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GM adds AWD to the Bolt EV which still gets 238 miles of range, would you prefer...


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Discussion Starter #1
There's no doubt GM engineers could make the Bolt EV AWD; the only debate is what it would take in terms of sales/demand in order for GM to greenlight AWD for production...(Perhaps I'll create another poll on that)...

If you're happy with FWD this poll isn't for you which is why I didn't not include the status quo as an option...

All us airchair engineers can do is speculate since an AWD Bolt EV doesn't exist; in other EV models, adding AWD boosts both range and performance therefore for this poll we'll say that all theoretical variants will have the same range of 238 miles...
 

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I think I'd want to see what the ride height is now before forming an opinion. It wouldn't make sense to lower the height on an AWD as one of the arguments for AWD is getting around in snow, etc. I'd still think I'd prefer an EREV in a blizzard, etc.
 

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I don't see the point of raising the ride height because having the batteries in the floor already does this. I believe a couple of reviews have characterized the Bolt EV as a CUV for this reason. Certainly they all say the seating position is very CUV like. Consider it done.

Note that adding another motor for AWD does increase performance and efficiency but also adds cost. If you're going that route you need some different sheet metal, different tires, a better interior, and of course a different brand to sell it. This worked out great for the ELR!
 

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I don't see the point of raising the ride height because having the batteries in the floor already does this. I believe a couple of reviews have characterized the Bolt EV as a CUV for this reason. Certainly they all say the seating position is very CUV like. Consider it done.

Note that adding another motor for AWD does increase performance and efficiency but also adds cost. If you're going that route you need some different sheet metal, different tires, a better interior, and of course a different brand to sell it. This worked out great for the ELR!
Completely agree. The bolt would look silly lifted. For AWD EV, they should add it to sheet metal in the shape of a trax, equinox, Silverado, or suburban. The only vehicle in recent history that was able to be a car and a CUV using the same sheet metal was in 2014 when Subaru took an Impreza wagon, lifted it, widened the track, and added plastic cladding to make a Crosstrek. I liked that setup so much I bought one for my daughter as a college graduation present on her way to med school. Alas, this car is still cursed...wherever she lives has been pounded with snow. Snowageddon 1 and 2 in IL followed by Boston getting pummelled last year (and I predict this year too). Wherever she ends up in med school is doomed.

Of course do people remember the 80's when American motors added AWD to the Eagle? Man, I would kill for a red AWD eagle wagon in pristine shape right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Think more along the lines of the Subaru Crosstrek or Volvo's "Cross Country" trim packages...I currently have a very hilly commute complete with half dozen speed bumps...In most cars you will scrape something often, yet with an increased ride height this can be avoided...Now just jacking up the ride height may not look the best but they could cheaply add some attractive lower cladding...

Totally understand it will cost more and it would be optional...Yet it's quite possible you could use a less powerful and therefore cheaper FWD drive motor...

While Chevy seems to be resistant to add AWD in it's cars (Vette/Camaro/SS/Malibu/Cruze are all 2WD), just about the entire Caddy line is available with AWD including the ATS, XTS and CTS which are cars...Various locations including Mammoth Lakes will allow you to forego tire chain only if you have AWD...
 

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Think more along the lines of the Subaru Crosstrek or Volvo's "Cross Country" trim packages...I currently have a very hilly commute complete with half dozen speed bumps...In most cars you will scrape something often, yet with an increased ride height this can be avoided...Now just jacking up the ride height may not look the best but they could cheaply add some attractive lower cladding...
This is interesting. I was thinking you were making a distinction between the height at which the occupants sit and ground clearance, the difference between the ground and the lowest part of the vehicle. Traditionally these were the same but with skateboard designs they're not. Battery packs raise the height of the driver and passengers, which creates the SUV like driving position. This additional height also raises the door height and eliminates the sill, making it easier to get into and out of the vehicle, the other big SUV characteristic.

Adding AWD might make the Bolt EV more appealing to people who think that this makes the car safer but I'm not sure those people care about ground clearance (as opposed to ride height). Maybe for snow or dirt/gravel roads, but I don't think the Bolt EV is a car for rural America. It's more a city car, and while there can be some pretty big potholes in the city, I'm not sure most people would worry about ground clearance for these.

On the performance front, raising it would hurt speed and handling of course, and lowering it would help. But I'm not sure by how much. Also I'm not sure how much adding a second motor would change things. Acceleration is more limited by the pack size than by having only one motor. Plus I suspect substituting more performance oriented tires would make a bigger difference than lowering the ground clearance.

On balance I think GM did a good job with the Bolt EV. It offers the convenience of a CUV with the performance and handling of a hot hatch. To make it a SUV it would need to be larger. To make it a performance vehicle you'd need a larger pack. In neither case is lowering or raising the ground clearance that helpful.
 

