• Aug 11th 2008 at 8:29AM
  • 34
ABC News recently did a segment on the Chevy Volt, calling it "the automotive equivalent of the moon shot." Most of it you've heard before -- GM's in trouble, if the Volt doesn't work then it means more doom, and "industry experts" don't believe the Volt will come out in time. But there was a glimpse of the production model of the car, including the interior.

One intriguing line was, "it will look a lot more like a typical 4-door than the show car concept." The front quarter view you get of the clay model is quite a bit altered from the concept, but still slick. The presenter also calls the interior reminiscent of Apple, but unless he means the fact that there's not a button in sight, it doesn't look much like an Apple. It's got a nice steering wheel, though.

Either way, we really hope GM pulls this one off. But frankly, no one knows if that will happen, and that includes, apparently, GM. So we have to wait until November 2010 to see if Lutz ("Yes!") or the Volt engineer ("We'll see...") is correct. Until then, get your bets in now, folks. Thanks for the tip, Jacob!

[Source: Yahoo!]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Where's my gas guzzling RWD V8? Phew, it's right outside...
        • 7 Years Ago

        You can always buy a used V8 guzzler for weekend driving.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The way the Volt will at least help save GM is not whether it is profitable or not, but the way it changes the buying public's perception of GM.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Tesla Roadster has $30,000 worth of batteries in it. The Volt cannot afford to, because it doesn't retail for $100,000.
        • 7 Years Ago
        This is a great point though. Tesla is also planning n selling very few of these very high-end cars to fund manufacturing of its Whitestar sedan. Also expensive at an estimated $60k, and that will in turn fund development of its third model mid-$20k compact sedan for the average driver. And this is all coming from a start-up car company. Yes, Tesla is still on step one, but they're breaking ground on their Whitestar production facility. They are further along than GM. BTW both GM and Tesla are using Li-ion batteries, but Tesla's are cheaper.

        Why can't GM sell the Volt as a high-end $80k car, and as they learn more about EVs and how to make them cheaper, work it into the market in their lower end cars down the road? They even used the Malibu as their Volt powertrain mule, so someone at GM has to be thinking about spreading the powertrain around to other platforms.

        I'm not saying this to hate on GM. I can't wait to see the Volt on the road. I think it should be a red flag though when they call this their "Moon Shot" when Tesla will be well on their way to Mars by the time GM gets there.

        Since Tesla is doing this, "build expensive cars to find development of cheap cars" and so far nothing has derailed their plans, why can't one of the largest manufacturers in the world do the same? Even a few hundred Volts at a loss to provide GM with road data for their next-gen car (just like the first-gen Prius) is something GM can afford to do,a s it will boost their image (and likely their sales). Why they aren't doing this is worrisome, because it smacks of hubris and obstinance.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Like one of the other posts mentioned, why hasn't GM come out with some solid hybrids in their other models to be developed alongside the Volt? I know there is a Malibu "hybrid" but it is not a true hybrid (i believe they call it a "mild" hybrid) and it only affords the driver an extra 2 mpg. A true Malibu hybrid that could complete with the Camry hybrid would be great. Also, GM should have been working on a follow up to the EV1. With the rising gas prices, small cars have made a big splash in the market. I've seen more Smart cars on the roads in the last few months than I've ever seen, so a small EV that could be an updated take on the EV1 would definitely have buyers, esp for a "city" car market. And why not work on a hybrid Cobalt/Cruise? The Honda Civic hybrid is doing remarkably well to the point that there are waiting lists at my local dealers to buy one. Revive some of those old, but good ideas like the EV1, throw in some updated looks and technology and get them on the market!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Civic and Fit look like Honda's best sellers on dealer lots. There's a big backlog of Accords.

        The EV1 could have been a great car with these new LI batteries, and they could had stretched it to make a 2+2 or a four seater.

        I wonder what ever happened to those CAD/CAM files?

      • 7 Years Ago
      Pretty impressive size difference between the EV1 and Volt batteries. Even if it's not "the Savior" this is going to be cool. For the first time in over a century we'll have a mass-market car with a truly unconventional drivetrain.

