Jan 09

Cadillac posts press release and photo of camoflauged ELR

 

By Philippe Crowe

As it did with the Chevy Spark EV that was camouflaged but also photographed and videoed, General Motors is playing the hidden in plain sight game with its soon-to-be-revealed Cadillac ELR.

As many of you know, the ELR is an extended range type of electric vehicle and shares many components and its main architecture with the Chevrolet Volt.
 


 

The new Cadillac is to be revealed Jan. 15 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The picture shown and released by Cadillac itself was photographed driving through the mountains of Southern California during development testing.

The ELR is said to be very close look-wise to the numerous concept cars shown in the last few years by Cadillac.

“Cadillac customers are going to enjoy the unique features ELR will bring to the market. We’re going to change the way people think about luxury and electrification,” said Chris Thomason, ELR chief engineer.

In any case, let’s hope GM actually does reveal a good bit of the car’s underlying details about its design and engineering next week.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 48


  1. 1
    TomServo

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (6:28 am)

    GM is much better at keeping secrets than our govt. Example, the next gen Vette is going to be revealed to the public at the NAIAS Sunday evening at 7:00 pm and there are still no real photo’s or actual sightings.

    Kudo’s to GM, maybe the US govt can take lessons.


  2. 2
    Dave G

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (8:09 am)

    The ELR is nice, but the MPV5 will be the game changer:
    chevyvoltmpv5exterior01.jpg


  3. 3
    Dave G

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (8:09 am)

    Has anyone seen any news about an EREV that would compete with the Volt?

    By competition, I mean:
    • A gas/electric plug-in
    • with at least 35 EPA miles all-electric range
    • with a base price around $30K after discounts and tax credits
    • from a major car maker, with dealers across the U.S.


  4. 4
    jdan

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (8:12 am)

    I hope the ELR will have significant performance additons (i.e. acceleration, handling, BATTERY RANGE). A fifth seat would also be good, but not expected. The look is certainly very cool. B)


  5. 5
    Neromanceres

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (8:30 am)

    If I had to guess:

    I would say the ELR will use the 400ft-lb motor from the Spark EV but have a different final drive ratio and software to unleash more power from this motor. I don’t expect much from the battery. Maybe some more tweaking to get it up to 17KWh’s. For the generator i’m guessing it will use a more refined naturally asperated direct injected 1.6L – 2.0L engine.

    However I do expect this car to be a true luxury car. All the goodies and then some. Also this car needs to handle great. Brembo brakes – Magnetic ride control.


  6. 6
    Logical_Thinker

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (8:32 am)

    Dave G, (#2 &3), you are right the market is ready for an affordable SUV EREV.
    Nothing really comparable to the Volt to date except maybe the BMW i3, EREV optioned (sort of… +/-).


  7. 7
    kdawg

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (8:34 am)

    Jeff – are you going to the NAIAS?

    I’ll be there on the 19th, when it opens to the public.


  8. 8
    Roy_H

     

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (8:38 am)

    Anybody know the internal politics behind the delay of the ELR? It was put on hold for about 2 years. Why? What made them change their mind?


  9. 9
    Darius

     

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (8:40 am)

    I do expect and hope to be introduced wireless charging and basic voltec features.


  10. 10
    jdan

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (8:57 am)

    Neromanceres: Maybe some more tweaking to get it up to 17KWh’s.

    I would wager a guess GM may also dig a bit deeper into the battery depending on the Volt statistics. Perhaps using 12 of the 17KWh available? While this wouldn’t increase range much, perhaps they can get it up to say 50 miles or so? Time will tell.


  11. 11
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (9:00 am)

    Logical_Thinker: Nothing really comparable to the Volt to date except maybe the BMW i3, EREV optioned

    That looks to be $10K more than the Volt, so not really direct competition.


  12. 12
    kdawg

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (9:42 am)

    I wonder if the ELR is still on schedule to start production late this year? I believe that was what GM was saying. I have not heard of any equipment/tooling going into Hamtramck yet, but my company deals less w/GM than nowadays vs Ford/Chrysler.


