Back in the 1960s and early '70s, when musclecars ruled America roads, manufacturers were known to either purposely understate (for insurance purposes) or, more likely, overstate horsepower levels in the race to woo buyers to their massively powerful vehicles. Might something similar be happening in today's eco-friendly wars?
According to Chevy Volt Design Director Bob Boniface, yes. In a recent webchat, Lyle Dennis from GM-Volt.com asked how the Volt's aerodynamic properties will compare with other electric vehicles, in particular with the claimed .27 coefficient of drag of Tesla's Model S. Here's what Boniface had to say:
People may think we are skirting the aero issue by not quoting our tunnel figures... If I quote an actual GM-derived tunnel figure, it may not look impressive to you when, in fact, it is superior to most, if not all our competition. It is very much like the horsepower race back in the '60s. The Volt aero performance is second only to the EV1 in GM history.We should have a bit more to go on soon regarding the Volt's aero properties. Boniface also said that GM would soon be testing a new 2010 Prius in its own wind tunnel and expects the Volt to compare favorably with Toyota's hybrid hatchback.