Remember the look of the Chevrolet Volt concept? It's pictured above because it's been years since we've taken a good look at it. And now that hints are coming from General Motors about the look of the next-gen Volt, we thought it'd be fun to remember how far we've come.

"Ed Welburn is not going to let us do anything weird, I can tell you that."

Speaking at an event in San Francisco recently, John Cafaro, Director of Exterior Design for Chevrolet, briefly mentioned the work his team is doing on the next-gen Volt, saying that the Chevy design guys like what Opel did to make the European-market Ampera look a bit more aggressive. As for a future Volt, he said, "We're going to do some things with the Volt down the road, make it a little more monochromatic, a little more road-hugging."

The Voltec plug-in hybrid powertrain will find a home in other vehicles – as we know with Cadillac concepts like the ULC and (*UPDATE: the ULC concept had a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, not a plug-in powertrain) the ELR – and Cafaro said that with four brands to experiment with, this is where we could see some style diversity.

GM is watching the plug-in competition, the Ford C-Max Energi and Toyota Prius Plug-In, as it works on future product. "We've got one bullet in the chamber with the Volt," he said. "We're getting some feedback. We've already built a body of research. There are a lot of different camps. From a design perspective, people want an exciting vehicle. Now, what does exciting mean? A lot of zoom-y lines? Deep cut forms? A lot of muscular shapes? We are looking at all the different kinds of design DNA for how we proceed with this technology. Nothing is left off the table. No idea is a bad idea."

Well, maybe some. Cafaro said GM will not be aping any out-there vehicle design, like the Aptera. "Ed Welburn is not going to let us do anything weird, I can tell you that," he said. Where does that leave the E-NV?


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 156 Comments
      Dean Hammond
      • 6 Hours Ago
      wow, someone agrees with an updated ICE,,,,whew.....they have the powertrains...
      Grendal
      • 6 Hours Ago
      Ah, the troll thor petersen/knodoctor/luigi tony/peter nixon! Yes I know you hate the Volt. No big surprise there. You need to look up the definition of troll: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet) You are a troll. I am an enthusiast that promotes the products I like. In my spare time I slay trolls like you by pointing out your lies, misinformation, FUD, and general moronic behavior. Had any nice conversations with yourself in your different screen names to justify your position with yourself? That was quite funny. Sad too. It showed off your mental problems. Have you seen a doctor yet? How do you have toime to even come here when you make those regular trips of over 500 miles in your BMW 7 series? Thaqt is what you said you do regularly to justify your point that EV's and EREV's make no sense. Is it still making no sense, thor/nixon/knodoctor/luigi and now nobody? You don't actually dispute my point but instead do what the weak minded and weak positioned do which is calling names. So my point, again, is that someone can put blinders on to justify their position while not looking at the larger picture. Kind of like what you do to justify driving a BMW 7 series 500 miles on a regular basis. Why do you waste so much gas when you could get the Prius, which you love, and save an enormous amount of money for that huge commute? Got any RATIONAL (see I can capitalize too) answers to any of those questions? I didn't think so.
      Sir Duke
      • 6 Hours Ago
      DarylMc: GM has claimed, and it is yet to be disputed, that "The happiest drivers on the road are Chevrolet Volt drivers". Customer Surveys back them up two years running. Want to give OPEC the middle finger? A Volt that is charged by wind or solar.
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      For the next-gen Volt, GM has relatively little room to work with, given the constraints of packaging, safety and aerodynamics. I'd expect somewhat more sculpting where it doesn't hurt drag in any significant way. One nice thing for Chevy's team is that Volt 2.0 can have the same sort of incremental step toward efficiency that the Volt 1.0 had from the concept. I'm going to expect something slicker, with a more deeply-raked windshield, a longer aeroback, sharper Kamm cuts at the rear, while losing the fake window "extensions" and rocker contrasts.
