You probably haven’t heard of GAC, the Chinese automaker with big designs on the US market. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, GAC is seeking to up its profile in advance of its 2019 US launch with — what else? — an eye-catching, futuristic, mostly irrational electric car concept.
The Enverge certainly attracted a lot of attention here in Detroit with its gull-wing doors, “floating” digital dash-screen, and alleged range of 370 miles on a single charge. That would place it over the Tesla Model 3, which is, of course, a real car and not a concept like this. GAC also unveiled the GA4 midsize sedan that will go on sale in China later this month.
The headlights slide out and detach to be used as flood lights
There are a whole bunch of design cues that are sure to appeal to fans of ridiculous concept cars. The headlights slide out and detach to be used as flood lights. (GAC calls it the “G light,” naturally.) The two-door SUV also has virtual reality screens embedded in the side windows. The 71kWh battery can be recharged wirelessly; 10 minutes is enough for 240 miles of range.
The fact that GAC’s booth is right across from GMC’s probably isn’t doing it any favors in terms of name recognition. That said, it wouldn’t be fair to lump GAC with other Chinese companies with electric car concepts like Faraday Future and Byton. For one, GAC is an established automaker with the ability to manufacture hundreds of thousands of automobiles at scale. GAC sold just over 500,000 automobiles in China last year, up 37 percent from 2016. A subsidiary of the Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group, the company is the fifth largest producer of passenger cars among Chinese automakers.
The company says it is negotiating with partner Fiat Chrysler about the possible distribution of vehicles in the US.