General Motors car czar Bob Lutz hopped online yesterday after the official unveiling of the 2011 Chevy Volt to address criticism of the car's design that began to surface after images of the series hybrid were leaked online last week. Most complainers have decried the fact that the production Volt looks little like the Volt Concept that debuted at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. This is certainly true, but Lutz points out on GM's Fastlane Blog that while automakers often use design to make an emotional connection with customers, the Volt will instead use the technology beneath its skin to make that same connection. What it looks like on the outside has been largely shaped by the "Form follows Function" rule, with designers given as much leeway as possible to add some style as long as it doesn't violate the Volt's prime directive of fuel efficiency.
We also went back to our coverage of the 2007 Detroit Auto Show and looked at comments left on our post covering the reveal of the Volt Concept and, as we thought, not many people were talking about its design at the time. We're not sure where all these fans of the concept's design have come from all of a sudden, but they certainly weren't around when it was debuted. Perhaps we couldn't hear them over all the talk about its technology.