        montoym
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        On the contrary, I see a lot of areas they could improve upon, and fairly easily. For one, the interior packaging. It's no secret that that the larger battery has encroached on rear-seat space and made it a 4-seater. With a more advanced and more power-dense battery, they could achieve a similar range with a smaller battery pack and return it to a 5-seater while not sacrificing range. This is even easier when you consider that the current Volt's battery is essentially overbuilt and only uses some 85% of its capacity. Then, you add in an updated powertrain (or at least ICE) which is pretty much a sure bet at this point, and you can increase the ICE fuel economy while also bettering the NVH characteristics of the current model (though they aren't a great concern currently). I think a move to a small turbo would satisfy both. You get the increase FE that a small turbo offers combined with the increased power at lower revs that a small turbo offers as well and you kill 2 birds with one stone. Add in some styling and packaging updates that generally come with a new model and there you go, Volt 2.0.
        Dean Hammond
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        exhibit B)..........GM acknowledges the Volt continues to lose money, and suggests it might not reach break even until the next-generation model is launched in about three years. "It's true, we're not making money yet" on the Volt, said Doug Parks, GM's vice president of global product programs and the former Volt development chief, in an interview. The car "eventually will make money. As the volume comes up and we get into the Gen 2 car, we're going to turn (the losses) around," Parks said. and , please SVX, lets get something straight here, I LIKE THE CAR....I just question its viability from a business standpoint, and its functionality for someone like myself that doesnt live in a 40 mile bubble as such...
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          raktum, absolutely not, but any more so than Lutz's rhetoric?....I would say someone that WORKS for GM satating the vehicle is losing money is far more correct than someone deflecting....
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          and Montoyn...for those people it works perfectly, I have never said it didnt, but for a lot of people it wont...and for those theres more viable alternatives...pretty simple really, for some reason SVX doesnt get it...maybe he should google "Volt losing money"....even GM admits its long term till it sees any returns, sadly, what alternatives come up in the meantime, hell even regular hybrids may be passe.....
          montoym
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          quote from Dean Hammond: - "I just question its viability from a business standpoint, and its functionality for someone like myself that doesnt live in a 40 mile bubble as such" - The number of people that live outside the 40mile bubble is statistically small. You may not think so because you are part of it, but the numbers bear it out. Some 75%+ of commuters travel less than 40miles per day and that's why the Volt was designed with that range in mind. It's not for everyone to be sure, but it definitely could work for the vast majority of American commuters.
          raktmn
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          You think googling "Volt losing money" will lead everyone to 100% honest and reliable information? That's classic Google Gullibility or "Googullibility" for short. Not everything the comes up in google results is true. I think you've allowed yourself to be hoodwinked.
        Dean Hammond
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        all they really need to do is adress the efficiency of the ICE, that would improve the package immensly, then from a business standpoint they should adress the subsidies they current have....right now is the Volt viable from a profitability standpoint...0 % apr?.... that costs GM a boatload....
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          oh, and please explain to everyone here how when GM itself acknowledges it is losing money on each unit, HOW they are making 10- $15000 per unit....
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          exhibit A........It currently costs GM "at least" $75,000 to build the Volt, including development costs, Munro said. That's nearly twice the base price of the Volt before a $7,500 federal tax credit provided as part of President Barack Obama's green energy policy. Other estimates range from $76,000 to $88,000, according to four industry consultants contacted by Reuters. The consultants' companies all have performed work for GM and are familiar with the Volt's development and production. They requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of their auto industry ties.
