Apr 04

Production Volt 1/3 Scale Camouflage Spy Shot, Battery Lab, and Mule Video

 

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_8uF8QKfeI]

This entry was posted on Friday, April 4th, 2008 at 2:35 pm and is filed under Battery, Design, General, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 110


  1. 1
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (2:42 pm)

    I think the hood is shorter, looks more like a 4 seater now with a full trunk, windshield pushed forward.


  2. 2
    calgaryvolt

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (2:51 pm)

    I didn’t watch the video with sound, so I don’t know what was mentioned, but the scale model sitting in the tunnel looks similar in shape and design to the Cadillac CTS. Also, it seems like the rear has a very high trunk lid (which I like) but a very low roof line with a little tiny window out back. I can’t imagine that’s too good for visibility but maybe some real photo’s of the design will show otherwise.

    I’d really like to see what GM has come up with for a body design.


  3. 3
    Jeff M

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (3:15 pm)

    Note that some of the info that came out from the press junket said the drag is exactly the same as the Prius, which is pretty good (though not as good as the EV-1 was, but that was pretty extreme in design to reduce drag).

    Looks like great progress. The reporter in the video still mentions the $30k price…. let’s hope he’s right!


  4. 4
    Neil

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (3:20 pm)

    I like this look better than the original concept. (on the other hand, any car that can go 40 miles EV would look beautiful to me)


  5. 5
    MarkFLL

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (3:31 pm)

    I know it’s camouflaged and all, but it looks like it’s morphing into a Prius. Hope I’m wrong.


  6. 6
    Grizzly

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (3:31 pm)

    Just on shape from the side, the front looks a little like the Prius. That’s just how effective that tape is, you can’t see where the glass begins and ends and the styling, which when revealed obviously won’t look like a Prius.


  7. 7
    Jason C

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (3:39 pm)

    Looks like they cleaned up the front mostly. I would guess that the length has not changed, rather this is an illusion due to the lengthening of the front windshield. Also, the nose has been rounded off (looking down on the car, it is now more of a teardrop and less of a box). I would imagine that most of the grooves and gaps in the nose have been smoothed out and aligned to form a single level as well.

    That the concept car was better in the wind tunnel backwards tells me that the original designer has little or no education in aerodynamics as he claimed something to the effect of “..[the Volt] has all the ‘aero’ built in…so we wanted to make it like a Pony car”. It also tells me that GM is succeeding despite themselves on this.

    They must not be forwarding Target Audience Analysis reports to their staff as I doubt that most environmentally keen people are the ones who are going to drop $35,000 – $39,000 on a ‘Pony’ car. Apart from an SUV or a Hummer, I can’t think of another kind of auto that is as far away from what this car should be. Yes, I think it needs to be ‘hot’, say ‘fun!’ and elicit the word ‘cool!’ wherever you drive but no, I don’t believe it needs to say ‘muscle car’.

    I am glad that the design has been updated and look forward to seeing the final version….in full size without the camouflage. I also hope that the interior has moved away from the general ‘star trek’ look. The hardest to stomach was that potentially lethal steering wheel that looks like it has a dildo wrapped around it.


  8. 8
    nasaman

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (3:59 pm)

    You’re “ready freddie” with this Lyle! Look closely at the rear of the cabin & you’ll see the exterior “fins” on both sides of the back window —a real styling coup d’etat IMO* —and who knows, they might even help reduce drag too!!!

    *Largely because fins like these are used on the Tesla & other exotic cars!


  9. 9
    nasaman

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:03 pm)

    PS: I like this exotic, high-performance look MUCH BETTER than the original muscle car look (and I once owned a Z-28 Camaro as used for IROC).


  10. 10
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:09 pm)

    Nasaman @8

    Good point! the car looks pretty good, from what I can decipher from the photo.

    I am a little concerned that the wheel/tire package looks somewhat smaller than the show car. Maybe its an illusion. I hope they keep near the same wheel size on the production car that the prototype had. I think that helped give the car its distinctive look.


  11. 11
    nasaman

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:13 pm)

    10 MetrologyFirst….

    For my thoughts on the wheels, hood, windows, etc, see my post #48 at http://gm-volt.com/2008/04/04/fully-operation-40-mile-range-chevy-volt-prototype-to-hit-road-this-month/#comment-35549


  12. 12
    freddy

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:15 pm)

    That looks a whole lot like the Cobalt chassis with cosmetic changes. Look at the Cobalt pictures on the msn auto site. At first they don’t appear similar but the more I stare at them, the more the dimentions tend to line up, though that may be because I stared at them too long.

    Not saying it looks bad, I would agree it is a fantastic improvement over the look of the Cobalt. I really like what I can see of the design.


  13. 13
    Grizzly

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:16 pm)

    Metro-F #10

    Unfortunately the wheels will be smaller. I distinctly remember Lutz commenting on the final design and mentioned that w/o question the wheels will be smaller noting that on most concepts they are exaggerated.


  14. 14
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:26 pm)

    I hope GM doesn’t play it too conservative on the wheel styling. The last 5+ years have seen a fantastic emphasis on wheel and tire appearance. Considering the impact this car will have in the next few years, it should have a unique, classy wheel design. If they do have to be smaller than the prototype (I always figured as much, but had to hope for a miracle!) , there are clever ways to give the illusion of larger wheels in the design.

    I really hope they don’t shortchange the wheels.


  15. 15
    nasaman

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:35 pm)

    Hey, Guys! The exotic, high-performance car look (necessitated by the need to reduce drag?) ….a design that’s more suggestive of cars like Lotus & Tesla, is FAR better IMO than the muscle car look of the Volt concept, which the over-sized wheels/tires, blunt front end & “slit” windows (reminiscent of a Chrysler 300) really contributed to! As GM says, it’ll look like a cousin of the concept. But I’m SO GLAD for the exterior rear window fins & the extremely-sloped windshield that I’m not concerned that the wheels are smaller (they’re smaller on Ferraris & Lamborghinis too)!