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I don't have an opinion on this, but that is because it depends on many factors. If they are just looking to add AWD for weather, then I think not. If they are looking to make a performance version (say EVO/STi competitor), then yes. But I feel like a number of things would need to be addressed first for that to happen.

As for off-road vehicles, I'd rather see a different, dedicated platform. I'd love to see the equivalent of a Jeep style 4x4, but that is just me wanting something for my personal uses (hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, etc.). As it is, that is one of my personal projects scheduled for my working retirement: Buy an old Jeep/Willy's and convert it using an old entry level EV (maybe Spark EV?).
 

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I sat in the Bolt at the San Francisco auto show and I think the seats are high enough already. If they raise the ride height for ground clearance it will be difficult to get in and out of the car for some people. AWD is a nice feature but I doubt you see it on the Bolt ever. The Bolt has good interior space considering the size but it's actually rather plain. Not to say it's a bad car but it seems postured toward considerations for economy rather than cool features like AWD.
 

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I drove 2 winter behind the wheel of a Spark EV, so much torque but FWD traction not so much, AWD as Tesla is the way to go.
 

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I sat in the Bolt at the San Francisco auto show and I think the seats are high enough already. If they raise the ride height for ground clearance it will be difficult to get in and out of the car for some people. AWD is a nice feature but I doubt you see it on the Bolt ever. The Bolt has good interior space considering the size but it's actually rather plain. Not to say it's a bad car but it seems postured toward considerations for economy rather than cool features like AWD.
The spartan, minimalist interior design seems to be the trend right now. I can't complain because it is also my preference. It's one of the features I liked best about Nissan's Xterra line, and it's one of the things I hate the most about many luxury interiors (I'm talking to you, Lexus).
 

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I drove 2 winter behind the wheel of a Spark EV, so much torque but FWD traction not so much, AWD as Tesla is the way to go.
To each his own. People with RWD Tesla models in heavy winter areas also complain.

I think the big factor here is cost. The base Model 3 will be RWD, and the AWD option could cost $5,000 or more. That tells me that GM could do something similar for the Bolt, but don't expect the MSRP to be under $40,000.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
To each his own. People with RWD Tesla models in heavy winter areas also complain.

I think the big factor here is cost. The base Model 3 will be RWD, and the AWD option could cost $5,000 or more. That tells me that GM could do something similar for the Bolt, but don't expect the MSRP to be under $40,000.
Very true with the $5K price with Tesla AWD but could GM, or any automaker, do it cheaper? Do we know how much a replacement Spark EV electric motor costs?
 

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Very true with the $5K price with Tesla AWD but could GM, or any automaker, do it cheaper? Do we know how much a replacement Spark EV electric motor costs?
I don't think we can use those as equivalent costs because replacements usually come with a core discount that can be as much as 60% of the total cost of a new unit. Just based on what I know about the cost of electric motors and controllers, $5,000 would be close to cost.

Something else to consider is economy of scale. Order one hundred 100-150 kW motors, and you might pay $2,500 a unit. Order 10,000 of those motors, and you might only pay $1,000.
 

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Just for fun, raised and lowered:

No, no, no. It needs to be lowered even more where the wheels are tucked in and there is no gap between the top of the tire and the fender, with the chrome and wheels blackened.
 

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Completely agree. The bolt would look silly lifted. For AWD EV, they should add it to sheet metal in the shape of a trax, equinox, Silverado, or suburban. The only vehicle in recent history that was able to be a car and a CUV using the same sheet metal was in 2014 when Subaru took an Impreza wagon, lifted it, widened the track, and added plastic cladding to make a Crosstrek. I liked that setup so much I bought one for my daughter as a college graduation present on her way to med school. Alas, this car is still cursed...wherever she lives has been pounded with snow. Snowageddon 1 and 2 in IL followed by Boston getting pummelled last year (and I predict this year too). Wherever she ends up in med school is doomed.

Of course do people remember the 80's when American motors added AWD to the Eagle? Man, I would kill for a red AWD eagle wagon in pristine shape right now.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1983-AMC-Other-limited-/172423798358

Paint it red and make it pristine :)

Keith
 

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No, no, no. It needs to be lowered even more where the wheels are tucked in and there is no gap between the top of the tire and the fender.....
Pretty sure the tires will rub in the wheel openings. Besides, GM will never make a slammed version of anything.



Paint them whatever color you like...... :D

Of course do people remember the 80's when American motors added AWD to the Eagle? Man, I would kill for a red AWD eagle wagon in pristine shape right now.
The only thing AMC ever made that didn't suck rocks was the AMX, and those rusted so fast they're real collector's items now.
 

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I prefer more ground clearance. I am already greatly limited on pot-hole, rock-covered Forest Service roads with the Volt. The low clearance forces me to hike for miles to remote trailheads.
 
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