          SVX pearlie
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          @Xedicom: That Forbes article was full of crap, just like dummy Deano. For a more accurate business accounting, see the followup from Bob Lutz: http://www.forbes.com/sites/boblutz/2012/09/10/the-real-story-on-gms-volt-costs/ http://green.autoblog.com/2012/09/11/bob-lutz-chevy-volt-cost/ The Volt is pulling at least $10k operating profit (the difference between variable production cost and sale price). As battery & motor costs drop, GM can choose to reduce price or drive additional profit. At this point, it is too soon to calculate true profit, because we don't have an accurate picture of total Voltec-based production (which won't be completed for several years)
          SVX pearlie
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          Wow, Ford fanboy Deano makes 6 replies, and still can't put a halfway intelligent post together? It's like he's trolling for downvotes... First GM's leases would appear to be perfectly reasonable when you consider a net cost of around $30k to the leasing company, minus any upfront payments from they lessor. Not to mention MY closeout incentives being added. As for the $75+k cost, if you're spouting that crap, you're totally feck!ing retarded. The only way one can get a number like that if if GM stopped ALL Volt sales and production, destroying all unsold stock, and never building another vehicle using Voltec technololgy. However, that's not what's happening. The Volt 1.x series vehicles will easily sell around 200k units globally before Volt 2.x comes out. The technology development costs are going to feed the upcoming Volt 2.0, the Spark EV, and the Caddy ELR - all known products that will probably move at least 300k to 400k units. Then there's the inevitable Voltec GMC and Buick, plus other EVs. Over the next 10 years, GM should be able to amortize the Voltec technology costs over 1 MILLION cars and trucks. Probably substantially more, as we've seen with the Prius. As Bob Lutz posted in his rebuttal, GM is indeed pulling 5 figures of operating profit per Volt sold, and that money is going to recoup those development costs in due time. Given that GM has the top-selling plug-in in the US, it looks like GM will do just fine. As for the Ford Focus Electric not selling in adequte volumes, a mere 356 FFE have been sold series to date (barely surpassing the Volt's first month's sales after 11 months on the market). The contemporaneously-launched MIEV is nearly 200 units ahead of the FFE in the US alone, to say nothing of JDM MIEV sales. Go Ford! Seriously, if you're just going to prove yourself a moron, don't post.
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          POPPYCOCK SVT, back that up, and the Focus electric is no better, which is the reason its only being produced in extremely limited numbers.....the Volt is NOT making 10-15k per unit....now, you are absolutely welcome to prove me wrong.
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          SVX, I would truley appreciate you refrain from namecalling unless of course you wish someone to ask you to grow up, the statements I posted were simple cut and pastes from article in which GM employees affiliated with the developement of the Volt were questioned..its there in black and white and contradicts your statement of the car being profitable...so in stead of hurling insults, accusing other posters of being fan-bois, calling them morons and basically being unable to grasp facts, grow a pair and back your statements up...if you cannot I fully understand, but if you cant stop blurting BS attempting to convince others otherwise. Seriously dude, I thought a hell of a lot more from you than pubescent outrage....so back the shite up....until then expect the grain of salt....
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          I ask you this, how can I deem anything you say as serious when quoting Bob Lutz as a viable backup to ANY statement regardin ANY Automobile manufacturer...HE has almost been solely responsible for several of several manufacturers "mis-cues"...I understanmd Reiuters may be skewed...but more so than Lutz tooting his own companies horn....DOUBTFUL...
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          nicest thing i can say SVX is delusional.
          SVX pearlie
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          Oh, from a profitability standpoint, the Volt is generating anywhere from $10k-15k in operating profit per unit sold, and it is selling in adequate volumes to cover development cost over the expected timeframe. Unlike things like the Ford Focus Electric.
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          it gets 37, you volt slappies are in denial...yup SVX, i hit you back with the Slappie....and ask yourself this, how would it sell without the incentives?......pretty hard to deny the subsidised leases Chevy is advertising, but is it good business?....legitimate question and nothing critical pointed towards the product, they are EVERYWHERE here in So Cal....whilst I admire your loyalty, how much longer can it go on, not sure about GM's strategy....although the Caddy version looks AMAZING, will it lease for say...$299 a month or will the numbers make more business sense.
          Dean Hammond
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          PS, SVX, i have a buddy that sells them, they cannot keep their hands on them, so something they are doing is ok, that said he also questioned how they would sell regularly if not heavily subsidised, until then though he doesnt care hes just riding the wave as such...hes also voiced his concerns about the ICE noting it could easily be improved upon
          SVX pearlie
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          With 35-40 miles on battery, 40 mpg is is perfectly adequate, given that the car spends 90+% of the time on battery during the week. Hell, it could probably drop to 30 mpg and hardly make a difference. OTOH, if it had a weak 20-mile battery like a the Ford, then 60-80 mpg would be necessary to make up the difference. Not the mere 5 mpg that currently separates the cars.