  16. 16
    Peteski

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:40 pm)

    “The finished Volt will bear a ‘clear family resemblance’ to the sporty vehicle initially shown at last year’s Detroit auto show, Burns said. ‘But it won’t be a twin.’”
    Larry Burns, GM’s vice president for research and development
    So it won’t happen and when it doesn’t it will NOT look like the show car still trotted-out at auto shows and featured heavily in GM’s ads.


  17. 17
    Eric

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:43 pm)

    The car definitely looks pretty cool, even with the camouflage. I was a little concerned that it would lose much of its appeal after the wind tunnel process. Glad to see I was wrong!


  18. 18
    noel park

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:44 pm)

    The wheels and tires clearly have to be optimzed for areo and ROLLING RESISTANCE. This is my sense of what Mr. Lutz was talking about. In this case, I have to agree with him.

    Maybe they can retain the diameter as a fashion statement and reduce the rim width. I don’t see anybody doing any 1.0g cornering in a Volt. Also, even the tire width has to contribute something to the frontal area.

    How about aluminum wheels which would look something like the old Moon hubcaps, so beloved of the dry lakes and Bonneville set in the 50s, 60s and 70s?

    Is it just me, or does the roof line in the rear look a bit odd? It looks like there is a bit of a notch where the rear window is, and then sort of a bustle of a trunk/hatch. Kind of a hybrid hatchback/notchback? Or is that just the tape talking? Why not just carry the roofline back to the end, pardon my saying so, a la the Prius? It doesn’t seem to hurt their Cd.

    I know, I know, I’m the one who always says form follows function. I’ve said 20 times thati If it helps the Cd, I don’t care too much what it looks like. Bif it’s just a styling cue to differentiate the Volt from the you know what, I dunno.

    Or maybe they haven’t put ALL of their cards on the table yet.


  19. 19
    AES

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    I firmly disagree that it’s morphing into a Prius. The prius’s distinctive look is defined by the hood and the windshield being at the same angle, as well as the abrupt interruption of the sloping roof by the hatchback-style rear. The 1/3 model of the volt doesn’t seem to have either of those traits.


  20. 20
    nasaman

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (4:56 pm)

    17 noel…..

    IMO, you’re talking about the exterior fins on both sides of the rear window that look much like the Tesla ….these will REALLY set the Volt apart from muscle car designs like the ‘Vette, Camaro, Mustang, etc. Instead, these rear window fins (doesn’t anyone else here see them?!?) plus the drastically-sloped windshield suggest an exotic, high-performance design! This is a HUGE improvement over the “Detroit-Iron Musclecar” suggested by the Volt concept styling!!!


  21. 21
    George K

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (5:27 pm)

    calgaryvolt #2

    On my scale model Volt, you can also see out through a section of the trunk, between the license plate and the spoiler. I assume they worked out the same thing in the finalized Volt.


  22. 22
    Grizzly

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (5:33 pm)

    The back looks a little like a Mustang 5.0. The trunk will obviously be bigger, but I’m not sure I see actual fins. Unfortunately someone at GM is a little too good with tape!


  23. 23
    NZDavid

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (5:37 pm)

    Can’t wait to see the final design. But I like what I see better then the Concept.


  24. 24
    nasaman

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (5:38 pm)

    21 Grizzly….

    It’s easier to make out the rear fins if you watch the You Tube video and/or pause it around 3:23


  25. 25
    noel park

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (5:55 pm)

    #19 nasaman:

    Thanks. I see the fins quite clearly. They sort of remind me of the sort of roof strakes on the NASCAR COT. I REALLY like the front, but the back is sort of eluding me at the moment. Of course Neil is quite right at #4. Any car which will go 40 miles EV is beautiful by definition.

    #20 George K:

    I agree about the glass panel in the rear of the trunk/hatch. This is a very cool feature, both for practical visibility and for styling. I have always liked it, going all the way back to the late, lamented, Honda CRX.


  26. 26
    Grizzly

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (6:04 pm)

    nasaman #23

    I guess I didn’t mention that I see a ridge like Noel, but not necessarily
    a fin like the Tesla, terminology difference maybe.

    Noel #24 George #20

    I also thought that was a nice feature. I wonder if that hasn’t been scrapped since they’ve stated they’re not going to use the special GE plastics they once intended.


  27. 27
    mmcc

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (6:33 pm)

    Are there any artists out there that can clean this up? Where’s Chip Foose when you need him.


  28. 28
    ksuhwail

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (6:34 pm)

    God I would love to see that in a Cadillac styling package. I bet those fins could would work wonders with that design language. It would be great to get a luxury version of this thing after Chevy gets it out to the masses.

    Nonetheless, I think it is looking good and can’t wait to get my hands on one…but I did love that muscle car look! Granted I’m in my 20s, own a trans-am and can’t wait for the new 6.0L V8 Z-28!


  29. 29
    Vincent

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (6:40 pm)

    GM…You need to build that Concept style exactly as it is even if it’s not an electric car. It’s a fantastic design.


  30. 30
    BillR

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:00 pm)

    #18 AES

    Totally agree! With the differing slopes from the hood to the windshield, this doesn’t look like a Prissy.

    In the previous post, someone mentioned the Cadillac CTS, and I can see similarities to that car, especially the new CTS coupe. See the attached link:

    http://www.motortrend.com/av/autoshow/detroit/112_2008_detroit_cadillac_cts_coupe_concept

    I’m not sure if anyone else saw the CTS coupe while attending the VoltNation event, but it was only a short distance from the Volt display. This coupe is absolutely stunning!! Another gentleman and myself from VoltNation found it irresistable.

    If the Volt will look anything like this CTS coupe, it will be drop-dead gorgeous!!


