• Jun 29th 2009 at 7:38PM
  • 40
2011 Chevy Volt - Click above for high res image gallery

Now that the Chevrolet Volt has progressed to the point where vehicles with production-looking bodywork are running around the automaker's testing grounds in Warren, Michigan, the time has come for the crew to begin ironing out details like the ride height and spring rates that will directly affect the car's ride and handling.

Regarding these points, chief engineer Andrew Farah has some interesting things to say about the Volt and the way GM will position it against its competitors. For instance, Farah notes (in reference to the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight), "Our chassis is much more sporty than either of the other vehicles."

Farah also comments on a couple of changes to the car's exterior design that eagle-eyed parties had noticed, such as the relocation of the plug from the front fender to under a flap in the traditional location for a gas cap. Other changes, though, such as the headlamps and taillamps may merely be present because the Volt is still early in its development cycle and there are some pre-production bits that aren't yet necessary for testing purposes.

Spy photographers take note: Farah also says the car is set to undergo some hot-weather endurance testing out west this summer.


[Source: Inside Line]


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  • 40 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Weird type of spam. Never seen spam that comments something based on an article and then adds in the spam afterward. If you guys remove it, please remove this comment as well. Thanks.
      • 6 Years Ago

      I just hope they do something about the ground clearance of the volt.

      I'd certainly be in the market for one but doubt I could get it into my driveway with that low a ground clearance; also the speed humps around here really mean business.
      On the highway, small branches the occasional rock/brick etc. would all be collected and could do serious damage to the underside of the volt with the design as it stands at the moment.

      The low ground clearance might look good, but how practical?
      • 6 Years Ago
      If GM loved us then They would bring out a retro EV roadster,They could call it CorEVair.
      Hmmmm.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Search for 'ElectroVair' I & II. Then there's the ElectroVan, a fuel-cell van. Built in 1966.
        • 7 Months Ago
        I've seen the Electrovairs and the Electrovan at the GM Heritage Center... I wish GM would've invested in battery technology earlier. The argument is made that battery-powered vehicles have not been viable until recently due to cost issues, but it would've helped had GM increased research earlier.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Agreed! But it'll never happen. Bunch of old clowns running the company.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It looks a little different which is refreshing. I wouldn't over sell it though.
      • 7 Months Ago
      I think it goes without saying, if you have an all-electric powerplant, you're automatically going to have more power than a hybrid, just because of all the torque that will be inherently built into a larger electric motor than what would be found in a hybrid.

      But I do say, if they could make that car under $30,000, I think it would sell like hotcakes. If it's closer to $35,000, this will merely be just another green vehicle, ceding the leadership to Toyota.
        • 7 Months Ago
        They are already work on the Volt Rev 2.0. You can bet that a BIG focus is on reducing the price. I give them about 90% chance that they will get the base price under $30,000 (in inflation adjusted dollars).
      • 7 Months Ago
      Webster's dictionary defines "sportier" as:

      Having the ability to elicit fantasies in middle aged men of attracting women with a car that has a style reminiscent of what was in style when they were young men.

      The Volt will be a status symbol for those who can afford it. Few of those who can afford it will bother to plug it in but nobody will know you are driving it without the grid charge so the status imparted by the high mileage will remain intact. Status symbols are all about deception and counter deception.

      The mileage this car will get without using the grid supplied charge is going to be it's Achilles heel.

      The general public isn't educated well enough to understand the concept of thermal bottle necks and perpetual motion machines. Most think the Volt is an electric car instead of a plug-in.

      Somebody will test drive this car without its grid charge shortly after it arrives and the mileage will be known. Chevy is not going to advertise it.

      It will be impossible to determine how often consumers will bother to plug it in. People who can afford cars like this are not very motivated to save on gas costs.
      • 7 Months Ago
      I have an alternate name for electric vehicles: "coal-fired".

      Remember, rechargable batteries don't create energy for the vehicles that they "power". They only store energy that comes from the local power grid. Currently, 48% of electrical power comes from coal-fired power plants. No other electrical generating source is higher. (Natural gas is 21%; nuclear is 20%. Everything else splits the last 11%. Even some of that last 11% comes from other carbon-base fuels.)

