• Sep 16th 2008 at 10:10AM
  • 145
Click above for high-res gallery of 2011 Chevy Volt

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!


  • Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman
  • Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman
  • The Chevrolet Volt "Freedom Drive" across the country concludes at Pier 92 during the annual Macy's Independence Day fireworks display over the Hudson River in New York, Sunday, July 4, 2010. The "Freedom Drive" began four days and 1.776 miles ago in Austin, Texas where Chevrolet announced New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas would join Michigan, California and Washington, D.C. as launch sites for the Volt later this year. (Photo by Emile Wamsteker for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt "Freedom Drive" across the country concludes at Pier 92 during the annual Macy's Independence Day fireworks display over the Hudson River in New York, Sunday, July 4, 2010. The "Freedom Drive" began four days and 1.776 miles ago in Austin, Texas where Chevrolet announced New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas would join Michigan, California and Washington, D.C. as launch sites for the Volt later this year. (Photo by Emile Wamsteker for Chevrolet)
  • Chevrolet announces Thursday, July 1, 2010 it is adding Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt electric vehicle. The retail launch in Texas and New York will begin with Austin and New York City in late 2010. The balance of Texas and New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to begin receiving Volts in early 2011. The Chevrolet Volt (pictured here) in front of the Texas State Capital in Austiin, Texas Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (Photo by Steven Noreyko for Chevrolet)
  • Chevrolet announces Thursday, July 1, 2010 it is adding Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt electric vehicle. The retail launch in Texas and New York will begin with Austin and New York City in late 2010. The balance of Texas and New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to begin receiving Volts in early 2011. The Chevrolet Volt (pictured here) in front of the Texas State Capital in Austiin, Texas Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (Photo by Steven Noreyko for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt passes a trolley while navigating the steep climbs of the San Francisco Bay area while on an engineering development drive Saturday, April 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt drives near the Golden Gate Bridge while on an engineering development drive in San Francisco, California Saturday, April 25, 2010. The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt navigates the steep climbs of the San Francisco Bay area while on an engineering development drive Saturday, April 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range on display at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range drives through campus at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range drives through campus at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt �Freedom Drive� across the country continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 as the Volt participates in the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electric vehicle with extended range. will finish its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York City on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt �Freedom Drive� across the country continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 as the Volt participates in the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electric vehicle with extended range. will finish its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York City on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt �Freedom Drive� across the country continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 as the Volt participates in the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electric vehicle with extended range. will finish its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York City on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range travels around Pier 92 during a media test drive in New York, NY on Monday, March 29, 2010. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) (3/29/2010)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range travels around Pier 92 during a media test drive in New York, NY on Monday, March 29, 2010. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) (3/29/2010)
  • The first pre-production Chevrolet Volt rolls off the line at the Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant Wednesday, March 31, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The pre-production versions of the Volt will not be sold at dealerships, but will be used to assure all steps in the production system will meet the quality targets set by the Volt engineering team. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet) (04/01/2010)
  • A Chevrolet Volt battery at the General Motors Global Battery Systems Lab in Warren, Michigan Wednesday, June 30, 2010. The Chevrolet Volt will offer customers an unprecedented standard 8 year/100,000 mile warranty on its lithium-ion battery. GM engineers have completed more than 1 million miles and 4 million hours of validation battery testing since 2007. Each Volt battery pack has nine modules and 288 cells. GM designed and engineered 99 percent of the 155 components in each battery. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)





PRESS RELEASE


CHEVROLET VOLT LEADS GENERAL MOTORS INTO ITS SECOND CENTURY

DETROIT – General Motors launched its next 100 years today by unveiling the much-anticipated production version of the Chevrolet Volt – a vehicle that delivers up to 40 miles of gasoline- and emissions-free electric driving, with the extended-range capability of hundreds of additional miles.

"Revealing the production version of the Chevy Volt is a great way to open our second century," said Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and CEO. "The Volt is symbolic of GM's strong commitment to the future ... just the kind of technology innovation that our industry needs to respond to today's and tomorrow's energy and environmental challenges."

