Inside the General Motors Design Center – where cameras are rarely allowed – designers and engineers wear virtual reality headsets to get a glimpse of how the company’s vehicles are shaped inside and outside. CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave has been given exclusive access to Michigan’s secret design center, where much of the virtual design process takes place.
This week, General Motorsits latest electric vehicle: a 2024 Chevrolet Equinox. With the car expected to be available for purchase in about a year, General Motors is currently working on building a fully functional prototype.
Engineers analyze computer models of vehicles to look for areas to improve performance, then a full-scale clay model is tested in the General Motors wind tunnel.
“It allows us to be a lot more nimble,” Chevrolet interior design director Jennifer Kraska told Van Cleave. “We can do multiple iterations very quickly with this technology so you can really get a sense of what it would be like to be in that specific environment.”
Joel Ruschman, chief aero development engineer, said “small changes” in the vehicle can make big differences in factors such as vehicle range and price.
And the $30,000 price tag for the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox is significant, according to journalist Tim Stevens who covers the automotive industry.
“Something that can get you over 250 miles for that amount of money, I think it definitely has the potential to sell like hotcakes,” Stevens told Van Cleave.
The recently announced electric car, which Executive Chief Engineer Doug Houlihan called a “game changer,” is the latest installment in General Motors’ plan to become completely carbon neutral by 2040. by 2025, the automaker said it also plans 40% of its products to be electric.