Everyone who has been waiting with bated breath for the past year and a half to see the production version of the Chevy Volt can now breathe a big sigh of relief. After some extremely unflattering press shots shots were accidentally released last week, people were extremely disappointed with what appeared to be little more than a Prius clone. Anyone who spends time photographing cars knows how hard it can be to make them look good and how easy it is to make them look really awful. Unfortunately, those shots that were unapproved and never supposed to be released anyway fell into the latter category.
The car that GM rolled out this morning as part of its centennial celebration in Detroit is a much more attractive machine that while different from the concept is still very attractive. Rather than the egg shape look we saw, it's actually much more like the car we saw in the Transformers 2 spy pics a few weeks back. The greenhouse is longer and the raked back windshield gives a very slick look. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the design is the black trim around the side windows. The thick black border along the lower edge is meant to recall the transparent beltline of the concept. It definitely works better in darker colors where there is less contrast. On the inside, a fully configurable LCD instrument cluster allows different drivers to select the gauges they want to see. Overall the design team appears to have created a car that while certainly more mainstream than the concept, is still recognizable as the Volt and something different from the Japanese brand hybrids.
UPDATE: More live shots are on their way. Wi-fi at the GM Renaissance Center is particularly bad this morning.
UPDATE 2: First gallery of live shots added below, and here are some live shots from autoblog china (Shanghai).
UPDATE 3: Video of the actual reveal added after the jump!