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Production Chevrolet Volt won't look like concept

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Production Chevrolet Volt won't look like concept

November14

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The production version of the Chevrolet Volt won't look like the popular concept by the same name, General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said during a dinner event with members of the press yesterday evening.

GM had hoped to keep the Volt's exterior true to the concept, but wind tunnel tests proved the design was anything but aerodynamic — an essential characteristic for a vehicle that focus on efficiency.

Lutz characterized the wind tunnel tests as a "cruel disappointment." He joked engineers could have probably "put it in the wind tunnel backwards" and got less wind resistance.

Nonetheless, Lutz says GM is 100 percent behind bringing the electric Volt to market in the next few years. He said GM was first "90 percent committed" to the project, but its confidence has risen to new heights.

What makes the Volt different from most hybrids is its gas motor is only used to charge the batteries — it never drives the wheels directly.

The concept promised a range of 640 miles with charged batteries and a full tank of gas. It also touted a range of 40 miles on batteries alone. Lutz said prototypes in early 2008 might be able to exceed that figure, running 45 miles on battery power. He made no mention of progress on overall range or fuel efficiency. The goal is roughly 100 mpg, GM has said.

Expected to go on sale in late 2010, the Volt could sell for as little as $30,000, according to previous reports. Rumors suggest GM plans to sell as many as 60,000 units in the first year of production.

left lane news:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/production-che...ke-concept.html

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Very disappointing.

Just this once, please ignore the aerodynamics and build the car with the excellent concept styling.

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Also, the Volt's long, RWD-like front-end doesn't make sense for space efficiency, especially since there's no big engine up front.

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Here's the problem - without the great looks, the appeal drops like a stone.

The function is really revolutionary enough to give the form a free pass this one time.

If the Volt comes to market as just another aerodynamic blob - the mass appeal to non-traditional hybrid buyers evaporates. Right now even unrepentant fans of performance are intrigued by the tech and wowed by the look, do we really want to throw away all of that goodwill?

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If the Volt comes to market looking like a Prius or an Insight, my interest in it becomes merely clinical - it will be a car "for other people". Without the look, the car's significance shrinks to " yeah, that's kinda interesting" instead of "Wow!, that's how to build a green car!".

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One of teh reasons the concept is so popular is because it's fuel efficient car with a very nice, aggressive design.

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If the Volt comes to market looking like a Prius or an Insight, my interest in it becomes merely clinical - it will be a car "for other people". Without the look, the car's significance shrinks to " yeah, that's kinda interesting" instead of "Wow!, that's how to build a green car!".

really the one thing holding back both prius and civic hybrid from being mass appeal cars is this factor. [though the civic less so, it does more raw appeal and a less simple design, but it's still got some awkward angles, a traditional Honda face, and a really big Family sedan bent working against it in the design world]

both cars are simple, inoffensive, and elegant designs. they are free from flaws free from eccentricities free from a statement.

and that is thier flaw, and that is the place where GM has always held the opportunity, to be creative enough to let free thier design goals and reach somewhere Honda and Toyota are too afraid to go, and thus losing many who are drawn to others. The ultimate tool for humanity is after all attraction.

The Volt is that opportunity. The concept is great looking, but I have faith GM can design somehting even with the limits they now have because of aerodynamics. I do think this is the car to focus on efficiency, so they must make some sacrifices to get there.

That said, the ultimate connection will be when they can mate designs like Malibu and Volt to the dual-mode hybrid package, and I mean NOW or very soon. Out here, the Camry hybrid, Prius and Civic hybrid are everywhere, and yet the Malibu and other GM designs coming out are much more attractive, and have this same potential.

I'm on this now because of gas prices, and recently how much pleasure and great gas mileage I've been getting out of my own hybrid. The interesting thing is, how you drive these, makes such a big effect, and I'm not saying you have to drive slow, it's all stability and how you match the electric motor to the engine's output and get them to function together. i'd say ultimate mileage is in the 47-who knows range for a highway trip...and I am constantly pulling away from people.

Edited by turbo200
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I'm a great example of the sort of buyer this decision threatens to alienate. Normally a FWD hybrid sedan won't even cross my radar, but the styling made me sit up and take notice. They need to bring the concept styling to market as intact as possible - relax the aerodynamic requirements if necessary. Otherwise, roll back the production estimates.