  13. 13
    DonC

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (10:34 am)

    Roy_H:
    Anybody know the internal politics behind the delay of the ELR? It was put on hold for about 2 years. Why? What made them change their mind?

    I think it was concerns about the battery not being able to deliver the power they thought they’d need.

    Dave G: That looks to be $10K more than the Volt, so not really direct competition.

    The i3 does come with an extender option but it’s a crippled extender option. It will only take the i3 another 80 miles or so and I’m not sure it will give you full performance when doing this. This may sound like a really stupid idea, and it is, but the idea for crippling the extender comes from CARB, which thinks this is a good idea. At some point a full EREV won’t be eligible for the HOV lanes but a crippled one will be.


  14. 14
    Jackson

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (10:37 am)

    I recall hearing (on this site) reports that the ELR would reflect Voltec “1.5″. I expect to see improvements in the motor, and batteries, as others have said. However, I also recall hearing that a V6 was being prepared for use as the range-extender; a report which seemed counter-intuitive at the time. On the other hand, I’ve heard elsewhere that a turbocharged engine smaller than the Volt’s will be used.

    We could all be surprised.

    The ELR offers us an opportunity to see what direction GM’s research is taking on the road to 2.0. Other than this, I frankly don’t have any interest in a Cadillac, and/or a 2-door. I can’t afford Voltec without adding another $10K to the Volt’s price; and even for a childless couple a 2-door is just too much of a pain to live with, IMO.


  15. 15
    Tim Hart

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (10:38 am)

    I’m sure most of us will be pleasantly surprised with all the details on the new ELR. GM is still the leader in EREV technology and affordability.


  16. 16
    Dave86

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (10:42 am)

    Dave G:
    The ELR is nice, but the MPV5 will be the game changer:

    I’m one of those waiting for a subcompact SUV or crossover with AWD. I would much rather have a GM (did a nice job with the Volt) then the Mittsubishi, but in a few years if the Mittsubishi is the only option, then that’s what I’ll buy. AWD is a must.


  17. 17
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (10:59 am)

    Will it be a hot rod?

    or…

    Will it be a Volt with electric seats.

    or…

    something in between.

    I hope I’m not disappointed in it’s performance.


  18. 18
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (11:05 am)

    Neromanceres:
    If I had to guess:

    I would say the ELR will use the 400ft-lb motor from the Spark EV

    probably not the exact same motor. However I think we will see PM motor like spark. with some good torque ratings.

    As Walter pointed out the torque softening we see with the Volt’s A/C synchronous motor may be just a traight of A/C synchronous. Switching to PM like Spark could give ELR that added off the line punch.


  19. 19
    MrEnergyCzar

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (11:09 am)

    The closest to the Volt is the 21 EV mile range Ford Fusion Plug-in but it costs more than the Volt due to smaller tax credit..

    MrEnergyCzar


  20. 20
    Glen Jenkins

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (11:09 am)

    I would really like to be able to buy the MPV5 in March 2014 when I have to return my leased 2011 Volt, P L E A S E!


  21. 21
    Ross

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (11:12 am)

    I would agree with many here that the ELR or Tesla would look great in my garage. Unfortunately, the excitement of the weekend ends and Monday rolls around and I can’t justify either or probably afford them. As previously noted by others, some sort of AWD SUV would be my next practical purchase. I would like to purchase this from GM or Ford but it appears the Mitsubishi is beating them to the marketplace at least by months and sadly, I’m afraid, by years.


  22. 22
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (11:39 am)

    MrEnergyCzar: The closest to the Volt is the 21 EV mile range Ford Fusion Plug-in but it costs more than the Volt due to smaller tax credit..

    Wouldn’t the Karma be closer, with its 32 mile range?


  23. 23
    kdawg

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (11:41 am)

    I have no need/desire for AWD, and I live in Michigan. FWD works great in the snow. I’d rather have a lower price and just FWD.


