• Dec 23rd 2009 at 1:28PM
  • 36
Chevy Volt track testing - Click above to watch the video after the break

Fuel efficient cars are slow, right? Just ask Jeremy Clarkson, who famously pitted a Toyota Prius against a BMW M3 around a test track to prove that the hybrid isn't very efficient when pushed to its limit. While it's true that hybrids and diesels have a reputation for being more than a bit poky in the name of saving a few gallons of gas, each generation seems to improve in that regard, and GM is hoping that the upcoming Chevy Volt will abolish that preconceived notion altogether.

Witness this video for proof, where, as GM puts it, the Volt 'burns rubber without burning gas.' Here we see the car's chief engineer Andrew Farah wring the electric car around a series of orange cones making up a test track at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. As you're likely aware by now, the Volt isn't a typical hybrid vehicle that requires gasoline to operate. For the first 40 miles or so, the Volt operates solely on electricity, assuming of course that the battery is charged up.

In the video pasted after the break, Farah is piloting the Volt in EV mode, meaning that the range-extending gasoline engine never fires up. We wouldn't expect to get the full 40-mile range when hustling the Volt around a race track, but the fact that it can perform as well as it does without emitting any tailpipe emissions is a laudable feat. So, how will it perform around the Top Gear test track with Stiggy behind the wheel? Click past the break to hear those low-rolling-resistance tires squeal!

UPDATE: Video added after jump.

[Source: Chevrolet VoltAge]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      What about resale on these electric cars!? Who is going to buy a used one when they
      might have to replace that battery!! From what I've read a new battery can run from
      5K to 20K dollars, so you are stuck with it!! Then where is your savings over all???
      No dealer is going to give you anything on trade in!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The best part of an EREV (series plug-in hybrid) is that the performance doesn't drop in EV mode.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Having a continuous-duty motor driving the wheels on a track would be an interesting experience.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Diesels? pokey? What, are we pretending we're just hitting Y2K? The R10, Q7 V12, BMW 335d a myriad of other cars have proven TDI doesn't equal pokey anymore. Hell even the A5 TDI is closer in performance to the S5 than the A5 3.2.

      Some day I'll understand what it is about autoblog and their proximity to Detroit which requires slinging about old wives tails and ancient adages.

      On topic, nice, can't wait to see it around top gear's test track.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Audi A5 TDI 0-60: 6.4s.
        Audi A5 3.2 0-60: 6.0s.
        Audi S5 0-60: 5.0s

        The A5 TDI is definitely not closer in performance to the S5 than the A5 3.2. Let's not tell wives' tales here.

        As to the other cars, they are good performers, but I'm not sure what it proves other than if you put in a much larger Diesel engine than a gas car has you can match gas performance and pretty much match gas efficiency (counting the higher btu content of Diesel) too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was just going from evo's review, who, like CAR and every other european review, peg the a5 3.0TDI at under 6 seconds to sixty. And evo specifically calls the A5 3.0TDI a quick ride, closer in spirit to the S5 and A5. Having not driven the A5 3.0TDI (only S5, A5) I'm forced to take their word for it. As the premier car mag, I'm hoping they weren't full of crap when reviewing the car.

        Unless you're thinking the 2.0TDi. In that case I'm sorry I wasn't specific about displacement, i thought it would be inferred I was not referencing the 4 banger as EVO, CAR, etc have never directly compared it to an S5. Or any review I've run into.

        It proves that there are quite a few quick diesel options, enough of them out there to beg the question of why 'pokey' is still the common vernacular of those in the mid west.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Unless Evo has compared the two cars under similar conditions, it's not accurate to their ratings. In other words, no fair picking one mags fast time and going against the rated time of another car.

        Either way, 5.9s is not closer to 5.0s than it is to 6.0s or even to 6.5s (if you want to use the rated speed of the A5 FSI versus the lowball A5 TDI).

        Your Midwest comment is annoying. Have any other bogeymen to trot out? Kind odd you'd stereotype in a post complaining about the ills of stereotyping.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My feelings exactly. Until the Stig tears it up on TG, I won't even care. They've become my staple for performance reviews. It's great to be able to see every car on the same track and if you watch often enough, you can judge the handling and performance just by watching a few of the key corners and exits there from.

        On topic, the concept is amazing, however, I still wonder why Detroit doesn't just us a small high performance/high efficiency turbojet motor to generate electricity when needed. Even the old "-60" turbine generators we used in the USAF on aircraft were fairly efficient. If you take into account those were built in the early 80's, the technological advances should produce a turbine able to generate enough electricity to keep the batteries charged and power the electric motors and let the car get major mpg.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I didn't know the Volt came with spinners!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm patient with this topic but this one drives me nuts, the Chevy Volt, MAY have burnt rubber without burning fuel...however, as explained by http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/figes1.html, on average 91.4% of that tire smoking energy was derived from FUEL including coal, natural gas, other gas and nuclear energy! I'm all for reducing emmission but the NIMBY crap about electric cars and the lack of intelligence in the general public perception fo where power comes from is pathetic!

