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2011 Chevrolet Volt

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2011 Chevrolet Volt

With each passing day the Chevrolet Volt is inching closer towards its late 2010 introduction. GM’s bread and butter brand created a video that previews the many features of the Volt’s dual-screen interior layout.

This video not only shows just how customers will be able to interact with the Volt’s touch-screen in the center of the dash, but also how information will be displayed in the gauges, and even how owners will be able to access and control some aspects of the vehicle from their mobile phone.

The General hopes to have the Volt, which is based on GM’s Delta/Global Compact Car Architecture platform, on sale in late 2010 as a 2011MY model. Early production will likely be extremely limited, but the latest video indicates the Volt will make its late 2010 launch date.

Thanks to a number of federal and local incentives, GM will build the Volt at the Hamtramck, Michigan, plant that currently builds the G-body Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS.

Price wise, GM was initially hoping for an MSRP of around $30,000, but it now seems that number may be closer to $40,000. The Volt will be eligible for a $7,500 tax credit for the first 250,000 units sold.


The Volt project is an ambitious one. The aim is to create a vehicle that can deliver the equivalent of over 100 miles per gallon, while offering a top speed of 100 mph, and a zero-to-60 time of 8.5 seconds. GM claims the Volt actually returns the equivalent of 230mpg, but its final EPA rating will likely be less than that.

The Volt will be capable of reaching a full charge in 6.5 hours, delivering an all-electric range of 40 miles. A small gas generator is also aboard, netting a total range of several hundred miles. For many customers, this means that the daily commute would require no gasoline.

As with any hybrid, an on-board generator recharges the batteries when the gasoline motor is running. What makes the Volt unique is that’s the only thing the gas motor does — in other words, it never drives the wheels directly.

The biggest news on the Volt’s development thus far is that engineers have come up with an algorithm for testing the durability of the batteries that can simulate 10 years of use — 150,000 miles — in just over two years of testing. Tests using the new algorithm are now going on around the clock in Detroit and Germany.

Looking ahead

In an interview with Leftlane, Volt director Tony Posawatz indicated that several variations of the Volt could be in store for the future. Not only is the Volt platform being engineered to accommodate a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain in the future, but interchangeable bodies remain a real possibility. Since the hydrogen layout keeps every component in the same location, it makes it possible for GM to design different body styles — such as a sedan or van — that can be placed on the platform. This versatility means your Volt could be an SUV one day and a two-door coupe the next.

The details

Volt will measure 177 inches long, making it a little shorter than the current Cobalt. The electric drive unit (utilizing a 220-cell, 16 kWh lithium ion battery) will put out 150 horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque and will top out at 100 miles per hour. Chevy says the Volt is especially quiet to drive thanks to both the electric motor and extensive sound insulation.

GM estimates that the Volt will cost about two cents per mile driven under electric power, well under the 12 cents per mile when using a gasoline engine. Volt will plug into either a standard 120V household outlet or a 240V outlet. It takes about eight hours to charge the Volt on a 120V outlet and three on a 240V. GM estimates that charging will cost about 80 cents based on current energy costs, less than a household refrigerator or freezer.

On an annualized basis GM believes the average driver will save $900 in gas savings, which will be partially offset by an additional $300 in power consumption.

GM says that the interior will also be a strong point for the Volt. A driver-configurable, liquid crystal instrument display, seven inch touch-screen vehicle information monitor and optional navigation system will all highlight GM’s technologies. Bluetooth for cell phones and USB/Bluetooth for music will be standard.



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