Chevrolet Orlando concept – Click above for high-res image gallery
Before GM's financial woes got so out-of-hand that the giant automaker was forced to declare bankruptcy, plans were in place to bring the Orlando, a new seven-passenger multi-purpose vehicle, to the U.S. market in 2011. First seen at the Paris Motor Show last year, the Orlando concept was a modern take on the nearly defunct but extremely useful wagon shape that seemed destined to replace the retro-tastic HHR in GM's lineup. Now that GM's back on track, it would seem the previously stalled Orlando project is moving forward as well.
Since the Chevy Orlando would be built atop the same Delta platform as the upcoming Chevy Cruze and Volt, might it be possible we see an extended-range electric people mover from The General wrapped in a family-friendly tall wagon bodystyle? According to Bob Lutz, the answer is a definite maybe. Responding to just such a question from Lyle Dennis over at GM-Volt.com, Lutz admitted, "We are actually studying the adaptation of Volt technology to the upcoming Orlando."
Naturally, spreading the extremely high development cost of the Volt's high-tech powertrain and lithium ion battery packs to multiple models is certainly an attractive proposition for GM. Placing that Voltec drivetrain in the Orlando makes a lot of sense, as it would seemingly allow GM to offer a fuel-saving vehicle with excellent mass-market appeal.