- Nov 20, 2009
Journo experiences Volt's electric-to-hybrid transition, says it needs improvement
Chevrolet Volt pre-production IVER prototype - click above for high-res image gallery
We long ago had a chance to drive the Chevy Volt mule in all-electric mode, and more recently took a ride in the IVER (integration vehicle engineering release) version. We found the Volt's performance was rather impressive for a vehicle still under development. It was clear at that time that there was still room for improvement, though, and the question of how it would perform after the gas-powered generator kicked in remained unanswered since GM was not allowing anyone from outside the company to experience it. Would there be a sudden jolt of power during the transition or would it perhaps produce a howl reminiscent of the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz? Now it seems those questions are being addressed as GM has just started to allow media to drive the IVER and experience that change.
So how was it? According to Lindsay Brooke over at the New York Times, the initial moments, as the engine comes to life, are "inaudible and seamless." Very nice. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter the sound suddenly surged as the car became cognizant that its battery was lower than desired and attempted to quickly return to its preferred level by revving itself up. Clearly, there is still some refining to be done. The overall impression was extremely positive though, the regenerative braking in particular garnering some amount of praise. We look forward to soon gripping the wheel for ourselves and giving you our in-depth reaction. Thanks to wincros for the tip!
[Source: New York Times]