      Coal-fired plants produce energy at about 45% efficiency or so. Another 8% of energy is lost during transmission throughout the electrical grid.

      So, the electrical engine component of the Chevy Volt will burn PLENTY of fossil fuel. It just won't burn it in the engine. Rather, the electrical engine will burn its fossil fuel at the electrical generating plant. Overall, it's a very inefficient way to get energy out of a fossil fuel and convert it into the motion of a vehicle.

      My recommendation is this: if you are concerned about the environment, buy a gasoline powered car. They burn fossil fuels more efficiently than vehicles which are either wholly or partially electric.

      ---Tom Nally, New Orleans

        • 7 Months Ago
        How nice to use critical thinking.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

        You can add falsehoods to the list, based on the above posts from Eggo and McNally.

        Yes, compared to gasoline, electricity is relatively free and no, burning gasoline in hundreds of millions of engines at around 25% real world maximum efficiency (not even counting the costs and efficiency loss in creating oil over geologic time, militarily controlling it, pumping, shipping, refining, distributing and marketing it) is not more efficient than regional electrical generation and distribution on a national basis.

        Here's some debunking:

        http://www.calcars.org/vehicles.html#2

        All the electric vehicle owners I know personally, myself included, use 100% domestic wind or solar power, renewable energy, not imported fossil fuels, to recharge their vehicles. Better domestic energy, with clean renewable as an option, than non-rewewable oil, which pollutes the air for increased health care costs, imported from volatile places overseas that require an expensive military presence.

        Perhaps Eggo and McNally prefer to spend their money buying overseas oil and subsidizing it, through the military, with their tax dollars and our kids lives, but that certainly hurts our domestic economy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't think that there is any doubt that the Volt is more sportier, but if you think about it; how tough is it to be sportier then the Prius and Insight?
        • 7 Months Ago
        For the 2010 Prius, 22% harder than it was for the 2009 model.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Oh I'd agree with that. A step up in style is what is needed in such a fashion conscious society. If someone had a choice, and they were undecided on two options, would they choose something that didn't look as 'nice' to them?
        • 7 Months Ago
        LOL. I love the prius for its technology and economy, but well said!
        IMHO, the Volt is just a slight step up in style than the two said competitors.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Some people seem to think electricity is free. Are you planning on secretly plugging in to a neighbors outlet? Has GM released any estimates as to how much it costs to charge up this thing? Oh well back to our unicorn drawn wagons.
      • 6 Years Ago
      HOLD ON! Is GM crazy? (OK bankruptcy answers that question.)

      The Volt may have started out as a cool car, but it ended up in the GM'd Chevette styling category. Hmmm. $40K for a Chevette, or $50K for a Tesla S?

      Great that the young turks rule. I'll save for the Tesla S.

      I don't think my tax dollars are safe in Michigan.

        • 7 Months Ago
        Well, on one hand, you have a good vehicle for about 300-350 miles, on the bad side, that 350 miles might end up on the side of the road 10-15 miles from any civilization and thus, a plug.

        If you're going for long-distance travel, the gas generator will still do better for that.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Since you are deducting the $7,500 from the Tesla you should do the same for the Volt. The price difference will be more like $20K. Assuming the Tesla comes in at $57,000 k base. If the roadster is any guide I doubt the sedan will be under 60K before the tax credit. Not to mention the Volt will be able to be serviced at any Chevy dealer.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Waiting for Chevrolet Volt to be launched in India. The car look fabulous.

      Rahul

      Indian Car Advisor
      (Carazoo.com)
      • 6 Years Ago
      please ...using no gas for 40 miles will recoup any aditional cost in a short time ...and the sooner you get it the better because local states and municipalities will then say they are losing too much tax money from the non use of gasoline and start cahrging a fee to buy one or worse register your mileage and bill you in addition....
        • 7 Months Ago
        You are right, the idea of putting a toll tax on all roads is being pushed through astroturf campaigns by oil companies who are loath to see anyone use an alternative fuel for transportation.
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