  31. 31
    noel park

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:09 pm)

    Thanks to all. After reading your comments, and looking very hard at the pictures again, I am starting to feel a lot better about the back of the car.

    Maybe I imagined the sort of notch, or the tape tricked my eye. Now I think I’m seeing a more or less smooth line from the roof to the back of the car with a bit of a flip up sort of spoiler at the very back. This would very much mimic the concept car. Or maybe it’s wishful thinking!

    They have really done a remarkable job of blurring the styling with that !@##$$%% tape!

    Fantastic job Dr. Dennis. I am feeling much more optimistic today, although I still have a bit of the willies from the floating of the 48K number.


  32. 32
    Eric

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:14 pm)

    EVWorld has a great in-depth article about their reporter that went to this session at http://www.evworld.com/article.cfm?storyid=1428

    One of the quotes of interest: “Ten years ago, auto industry analysts estimated each Prius cost around $35,000 to produce while the company was selling it for less than $20,000.”

    If that’s accurate, then the break-even cost for GM of $48,000 could easily become a first year sale price of $33,000, which would be a smaller loss by percentage than Toyota initially took for their Prius. Factor in a federal tax credit, and the car is likely $30k or less.

    2010 can’t come fast enough…


  33. 33
    Eric

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:21 pm)

    Another point from that article, GM is now expecting a 350-400 mile range, due to using a single fuel tank instead of a dual tank setup. I guess that’s not such a big deal since you can refuel.

    Personally, I was hoping on the 640 mile range, so I could make trips to NH using only E85. I only know of one station between points A and B, but maybe more will crop up. Still hoping for cellulosic ethanol to replace corn-based ethanol too…


  34. 34
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:21 pm)

    Vincent @29

    I think we are on the same page here. I loved the concept; I was hoping the production car would be as close as possible to that. Although I understand the issues surrounding its limitations, that exact design should not be discarded. Even if they bring it out years later as a newer model or even a different model, that is a striking design.

    All this goes to show that there are many different tastes out there, and all of them GM should address in the future. That’s what makes their business the coolest in the world and is why they are uniquely positioned with this chassis.

    I just hope GM doesn’t fall into the trap of function over style in the long run like Toyota and Honda. I will give them some slack in the beginning, but I would gladly give up some function for a striking style. There is no reason our electric cars of the future have to LOOK like our electric or hybrid cars of the past.

    Put E-flex in the Solstice coupe or the new Camaro, you’ll sell them till the cows come home. Someday……

    First things first though; Volt 1.0 will be superb.


  35. 35
    David L

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:28 pm)

    The production scale model looks great … yes, nasaman et al. – I see the fins! (Very cool!) The styling looks very appealing … I look forward to seeing the Volt without tape!

    However, I am disappointed that the CNN story reported are that only two people can fit in the back:

    The Volt will be a four-seat car. Not having a center seating position in the back will allow room for the car’s battery to run longitudinally down the center of the car while keeping the roof low for better aerodynamics, according to a GM press release. The T-shaped battery will also extend out under the back seats.

    I have two children, and am considering “going for” a third. This could be a deal breaker for me …


  36. 36
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:39 pm)

    Call me crazy, but they should sell a trailer that provides two additional, enclosed bench seats. THat would make the Volt a convertible.


  37. 37
    Eric

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:44 pm)

    #35…

    Crazy! 😉


  38. 38
    Mike

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:50 pm)

    It looks alot like the new prototype Cadillac CTS Coupe, which is a good looking car. Much better looking than any Prius.
    http://www.cadillac.com/cadillacjsp/experience/news_ctscoupe.jsp

    I really wished they could have stayed with the low profile “chop top” design with the oversized rims pushed out to the far corners though.


  39. 39
    Talks

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:51 pm)

    Today I went to Toyota showroom and test driven 2008 Prius to feel
    how electric car will drive. My first impression is Wow!. Dashboard is very futuristic and the interior is spacious. Digital speedometer, big lcd looks great on the dashboard. I liked the great distance between the digital speedometer and the driver, you will feel as though it is coming out of great deep. I liked its ambience.
    Acceleration is good, I felt it is enough for me. It is very refined, shifting between EV mode and ICE is very smooth and unnoticible.

    Hope VOLT will also be futuristic and refined with good ambience.


  40. 40
    BillR

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (7:51 pm)

    #19 AES

    Totally agree! With the differing slopes between the hood and the windshield, this doesn’t look like a Prissy.

    In another post, someone mentioned that the new Volt looked like the Cadillac CTS. I think it may look a lot like the new CTS Coupe. See this attached link:

    http://www.motortrend.com/av/autoshow/detroit/112_2008_detroit_cadillac_cts_coupe_concept

    At the VoltNation event, just a short distance away was the Cadillac display. I saw this coupe and it is absolutely stunning! Another gentleman from VoltNation and myself found this coupe irresistible.

    If the Volt will look anything like this vehicle, it will be absolutely drop-dead gorgeous!


  41. 41
    JBFALASKA

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (8:27 pm)

    Still looks great. Dear GM, I have a $10,000 deposit ready when preorders begin.

    I’m number 8,679 on the waiting list at the GM concept site.


  42. 42
    Statik

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (8:30 pm)

    Kind of looks like a Subaru SVX to me…2008 style.

    Which isn’t that bad…I thought it was a great/misunderstood car when it was put out. One of those cars that was just ahead of it’s time perhaps and found no market/traction.

    http://www.terra2imports.ca/ab-images/118892903331338.jpg


  43. 43
    Grizzly

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (8:37 pm)

    Noel #30

    Correct, very confusing masking on the car. If you look at the picture above the video at the top of this thread, look at the white upside down “V” of tape that is on the lid of the trunk/rear window. If you just look at the back it seems that there is a recess and the wind comes over the back and then flows into the recess and smacks against the perceived raised spoiler between two ridges. A closer look at the upside down “V” reveals that the right leg seems to stop about where the spoiler is raised. The left leg, furthest away seems to run straight on top of the spoiler suggesting that it’s smooth.

