Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chevy Volt at the 2010 LA Auto Show.

Chevy Volt's guts on display at the 2010 LA Auto Show.
 Chevy Volt Concept NYIAS 2007
Even though the Volt won the 2011 Green Car of the Year Award, the predecessor to the EV1 has had some hard times since it first debuted at the 2007 NAIAS. Bankruptcy, leadership changes, the press, plus it's more personal problems.  The initial aggressiveness of the design has been through some sort of rental fleetization process, leaving it looking a bit more like a Prius than say, a hybrid Camaro. The finishing feels cheap in your hand and...

At least it wasn't leaking.

...the model on display in LA was already showing some signs of wear. When you are inside, especially in the back, the interior seems oppressive with tiny windows but I guess everyone is looking at their phone these days so it's not so much of a concern. 

Looking at the show floor through the rear window of the 2011 Chevy Volt.
Passenger side door handle.
The Volt has an electric range of 25-50 miles, depending on driving conditions like the weight of your foot, the steepness of your hills and air conditioning use. At higher speeds and when you deplete your battery a combustion engine will kick in for a combined MPG claimed to be 230mpg… which I still can't grasp... The Volt has 310 mile maximum extended range plus the 40ish electric miles. That means it should have a real small gas tank right? At 9.3 gallons it is rather small by today's standards but I don't know about your math, mine makes the long range mpg about 38. To be fair, you have to take into account the all electric portion of the short to medium trips. A wide range of auto journalists have done their own testing and report the mpg to be between 74 and 126.

Center control panel. Currently getting 31.8mpg

Charge it. Production model of the Volt Le Pavillon Dauphine in Paris 2008.

The front of the 2011 Chevy Volt. NAIAS 2010.
The future of driving

GM had a Chevy Volt driving simulator at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show that was utilizing the XBOX 360 Kinect. I didn't have time to try it myself but apparently, if you drive off a cliff all you have to do is spin in a circle and Chevy will bring you a new Volt.

Taking the Volt for a spin.

The XBOX Kinect 

The Volt will have a sticker price of a little over 40k minus the $7500 incentive from the Government and you're looking at a $32,000 car that gets amazing gas mileage on short to medium range trips and 38mpg on long road trips.  Combine that with the largest IPO in US history on Wednesday and it seems like GM can't fail, again. Right?

A little more info has trickled out about the Volts MPG equivalency. Chuck Squatriglia over at Autopia has a nice write up on it. Chevy Volt gets 60MPG but... 

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