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China's GAC shows stunning E-JET plug-in hybrid concept


January 18, 2013

The E-JET combines a 95 kW motor and 1.0-liter four-cylinder engine

The E-JET combines a 95 kW motor and 1.0-liter four-cylinder engine

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While big names like Corvette and NSX hogged the spotlight, one of the most visually attractive vehicles at this year's Detroit Auto Show came from a name that may be completely unfamiliar to the western autophile. China's Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) had the E-JET concept perched in the hallway of Cobo Hall, providing a warm welcome to those that entered through the doors feet beyond. The concept combines eye-capturing styling with green engineering.

The E-JET is a sporty but gas-frugal range-extending hybrid that receives primary motivation from a 95 kW permanent magnet motor and 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. That battery can send the car on a journey of up to 62 miles (100 km) before the 1.0-liter four-cylinder and 30 kW PM generator kick in to recharge it, extending the driving range to around 372 miles (600 km). GAC lists the fuel consumption at 2 liters per 100 kilometers.

The E-JET concept offers a solid all-electric range that leaves the ranges of existing plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt in the dust. It's gas-electric range is comparable to the Volt's 380 miles (612 km). The car could conceivably be driven as a full-electric for the vast majority of the time while still providing the opportunity to travel farther distances in areas without public charging stations.

Another advantage the E-JET concept has over the Chevy Volt is its stylish appearance. With a sporty four-door coupe shape, dramatic headlamps and tail lamps, and a sculpted body, the E-JET is a car that both environmentalists and car nuts could be proud to park in their driveways. The car uses an organic grille and vent design that appears to further the "Green Tech, Pleasant Life" theme of GAC's Detroit booth, which was decorated with design elements of oriental emerald bamboos and Yin Yang Tai Ji.

2014 GAC E-JET Concept

The E-JET doesn't exactly pack Tesla-like performance, but it will flow with the traffic. GAC lists a top speed of 100 mph (160 km/h) and a 0-31 mph (50 km/h) time of 4.5 seconds.

GAC doesn't mention production plans in its press release, but the buzz out of the show is that the Chinese automaker may put the concept into production as early as this year. We expect it may lose those huge tail lamps and the viney grille, but hopefully it will retain those proportions.

A GAC rep told us that the company was testing the U.S. market for possible entry. It defines itself as one of the largest auto manufacturers in China and builds both vehicles and vehicle parts.

In addition to offering its own vehicles, GAC manufactures and distributes other vehicles in the Chinese market. In Detroit, it signed an expanded agreement with Fiat-Chrysler, which will increase its role in distributing Fiat and Chrysler products, including some from the Jeep brand.

Source: GAC

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss

Slick looking car, with great stats. The only question is on the price point.

Joel Detrow
18th January, 2013 @ 05:17 pm PST

If unnecessary "swoops" means stylish, then yes it's got the Volt beat on looks. But for those of us that don't like constant breaks in form (for breaking form sake) I would say the Volt is the better looking of the two.

18th January, 2013 @ 05:32 pm PST

I do love the 62 mile EV-only range though!

18th January, 2013 @ 05:35 pm PST

Attn: Bob Lutz... Are you paying attention?

Adam Ackels
18th January, 2013 @ 07:42 pm PST

Poor Volt. But let us see if the Chinese deliver on the goods.

Mark A
18th January, 2013 @ 08:15 pm PST

That front is straight off of the new Mazda 6

Sam Tallon
19th January, 2013 @ 07:18 pm PST

Reminds me of when the Koreans discovered true design, (as opposed to styling) about 10 years ago. Of course the real question with ANY Chinese product concerns development of reliability and a robust parts & service network. We stopped laughing at Hyundai & Kia when they actually backed up their warranty with real customer satisfaction, but if the Chinese entry into the small US motorcycle market is any indication, they could be years away from a serious contender here...

21st January, 2013 @ 08:53 am PST

Good looking car which except for the off the line acceleration figures blows away the competition and my guess is at a much lower price point. I would also like to point out that it also gets close to 120+ miles per gallon, using google conversion.

21st January, 2013 @ 09:00 am PST

I love the taillights. Keep them.

21st January, 2013 @ 10:10 am PST

Looks like a Mazda 6? Surely you jest Sam.

Have the Chinese ever shown an 'original' design?

The Volt, Tesla, and other hybrid cars have been

'reverse engineered' by the Chinese in this car.

Why make something that someone else has

already engineered, . . . then use that design???

21st January, 2013 @ 11:33 am PST

I would commit my self to be the first one to buy one. Plug in ,automatic, 120 MPG, low power and speed, with English repair manual, $ 35000.00 I am in.

Dieter Heinrich
21st January, 2013 @ 11:35 am PST

Wouldn't Guangzhou Automobile Group have the acronym of GAG?

22nd January, 2013 @ 08:16 am PST

Not only is China the world's biggest market for cars, it will eventually become the world's largest manufacturer of cars. The E-Jet is just the tip of the iceberg. Anybody out there remember the Olympics opening ceremonies? The main message was... "Here we come!"

Charles O. Slavens
22nd January, 2013 @ 01:07 pm PST

The Chinese are not looking for status. The main attraction of electric cars is ecconomy. Plug in recharge ay home means no more petrol. To me thats the main reason to buy. Make the range extender an optional extra and price it below $5000 and a 20-30% value at recycle time.

I can see shopping centres and employers offering free rechageing to customers.

China will win.

24th January, 2013 @ 02:40 am PST
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