Form follows function
The design of the Chevrolet Volt production car has evolved from the original concept that was unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Because aerodynamics plays a key role in maximizing driving range, GM designers created an aerodynamically efficient design for the production vehicle. Many of the design cues from the concept vehicle endure in the production Volt, including the closed front grille, athletic stance, rear design graphics, outside rearview mirrors and more. The Volt's rounded and flush front fascia, tapered corners and grille are functional, enabling air to move easily around the car. In the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler allow the air to flow off and away quickly. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help reduce turbulence and drag.

Working closely with GM aerodynamicists to shape the Volt, design and engineering teams developed one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in GM's history. They spent hundreds of hours with the Volt in GM's wind tunnel, testing and re-testing parts such as the front and rear quarter panels, rear spoiler, rockers and side mirrors. Aerodynamic improvements enabled GM to reach the Volt's target of driving up to 40 miles (based on EPA city cycle) without using gasoline or producing emissions.

Inside, the Volt offers the space, comfort, convenience and safety features that customers expect in a four-passenger sedan, and it delivers them in a variety of interior color, lighting and trim options unlike any offered before on a Chevrolet sedan. Modern controls and attractive materials, two informational displays, and a touch-sensitive infotainment center with integrated shifter distinguish the Volt's interior from other vehicles in the market.

Some of Volt's interior technological features include:
  • Driver-configurable, liquid crystal instrument display
  • Standard seven-inch touch screen vehicle information display
  • Touch screen-style climate and infotainment controls
  • Optional navigation system with onboard hard drive for maps and music storage
  • Standard Bluetooth for cellular phone and USB/Bluetooth for music streaming

New era in automotive transportation
The Chevrolet Volt is leading a new era of electrification of the automobile by creating a new class of vehicle known as the Extended-Range Electric Vehicle, or E-REV.

The Volt uses electricity to move the wheels at all times and speeds. For trips up to 40 miles, the Volt is powered only by electricity stored in its 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery. When the battery's energy is depleted, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator seamlessly provides electricity to power the Volt's electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery. This mode of operation extends the range of the Volt for several hundred additional miles, until the vehicle's battery can be charged. Unlike a conventional battery-electric vehicle, the Volt eliminates "range anxiety," giving the confidence and peace of mind that the driver will not be stranded by a depleted battery.

The Chevrolet Volt can be plugged either into a standard household 120v outlet or use 240v for charging. The vehicle's intelligent charging technology enables the Volt's battery to be charged in less than three hours on a 240v outlet or about eight hours on a 120v outlet. Charge times are reduced if the battery has not been fully depleted. At a cost of about 80 cents per day (10 cents per kWh) for a full charge that will deliver up to 40 miles of electric driving, GM estimates that the Volt will be less expensive to recharge than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee. Charging the Volt about once daily will consume less electric energy annually than the average home's refrigerator and freezer units.

Charge out of driving
The Chevrolet Volt offers spirited driving performance in a remarkably quiet interior. More than 220 lithium-ion cells contained within the Volt's battery pack provide ample power. The Volt's electric drive unit delivers the equivalent of 150 horsepower, 273 lb-ft. (370 Nm) of instant torque, and a top speed of 100 miles per hour. The lack of engine noise, combined with special sound-deadening materials, make the Chevrolet Volt an extremely quiet vehicle to drive.

GM estimates that the Volt will cost about two cents per mile to drive while under battery power compared to 12 cents per mile using gasoline priced at $3.60 per gallon. For an average driver who drives 40 miles per day (or 15,000 miles per year), this amounts to a cost savings of $1,500 annually. Using peak electric rates, GM estimates that an electrically driven mile in a Chevy Volt will be about one-sixth of the cost of a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle. The cost savings are even greater when charging during off-peak hours, when electric rates are cheaper.

