• Sep 17, 2008
Click above for live high-res gallery of the 2011 Chevy Volt

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.

[Source: GM Fastlane Blog]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      ..personally,i like it! thought the concept was scary lookin..someone needs to rag Honda for the Insight,Prius wanna be..typical of Honda and Toyota
      • 6 Years Ago
      HEY AUTOBLOG... It would be nice that when you reply to a comment that your reply actually gets posted below the comment you are posting too.....
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it looks much better than the concept.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed. It looks alot better and more streamlined/efficient than the otherwise concept version...

        Drive it out there...and it would still look years, years ahead, if you ask me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        INDI man... WTF are you talkin' about??? Most think the Prius & the "new" Honda Insight are basically TWINS. IMO non of them are Aztek Ugly... in fact if you look hard they ALL share the same basic "wedge" shape... the Volt hides that aero wedge better... but its there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Here's what they need to make:
        Volt wagon
        Volt roadster
        Volt coupe
        Volt convertable
        Volt pickup
        ES (Electric Sport) versions on all!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        wasn't one of the points of this car was to create a stylish electric/alternative fuel vehicle?

        if you wanted a fuel efficient car that looks like it was styled by Maytag, you bought a prius. even the new insight looks miles sharper than the volt.

        One of the great things about the volt concept was that it looked sporty. Now it looks like the offspring of a wild, drunken night between a refrigerator and an egg.

        given the exterior has some design challenges to overcome, the interior feels as if it has been designed by a collage of people who dont even work in the same state. the interior is a mix match assortment of materials, styles and shapes. there is little or no integration.

        this exercise in the failure of the concept car to have a lower wind resistance of a brick wall shows that the concept car could have been any shape or size as long as it had 4 wheels.

        in my opinion, this car is great from an engineering point of view. however i dont see how it will attract many younger buyers due to its eggplant styling and a price tag approaching 40k.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I wish the interior was less ipod inspired.

        But kudos to GM, I didnt like the concept much, this is good livable styling. Some people actually like things that dont scream look at me.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I't looks so much better than the concept!!! And most importanty it's gonna kick prius butt!!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where are the rear turn signals?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Have you looked at the rear end of the second generation Scion xB? At least the Volt's design puts the reverse light in the middle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        and single rear reverse light?
        That would be okay if GM sticks something like an H3 bulb for really good rearward illumination.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A "domestic" company (GM) is working hard to get us out of the Gas crises and every one of us should support their mission, otherwise in two years with the price of gas, we'll be walking to work!

      Thumbs up to GM and I'll buy Volt!
      And I'm happy to see AutoBlog is also supporting the cause. We all need to stick together and support our own manufacturers rather sending our hard earned money to overseas!
        • 6 Years Ago
        You realize the current trend in oil prices could put oil at a 5 year low right when the Volt hits showrooms.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The original concept was definitely uninspired and a completely different package with lots of dash-to-axle. Automotive packaging has become an exercise in connect the dots for the most part. It was wrong to have shown a concept so vastly different in proportion, but truthfully they didn't really know exactly how the production drivetrain would package at the time
      • 6 Years Ago
      "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"...So what's the point in the concept?!!! Most all production cars resemble the concept 80-90%...This looks nothing like the concept...it's not a bad looking car but it seems like bait-and-switch to me...If Lutz is trying to highlight the technology portion of the car then why bother putting a skin on it?
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is called spin. It's what you do when you have no other valid argument. It's something Lutz and GM do. A lot....
      • 6 Years Ago

      GM has pulled the old bait and switch. It will bite them in tha ass, big time!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm surprised by this. I think the production Volt looks pretty good. It seems a lot more functional than the concept would have been.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Personally, I prefer the production design. The concept was blocky and had some awkward detailing. And the cool parts (like the window that continued below the beltline) just weren't production feasible. That, and when you really look at it, I don't think the concept fits the mood of the times these days - too brutal.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have to agree with Lutz on this...I didn't think the concept was terribly attractive and I think this is much more appealing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Volt is definitely on my A-list for next purchases. I love the new styling much more than the original concept. I am really bummed out about the high price though. Furthermore, I believe GM should be selling this vehicle as a separate brand. I think Saturn fits the bill most appropriately. Saturn should be selling nothing but PHEV's, IMHO. :)

      But the Volt's ultimate development may depend on how effectively Treasury Secretary Paulson has hidden the taxpayer life-preservers on which a host of sliding companies had come to depend. GM, Ford, and Chrysler have been lined up at the giveaway window, seeking government backing in the form of $25 billion in low-interest loans to ramp up their new technology as they attempt to quick-step from their gas-guzzler mentality. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plus the AIG deal may be the last of those life preservers to be issued.

      Japan through public-private partnerships is outstripping the U.S. in the development and manufacture of lithium-ion batteries that can power both today's hybrids and the next generation of plug-ins. We may soon be exchanging foreign oil dependence for foreign battery dependence.

      So will the Big 3 be granted their requested loans?
      If not, will they be able to survive until they can crank out a meaningful number of plug-ins and other fuel-efficient vehicles?
      And will they be able to rapidly reduce the Japanese battery advantage?

      A lot is riding on this issue...a lot more than most people realize.
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