• Apr 14th 2009 at 11:46AM
  • 11
General Motors has begun doling out test drives of its Chevrolet Volt prototypes to the salivating media. AutoblogGreen is scheduled for some time behind the wheel in short order, but some bigger names have already written up their first impressions of the car. CNN's short version: Promising, but not perfect.

Unlike the Mali-Volts of the recent past, CNN was able to test out the Volt technology as it fits inside the bodywork of a Chevy Cruze. The vehicle looks nearly identical to the Cruze that will go on sale in the U.S. soon, but the powertrain is reportedly 80 percent Voltec. Reporters haven't yet gotten the true Volt driving experience, though, since, as CNN's Peter Valdes-Dapena reports, the Cruze vehicles operate in EV-only mode because "GM engineers are still tweaking the car's performance under gasoline power." Considering that EV-only mode is how most Volt drivers will experience the car most days, this is a fair initial test, with Valdes-Dapena calling the acceleration "particularly muscular." One big question that needs to be answered is how GM will deal with the weight of the Voltec system. Valdes-Dapena writes:

The first time I drove the front wheel drive test vehicle into a turn, the weight came as a surprise. It felt almost like the small Cruze had turned into something more like a Cadillac the moment I turned the steering wheel.

That's going to take some getting used to, or perhaps some additional tuning.

Valdes-Dapena wasn't the only reporter to test out the Cruze Volt mule. Detroit radio staple Jeff Gilbert was there for WWJ and he put up a video on Facebook. GM made their own video of the media drives, and you can see that and the CNN show after the jump.

  • Tony Posawatz
  • Bob Lutz
  • Bob Boniface
  • Bob Boniface
  • Frank Weber
  • Frank Weber
  • Tony Posawatz
  • Andrew Farah
  • Andrew Farah

[Source: CNN, WWJ, General Motors]




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 7 Months Ago
      Here's a video of the test drive:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h5AOWL0fRE
        • 7 Months Ago
        To be fair that was the early concept car (notice the styling is the old styling), it isn't representative of the driving of the mules at all. Here's a picture of under hood of that concept car and it was a crude EV drivetrain with a laundry detergent bucket of some sort inside.

        http://www.darrylsiry.com/2007/03/more-on-volt.html
      • 7 Months Ago
      It's very ironic hearing GM talk up the EV drive experience when they axed their first EV ten years ago.

      They're not getting a penny of my money. Oh wait, the government.....
        • 7 Months Ago
        toyota axed their first EV as well. will it be ironic if they ever make an electric car?
        • 7 Months Ago
        They way in which GM went about it ending the EV1 was pathetic. They recalled all of them and crushed most of the them. Does that sound OK to you? Why would anyone in their right mind do such a thing? I know toyota stopped production too. But they let people keep the EV RAV4. I've driven in one - a very nice ride. And toyota went on to perfect the Prius afterwords. What did GM do? The started a hummer line and kept on churning out SUVs full speed ahead.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Toyota's expertise and experience from RAV4 EV went on to make the Prius.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Is this an Opel Insignia or Chevrolet Malibu chassis?
      • 7 Months Ago
      Jeez - everything about that guy's body language says "I'm lying!!!"
      • 7 Months Ago
      First let me say I really like the 2010 Prius.

      But, later in this blog, there's an article about Exxon and Fuel consumption dropping 7% in the US. Here's the problem: Fuel use is expected to increase 300% in China.

      We need Electric Cars with PLUGS.

      • 7 Months Ago
      I actually like the styling better on the test cars of the Volt power train, but this is great stuff either way.