Posted by Anthony CarboneSeptember 18, 2008 at 9:28 pm
This week we watched Detoit’s General Motors (who turned 100 this year) unveil the Chevy Volt! It has been very interesting as many automotive enthusiasts and business executives around the world watched such a large company like GM quickly deliver a final product based on their Chevy Volt Concept. Keep in mind the Volt only debuted in 2007! For a large American company to go from concept to production in less than 2 years during a time of desperation really goes to show how motivation can really turn a company around.
During our summer when a barrel of oil peaked around $150, GM was slaving 24/7 to deliver this vehicle in time. GM says their Volt will be able to hit 40 miles on battery power, and will be able to push 100 mph. The car still has a small 1.4L 4-cylinder engine for backup travel which will get you 200+ some miles.
The Chevy Volt might finally offer a window of opportunity for GM to crawl out of the financial hell hole the company has been digging themselves into over the last couple years. Could such a large juggernaut of a company with an old school culture who continues to create big gas sucking vehicles actually be on to something with the Volt? We will just have to wait and see how the masses react to this new age vehicle. Hopefully GM can buy another 5 years of freedom before some rich Saudi/Arab company buys them out and shuts them down just for shits and giggles.
Talk about coincidence while I wrote this last night… BOB LUTZ just was introduced on the Colbert Report and after Colbert ripped a few jokes on his behalf, they quickly talked about its electric charge distance of 40 miles and how its equivalent to $0.70/gallon to operate. Lutz mentioned there will be a Photovoltaic Roof option which will charge your Volt’s lithium ion batteries. Colbert asked if the Chevy Volt would get him layed more or less and Lutz joked that he would probably attract women who wore less makeup!! Hilarious.. Colbert finished by joking that he could “Have the planet and eat it too” by plugging his Chevy Volt into his Hummer H2’s cigarette lighter to charge it.
The production model below retains the front grill and partial lower fog light pods and the overall design of the front end really reminds me of the sharp angle of the new Camaro SS.
The headlights on the Concept are very thin and slick like the Phantom Drophead Coupe and were probably designed in Concept to emulate the expensive Audi R8 LED headlights. The headlights on the Production version are completely new and very closely resemble the Acura TL more than anything in GM’s current lineup.
The rear tail lights on the Production (above) are sleek and wrap around the sides just like on the Concept (below). The mirrors are funky and freaky and also bear heavy influence from the Concept. The lower body panel lines that flow over the front wheels and continue down the car are pretty much unchanged from the Concept.
I also think that the Chevy Volt Production version is damn similar to the highly successful (Relative to Hybrids) Toyota Prius! Look at the Prius shape, the doors, the door handles, the windows even the little corner windows between the A pillar and the mirrors and the rear door and the C pillar. Now you could argue that aerodynamics plays a huge part in designing the shape of an energy efficient vehicle to minimize drag, but come on those windows!!!
With so much on the line, I completely understand how GM would want to closely emulate the proven and accepted Toyota Prius Hybrid Design.
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The Tesla Roadster Reviewed by Jay Leno
[Source: NextAutos.com, MadWhips.com, Wikipedia.com]