Click above for high-res gallery of Chevy Volt mule spy shots

Today the Chevy Volt passes from the vaporware stage into the physical manifestation of GM's efforts to bring the series hybrid to production as promised. Though what you're looking at is the body of a last-gen Malibu, we have confirmation that underneath is the Volt's E-Flex powertrain being track-tested for the first time, or at least the first time in front of a spy photographer's zoom lens. Of course, there are still a lot of questions surrounding the Volt, like whether or not GM will meet its self-imposed deadline of late 2010 for production, or if the price will continue to rise above the estimated $35,000 we've heard thrown around. What we do know is that the E-Flex powertrain will be paired with the next-generation Delta chassis. Two suppliers, Continental Automotive Systems and A123 Systems, are tasked with developing the Volt's all-important lithium-ion battery pack that has to achieve the difficult mark of allowing the Volt to operate for 40 miles on electric power alone. There's still a lot of work to do and not a lot of time left to do it, so it's good seeing GM finally driving the Volt around.

Related Gallery2011 Chevy Volt - spy pics

[Source: Chris Doane for Brenda Priddy and Co.]