Stuart Norris, director of advanced and architecture design at General Motors’ design studio in Korea, talks us through the design of the Chevrolet Bolt EV concept revealed at the 2015 Detroit auto show.
Stuart Norris has been running General Motors’ design studio in Seoul, Korea since 2012. In that role, he’s responsible for overseeing the development of a strategic vision for GM’s next generation exterior, interior, color and trim design and the HMI strategy (he is, after all, the man behind the Cadillac Cue system), but he’s also been heavily focussed on developing electric vehicles for the near future.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV concept is exactly that, a future look at what a compact, B segment contender to enter the Chevrolet range could look like. Taking a strategic approach and focusing on customer requirements, Norris led the exterior and interior design teams to develop the theme direction, which was focussed on providing a greater level of space and comfort in the interior.
To achieve this, the team benefitted greatly from the car’s flat floor, which houses the batteries within. Thin seats are seemingly floating above it, while a full glass roof floods the cabin in natural light. The contrasting colorways on the IP also give the feeling of space, with a full cross beam architecture enhancing the cabin’s visual width.
The Bolt’s EV powertrain also enabled a significant change in the car’s proportions. It has a long wheelbase, with very short front and rear overhangs and a low beltline; its slim shoulder rounds off into the bumper just below the headlamps — which are pulled nearly to the base of the A-pillar — and intersects with the taillamp units, which wrap around the rear end of the car.
As expected in a car of this size, there is virtually no tumblehome to speak of. The glazing – and there’s a lot of it – extends straight upwards to give occupants more of a sense of space, while the large windshield is pushed far forward and the backlight is massive.
Judging by the vehicle we saw on the stand, there appear to be only a few elements that might not make it past the bean counters: the front grille and the vast amount of glass in the rear. The rest will likely stand through to start of production in 2017.
Watch the video above to hear Stuart Norris describe the Chevrolet Bolt EV concept design in his own words.
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