    Any more looking at this car and I’m going to have a headache 🙂 .


  44. 44
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (8:40 pm)

    I’d kind of like the new Volt to look sleek, refined and stylish like the new Holden Commodore line. Holden is a GM subsidiary. Whoever is the designer of these cars is pretty good.

    http://www.holden.com.au/www-holden/action/vehicleentry?vehicleid=4

    I particularly like the new Holden Coupe 60 exterior design:

    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/holden-coupe-60/

    The Volt could maybe use the same basic overall look and feel of the Holden cars … except with more functional aerodynamic features, lower to the ground … whatever gets those extra “all electric range” miles. 🙂

    I DON’T want the Volt designers to go overboard and make the Volt look TOO futuristic. Somewhere in between “Star Wars futuristic” and the familiar popular design stuff that people in car magazines say people really like. Maybe make the interiors look a little like the latest Malibu, Accord, and Camry.

    Sometimes it’s better to go with conventional design stuff when it comes to a car that’s as groundbreaking as this one is going to be. I just want to make sure this car is getting rave reviews for it’s exterior and interior design as much as the new revolutionary E-Flex series hybrid powertrain. I want substance AND style if possible. Beauty AND brains!

    Please, GM make this a car that is going to appeal to A LOT of people, not just folks who like futuristic looking cars and the “latest and greatest” tech. I want the whole 16-40 year old demographic to think the Volt looks cool and they want to show it off to everyone.

    Those guys with the car magazines like Motor Trend and Road and Track have pretty good taste in cars most of the time. Run those exterior and interior designs by those guys and get some good feedback. My big fear is that the Volt might look a bit too “nerdy” like the EV1. Some people feel the same way about the Prius.

    I want the Volt to be a stunning success for the WHOLE PACKAGE … not just the fancy new engineering and science under the hood. I want people who were thinking about getting a Prius to forget about it after they see the new Volt design … even if they don’t have a clue how the Volt’s new E-flex powertrain works. Those folks will just be happy to know the Volt gets saves a LOT on gas money and it “looks cool”. Bob Lutz would love to have bragging rights over Toyota in hybrid cars you know. 🙂

    Great exterior/interior designs + solid, innovative engineering under the hood = smash hit car.


  45. 45
    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (8:41 pm)

    DavidL,
    I don’t think that it’s ever been described as other than a 4 passenger vehicle.


  46. 46
    voltme

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (9:06 pm)

    Posted some photoshoped pics here…


  47. 47
    voltme

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (9:07 pm)

    http://www.petro zero.org


  48. 48
    Grizzly

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (9:12 pm)

    Voltme

    Nice job, really cuts through all that… tape 😉 .


  49. 49
    Talks

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (9:17 pm)

  50. 50
    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (9:19 pm)

    That cranberry car up on the rack had Penna plates!


  51. 51
    jscott1000

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (9:20 pm)

    Looks very CTS-ish which is a compliment. The production Volt will be an attractive car, but all prototypes have exaggerated elements that are impractical on the real car. I doubt the real Volt will have 22 inch wheels, but I’d settle for 18s.

    This car seems more real all the time and not just a political stunt as Toyota would have you believe. Personally I can’t wait


  52. 52
    Tom

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (10:03 pm)

    You guys are obviously not car people. Show/concept cars always have enormous wheels and super low profile tires. Production cars don’t, so don’t expect them for the Volt.


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    voltme

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (10:09 pm)

    one thing that really stands out to me is the fact that the front wheels have been moved back significantly from the concept vehicle…


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    jscott1000

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (10:13 pm)

    Concept cars are kind of like supermodels…they both have proportions that are not representative of the general population.


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    voltme

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (10:17 pm)

    An interesting quote from the guys at popular mechanics who were there at the sneak peak:

    In the design studio, E-Flex design director Bob Boniface showed us the production car’s corners. The front end is very smooth and rounded, kind of like a Honda Civic, while the rear take cues from the Toyota Prius with its high, hatchback trunk. But the rear deck spoiler is much larger, and the taillamps look very similar to the concept. The overall shape, which was covered by a red sheet in the studio, looked to have a very Prius-like profile. In other words, the proportions and overall style of the Volt probably won’t look much like the concept.

    Honda Civic front has a very cab forward design, and while I was doing the photoshop pics, I kept thinking that the front windscreen was very similar to that…


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    Jimmy

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (10:53 pm)

    I love the modified shape of the production model. Great post. Additional news just keeps coming and coming. Thanks!!!


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    Jim I

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (10:54 pm)

    Tag #50:

    Now you can say that the first Volt was delivered to PA!!!!!

    🙂


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    Grizzly

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (10:56 pm)

    The front wheels had to be pulled back so they could round off the front for aero.

    Popular Mechanics also stated that Conti/A123 were using “cylindrical” cells. This is incorrect and I wonder for such a current article where they got that from. A123/Conti changed to prismatic quite a while ago.


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    john1701a

     

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    Apr 4th, 2008 (11:29 pm)

    >> Great exterior/interior designs + solid, innovative engineering under the hood = smash hit

    No. That’s the formula for a collector’s item. You forgot to include volume.

    A smash hit, especially in these times, is a business sustaining product. Will Volt be produced at that high of a quantity?

    It means being such a good purchase choice that it’s quite common. Mainstream volume does not sound like what the enthusiasts actually want.

    To be a supporter instead, it means embracing the practical. How popular do you want Volt to become?


  60. 60
    Jim I

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (12:18 am)

    john1701a #59:

    Enthusiasts get the manufacturer to consider the design and production process. Once the vehicles have entered the marketplace and are considered a success in performance, other models will be introduced both up and down in price.

    It takes time to convince a public that has been purchasing cars based on the ICE for over 100 years, that this is the correct technology to spend their money. Early adopters get the cars on the road for others to see. The goal is to get some on the road in the first place!!!

