As America's most recognizable celebrity car guy, you might expect that Jay Leno is anxious to put what might be America's most recognizable and highly anticipated game-changing new car in decades in his Big Dog Garage. Apparently, you'd be wrong. The late night comedian spoke with The Detroit News about the upcoming extended-range electric car and, surprisingly enough, said he doesn't plan to be one of the first in line to drive away in a 2011 Chevrolet Volt:
If we're all being honest with ourselves, Leno makes a fine point. For the generation of Americans who grew up on hot rods and muscle cars, the Chevrolet Volt is something of an appliance meant to be safe, efficient and environmentally friendly. Those aren't exactly the kind of attributed that stir up the emotions of petrolheads. But that's kinda the point."If you didn't know, you might think it's a Cobalt or a Camry... I don't think there's a lot of cachet in having the first one. It's meant to be a people mover, not a people impresser."
As Leno himself points out of the Chevy Volt, "I think it's great technology." And it clearly is. In fact, it's the likely future of automotive transportation. "There is a particular audience that is all about advanced technology and green transportation," responded GM spokesperson Rob Peterson. "For people like that, the Volt has that cachet. It's kind of like an iPhone. An iPhone is still a cell phone with a lot of capability in it."
Perhaps that's an apt comparison. Telephones and even mobile phones started out as appliances meant only to perform a basic function. Just as the iPhone revolutionized what the general public thought could be done with a phone, the Volt has the potential to revolutionize the kind of efficiency Americans have come to expect from their daily drivers... and it will certainly attract plenty of attention. With or without a glowing recommendation from Jay Leno.
Oh, and for what it's worth, Leno says he's excited about the Volt's launch later this year and may in fact buy one. Just maybe not from the first batch, we surmise.