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GM teases new Chevy Bolt with Super Cruise, sets release date for February

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Two new versions of the Chevy Bolt are coming later this year

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

GM says that two new versions of the Chevy Bolt are set to be unveiled in February 2021. The company has released a new teaser that highlights a new feature coming to the electric vehicles: GM’s well-regarded advanced driver assist system, Super Cruise.

GM is planning to release a refreshed Chevy Bolt, which was first released in 2017, as well as a Bolt Electric Utility Vehicle, or EUV. The teaser was timed to coincide with GM CEO Mary Barra’s keynote speech at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show — which is being held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The refreshed Bolt will feature a sportier look, new seats, adaptive cruise control, and a few other minor changes. GM bumped up the range in this past year’s version of the Bolt, from 238 miles to 259 miles, but no further increase is expected in the refresh.

The Bolt EUV (not an acronym we expect to catch on, but go off I guess) will have a longer wheelbase than the regular Bolt and should appeal to customers looking for a more crossover SUV look than hatchback. The EUV looks longer than the regular Bolt but that much taller.

A major change will be the inclusion of Super Cruise, GM’s “hands free” advanced driver assist system. When it first debuted in 2017, Super Cruise drew immediate comparisons to Tesla’s Autopilot system. It uses cameras, radar, and LIDAR mapping data, combined with a robust driver monitoring system, to take a lot of stress out of highway driving. When engaged, drivers can take their feet off the pedals and hands off the steering wheel, and the car generally drives itself on divided highways.

The two new Bolts are the latest GM vehicles to get Super Cruise, and the first from Chevrolet. Super Cruise is also available in the 2018 Cadillac CT6, the 2021 Cadillac CT5 and CT4, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, and the GMC Hummer EV.

Both the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV will be built on GM’s BEV2 platform, which is distinct from the new “Ultium” battery pack announced in early 2020. The recently unveiled Cadillac Lyriq and the GMC Hummer EV will be the first vehicles to be built on this new electric architecture. As such, the Bolt EV and EUV were expected to go into production at the end of 2020 but were delayed until this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Bolts can’t come quick enough, given the controversy surrounding the current versions of the EV. GM was recently slapped with a class action lawsuit alleging that the Chevy Bolt’s battery is “prone to burst into flames.” The lawsuit comes on the heels of GM announcing that it was recalling 68,000 Bolts over a malfunctioning battery.