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2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

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 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."
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.

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.


  • Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman
  • Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman
  • The Chevrolet Volt "Freedom Drive" across the country concludes at Pier 92 during the annual Macy's Independence Day fireworks display over the Hudson River in New York, Sunday, July 4, 2010. The "Freedom Drive" began four days and 1.776 miles ago in Austin, Texas where Chevrolet announced New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas would join Michigan, California and Washington, D.C. as launch sites for the Volt later this year. (Photo by Emile Wamsteker for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt "Freedom Drive" across the country concludes at Pier 92 during the annual Macy's Independence Day fireworks display over the Hudson River in New York, Sunday, July 4, 2010. The "Freedom Drive" began four days and 1.776 miles ago in Austin, Texas where Chevrolet announced New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas would join Michigan, California and Washington, D.C. as launch sites for the Volt later this year. (Photo by Emile Wamsteker for Chevrolet)
  • Chevrolet announces Thursday, July 1, 2010 it is adding Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt electric vehicle. The retail launch in Texas and New York will begin with Austin and New York City in late 2010. The balance of Texas and New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to begin receiving Volts in early 2011. The Chevrolet Volt (pictured here) in front of the Texas State Capital in Austiin, Texas Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (Photo by Steven Noreyko for Chevrolet)
  • Chevrolet announces Thursday, July 1, 2010 it is adding Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt electric vehicle. The retail launch in Texas and New York will begin with Austin and New York City in late 2010. The balance of Texas and New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to begin receiving Volts in early 2011. The Chevrolet Volt (pictured here) in front of the Texas State Capital in Austiin, Texas Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (Photo by Steven Noreyko for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt passes a trolley while navigating the steep climbs of the San Francisco Bay area while on an engineering development drive Saturday, April 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt drives near the Golden Gate Bridge while on an engineering development drive in San Francisco, California Saturday, April 25, 2010. The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt navigates the steep climbs of the San Francisco Bay area while on an engineering development drive Saturday, April 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range on display at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range drives through campus at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range drives through campus at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range travels around Pier 92 during a media test drive in New York, NY on Monday, March 29, 2010. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) (3/29/2010)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range travels around Pier 92 during a media test drive in New York, NY on Monday, March 29, 2010. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) (3/29/2010)
  • The first pre-production Chevrolet Volt rolls off the line at the Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant Wednesday, March 31, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The pre-production versions of the Volt will not be sold at dealerships, but will be used to assure all steps in the production system will meet the quality targets set by the Volt engineering team. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet) (04/01/2010)
  • A Chevrolet Volt battery at the General Motors Global Battery Systems Lab in Warren, Michigan Wednesday, June 30, 2010. The Chevrolet Volt will offer customers an unprecedented standard 8 year/100,000 mile warranty on its lithium-ion battery. GM engineers have completed more than 1 million miles and 4 million hours of validation battery testing since 2007. Each Volt battery pack has nine modules and 288 cells. GM designed and engineered 99 percent of the 155 components in each battery. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)

[Source: The Detroit News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 74 Comments
      joelcramer
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I were super rich like Jay Leno with a big car collection I would jump on the Volt for the collection. After all this is a car that is sure to fail as it has in the past. It will be collectible because there will not be many sold. Why will it fail you ask? Well for one they want us to plug our car into the power source that is supplied by a power grid that can't carry the load we already put on it. The majority of electricity is produced from fossil fuels. Need more electricity use more fuel. Well it is a green car you say. Let us explore that for a second. Do you have any idea what kink of toxic mess results from the production of batteries? What happens to the batteries when they need to be replaced? If the batteries are good for about 10 years. if they are anything like cell phone and laptop batteries they will die within months of their warranty. What will that do for the used car market. They say they will be warranted for 10 years are you going to buy a 6-8 year old car that you might have to at any time spend 10K for replacement cells? At 40K for the volt I can buy a nice car that gets 40mpg and a whole lot of gas and has a longer life and driving range. The Volt is expected to go 40 miles on a charge. What good is that?






      • 4 Years Ago
      Car guys aren't interested in a 4000 lb, $40,000 Prius. Imagine that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "so if you were a multi millionaire that has built an elite car collection, you would put say a Chevy Aveo in your garage?"

        Not an Aveo, but the Volt, one of the most technologically advanced electric vehicles on the planet, and a foreshadow of the entire automotive future? The vehicle that we may be looking back on 60 years from now as a groundbreaking vehicle for GM? You bet. I'd drive it on occasion too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's not at all like a Prius. Do some research. Cripes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's an ugly suppository of an appliance with as much soul as an energy star dishwasher. That's a Prius in all the ways that count.

        • 4 Years Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants - so if you were a multi millionaire that has built an elite car collection, you would put say a Chevy Aveo in your garage? The reason behind this would be to...

        If anything I would have to applaud Leno for not being a 'Prius hippie celebrity' and continues to have good taste in cars.

        A Telsa roadster on the other hand is an electric car and deserves the same respect, plus greater then the Chevy Volt. That is a collectors car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As a true car guy I'm interested in all cars. Big and small, fast and slow, Astons and Trabants. I'm not just interested in the ones that impress others. I kinda figured Leno would be the same but I guess not.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If your neighbor is a tree hugger and owns a Prius, he will think that your new Volt is cool.

      If you neighbor has a 'Vette, a Porsche, a BMW M-Series, a Cadillac V-Series, or an M-B AMG, he won't think the Volt is cool.

      I heard Leno tell David Hyde-Pierce that he would buy a Prius, if it had the same handling and acceleration performance as a new Corvette. Unitl then, he was sticking with 'Vettes, Porsches, and Ferraris.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Exactly! The original concept did just that, it woo and ahh a lot people out there including me, but now the Volt look like a generic soulless appliance.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Gungel

        From the distance it does look like windows are bigger than they actually are.
        Ginny
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's window tint to keep out the heating rays of the sun. Here in Tampa I would not own a car without it. Helps out the air conditioner. Love it year round.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can't get over the black painted faux windows on the doors. WTF. Just absolutely horrid.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Gruv, where do you see "painted faux windows"? All I can find is a black accent bar under the windows, is that what your talking about?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Gunge: Apparently you have never seen the concept Volt. Now see production volt. Hence, FAKE WINDOWS.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would not have one either, a totaly waste of resources and money. The first thing you would say after you bought it ,where is the beef. For that money the 2011 Mustang 5.0 would be in my garage and the left over money would be spent on gas.
      Donald
      • 4 Years Ago
      A. Who cares what Jay Leno thinks. B. The first american made mass produced "electric car " is a big deal. I like it's lines. Nice car. Good luck to GM...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Donald
        Hear Hear! Go Chevy Go G.M. you have never let me down.
      Norm Stevens
      • 4 Years Ago
      Jay Leno's expertise on car design and engineering? Why not get Joan Rivers opinion too? Just because he can afford to buy an extensive collection of cars, does not make him an expert! Go back to your jokes Jay, your opinion means little to us!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another non story posted by AB.
      john
      • 4 Years Ago
      he is right...looks like a camry
      • 4 Years Ago
      Volt for $40,000

      or

      MazdaSpeed3 plus 7 years of gas (@ $3 per gal.)

      ?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Point missed.
        • 4 Years Ago
        $40,000 staying in the US economy.

        vs

        $$$ for a mazda3 going to support Japan's economy


        ?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seems like a safe car. It's the Amperage that kills, not the Volts. E=IR.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well I for one am gearing up to buy the Volt! If you are too, check out my site - I've written specifically about buying in California.

      http://www.mychevroletvolt.com
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