          raktmn
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          GM's financing side is now a full on bank that borrows money at the fed window at .75 of a percent. That's right, they borrow money at less than 1 percent, and in exchange for about $2000 in discounts you have to waive in order to get the low interest rate, they charge you no interest. On a 5 year loan on a $40,000 dollar Volt, it costs them just $767 dollars to offer 0% financing. GM makes an extra $1,233 on every car they sell using the 0% APR compared to buyers who choose the $2,000 cash back option instead. If there is any "boatload" to be spoken of, it is the boatload of profits GM is making by offering 0% APR loans.
          Xedicon
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          @SVX pearlie - I'm sorry but it's crazy rare for ANY vehicle to pull a profit margin of 10 - 15k (excluding exotics). The Volt is indeed a loss leader, this was known from the beginning and confirmed in the Forbes story below. http://www.forbes.com/sites/michelinemaynard/2012/09/10/stunner-gm-may-be-losing-50000-on-each-chevrolet-volt/
          Grendal
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          It helps that the right stopped turning the Volt into a parriah. Bob Lutz pointed out that the Volt should be embraced by the right to help wean the country off foreign oil. Plus the Volt's advertising campaign finally began to make sense to buyers. Also getting access to HOV lanes are a boon to the Volt buyer. There are still a few GM and Volt haters that cling to the original hate campaign unaware that the movement has moved on to more important issues.
          SVX pearlie
          • 6 Hours Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          @Dean, you're posting nonsense which has been debunked by pretty much every business analyst who actually understands the automotive industry. If you don't believe me, here's Bob Lutz's response on your idiotic notion that the Volt loses $50k per car: http://www.forbes.com/sites/boblutz/2012/09/10/the-real-story-on-gms-volt-costs/ When you start working from facts, instead of hearsay, then I'll treat you as intelligent. In the mean time, you're just a Ford fanboy who doesn't know the industry and should keep silent when grownups are talking about things you don't understand.
      Unni
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes Flextreme GT looks good :-) , Even the greatest part is its Midsize and still have a Cd of .23 compared to volts .28 .
        Sean
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @Unni
        I agree on the Flextreme GT, but a minor point: Cd is coefficient of drag meaning drag per surface area so its not really harder to get a low Cd on larger vehicles.
      LongDucDong
      • 6 Hours Ago
      Thats Camry owners for ya! Dumbest of the dumb.
      brice63
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM needs less rediculious concept artists everything they preview is always radical and even great but they are never able to carry that concept's style to a production car...
        Hazdaz
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @brice63
        What are you smoking? GM has been able to release some extremely faithful vehicles based off concept designs. The Camaro Concept was a spitting image of the production car. The Buick Enclave concept, was once again, very faithful to the production model. The Chevy Orlando Concept was pretty close to the final version (we didn't get it in the US). The Opel Insignia Concept wasn't super close, but the front-end design is very similar to the Insignia production model in Europe and the Buick Regal in the US.
      DaveMart
      • 6 Hours Ago
      @Rotation: We'll see how the two ideas compare better when BMW have their i3 on the road. There has been a lot of discussion on here about the relative merits of serial and parallel hybrids, some of it very erudite, but since I am no engineer personally I will wait and see. No doubt there are trade offs in the two systems, and perhaps it is unlikely that either will sweep the board.
      tegdesign
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good bye Autoblog. You used to be for people who loved cars. And reading comments on your articles you have clearly changed your demographic. I'm currently searching for my new favorite website.
      techie69
      • 6 Hours Ago
      It shows how great GM management are by confusing vehicle dynamics and design.
      William
      • 6 Hours Ago
      The car in the photo looks pretty weird.
        SVX pearlie
        • 6 Hours Ago
        @William
        And the poor aerodynamics are why it didn't go to production.
      SVX pearlie
      • 6 Hours Ago
      " for me, but IMO its only weakness is its ICE" No, Dean. For *you*, the it's only weakness is it's Chevy bowtie. If the Volt were Ford-badged, you'd be singing its praises to the heavens.
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