The Chevrolet Volt is expected to be built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing facility, subject to GM successfully negotiating satisfactory government incentives. Production is scheduled to begin late 2010 for models in the United States. Pricing has not been announced.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 145 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not the type to get hung up on looks. (except for ugly Bimmers)

      But, I need 5 seats/belts. They could have made it look like a Geo and if it was electric I'd like it just fine for utilitarian purposes. But, four seats is why my wife won't let me buy a Mini Cooper.

      My Prius seats all five of us and that's what I need. I actually like the Yaris's back seat, much flatter. I don't like contoured, sloped seating surfaces. Matter of fact, I'd like a flat bench for the front seats, more versatility.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 7 Years Ago
      That is so much better looking than those photos we got before. It doesn't even look like the same car! Now I am really excited for the Volt and another 100 years of GM.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Agreed! Great reveal....the car looks incredible. Now, show us some production interior shots!
      Dave
      • 7 Years Ago
      How much does this one cost ? 40-50k ?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Congrats GM, I was skeptical from the start about whether the Volt would be the biggest piece of vaporware or not. I don't care for the looks but my primary interest is how this will run. I guess we'll have 2 more years to speculate before we know that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I will start out by saying that I am a member of the Volt design team. GM policy dictates that I do not mislead or misrepresent. But I would like to share a few things. First off it is is nice to see all the enthusiasm around our project. Sure there is some negativity, but you will never please everyone. Is the Volt perfect? Is any car? the fact that it could be better or something else entirely is what keeps us employed. Does anyone remember the first Prius? Does anyone want to? Point being is that the Prius wasn't always desirable (in my opinion it still isn't). Another point being that you keep referring to the Volt as a hybrid and comparing it to the Prius. The Volt is not really a hybrid, it is an electric car, the wheels are driven by an ELECTRIC motor. The Prius is a hybrid driven by a GAS engine with assistance from an electric motor. Same goes for the Civic. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I wanted to give you some insight into what it has taken to get to this point. I have worked in the auto industry for 13 years, 7 for GM directly. I have had the privilege of working on a lot of great stuff in that timeframe,including the Volt. I would say that this has been one of the most challenging programs I have worked on to date on many different levels. Aerodynamics is probably at the top of the list, the timing of the program is another. Despite the appearance that we are taking our own sweet time to bring this car to market, this will be one of the fastest programs that GM has done and definitely one of the most complex. I see a lot of experts on here playing armchair quarterback on how we should do this car. Again everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but you might want to have some idea of how a car is developed before you start questioning how we do it. As to why we are doing it, I can't speak for GM directly but I think 1 obvious answer is that given the current climate on many levels, it is the right thing to do, and there is a high demand for it in the marketplace. If we can turn a profit eventually, great, but this is the stepping stone to something bigger yet, something that not even we on the inside and in the know are aware of because it hasn't been created yet, the beauty of our job.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I can appreciate your frustration. The concept car did have a lot of appealing attributes. I was involved in the original competition for the concept car, and even what ended up on the show floor was tamed down from the original sketches.
        When we design, we try to bake in as much reach to the design as we can, knowing that in the name of feasability we will have to scale it back in the end. In the case of the Volt, we were still riding on the buzz of the Camaro concept and there was a desire to have some family resemblence.
        One thing to keep in mind is the timeframe in which thngs happen. A typical concept car goes from sketch to show in about 9 months, sometimes less.
        When we started the Volt concept, there was a lot of pie in the sky factor to it. We were told to keep production in mind, but not to let it hamper the creativity. Now, a typical production program can run 3-4 years, but only about 1.5 to 2 of those is for design and engineering. So when you consider that we deliver a finished concept car in 9 months, there is not a lot of time to sweat every detail in the concept.
        What is escaping a lot of you on here is that this car is making history on many levels, it will be the first truly mass production electric car. It is the first time that GM or any manufacturer has let the public in on the developmnet process as it goes along. And it is the first time that any new product has been shown in its entirety this early in the procesS.
        I hear a lot of prejudging, but keep in mind that what you are judging is a production representation, not the actual car. I would encourage you to wait until you can sit in it and drive it before deciding what it is or isnt.
        I am proud to work for GM and evn more proud to be a part of this project. We can always do better, but we have to start somewhere, and personally I think we have a pretty good start.
        • 7 Years Ago
        So I had to read back through my previous post to find this "arrogance" that you are accusing me of. The fact that I called the Prius undesirable makes me arrogant? First of all, most of the postings on here relate to design, and IN MY OPINION, the design of the Prius makes it undesirable TO ME. It's pretty obvious to me what's parked in your garage. You say that the Volt is overhyped, and I can't argue that, it has a lot of PR momentum behind it. But lets talk about Toyota for a minute, I have had many Toyota products to drive for nights and weekends to evaluate, and if you want to talk hype, then I think you should look right at your beloved Toyotas, because I have a hard time understanding the hype behind them. Are they good cars? absolutely Are they the end-all be-all that a lot of people( including yourself) make them out to be? Not from my experience. As far as your efficiency claims as well as the greenness of Toyotas,if I were you I would check my stats, last I heard, a Hummer was more green than a Prius, based on the impact that the nickel battery has on the environment and some of the processes used to build the car. A lot of people are questioning why the Volt is not on the road right now, and I was merely trying to give some insight as to why not. Remember, GM is the only manufacturer to have already brought a purely electric vehicle to market, and right now we look to be the only ones to do it a second time. We are not building a "me too" hybrid, and it isn't a no brainer as a lot of people think. We are sweating the details to ensure that the Volt and the derivatives that follow have some staying power in the market. I could call you names, swap insults and talk about your mom, but that would show a very low level of class, and I don't want to bring this thread down to that level. Besides this was a lot more challenging to put together.
          • 7 Years Ago
          "As far as your efficiency claims as well as the greenness of Toyotas,if I were you I would check my stats, last I heard, a Hummer was more green than a Prius, based on the impact that the nickel battery has on the environment and some of the processes used to build the car."

