General Motors' goal for the exterior of the 2011 Chevy Volt is to create as much pizazz as possible with superior aerodynamics to ensure the least amount of parasitic loss for the electric drivetrain. The interior, however, is all about how the driver interacts with the vehicle. And with the Volt, GM designers attempted to pull off a Buck Rodgers meets Apple iPod theme.
A quick glance at the futuristic Volt interior shows a very unique approach to integrating design and technology. The first thing we noticed was that GM decided to use two seven-inch LCD screens, with one working as the main driver instrument panel (no gauge cluster here) and the other for everything from navigation to tracking battery charges. Both screens are user configurable, and two different configurations can be saved for two different drivers.
The center stack draws a lot of attention for its shape, unique touch interface and bright white surfacing. Volt buyers will be able to choose from several colors for the center stack, however, including white, metallic black, and even green. The gear shifter fits right into the center stack and pulls out to put the Volt into reverse, neutral or drive. The Volt is also keyless, and the driver needs only the key fob in his pocket to start the electric motor.
The Volt interior was designed with a similar dual cockpit theme that is already available on the Chevy Traverse and Malibu, and the design looks very clean and simple in person. Seating surfaces are high quality leather, and while we weren't able to sit in them, they at least look comfortable. Dash materials are less impressive, though, as the range of plastics are all a little stiffer than we'd like. Considering how much technology and effort were put into the LCD screens and center stack, though, we can understand costs need to be cut somewhere in order to keep the MSRP from jumping into the stratosphere.
Although we weren't able to see a demonstration of the back seat, GM promised that the seats would fold. And as you can see in our galleries below, the seats are separated by a center console that covers up the Volt's T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack.
Overall the Volt interior appears to be stuffed with technology and neat touches that will make you feel more at home with your electric vehicle. Click on the video above to view the demonstration we were given of the Volt interior by GM Interior Designer Tim Greig.