same tires. I would have loved a small upgrade on charging to 100kW, but we’re in for the same specs as the current Chevy Bolt.
2021 Chevy Bolt announcement
While I got a good look at the 2021 Chevy Bolt today, the general public won’t get to see it until the summer announcement event, which will follow the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer Electric announcements in the spring.
When can you get the 2021 Chevy Bolt?
GM explained that the rollout would be similar to 2016, where a few will trickle out of the factory to specific markets at the end of this year (in late 2020) but won’t start meaningful shipments until early 2021. The EUV will follow months later. I would imagine California will get the first shipments again. I wasn’t able to get my 2017 Bolt until May in New York. Hopefully I won’t have to wait that long again!
GM listened. They weren’t quick or communicative, but those things you asked to be fixed in 2017 are fixed for 2021.
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