Future EV design and platform in China

A new EV not based on GM’s Ultium Platform? The automaker shared its “Proxima” EV design concept based on a new architecture designed for the future generation of electric models in China.

GM’s Forward-Looking Design Center in Shanghai, one of four globally, unveiled a series of innovations this week.

The facility, which doubled the size of its team over the past two years to support GMs all-electric future, held an immersive interactive exhibition with media guests to discuss future automotive design trends.

Michael Simcoe, senior vice president of global design for GM, said during the press release:

China’s electric vehicle industry is booming, and consumers have a soft spot for emerging technologies, which has brought unique opportunities for GM designers to innovate. GM China with its bold reimagining of personal mobility, the Forward Design Center will be a style-setter for future GM products.

GM China’s advanced design center is the “pioneer force for the company to create a pure electric future.” The facility features full-process development with design ideas, a 3D creative platform, and digital and clay models. It also includes a painting workshop and material studio.

The company says the studio will work on future designs “in China, for China” and share consumer insights and suggestions from the booming Chinese EV market with GM’s global design team.

Proxima, its latest EV concept and platform, is designed to “establish an emotional connection with future Chinese electric vehicle customers.”

GM Buick Proxima EV concept (Source: GM)

GM shows off the Proxima EV concept and platform

GM says a new generation of young creative talent played a key role in the Proxima EV’s design. The name comes from the Portuguese word for “next,” representing the company’s forward-looking commitment.


Based on the “pure electric platform,” the concept features a more spacious and home-like driving experience. It also fits the technology-first, simple design style Chinese buyers prefer.

The American automaker says Proxima is the “prelude to charting GM’s all-electric future.” Forward-looking design projects aim to inspire GM’s product design over the next five to ten years.


Stuart Norris, VP of design for GM China and internationally, said the forward-looking design and technological innovation complement each other, adding:

China’s rapid technological development not only gives designers the ability to imagine future cars, but also provides creative talents It opens up a whole new world of career development.

According to GM, the China advanced design studio is working on several projects to keep ahead of global trends.

Electrek’s Take

GM has made it clear for at least the near term that the Ultium platform will provide power for its electric models.

The American automaker is launching three new high-volume, Ultium-based electric models this year, the Silverado EV, Blazer EV, and Equinox EV. Meanwhile, GM revealed during its first quarter earnings call it would be discontinuing its best-selling Bolt EV and EUV to focus on Ultium.

Although you won’t see the Proxima EV for at least another five years, it gives you a glimpse into what trends GM may be planning to take on.

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