      It should be an exciting time for auto enthusiasts, no matter which brands you prefer.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A successful Volt will not save GM and a failed Volt won't lead to GM's demise. These are the same people that attribute Toyota's profits to the Prius.
        • 7 Years Ago
        i think a car like this would helped GM a lot since americans would look at GM cars in a different way. now a customer looking for a fuel efficient car can opt for an american made car. if this is better then the toyota hybrid, and it looks like a regular sedan a lot more people would be buying it. before people who bought the prius were doing it to put all kinds of stickers of how they were saving the world. this is not the case no more, people buy them to save on gas. if the volt changes the way I see hybrids, by 2010 once I am done with college I ll be looking for a fuel efficient car and the volt seems like it could turn to be a great choice.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How come a small company like tesla can make a car run 220 miles on a charge, and gm is struggling to get only 40?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Because the Tesla is a 2 seat sports car that costs over 100,000 US$, whereas the Volt is a 4 seat sedan intended as a daily driver and supposed to cost around 40,000.
        Because the Tesla is a small-volume niche product, as opposed to the Volt which will be a mass-produced car.
        Because Tesla uses commercially available batteries, whereas the Volt requires next-generation battery technology that is still being developed.

        There's more, but I think you get the point.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Well there is still some doubt about Tesla's claims. Wait till it comes out and proves those claims regarding its range.
        • 7 Years Ago
        and the price the tesla cost is?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wish good luck to GM on this. I can see the technology (or a form of it) spreading across other cars in a similar fashion as the Prius did with other Toyota/Lexus cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In a country where the price of a home in a decent area skyrocketed past the point of affordability for most people under the age of 35. A $40k elecetric car isn't going to do anything to shake up the market. Because the price of a home shot past the point of affordability, home prices are dropping, removing the ability for people to buy $40k cars borrowing on equity.

      A few rich people will buy one for smug points but the average american will never be able to put one in thier garage. For the Volt to be a success it needs to have an $15-18k pricetag which is impossible for at least 7-10 years.

      All the Volt is doing is wasting a lot of money GM doesn't have right now. With everything that is going into the Volt it may be the project that does GM in. The only two companies that could actually pull a project like the Volt off are Toyota and Hyundai. In fact Hyundai may be in the best position to do so.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think your 10 year timeframe to deliver an affordable EV that meets American driver needs is a reasonable estimate. But GM won't ever make an affordable EV unless they start at some point. Consider the Volt their starting point.

        The EV-1 is so far removed from today's tech that it only served as an experiment, plus they never actually sold them, only leased. So GM needs to learn how to build, market, and sell an EV; and sometimes the only way for a company to learn is to do.

        I understand your argument that now is not a great time for them to be burning cash on a tech platform, but its not a waste if the Volt turns out to be a successful investment in R&D on a technology that becomes the basis of the auto industry for the next 50 years. It's important to note that it's not just the battery that makes an EV, and everything they learn pursuant to the Volt will be applicable to a fuel cell car that (the GM has been banking on for some time).

        I also doubt that GM is committing relatively large amounts of its R&D budget to the Volt. It's more marketing to create a "halo effect" around their brand (think iPod/iPhone and the effect on Apple computer sales). GM is developing diesels, high-compression gasoline, and flex-fuel engine techs for its entire line up. I think GM's biggest failing has been that they've taken the NA auto market for granted. They've been selling nicer cars in Europe under the Opel brand for years, and just now figuring out that they'd do well in the US where they've relied on truck sales. Look what happened with the Saturn Aura; a rebranded Opel turned NA Car of the Year.

        The Volt is likely a good investment for GM. I agree it's a bit of a gamble, but it is a necessary hedge against the possibility that gas prices don't go back to
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Prius' success didn't have much bearing on Toyota's bottom line because Toyota was already highly successful, and enjoyed very positive brand perception (ie reliable).

      GM is in a totally different situation. Unlike the Prius, the Volt wouldn't be just another badge of victory for them. It'd tell the world that GM not only delivers good cars, but that they're on the cutting edge. That's big.

      That brand perception will filter to their other (many unsuccessful) models. It's not as though GM isn't making nice, attractive cars now. The G8, Camaro, CTS the upcoming Cruze seems indicative of that. But the brand perception is lagging, and understandably so, since people were scarred by years of mediocre offerings.

      So Volt's success would mean a lot more. Conversely, the product failing would tell consumers that "it's the same old GM that can't deliver", and would continue the operating-loss trend. It's not about profitability, but perception. Toyota shares none of those same issues. Had the Prius flopped, people would still buy grocery-pusher Camrys and Corollas. The stakes are much higher for GM.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This only proves some peoples points about the Ev-1. GM should have continued that model. An instead of destroy them. They could have been on a 2nd maybe even 3rd gen. by now. I hope they do succeed, but with GM's track history with electric vehicles this doesn't looks likely. I believe the cruz and possible 1 or 2 small cars are also planned to be released too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Volt can save GM if the price is below 30 000$US but the Gm annonce the price around 40 000$US if the senat allow credit around 8 000$US to the buyer.

      We can Buy a Hybrid for 26 000$ (Toyota Camry Hybrid / Ford Escape Hybrid),or least, 22 000$ for the Prius.
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