Our brothers from another mother over at Translogic just released their latest episode yesterday, episode 5.4 for whoever's counting. Host Bradley Hasemeyer spent a day with General Motors at the automaker's Milford Proving Ground driving the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and came away with some heretofore unknown tidbits of information about the plug-in series hybrid.
For one, in addition to Eco, Normal and Sport modes, the Volt will have what's called Mountain Mode that allows it to climb any grade in the country. A GM engineer says they checked to be sure its Mountain Mode was adequate for any grade in the States and we have proof of at least one major mountain the Volt can climb. When Mountain Mode is selected, ideally about ten miles out from any big hills you want to climb, the Volt will kick on its on-board generator and create extra energy for the batteries. This allows the Volt's drive system to draw more power than normal from the battery packs while climbing a grade. If the battery packs are drained and the generator's already on, Mountain Mode will then increase the engine's RPM to make up the difference.
Bradley also performed an impromptu 0-60 miles per hour test in the Volt, completing the run to highway speeds in 8.53 seconds while the car was in Sport mode. Not earth-shatteringly quick, but plenty spry to feel normal in everyday driving conditions. Over the course of the day, Bradley drove the Volt a total of 59.7 miles, 16.1 of which occurred with the gas-powered range-extending on. During that time, 0.59 gallons of gas were consumed, which means the Volt achieved about 100 miles per gallon for the day and 27.3 mpg while the engine was operating.
The rest of the video is full of Volt information of which we're already aware, including how it interacts with mobile devices, charging options and the like, though we can't say we've seen anybody throw around the Volt yet like Bradley did. Follow the jump to view episode 5.4 for yourself and visit the Translogic blog here.