In case you missed it this morning, General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson made some big news just one month after the "new" GM emerged from bankruptcy protection.

First of all, Henderson announced that the GM FastLane blog would now be used to solicit feedback on new designs directly from customers. Over the next two years, GM will be launching 25 new models in its four remaining "core" brands (Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC).

After the webcast ends, we'll going over to the design dome for a preview of the new large XTS and small ATS models from Cadillac. The latter will slot in below the CTS and be aimed directly at the BMW 3-series with rear- and all-wheel drive. The XTS is expected to be based on a stretched Epsilon II platform.

The biggest bombshell is Henderson's announcement that the "230" marketing campaign floating around for the past week is related to the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. The EPA has released a new methodology for determining a draft fuel economy standard for extended-range EVs like the Volt, and under this new procedure, the Volt will have a composite urban fuel economy rating of 230 mpg! On the electric side, the Volt will consume 25 kW-hours per 100 miles. That makes the Volt the first car ever to get a triple digit fuel economy rating.

According to Frank Weber, vehicle chief engineer for the Volt, the number is based on combined electric only driving and charge sustaining mode with the engine running. He declined to get specific about the proportions, but did say that the urban cycle would be predominantly EV only. The EPA has been studying real world vehicle usage and is developing the formulas to try and provide a representative number of what most customers could expect to achieve. In addition to the composite number, the new EPA stickers will likely also get numbers for mileage in charge sustaining mode and electric efficiency in EV mode.

Stay tuned for more news from this morning's event as it happens.


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[Source: General Motors]