Buick, a prominent name in the automotive industry, has recently unveiled a noteworthy addition to its successful electric vehicle lineup in China – the Velite 6 compact wagon. This enhanced variant boasts several improvements, including an upgraded powertrain, a simplified range structure, and competitive pricing.
While retaining the availability of the existing plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric vehicle (BEV) editions of the Velite 6, the new iteration stands out with its innovative lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack. Boasting a capacity of 50.3 kilowatt-hours, this battery equips the vehicle with an impressive range of up to 267 miles (430 kilometers) according to China's CLTC test cycle.
The heart of this new variant is the front-mounted electric motor, powered by the advanced LFP battery. With a substantial output of 174 horsepower (130 kilowatts) and a torque of 195 pound-feet (265 Newton-meters), the performance promises to be commendable. Intriguingly, specifics regarding the motor and other drive components are yet to be disclosed.
Starting at a highly competitive price of $15,500 (112,800 yuan), the latest Buick Velite 6 offers remarkable value. Despite its affordability, the vehicle stretches to 184 inches (4,673 millimeters) in length, accommodating a spacious five-passenger cabin and a capacious trunk with 16.1 cubic feet of capacity. For those seeking additional features, a slightly pricier variant is available, beginning at $15,900 (115,800 yuan), which includes a glass sunroof and a backup camera.
The achievement of such attractive pricing is partly attributed to a simplified range structure, demonstrated by the vehicle's availability in only three body colors: silver, blue, and white. This strategic decision streamlines production processes and contributes to cost-efficiency.
Internally, the Velite 6 maintains a design continuity with the existing Velite 6 Plus EV. The interior is graced by a 10-inch digital cockpit and a central 10-inch touchscreen equipped with Buick's advanced eConnect technology. Notably, the Velite 6 also incorporates an advanced nano-level anti-PM2.5 filter element, coupled with automatic air conditioning for enhanced comfort.
Unlike the anticipation of US customers for Buick's inaugural EV release, the brand has positioned itself as a frontrunner in China's EV market. With a range comprising four battery-electric models – Velite 6, Velite 7 (essentially a rebranded Chevrolet Bolt EUV), Electra E4, and Electra E5 – Buick demonstrates its commitment to electrification. The Electra series capitalizes on GM's innovative Ultium architecture, showcasing the brand's technological prowess.
Undoubtedly, the Velite 6 retains its status as Buick's most popular EV in China, with a remarkable 16,705 units sold in the initial seven months of 2023. This figure constitutes a substantial 61 percent of all Buick EV sales. The Velite 6 faces formidable competition, notably from the BYD Qin Plus EV, a segment leader with over 66,000 sales recorded in the same period.