We recently got behind the wheel of the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV, and beyond a strangely serendipitous GM electric vehicle meet-up in Oregon, we also got a chance to learn more out the Bolt’s Sport Mode.
As before, the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV’s Sport Mode makes for a more responsive throttle than Normal Mode. Drivers are provided with a Sport Mode indicator light when activated, but if the light is off, the vehicle is set in Normal Mode.
We spoke with the Program Engineering Manager for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Rob Mantinan, who provided insight on what the electric car’s Sport Mode is all about.
According to Mantinan, selecting the Sport Mode setting will change the throttle pedal mapping, providing more torque with less pedal travel. In theory, it means that at wide-open throttle, there should be no explicit difference between Normal Mode and Sport Mode. The Chevrolet Bolt EV still produces a maximum of 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque regardless of the drive mode selected.
That also means that acceleration times are not affected between the two modes. What’s more, Sport Mode doesn’t affect the steering or suspension settings, and if the driver has cruise control set at 60 mph, then engages Sport mode, nothing will change.
Rather, this mode remaps the throttle settings to produce more torque with less pedal travel. So for example, if set in Normal Mode with the throttle depressed halfway, 50 percent of available torque will be delivered. Meanwhile, the same throttle position in Sport Mode will deliver more torque; say roughly 75 percent, as opposed to the 50 percent delivered in Normal Mode.
It’s also worth noting that Sport Mode can effectively lower overall efficiency compared to Normal Mode, as drivers may dial in more power than intended with their right foot.
With 100 percent of available torque possible from zero rpm when running an electric motor, it makes sense to program the throttle map appropriately. What’s more, it goes to show how a relatively simple change can completely alter the driving experience behind the wheel of an EV.
Stay tuned, because we’ll have more info on the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV coming down the pipe. In the meantime, subscribe to GM Authority for more Chevrolet Bolt EV news, Chevrolet news and around-the-clock GM news coverage.