          You know, I don't work for GM. I'm an automotive journalist who drives between 60-70 new cars a year, including GM products. I never said that Toyotas are the be all and end all of anything; I merely stated they've put many excellent hybrid vehicles on the road while GM has done jack. Oh, and the fact that you would actually cite this "Hummer was more green than a Prius" crap that has been completely discredited as not only completely inaccurate but actually laughable to boot tells me everything I need to know about you. And if you could actually read you could see why I called you arrogant.

          Hey, but it's OK. It's clear to me you don't work for GM as a designer, because you clearly don't have the intellectual chops for it. I know a lot of folks at GM, both in design and engineering as well as communications, and they would never get on a forum like this and spew such junk. They are professionals, and wouldn't trash the Prius on "design" grounds because they haven't built anything close to it in terms of efficiency and quality and they know it. Now, GM is playing catch-up while the other guys, including Ford, have put decent hybrids on the road and are building more, not just talking about it. The new Ford Fusion Hybrid will be on the road quite soon, with proven, reliable technology at an affordable price.

          Meanwhile, we get Volt Hype, and you sound more like a person working in the Volt PR camp.

          I could be wrong, though. If I'm wrong, and you are actually a designer on the Volt program, than GM is in deep doo-doo. Holy Crap.

          And don't even approach the subject, even in jest, of trashing somebody's mother. Such things will come back and mess you up.

          Finally, GM isn't the only manufacturer to bring completely electric vehicles to market. Check your stats, genius.

        • 7 Years Ago
        The Prius wasn't always desirable and still isn't, eh? There is one thing I can always count on from GM and apparently the members of the design team: amazing arrogance. Toyota has a decade more experience with using an electric motor and a gas engine, and the Prius happens to be one of the most reliable and lowest maintenance cars you can buy at any price (as well as getting better mileage than most motorcycles). Do you guys have anything even remotely as efficient, functional and reliable? Nope. You don't.

