Did General Motors lie or didn't they? The media and public got extremely swept up by the fact that GM told the world its range-extended electric vehicle would not use the on-board internal combustion engine to power the wheels, when it will under certain conditions. This bit of news has blown up in the General's face, but does it change the fact that the Volt is still a pretty amazing piece of automotive engineering? Motor Trend spent a couple of weeks with one and came away impressed by what the Chevrolet Volt could do. In fact,
The 127 mpg figure was achieved over a variety of Los Angeles city streets, canyon roads and highways. During the trip, the car ran out of battery power and the gasoline engine quietly turned on to give it more juice. Not to the wheels, but to the battery. If the car gets up over 70 miles per hour, then the ICE will send a small amount of power to the wheels, but by doing so it makes the car more efficient.
The M/T editors took the car on another trip and really tried to push it hard. They ran the Volt up to its 101 mph top speed, had the A/C cranked and traveled across some hilly terrain. The result? The Chevy returned nearly 75 mpg. MT feels the takeaway from its time with the Volt is that the car is incredibly efficient and the fact that the gasoline engine occasionally pitches in doesn't make it any less remarkable of a vehicle.