We can hear the hallowed halls of GM headquarters ringing with the chant, "Let Lutz be Lutz!" When Maximum Bob Lutz takes off the gloves, things get done, and the automaker's vice chairman bared his fists recently at a meeting of the Western Automotive Journalists Association in San Francisco. Lutz drew a line in the proverbial sand by promising that the feasibility of the Chevy Volt series hybrid will be proven by Easter when Chevy Malibu mules hiding the Volt's drive system and lithium-ion battery pack will be on the road. The particular aspect of the Volt that most would like to see demonstrated is its supposed ability to travel 40 miles on battery power alone, a feat that some consider optimistic given current battery technology.

Lutz specifically addressed his counterpart at Toyota, Kazuo Okamoto, who has made headlines in the past by calling out GM on its plan to produce the Volt, saying the whole effort is a marketing ruse, and according to BusinessWeek, referring to the car as "completely wacky" and "nonsense". Mr. Lutz: "Let's wait for the Easter Bunny. Somebody's going to have egg on their face. And I don't like having egg on my face."

The war of words between GM and both Toyota and Honda on the viability of the Volt has become quite the soap opera, though from the cheap seats we see GM only benefitting from the additional free press that its competitors seem happy to supply by bashing its uber-hybrid. Now all GM has to do is make it work in time for the Easter Bunny to call shotgun.

[Source: BusinessWeek]

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