Real photo of the real Volt powertrain mule
As it turns out the gray car that we posted on last night is only a ride and handling mule. It has various suspension components destined for the extended range EV, but the powertrain is bog standard Malibu. The red Malibu you pictured above, however, is one of the powertrain mules. Notice the big lump in front of the driver? That's to provide clearance for the prototype power electronics module that goes along with the electric drive motor and engine/generator set. Tying all of this together is a standard nickel metal hydride hybrid battery that acts as a power buffer. These cars are being used to validate powertrain hardware (aside from the lithium batteries of course) and start development of control software. Sometime in the next few weeks these mules should start going back on the hoist to have the new lithium battery packs installed and then the real fun starts.
[Sources: General Motors, AutoblogGreen]
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