  24. 24
    Noel Park

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (11:45 am)

    Jackson: I frankly don’t have any interest in a Cadillac, and/or a 2-door.

    Jackson: even for a childless couple a 2-door is just too much of a pain to live with, IMO.

    #14

    I’ve gotta put in with you there. +1.

    I can’t see them selling very many of these. Developing the MPV5 would have been a lot better use of scarce resources IMHO.


  25. 25
    Noel Park

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (11:50 am)

    TomServo:

    GM is much better at keeping secrets than our govt.

    #1

    Well they sure do a great camo job! +1

    They may be playing the “hidden in plain sight” game as Jeff said, but I find the camo pattern so jarring that I start to get a headache if I look at it for over about 5 seconds. so I STILL don’t know what the !@#$% thing looks like, LOL.


  26. 26
    hvacman

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (11:58 am)

    George S. Bower: As Walter pointed out the torque softening we see with the Volt’s A/C synchronous motor may be just a traight of A/C synchronous. Switching to PM like Spark could give ELR that added off the line punch.

    I believe the Volt’s main motor is an induction motor, which is not synchronous. There is always some “slip” between the rotor rpm and the AC stator frequency, which induces the magnetizing currents in the squirrel-cage. An induction motor’s starting torque is typically about 200% of “running” torque when started across the line. When I was designing/building photovoltaic-powered pumps, we found that a PM motor’s starting torque could be up to 500% of running torque and started under-load much easier and came up to operating speed quicker than an AC induction motor.


  27. 27
    stuart22

     

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (11:59 am)

    Noel Park: #1

    Well they sure do a great camo job!+1

    They may be playing the “hidden in plain sight” game as Jeff said, but I find the camo pattern so jarring that I start to get a headache if I look at it for over about 5 seconds.so I STILL don’t know what the !@#$% thing looks like, LOL.

    Looks like something that broke out of jail and is on the run. For its own sake, I hope it’s fast…


  28. 28
    Jackson

     

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (12:06 pm)

    George S. Bower: As Walter pointed out the torque softening we see with the Volt’s A/C synchronous motor may be just a traight of A/C synchronous.

    hvacman: a PM motor’s starting torque could be up to 500% of running torque and started under-load much easier and came up to operating speed quicker than an AC induction motor.

    Torque softening is necessary with any electric motor in a car, because without it things break. As hvacman points out, a PM motor comes to speed more quickly and with greater power: It would likely need more softening than AC to prevent turning drive line components into steel gravel during sudden acceleration.

    I actually doubt that the ELR will have a PM main motor, if only because of the quantity of expensive magnetic materials required for the greater power. Don’t forget that the Spark is a smaller, lighter car designed without as much sportiness in mind.

    I’ve long believed that the second, smaller motor in Voltec is PM, and this would require only a relatively modest amount of the rare-earth-rich material.


  29. 29
    Jeff Cobb

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (12:35 pm)

    Noel Park: #1

    Well they sure do a great camo job!+1

    They may be playing the “hidden in plain sight” game as Jeff said, but I find the camo pattern so jarring that I start to get a headache if I look at it for over about 5 seconds.so I STILL don’t know what the !@#$% thing looks like, LOL.

    I am only a dabbler with photo editing so did not try to do it, but does anyone with Photoshop skills want to paint in this car in a single normal color to get a better grasp of what it actually looks like?

    There may be other high-res shots on the Web besides, assuming spy shots are the same as GM’s present release.


  30. 30
    Loboc

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (12:36 pm)

    15M cars per year in the US have PM starter motors. It’s likely that ‘rare earth’ materials aren’t all that rare.

    I seriously doubt that GM would deviate from Volt’s design to use a totally different motor. It’s likely to be a 1.5 design not a clean sheet.


  31. 31
    Jeff Cobb

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (12:38 pm)

    kdawg:
    Jeff – are you going to the NAIAS?

    I’ll be there on the 19th, when it opens to the public.

    Actually not this year. The new site was relaunched, we have a new guy starting, and so much backlogged work to do. Ideally I’d have gone, but higher priorities are keeping me here in PA.