        By the time the Volt, the most incredibly hyped car in modern history, finally hits the road there will likely be over 3-million Prius sedans rolling along word-wide. Then there's the Camry, Highlander and RX hybrids, and who knows what else is in the works. They have always saved incredible amounts of fuel and reduced green house gasses to an amazing degree when you tally up the numbers. All we have from you guys is the hot air being spewed about a car you say you're building.

        If the Volt shows up one day and is a great car, I will say well done. But while the other guys have the kind of cars people need now, GM has this amazing bit of PR that doesn't even have a proven, tested battery system yet. It's vaporware and you guys know it.

        Now you show this supposed production shell that from twenty paces looks like a fat G6. Please. Stop talking about the design process which I and the bulk of the world could care less about, and likewise being so damn pleased with yourselves. Shut up and build the damn car.





      • 7 Years Ago
      It looks much better than a Prius.

      It's time to see if the environmentally conscious will buy American.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not if it comes in at the rumored $33-35k
        • 7 Years Ago
        People need to remember this is not a prius and until the prius changes, there is no other car like the volt. Basically the Prius is a hybrid running between 2 modes, the Volt is an electric car that runs on electriciaty, if you run out of juice, a gas engine produces energy for the electric car to keep running.

        You cannot compare apples to oranges like some who cannot differentiate the two. It will be interesting to see how the EPA MPG are tabulated, then we will see how many flood the showrooms for the car.

        the only other car that looks as promising as this is the Tesla.
        • 7 Years Ago
        How can you even compare this to the Prius...

        This is a battery electric vehicle with a range extender. The Prius is still a last generation single-mode hybrid.

        It's time to quit comparing the price of this plug-in vehicle to the Prius, which as I recall still only runs on gas. Wait for a Prius that has Lithium Ion batteries, a 40 mile highway speed EV-only range, and plug in capabilities and then we'll talk price.

        • 7 Years Ago
        There are plug-in Prius's being sold, just not in the states. Japan and the UK has them.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Stuka, the only plug-in Priuses are after market conversions and some prototypes from Toyota. You cannot buy a new plug-in prius in any country.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Evan, the Volt runs on gas the same as any other hybrid. All that matters to anyone is how much gas you have to put in it at the end of the week. If it turns out to get comparable mileage to the Prius despite it's fancy battery, then you can bet your ass the $15k difference is going to kill this thing right out of the blocks. In fact it's going to have to do a LOT better than the Prius mileage wise to make any sense to anyone other than a hard core environmentalist. If you are one of these people who think they only drive 40 miles in a day, well you are quickly going to run into a couple issues. 1. There are plug in electric cars you can buy right now that will do 40 miles. 2. A person who only goes 40 miles a day, if they even have a need to own a car, could buy enough gas to fuel the car for it's entire usable lifetime for $15,000. That's assuming they are even looking at a Prius and not at just keeping the car they have which means $40,000 buys a human lifetime's worth of gas and some left over to cremate your body with.
      • 7 Years Ago
      About 500% better than the Toyota Prius, that's for sure. I could actually see myself driving one of these.

      BoomGoesThe Dynamite
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think GM did a great job with this car. The concept was good, but was entirely impractical. One thing that worries me is the last line of the press release.

      "The Chevrolet Volt is expected to be built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing facility, subject to GM successfully negotiating satisfactory government incentives. "

      So they will only built it if taxpayers give them $25 billion in loans.....?

      • 7 Years Ago
      Anyne know what the bit on the center stack is below the HVAC controls? Looks like something you'd pull but its an unusal shape.

      Overall it looks good, now if it can deliver on the mileage claims and be in the realm of at least 1st adopters in $$.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's the automatic gear selector. You know, Drive, Park, etc.

        Personally I think it's a pretty cool and unique touch.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is either GM's Death Throes or, a new era in American-automobiles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the production version looks like a Dodge Stratus.
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