    There were only about 5,500 Prius units sold in the USA in 2000. The annual USA sales volume did not go over 60,000 units until 2005. And for the first few years, Toyota sold them at a loss. Do you think that was done out of generosity? No, it was done to get a new type of technology on the road……….

    Now if GM only makes 10K Volts and stops production, I will agree with you completely. However, if by 2015 they are selling more than 60K E-REV based units per year, and by 2018 they are over 175K units, which is what Toyota has done with the Prius, wouldn’t you have to consider that a success?

    They can’t sell serial number 1,000,000 until they sell serial #1.


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    Apr 5th, 2008 (1:04 am)

    From what I’ve seen of the overall shape of the taped up minicar and the description by Popular Mechanics with the iPhone-like interface (hopefully with all the typical Apple-style eye candy and animation) this car will truly be class-leading–and that’s before you factor in the all-electric drive!


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    Mike756

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (5:55 am)

    This post rocks! It’s great to see the engineers at work. Keep it coming Lyle.


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    McLovin McFly

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (7:00 am)

    Remove the fake oversized rear bumper, the fake fins and the tape running horizontally across the middle of the rear window.

    What do you get ? The rear half of a Prius…

    I honestly don’t care what the car looks like (as long as I can afford it).


  64. 64
    voltme

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (7:18 am)

    I’ve spent a bit more time this morning on the photoshop overlays to give a better impression of the final production vehicle’s look in the revised shape. I’ve applied the actual textures from the concept and the picture continues to become clearer as to the final look. Take a peak here…

    http://www.petro zero.org


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    john1701a

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (7:20 am)

    >> There were only about 5,500 Prius units sold in the USA in 2000. The annual USA
    >> sales volume did not go over 60,000 units until 2005.

    That first number is totally misleading. In 2000, sales began mid-August.

    As for the rate, consumers had no idea what the heck a hybrid was. Back then, many that did assumed they were slow and needed to be plugged in. And of course, gas was cheap. So production was intentionally restricted to a quota.

    The market is totally different now. By November 2010, the misconceptions will only be nostalgic memory.

    >> by 2018 they are over 175K units, which is what Toyota has done with
    >> the Prius, wouldn’t you have to consider that a success?

    If that’s it, something went wrong. Bringing the price down comes from mass-production… spreading the technology across several vehicles.

    In other words, stop focusing on Prius alone. It’s causes incorrect conclusions. Highlander-Hybrid, RX400h, and Camry-Hybrid all contributed to that next important step.


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    nasaman

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (7:46 am)

    64 voltme….

    Very nice work! But I’m surprised you don’t see the fins or ridges at the outside edges of the rear window, possibly extending most of the way from the car’s top to the rear of the trunk (highest at the top, and gradually reducing in height toward the rear). Look closely at the taped model’s left rear side (right under the “wind tunnel camo” label) These fins/ridges are clearly visible in the 1/3 model to several of us here, even with all the tape, and are much more subtle but still suggestive of Tesla’s rear window & deck treatment. Check Tesla’s gallery for a view of its rear window/deck….

    http://www.teslamotors.com/design/gallery-body.php

    (BTW, your link should be….. http://www.petrozero.org/ ) 🙂


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    BillR

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (7:56 am)

    I think a good name for the 1/3 scale prototype shown above is the “TapeMobile”.

    Although it provides a good overall representation of the general shape of the vehicle, it also includes some deception.

    From the concept vehicle, I scaled the wheelbase at ~ 125″. The Delta II platform will have a wheelbase between 103″ and 112″ (between Cobalt and Malibu). Therefore, it is noticed from TapeMobile that the front and rear overhangs are increased. Also, the length of the hood has been shortened, and the wheel rims are almost solid discs, to reduce drag.

    However, in the rear, it seems to me that additional tape and/or material has been added. It appears like a large spoiler or side fins have been added, however, I’m not sure that these are truely part of the production model (I question how you will see out of the rear window the rear spoiler is so high). Also, these features don’t appear to be very aerodynamic, as they leave a large flat surface in the rear (more SUV-like than teardrop shape).

    Therefore, I have concluded that TapeMobile has some deceptive features included (besides the headache inducing tape) to hide the actual design of the vehicle. TapeMobile provides some general clues as to the shape of the Volt, but I wouldn’t put a great deal of faith in everything that I see in that model.


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    Apr 5th, 2008 (7:59 am)

    voltme

    Great job with Photoshop!


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    euBoy

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (8:12 am)

    Well, sad news for me… This is sooooooo much NOT like the concept Volt…
    Still waiting to see the final design, but this already begins to look just like an another faceless vehicle, hundreds of which I see every day.
    Yes, I know, Volt is all about being electric, but I was hoping for more..

    But I’m clearly in the minority 🙂

    Hope for the Volt to be a huge success!


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    Ziv

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (8:22 am)

    Voltme, I like what you’ve done! The photoshop work seems to be pretty clear, it is the front end I miss, but that wasn’t very realistic to start with, not to mention the oversize wheels. The rear end is ok, the spoiler is critical. All in all, Tape Car is pretty hard to decipher but your work looks like the car is going to aggressive and classy.
    I can’t wait to see spy pictures of the full size prototype!


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    voltme

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (8:48 am)

    thanks! i will put some more work into the front and add the headlight and roofline details as I have some more time. Gotta spend some time with the kids now.

    Anyone else have problems with the “Your comment is awaiting moderation” filter? I had to break up my site url to get my comment posted without it.

    Is it for any URL or just certain ones? I’d like to think its not the latter.


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    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (10:13 am)

    I’m sorry if I am a wet blanket here, but these derivatives from the 1/3 model are not giving me a good feeling. These are substantially different from the concept car. That’s the one we’ve been shown, we have seen all over the media, in the videos, even our 1/32 model. I do understand the complexities of this particular car, but it is not a given that the concept and production cars must be so different. These two cars don’t appear to be even the same species!