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Don't worry. It'll just be more aerodynamic when it comes. I doubt they'll change the headlights/design and infact it could come out looking better. It's not like they're just going to say "Well it's not aerodynamic, lets ditch the design style and go for something more traditional".

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Don't worry. It'll just be more aerodynamic when it comes. I doubt they'll change the headlights/design and infact it could come out looking better. It's not like they're just going to say "Well it's not aerodynamic, lets ditch the design style and go for something more traditional".

Actually, when I first read about this, that's almost exactly what the article said. Nearly word-for-word. :banghead:

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Well, here's hoping that they nab the people who designed the Camaro, or Corvette, and it should be alright.

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GM really knows how to dissapoint when it comes to concepts.

Why would designers completely neglect wind resistance when designing a car that's supposed to be about efficiency?

At least Lutz thinks it's funny.

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Juvenile?

How so?

The kind of thing GM would produce in the bad old days, like the Aztek. Unschooled, amateurish, juvenile. A mishmash of lines with no cohesiveness. I don't expect it to turn into the EV1, but if a focus on aerodynamics results in something like the Calibra, I won't be complaining.
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OMG, please. I too liked the Volt concept, but this is a car that needs top-notch aerodynamics. For Pete's sake, the whole car is about being fuel efficient. So what if they have to change the looks? If they can sqeeze out a longer full range, battery-only range and further improve mileage while the gas engine is running, then it's more than worth rethinking the styling attributes. Don't forget, Toyota was scoffing at GM for promising a 40 mile electic-only range just a few months ago and now GM is saying, "maybe we'll do more." How awesome is that? Saying that the most important thing on the Volt is the styling is just rediculous. The poor styling of the Prius is about the 5th thing holding it back, way behind issues like Toyota's abililty to supply the vehicle fast enough and the huge hybridization cost for overstated fuel savings.

Now, having said that, yes, GM could do that much better with the Volt if it is well styled. But I'm sure they are well aware of that and will put every effort into styling it correctly. Plus, this is Maximum Bob's pet project, so you know it's gonna be well done. Hopefully GM will show another concept next year to gauge reactions from before setting the final design.

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The styling definitely plays a part for me as well. The technology combined with the styling was part of the draw for me.

I want a modern day equivalent of the Chrysler Turbine Car!

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The kind of thing GM would produce in the bad old days, like the Aztek. Unschooled, amateurish, juvenile. A mishmash of lines with no cohesiveness. I don't expect it to turn into the EV1, but if a focus on aerodynamics results in something like the Calibra, I won't be complaining.

Well that certainly reinforces the truism that styling is subjective! I find the Volt concept to have clean,crisp lines and a strong central styling theme. When I followed the link to the Calibra, I saw a design I find to be anonymous and somewhat bland - to each his own.

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OMG, please. I too liked the Volt concept, but this is a car that needs top-notch aerodynamics. For Pete's sake, the whole car is about being fuel efficient. So what if they have to change the looks? If they can sqeeze out a longer full range, battery-only range and further improve mileage while the gas engine is running, then it's more than worth rethinking the styling attributes. Don't forget, Toyota was scoffing at GM for promising a 40 mile electic-only range just a few months ago and now GM is saying, "maybe we'll do more." How awesome is that? Saying that the most important thing on the Volt is the styling is just rediculous. The poor styling of the Prius is about the 5th thing holding it back, way behind issues like Toyota's abililty to supply the vehicle fast enough and the huge hybridization cost for overstated fuel savings.

Now, having said that, yes, GM could do that much better with the Volt if it is well styled. But I'm sure they are well aware of that and will put every effort into styling it correctly. Plus, this is Maximum Bob's pet project, so you know it's gonna be well done. Hopefully GM will show another concept next year to gauge reactions from before setting the final design.

I never said that syling was the "most important" aspect of the Volt. But, for me, it is a determining factor. Realistically, I doubt aerodynamics really have very much influence on the efficiency of a car like this since most of its usage will be at rather slow speeds. I suspect that GM has decided that the biggest green bragging rights are paramount and that they will compromise any other aspect of the car to get there. While I understand that motivation, I think that a wider appeal based on styling should not be sacrificed on the altar of aerodynamics. The aggressive and attractive styling makes the car accessible to me, without it I lose interest.

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Disappointing, but this doesn't mean they're not going to keep the agressive flavor.

I hope that's the case as it would be nice to see GM produce the first attractive car in this segment.

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Just because they have to change the design doesn't mean it won't look good... where does it state that it now looks ugly?

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