• Apr 12, 2010
We've still got about six and a half months until the official Job One production date for the Chevrolet Volt, but GM's plug-in savior is popping up on the streets around Detroit. Most of the Volts spotted in public are from the fleet of 80 IVER prototypes GM built last summer; cars with unpainted black bumpers and primer gray finishes. A few of those mules have been completely trimmed out for use as demonstrators such as the one we drove last December.

This weekend a camera crew from Detroit's Channel 7 News spotted one of these finished cars. We can't tell from these photos if this is one of the IVERs or one of the new production validation cars that started rolling out of the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant a couple of weeks ago. Either way, every time we see a Volt in the wild, it feels a bit more real. A tip of the hat to Vince!

Update: Volt chief engineer Andrew Farah checked the plate number on the car in the pics and verified that it is in fact one of the first vehicles built off the Hamtramck assembly line.

[Source: WXYZ.com]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was driving to ann arbor with my girlfriend a few weeks ago and saw about 6 volt test mules fly by us going the opposite way down the express way. i was so mad I couldn't get. There was no way for me to tell anything about them but it was pretty sweet to see GM testing these suckers on the open road. I imagine that's what it was like in the 60s and 70s when GM tested a new car, everyone got really excited to see what they were doing. Keep up the good work GM!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good job,GM.
      • 4 Years Ago
      While this will never shut some people up, it is good to see the testers out and about. It will be much better when the car is really for sale and (hopefully) well executed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I got to hand it to Chevy's designers: that looks pretty sweet.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm assuming you haven't seen one close-up, then? The pictures look interesting, but in person the car is a design fail. If they had stayed true to the prototype, perhaps it would have had a shot.

        You know, there's a theme here shared with the new Camaro and Malibu. Striking visuals from a distance, awkward visuals when you study the lines up close, and then a complete fail once you get in the car. This is the new Chevy slogan: We look good... from a distance.

        It may be GM's "savior", as the OP calls it. But that would be the technology, not this particular car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        >> I've seen one up close, and it's okay... nothing I would buy.

        That's the only thing that matters, man.

        It's pretty simple. Unless this thing drops down to $25K, it will miss big time. No one is going to pay luxury prices for a gadget without appropriate value. Well, no one who doesn't own an Apple... let's clarify the demographics a little. :-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Rochester:

        Exactly what are you expecting? It looks better than a Prius, an Insight, and the HS250. The Volt that was being paraded around early on wasn't a prototype... it was a concept vehicle. How many production vehicles retain much more than just the basic design language of the concept?

        I've seen one up close, and it's okay... nothing I would buy, but certainly decent. Like other non-mild hybrids, the money is in the powertrain - so if you're expecting $35k car internal (and exterior) appointment, then you need to reset your expectations.

        "Americans buy cars that appeal to us on an emotional level", eh? If that were really true would people really buy tons of cars like the Camry, Accord, or Altima? I'm sure you can admit that Autoblog readership isn't representative of car buyers on the whole.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I assume you're referring to the completely impractical prototype that had such incredibly bad aerodynamics, that Lutz suggested they run it through the wind tunnel *backwards* to see if it improved?

        Sure, it looked like something out of RoboCop, but it was a lousy design from an aero perspective, and until battery tech improves, aero is king.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The prototype has no aerodynamic AND ugly... so what's the point?
      • 4 Years Ago
      They did the power bulge on the hood wrong, its supposed to go up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Epix-
        You missed that I was being facetious. Its the internet, so its understandable. ("Power" bulge on a Volt....that's the facetious part).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Noah, your experience in the wind tunnel is apparent...
        • 4 Years Ago
        True... but the resulting shape kind of reminds me of a plug. I wonder if that was intentional...
      • 4 Years Ago
      "But it's vaporware! Stop drinking the Kool-Aid!" AmIRite?

      Good to see this thing hitting the streets at last.
        • 4 Years Ago
        By this time is does, it will look even more dated than it does currently.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The car is looking old quick due to the fact that they keep stretching the production date and we've been seeing teaser photos for years now so it seems.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Once an actual production Volt, sold to a private owner on a waiting list, is driving on a road near me- I'll let you know how old it's looking.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Given that gas prices are creeping up GM might sell out the Volt. Also look for the Hollywood celebs to outdo each other in driving around a Volt.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Perhaps the 'green' factor will help, but Hollywood types generally dislike buying domestic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      oh and to all you folks complaining about the design of the car... you are so wrong. that concept was the single ugliest concept car I can think of from GM. The finished production car is subtle, simple and clean. Sure it's not the most attractive car ever, but it's supposed to be a family sedan that looks slightly futuristic.

      you want to talk about poor design how about we talk about the god awful interior they have on the test mules. Good lord those are absolutely horrendous.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If it was "family sedan" sized, GM would have built in on their "Epsilon" platform like the Chevy Malibu. But it's built on GM "Delta II" compact-economy car platform like the Chevy Cruze (both that platform and car are the successor to the "Delta I" platform Chevy Cobalt).
        • 4 Years Ago
        I had no trouble at all using a 1st Gen Focus as a family sedan for quite a while.

        Believe it or not, having a kid or two doesn't mean you have to go out and buy the biggest SUV you can afford.
        • 4 Years Ago
        >> The finished production car is subtle, simple and clean.
        >> Sure it's not the most attractive car ever...

        The sound of one man arguing with himself.

        That's not the kind of consumer reaction GM was hoping for, but from the looks of this car, that the best they can get.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It was up in Royal Oak; I saw the prototype as well, around dusk. Passersby were even stopping to admire, or at least, notice the Volt. Outside, in natural light, it's really not half-bad --- it looks far more aggressive than a Prius or an Insight. The surfaces are plain --- it's no Prius in that respect --- but at least GM has elected not to continue to take cost out of the exterior, or interior, details.

      It's good to see the home team making a real, honest go of it, can't we all agree?
      • 4 Years Ago
      ....or get off the pot time!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Very nice looking, and out front from a tech standpoint also.
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