    The Solstice concept was extremely close to the production car, it has been done. The concept Volt was an inspiring design. It was the anti-Prius. I am truely afraid it might be morphing into one. Or into a non-descript, boring, plain vanilla “economy car”. I can’t imagine Lutz would be happy with that.

    I REALLY hope we are reading the camouflage all wrong. Maybe GM is pulling our leg?


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    Apr 5th, 2008 (10:19 am)

    I keep playing the clip and it seems as though the flaired fenders are all but gone. I realized they needed to be decreased for drag effienciency, but the side seems to becoming rather flat. Maybe it’s just all the tape. Looking down at the model at 2:42 in the clip, I can’t make out any flairing of the fenders. Oh well, we’ll see.


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    Grizlly

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (10:25 am)

    BillR #67

    Good point, I agree. Whoever GM has doing the tape job specializes in headaches.

    The point you bring up about the spoiler is evident in the white upside down “V” on the rear deck. Look at the left tail (furthest away) of the “V” and if there is a spoiler it should dip but it doesn’t. I believe that the perceived ridge in :51 and 3:01 of the video is a color trick of contrast and shapes because it seems to appear and disappear throughout the video.

    Really about the only thing evident is the basic shape particularly if we were given a dead-on side view of the car, which in that vid. we weren’t. Until the vehicle is revealed, unfortunately we’re still going to be guessing, which is what GM wants.


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    Grizzly

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (10:27 am)

    …now why on earth did I have to typo my own name? 🙁


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    Jim G

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (10:29 am)

    Hey guys. Long time, no post. I haven’t posted since the price was “raised” to no longer be comfortably below $30K, but I’ve still been following along. I’ve just been depressed that the Volt may not make economic sense for me.

    Anyway, I wanted to make a comment about the scale model. One thing I am surprised about is to see the drag-creating side mirrors. I really thought they would go the Aptera route and use cameras.


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    Herkimer

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (10:41 am)

    @EVERYONE complaining about the design:

    Give it a rest. Now.

    If you want style, buy a Tesla. The rest of us want something that will get us off gas (for various reasons), and STILL BE AFFORDABLE.

    Oh, boo hoo, it doesn’t look like a Ferrari! Oh, the humanity, it’s not going to have the visual presence of an 57 Chevy!

    Given the current technological constraints of this project, its stated objectives, and the financial constraints of the mass market –> it may turn out that the only way to achieve the 40 miles of all-electric range could be the use of a boring exterior.

    ***Any reasonable person SHOULD be ok with that. For now.***

    As the technology matures (battery capacity, propulsion efficiency, etc) there will be more “iconic” offerings in this class. Then, the designers can have a bit more fun with the designs, and give you a stylish car at a price you can afford.

    Until then – STFU. Your whining contributes nothing.


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    MarkinWI

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (10:44 am)

    After looking at Voltme’s link, all I can say is “wow.” Yes, it may remind you of lots of other cars on the road, but I find it hard to believe that there can be endless variations in shape and detail and still have a car with low drag. Eric at #32’s link was much appreciated. Great in-depth article. On the whole, I’m feeling very optimistic after reading the article and looking at the photoshop pics. This is a car that I want to buy, and I think that GM will put it out at a price that I can live with.


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    Jason C

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (11:03 am)

    #77 Herkimer

    While tactless, your point is quite valid.

    I think that people who are complaining about this design modification need to think of this in a different way. You expect the world to change to suit you when in reality you need to change to adapt to the world that is presented to you.

    like the Rolling Stones said “…you can’t always get what you want!”


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    Jim G

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (11:14 am)

    77 Herkimer,

    The only truly whining post I’ve read is yours. This is a discussion board. Threrefore, I suggest a way to make your current boring car completely gas free right now would be to shove it.


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    jbfalaska

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (11:21 am)

    Car still looks American to me. I still have my $10,000 deposit ready to go. I’m still on the early part of the waiting list.

    As a retired Air Force military veteran, I’m ready to help the boys and girls who took my place in service to our Great country can stop fighting for the price of a barrel of oil. If you factor in all the costs of defending oil and the Middle-East oil barons, Americans are paying nearly $10 per gallon for a foreign source of oil. The Chevy Volt is American made, and American FUELED. Let’s do it.


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    jbfalaska

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (11:23 am)

    I have to add, our defense of oil is provided FREE to Japan, China, the Asian tiger nations, and others. We pay for their free shipping trade while they clobber us on the trade front. Our deficits are running wild in both trade and budget.

    Time to change our mode of transportation, time to change those politicians who think like dinosaurs as if this is still the 1950s.


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    Apr 5th, 2008 (11:27 am)

    Thank you GM for helping us get away from Foreign oil. All the bullets and triggers and weapons I’ve seen in the military can’t replace the smaller cost, but bigger gesture of getting us the @!@E#!@ away from the corrosive effects of Oil dependency.

    My bumper sticker _ CHEVY VOLT – American-made, American FUELED.

    Buy American.


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    noel park

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (11:46 am)

    #43 Grizzly:

    Thanks. I sure hope that you are right.

    #64 voltme:

    Many thanks for the fantastic work. IMHO, it looks more like the original concept than I expected. I am not surprised tht it sort of evolves to a shape similar to the Prius. Clearly, Toyota did a lot of work in the wind tunnel to get their Cd down, as has GM. The answer is the answer.

    #66 nasaman:

    Thanks for clearing up the link.

    #72 MetrologyFirst:

    When I looked at the two together in voltme’s brilliant photoshop, I was actually pleasantly surprised that it looked as much like the concept as it did. It’s just more of a real world car with much better aero. Bring it on.

    #75 Grizzly:

    Join the club! It may embarrass you, but it makes me feel better. As my mother used to say, “Misery loves company.”

