Two weeks after late night comedian David Letterman lashed out at the Chevy Volt's 40-mile EV range during an interview with Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, General Motors is counter-attacking with former Vice Chairman Bob Lutz. Next Wednesday night, Lutz will appear on Letterman's Late Show with the Volt show car. Lutz is generally pretty good at holding his own in interviews, but it will be very interesting to see how he rebukes Letterman on his own turf. The latter generally keeps a pretty tight rein and controls the action, just as he did with Musk. If Lutz is smart, he'll emphasize that he brought the show car instead of one of the Cruze-based mules because those are being intensively tested back in Michigan getting ready for a production launch next year. The Tesla Model S that Musk brought with him is also little more than a show car at this point, and most development has been suspended until Tesla raises more money.
Clarification: When I say most Model S development is on hold, I mean most, not all. When I spoke with CEO Elon Musk in January he acknowledged that spending on Model S had been cut from 30 percent of Tesla's resources to only 10 percent. Before leaving the company, last former SVP Darryl Siry told us that essentially all work other powertrain development had come to halt. Some work is ongoing since they did finish the show car, but the bulk of it depends on raising cash. Meanwhile GM tells us that the Volt program is essentially the only one at the company that has not seen any significant cuts.
[Source: General Motors, Source Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty]