Buick China pulled the covers off its first all-electric SUV – the Electra E5. The midsize SUV is built on the Ultium platform and is just the beginning of Buick’s plan to introduce as many as 6 electric vehicles in China in less than 3 years. Busy times ahead for the company.
The Buick Electra E5 is 4.89 meters long (192.6 inches) – that’s nearly as long as the Audi Q8 e-tron which measures 4.91 meters. Both the Chevy Blazer EV and Cadillac Lyriq, which share many components with the Buick, are nearly 10 cm longer. Come to think of it – Chevrolet Equinox EV is much closer to the Electra with its 190.4 inches length (4.83 meters).
There are two battery options available, customers can either choose the 68.4 kWh battery pack or go for the larger one with a 79.7 kWh capacity. The latter offers 385 miles (620 km) of CLTC-certified range while the smaller battery is good enough for 339 miles (545 km). As usual, please remember these are CLTC figures which are unrealistically optimistic.
The powertrain situation can be a bit confusing. The base model comes with a 180 kW (245 hp) electric motor with 330 Nm of torque. That’s good enough for Electra E5 to deal with the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 7.6 seconds. But if you want the bigger battery then you need to settle for a 150 kW motor (204 hp) which makes the car slower by a full second. Both versions have a top speed of 180 km/h.
If you want both range and power, then you need to upgrade the Buick Electra E5 to its Avenir trim. That gives you two electric motors with a total output of 287 hp (211 kW) and the acceleration time drops to 6.7 seconds. Range suffers a little and this version is rated at 603 km or 375 miles. Below is a table that should make the powertrain and trim options easier to understand.
|Trim||Range||Motor||Price (yuan)||Price (USD)|
|Electra E5 Standard Range||545 km (||180 kW (245 hp)||208,900||30,400|
|Electra E5 Long Range||620 km||150 kW (204 hp)||222,900||32,400|
|Electra E5 Standard Range Enjoy||545 km||180 kW (245 hp)||225,900||32,900|
|Electra E5 Long Range Enjoy||620 km||150 kW (204 hp)||239,900||34,900|
|Electra E5 4WD Avenir||603 km||211 kW (287 hp)||278,900||40,600|
The top-of-the-range Avenir trim has been always reserved for top-flying Buick models and this is the first time it’s been introduced on an electric vehicle. The trim includes cristal digital headlights, Gavanolo chrome details, an interior with blue accents, and Avenir-branded door sills. The headliner is wrapped in suede and the front seats have embroidered headrests.
The 30-inch curved display takes care of the infotainment and the voice assistant is in charge of controlling most of the functions. There is plenty of storage throughout the Electra E5, the company claims the trunk can take as much as 1,658 liters of cargo and there is even a frunk.
The prices reflect the Chinese market situation and the Electra E5 starts at $30,400 at current exchange rates. The most expensive Avenir option starts at $40,600 which compared to the US or European prices, makes this Buick a bargain.
Electra E5 is the usher of the new EV era for the Buick brand. It will be soon followed by the smaller Electra E4 which was revealed recently by an MIIT listing. The company plans to have at least 5 electric cars on the Chinese market by 2026 and the question we all ask is – will they bring those cars to the US or Europe? There is a slither of hope, the Electra E4 has been spotted testing in the US but we’ll have to wait and see how the Chinese market responds to Buick’s new electric approach.
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