    #80 & 81 jbfalaska:

    Amen. Preach on brother!


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (11:59 am)

    Tag #50:

    Now you can say that the first Volt was delivered to PA!!!!!

    Naw, probably just “Jacked” in Detroit and up on the rack in Philly to strip it. (g)


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    DaV8or

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (12:22 pm)

    Really sad to see the original concept go. Kind of feels like a bait and switch. I’m going to reserve judgment on design until they really show it to us, but from this video, it does look like it’s sliding down the slippery slope of looking like just another generic plastic turd on wheels. I sort of knew this was coming from all that has been posted and talking to the designers at Volt Nation.

    I wish that GM had been more honest and built the original concept to be closer to what it always had to be, aerodynamic. I’m sure if they had done this, there wouldn’t be as much interest in the car as there is, so they needed something flashy. Had they shown a true form, I know I would have only taken a passing interest in the Volt instead of obsessing about it. I am really hoping that GM is shooting beyond cars as appliances as they have been reduced to, and more towards the expressions of rolling art they once were.

    Again, I’ll have to wait and see, but the hood on the tape car looks like a toilet seat!


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (12:45 pm)

    To evolve, form follows function. Understanding that gets you to the deep end of the perspective pool. Appreciating the sublime beauty of a low Cd vehicle is more fulfilling than the style de jour.


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    OhmExcited

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (12:46 pm)

    The polycarbonate roof is going as well. It’s a Cobalt. Hopefully it will still have its own charm.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (12:49 pm)

    GreenCarCongress.com did a nice piece on their tour. The preliminary data they report is actually “Better than advertized” on just about every level.


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    Herkimer

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    @Jim 76 & 79

    Do you feel less depressed now that you got that out of your system?

    Why don’t you try something novel, and post something useful, instead of a personal attack?
    —–

    My point is this: It’s not reasonable to expect an affordable car that is both aesthetically innovative and ultra-efficient. Especially in this case, when the technology is so new.


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    Apr 5th, 2008 (1:19 pm)

    Tag #84:

    I think you got that reversed:

    Jacked in Phily, and up on the rack in Detroit………..

    I guess that is one way for GM not to have the mules noticed!!!


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (1:24 pm)

    Jim G
    “Don’t feed the trolls” (I get that all the time)(lol)


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (1:29 pm)

    Jim I
    In central PA the best disguise would be a pickup truck with a shotgun rack in the back window…


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    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (1:39 pm)

    I appreciate all the opinions here. No need to get defensive. There are many reasons one whould buy a Volt. I think GM should take all of them into consideration rather than just the cd issue. Nearly everyone I know would give up a little range for a more courageous design. I am on record as planning on owning a Volt 1.0

    But I completely stand by my comments in #72.


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    Jim I

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (1:46 pm)

    john1701a #65:

    “As for the rate, consumers had no idea what the heck a hybrid was. Back then, many that did assumed they were slow and needed to be plugged in. And of course, gas was cheap”

    I think you assume too much. People are aware of the term Hybrid, but ask most of them to explain how it works, in even the simplest of descriptions. You will be amazed at how little they understand the technology.

    Just because we are familiar with PHEV and E-REV does not mean that the average person on Main street has that same level of knowledge. I have been asking people if they know anything about the Volt. Most people give you a blank stare as a response. Why do you think GM is starting with the very stupid (to us, at least) Volt commercials with kids putting their heads on the hood of the car….

    GM has a long road of education ahead of them!

    Just putting the car out there at what you feel is a required price “for the masses” is not going to get it to sell, because except for those of us that like being early adopters of new technology, most people are afraid to spend on an “unproven” technology.

    IMHO, the only real mistake that GM has made was in branding the Gen-1 Volt as a Chevy. Had it been listed as a Caddy, no one would be screaming about pricing it at $40K. Then they could release a Gen-2 model as a Chevy in 2012, when production ramps up, and pricing issues could be dealt with.


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    koz

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (2:37 pm)

    Jim & John

    Frank Webber made a big deal about consumer education at Voltnation. While I think it is an issue to consider and address, I don’t think it needs as much attention as he expressed. The average consumer knows little about existing hybrid technology, but they really don’t know much more about the internal combustion engine either. GM will have more of an education issue with their own people and particularly the dealership salesforce and mechanics. I think the biggest issue regarding the public facing GM and everyone that is and will be offering BEVs and Plug-ins, is changing the car buying mindset of comparing sticker prices to comparing total cost of ownership. The carmakers will have to address this on every front: media reports, car magazine reviews, dealer sales, marketing of all levels, etc. For instance, car magazines like Road & Track present a concise fact area in their reviews. This has 0-60 times, measurements, etc and sticker price. This does not favor high-tech, low (or no) gas cars, but total cost of ownership is very individual. GM and all other plug-in capable manufacturers should generate (and market on their websites as well as everywhere they can) a total cost of ownership program. This program, essentially a spreadsheet, would contain average default values but allow the user to alter values for their situation. Inputs should include: car price or lease price (including downpayment), expected length of ownership or lease term, current price of gas, current average price of electricity for vehicle charging, value of money, expected annual increase in price of gas, expected annual increase in price of electricity, average daily usage city miles, average daily usage highway miles, preferred highway speed, and availability of daytime charging.


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    Grizzly

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (3:23 pm)

    Tag #89

    Very nice link, full of details I’ve never seen before. Notably that it appears that the 16KWH’s 50% cycle is shallow not only for battery life, but for reserve power later in the batt’s life to ensure 40 AER. Or, 8kwh of redundancy if you will. So if I understand that article correctly, later in life, the PCM/BMS could allow the battery to dip below 50% SOC to ensure 40mi AER.

    I’ll bet potential hackers are just licking their chops 😉 .


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (4:51 pm)

    I’ll bet potential hackers are just licking their chops .

