DETROIT — We just drove the future.
The Chevrolet Bolt EUV is an electric vehicle but it goes a step further. In a phrase, it can drive itself — sorta.
Chevy calls it Super Cruise. It is a driver assistance feature to maintain your current lane. It works in conjunction with adaptive cruise control. And the system will alert the driver when he or she needs to take control.
It works on compatible roads, meaning thoroughfares with painted lanes and medians, that separate opposing traffic. It uses a GPS system, map, a network of cameras and sensors that maintain control of steering. The adaptive cruise control maintains the gap between the vehicle you’re following.
There is also a driver attention alert to make sure the driver stays alert. In other words, you can’t engage this system and then take a nap or sightsee. Chevrolet is careful to emphasize that Super Cruise is not a self-driving system.
It didn’t matter at this point because it did not work on our early pre-production model. They promised to get us another test drive.
Chevrolet said it is also making charging more convenient with a new Dual Level Charge Cord, which, for many customers, will eliminate the need to purchase a separate charger for their home. It has a changeable plug that allows the customer to plug into a standard 120-volt three-prong outlet for Level 1 charging and a 240-volt outlet for Level 2 charging up to 7.2 kilowatts.
The new Dual Level Charge Cord is standard with Bolt EUV and is available for Bolt EV. For maximum Level 2 charging speed, both vehicles are now capable of 11 kW Level 2 charging, but separate charging equipment (not included) is required.
The difference between the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV is about six inches more legroom in the latter model which of course is bigger. On our drive toward Toledo, Ohio, we found that our Bolt EUV reacted much like a gasoline-powered car.
The Bolt EUV is a small SUV with a muscular design and a roomier interior and ample rear legroom. It also featured a distinctive front end with a sculpted grille and signature lighting, including standard LED headlamps and Chevy’s brand-specific, high-eye daytime running lamps, which double as sequential turn-signal indicators.
The EUV included a center crease line that ran from the front fascia through the hood and horizontal body lines to give a sense of motion even when the vehicle was standing still. Standard roof rails also reinforced the SUV aesthetic.
The Bolt EV design updates included a new, more upright front fascia and new front and rear lighting signatures.
Chevy said both vehicles featured new instrument panels, vehicle controls and seats, with a 10.2-inch-diagonal infotainment color touchscreen and integrated climate controls common to both for clean, intuitive interfaces. The infotainment screen featured real-time displays with more details available on the 8-inch-diagonal reconfigurable color gauge cluster.
There was also a new, electronic gear shift design that uses pull toggles and push buttons to free up more interior space. For increased regenerative braking, there’s even a new one-pedal driving button that keeps the system active between drive cycles. We didn’t use this feature on our test drive.
The interior included a sporty, flat-bottom steering wheel that incorporated the Regen on Demand paddle and a black Chevy “bowtie” emblem. The redesigned seats featured a triangular geometric pattern and contrasting color stitching.
An advanced 65 kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery pack helps the Bolt EV deliver up to a GM-estimated 259 miles of range (416 km) on a full charge. With the slightly larger Bolt EUV, the GM-estimated range on a full charge is 250 miles (402 km).
The battery system featured Chevy’s proven active thermal management system, which used coolant to maintain the battery at its ideal operating temperature. This technology is a primary enabler of Chevrolet’s 8-year/100,000-mile limited battery system warranty.
Additionally, standard DC fast public charging capability enables the Bolt EV to add up to 100 miles (160 km) of range in 30 minutes and 95 miles (152 km) for Bolt EUV. The powertrain made 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque that was almost instant.
The starting price for both vehicles is less than the 2021 Bolt EV. The 2022 Bolt EUV is priced from $33,995, and the 2022 Bolt EV starts at $31,995, before any available state, local or utility incentives. Both are available this summer.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com.