Chevrolet appears to be conjuring the spirit of Thomas Edison to take on Tesla--in China.
Photos and information about its upcoming Menlo electric crossover were leaked to Car News China ahead of its debut at the Chengdu Auto Show in September.
While Chevrolet hasn’t officially commented on the car, the name echoes that of the town where Edison lived and set up his first laboratory, Menlo Park, N.J. Interestingly, Ford has a division known as "Team Edison" that is developing future electric models.
The Menlo is reportedly based on the Buick Velite 6, which is already on sale in China and built under the joint venture Buick has with local automaker SAIC. While the Menlo features styling similar to the Chevy Blazer, neither it nor the Velite 6 is destined to be exported to the United States.
According to Car News China, the Menlo is powered by a 174 hp motor and about the same size as a Chevrolet Equinox. Range is unknown, but the Velite 6 is rated at 187 miles per charge in city driving, which is far less than the U.S. market Chevrolet Bolt EV’s 238-mile combined rating.
Chevrolet is expected to add a larger utility version of the Bolt to its U.S. lineup next year and has filed a trademark for the name Bolt EUV, where the E stands for "electric," not Edison.