GAC Entranze EV Concept Bows
- People-moving 7-passenger EV
- First vehicle to emerge from GAC’s California design studio
- GM6 minivan and GS5 SUV also shown
While the European luxury makers skipped the 2019 North American International Auto Show, Chinese manufacturer Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor Co. LTD (GAC Motor) was happy to attend, scoring a prominent spot on the main floor and a press conference slot on the same day as major manufacturers. GAC chose the occasion to unveil its Entranze EV concept car, and also displayed its GM6 minivan and GS5 SUV in its booth.
Entranze EV Concept
The Entranze is the first concept vehicle to emerge from GAC’s new California-based design studio, which opened in 2018. Executive Design Director Pontus Fontaeus led the design work, which GAC describes as “the ultimate road-trip car: a multi-purpose utility vehicle that can easily shift between extended trips to the beach, mountains, forests and deserts – as well as daily commuting.”
Entranze takes the form of a seven-passenger van in 3+2+2 configuration. The side doors slide open to ease entry, allowing the rocker panels to fold down and serve as steps, or as outdoor seating while the vehicle is parked.
The airy cockpit has controls that are “autopilot-ready,” with illuminated touch controls ringing the steering wheel. Most of the vehicle interactions are planned via voice control to minimize driver distraction. GAC describes the Entranze as “fuselage-inspired” and touts “aircraft inspiration.” Few details were provided regarding powertrain or electronics, beyond the fact that the Entranze is an EV.
Guangzhou Comes to Detroit
GAC was established in 2007, and made its first appearance at NAIAS in 2013, though to date, GAC vehicles are not distributed in North America. The 2019 lineup includes the GS8, GS7, GS5, and GS3 crossover SUVs, the GA4 sedan, the GM8 and GM6 minivans, and the GE3, a compact battery-electric vehicle with a claimed 329-mile range.
Because of ongoing trade talks with China over tariffs, company executives said they have pushed back plans for a U.S. launch to 2020. In addition to the design studio, GAC said its North American headquarters will be in Irvine, California, and it has opened up an engineering facility in suburban Detroit.