      Go to the link and think about how electric cars will centralize emmissions in the world!
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I'm all for reducing emmission but the NIMBY crap about electric cars "

        NIMBY? Did you say NIMBY? Do you even know what that acronym stands for?
        "Not In My Backyard". Does not make any sense in your sentence.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Someone obviously hasn't heard about all the solar and wind power projects that are popping up.

        The fact is, EVs are using less 'fuel' overall, are cheap to run, mechanically less complex, and as alternative energy sources bloom, they will end up being cleaner and cleaner.

        Moving carbon emissions outside of the cities is good for people too. Less carcinogens in the air and respiratory problems? i think a lot of people would appreciate that.

        This is positive now, and even more positive for the long term. Sorry it's not perfect.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Max... centralized emissions aren't necessarily a bad thing. It's far easier (and cost effective) to put a massive, stationary and effective scrubber on a single coal plant than it is on 10,000 moving automobiles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Max, you complete phucktard, even if the power came 100% from Coal fired power plants, the efficiency is still 3x that of an ICE.

        And besides, not 100% from the electricity comes from coal you. Gosh are you dumb.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's definitely faster than the Geoff, even with the six batteries and the diesel generator.
      • 5 Years Ago

      ... enough said
      • 5 Years Ago
      diesels pokey??? my 05 duramax runs 0-60 in under 6 sec, and the 1/4 in 12.6 at 109mph...at a 7200lb race weight...in 4 wheel drive...guess its pokey...gets 20mpg tho...and as for these electric/hybrid vehicles, you all are missing the biggest danger with them...as usual... they and their ilk(read prius) cannot be disposed of in a conventional way, that means if they are wrecked or become unusable(broken) they cannot be recycled and you cannot throw them in a landfill, therefor, junkyards do not want them, and no one has come up with a solution as to what to do with them when their lives have expired. So we are creating an even bigger mess than fossil fuels. And nobody really wants them anyway, at least not enough to justify production. It is the gov that wants them built. NOT the citizens, not even green brain Al Gore is trading his fleet of suburbans for one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's only the batteries that are different, compared to ICE vehicles and what can be recycled (how many cars end up in a landfill, man?). Are you saying batteries can never be recycled, in any way, no matter what kind of advances we make with the technology? Good luck with that theory, though. You sounded very convicted.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice try Chevrolet...trying to build a case for a car that is definitively UGLY(!). What are you doing? Trying to convince us that the car is worth buying? Yeah...sure...it is if you're willing to haul your family around in the ugliest car to carry the GM logo in decades(!!!).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ugliest GM in decades? I think most agree the Aztek wins that title hands down. It is definitely uninspired, that I'll give you. It does look less than tight on handling, but the masses do tend to favor a soft ride.

        I'm kind of amazed at all the hating here. I guess it says that GM has failed before this car is even on the showroom floor.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its a product you douchebag.
        Do you like blackberry , android or iphone?
        Do you like the Prius, insight , nissan leaf or the volt .

        What is good looking for you and what are you comparing the volt to? ferraris and Maseratis?

      • 5 Years Ago
      GM's bigest down fall is that they advertise a car for so long before it comes out that it seems outdated and a thing of a past.. The Camaro was advertised threw Transformers, tv's shows, test drives etc... for 3 yrs before it came out, and it feels an old thing.. The VOLT is taking way to long to come out way to much advertising and i feel like its outdated...... i don't know if any one else feels the same way!
        • 5 Years Ago
        If they didn't share what they were working on, most people would assume they were asleep at the wheel.

        Also, most people don't read Autoblog, or even traditional paper publications, so while we're worn out about the Camaro and Volt before they launch, most people are just hearing about them.

        As for the Camaro's Transformers appearance, do you really think that HURT the general public's perception of the car's desirability?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree.
        They need to either do a better job of getting products to the market faster, or keep a lid on their products till they are ready to hit the streets.
        spy shots and suspense about what the car will ultimately look like and drive like is as good an advertising tool as any.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I totally agree with you. Their 'brand shine' for the volt has been worn out for ~2 years now.
        I think they were trying to pump up their shareholders or something.
        • 5 Years Ago
        95% of the car-buying public don't frequent auto news sites like this or pay any attention to upcoming car news... so to 95% of the public, the Volt will be totally new to them when it comes out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Squealing the tires around a turn isn't my definition of "burning rubber". So what does this video really show us - that the Volt has a functional steering wheel?
    • Load More Comments