    And it tastes Soooo goooood. They are building this thing like NASA. So much redunancy and UNDER HYPE that it almost HAS to exceed expectations (which is exactly what GM MUST do to break through Toyotas grasp. You gotta BEAT the champ)


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    voltme

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (5:40 pm)

    In response to Lyle’s invitation for more photoshop renderings, I’ve posted an updated pic over at petro+zero…


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    Apr 5th, 2008 (9:29 pm)

    >> People are aware of the term Hybrid, but ask most of them to explain how
    >> it works, in even the simplest of descriptions. You will be amazed at how little
    >> they understand the technology.

    That’s what I’ve been saying. The nonsense about complexity has been and will continue to be exclusive domain of the enthusiasts. Only they care.

    The typical consumer has learned that many of those original beliefs were just misconceptions. They see hybrids like Prius everyday now and know that they work much like traditional vehicles. They know the costs involved. And they know about the reliability. That fulfills their criteria for purchase, so they do.

    The average joe on the street couldn’t care less about Volt until the opportunity for a test drive is finally available. The enthusiast point-of-view is what draws me here. Remember, I’m a founder for Prius. So witnessing another big step in hybrid history is something I’m well versed for. I’ve seen several already.


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    Apr 5th, 2008 (9:40 pm)

    >> which is exactly what GM MUST do to break through Toyotas grasp

    How?

    Selling out entire inventories will still leave the market wanting more. Demand for the truly clean & efficient hybrids will outstrip supply.

    In the US alone, over 16 million new vehicles are purchased each year. Think about the quantity automakers will need to offer.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (9:44 pm)

    “So witnessing another big step in hybrid history is something I’m well versed for. I’ve seen several already.”

    Fortunately for most of us here, witnessing history is a lower order skill.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 5th, 2008 (9:48 pm)

    “How?

    Selling out entire inventories will still leave the market wanting more. Demand for the truly clean & efficient hybrids will outstrip supply.
    In the US alone, over 16 million new vehicles are purchased each year. Think about the quantity automakers will need to offer.

    You totally lost me (not hard). I was trying to make the point that GM has some very sour baggage to overcome. Pumping out thousands of sub-performing vehicles won’t do. They have to be great to be seen as adequete (and accepted).


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    josh

     

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    Apr 6th, 2008 (12:48 am)

    Kind of looks pontiac g6 like with mazda3/dodge charger like headlights.


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    John

     

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    Apr 6th, 2008 (4:15 pm)

    Whining has always been a problem on these posts.

    When the car comes out, the talkers will fade away and the true buyers will emerge and the car will do as well as GM made it to be.

    Period.

    Until then, some of us will begin to know the limitations of our own dreams, and adjust accordingly as more details come out.

    And if you did NOT know that this car was to be a four-seater; you need to do waaaay less yapping and do more clue-hunting!


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    pdt

     

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    Apr 6th, 2008 (5:57 pm)

    Can’t resist adding my own 2 cents. It will not matter what the final design of the Volt is, there will be many, many people who will not like it, and many of them who will not buy it because they don’t like how it looks. That’s why there are so darn many different styles of cars around to fit the tastes of everyone.

    In the long run there will be many styles of E-REV vehicles to fit the tastes of everyone. There will be only one Volt in 2010 (I hope!) and it will certainly not suit everyone’s tastes.

    Personally, I don’t really care what it looks like, I want it for the E-REV technology. As long as it does what GM is saying it will do and I can convince my wife that it isn’t crazy to spend that much money on it, I’ll have one.

    As an aside, I still think it would be really cool if GM would sell a “motherboard” to third parties who could skin it for a range of customers and add a range of gizmos, ala Intel. Everyone seems to think that is crazy, but time will tell.


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    Grizzly

     

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    Apr 6th, 2008 (6:25 pm)

    pdt #106

    “As an aside, I still think it would be really cool if GM would sell a “motherboard” to third parties who could skin it for a range of customers and add a range of gizmos, ala Intel. Everyone seems to think that is crazy, but time will tell.”

    **** **** *** ***

    In time I think you’ll find that GM will keep that MB and segment the product line so that they’ll have something for everyone. I don’t think this is a WAG but the direction this technology is heading in. The car needs to come out before we get ahead of ourselves.

    The beauty of E-flex is that the possibilities for GM are almost limitless.


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    Apr 6th, 2008 (7:54 pm)

    Grizzly #107

    I imagine you’re right, I just think it’s a cool concept and would fill more niches than GM will be able to go after alone, especially in the short term.


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    Cuckoo

     

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    Apr 8th, 2008 (8:26 pm)

    I thought the original concept looks cool enough that will attract a lot of customers. I meant WHAT IS WRONG with the image of “FAMILY OF 4” sitting in a futuristic looking car anyway? Why would GM think they need to alter the look to a “NORMAL LOOKING SEDAN” to get more sales? Geezzzz!!!!!!

    I’ve been eagerly EAGERLY waiting to buy this car since 2007 because I can’t find a “cool looking” environment friendly car currently. Please! Please! GM don’t change that cool look to an ordinary family boring shape sedan….The original concept wows people and that’s what ATTRACTED MANY OF US TALKING….Please don’t change it into a ugly looking Cobalt, Malibu or “been expecting that”
    Camaro or even a “not again” Corvette……..


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    Fran McFall

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2009 (12:14 pm)

    What a concept of a car! I am ready for the Volt. I will adopt the term “VOLTEC” versus “HYBRID” just to show that this technology is the one I prefer. I fiqure that once the Volt is accepted, the name will probably change but right now, VOLT!

    GM is on a role and, keep the ney sayers at bay. Let us get those Integration Vehicles out to the Chevrolet Dealers and let the people get a feel. GM Bankrupt, not for long. I fully believe they have the right stuff.

    OK! GM Executes and Laborers, less not kill this opportunity with Greed, you know! What we used to call “The American Way”. How about the Union and GM work together for the best way to make a fantastic product.