  32. 32
    Loboc

     

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (12:44 pm)

    Roy_H,

    I think it has to do with the larger platform for 2014 Volt/Ampera. They wouldn’t want to switch after only one MY.


  33. 33
    Steve

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (1:02 pm)

    Look! It’s got 4 wheels and the same general shape as the Volt. Not enough here to even speculate on.

    Higher income customers buying expensive eco- cars isn’t going to be the thing that ends foreign oil dependence and fix the enviroment. Let’s hear more about something like an EREV SUV or a car with more than 4 seats.


  34. 34
    Jackson

     

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (1:04 pm)

    Loboc: 15M cars per year in the US have PM starter motors. It’s likely that ‘rare earth’ materials aren’t all that rare.

    I think the issue at the moment is cost per unit. A starter motor is nowhere near the power rating of the kinds of motor we’re talking about here, and requires too little material to much affect the cost of a single car.

    The total supply of the “rare earths” is really a separate discussion.


  35. 35
    mikeinatl.

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (1:08 pm)

    It will be nice when this all gets beyond the “halo” stage and GM starts providing VOLTEC SUVs, vans, pickup trucks and less expensive sedans that the whole world will want.

    I know, patience…


  36. 36
    Neromanceres

     

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (2:03 pm)

    Loboc: I seriously doubt that GM would deviate from Volt’s design to use a totally different motor. It’s likely to be a 1.5 design not a clean sheet.

    I don’t think it will be a clean sheet either. The Spark EV motor is using the same power split housing as the Volt. So the motor from the Spark EV fits in the same general space without too much modification. GM is building the Spark EV PM motor in house. They could use a variant of this motor for the ELR. GM currently buy’s the Volt’s electric motors from a supplier. I’m betting that the Volt will also migrate over to a variant of the Spark EV motor at some point. This would consolidate as many parts as possible across the three cars (and future cars).


  37. 37
    GM Protester

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (2:10 pm)

    Folks: After extended conversation with GM engineers, they revealed that the cost per Chevy Volt is already less than $30,000 and they are targeting $25,000. But they want me to post this message here to coerce GM management to reduce the price to $33,995 (parts, labor, commercial, , everything except R&D, factory: so called fixed cost). GM invested about $2 billion and Dan Akerson does not want to reduce price so they can recoup the cost sooner, but here is the problem, the sales last year (about 30,000) is a drop in a bucket for the 15 million vehicles sold in the USA, if GM is willing to sell this car at $34,000, the sales will quickly jump up (maybe 300,000 per year) and the cost can be reduced to $25,000 very quickly. So once again GM, a US based company is very shortsighted.
    I used to work for Duracell, their cost per alkaline battery was 9 cents in 2002, yet they sell that for $1.50, and lithium battery in 2002 has a profit margin of 15%, so Duracell never entered the Li battery business (they had a team of 50 battery scientists in Li ion R&D). Due to their short-sightness, Japan and Korea dominated the Li ion battery business.
    Jeff should ask GM about this and here we should push GM to lower the price immediatelly, maybe during Detroit auto show!!!!


  38. 38
    Streetlight

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (3:07 pm)

    GM Protester,

    What’s your drift? Are you saying GM (or its CEO — whatever) is somehow manipulating VOLT’s CoG’s? Are you a cost accountant…or have a conversant cost accounting background? What the L’s a 9 cent battery have to do with anything…

    So let’s be clear. GM ‘invested’ a whole bunch of money — you say $2 billion — fine; into a whole new absolutely now proven game changing technology. First out was VOLT, then its sister Ampera, now Caddy, and so forth. As directly noted in today’s postings – there’s still nothing even close. And we’re talking three years running.

    Even that camouflaged mono-colored ELR is gorgeous.


  39. 39
    James McQuaid

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (6:16 pm)

    @GM Protester:
    The “GM engineers” you had a conversation with are likely either: 1) pulling your leg, or 2) not real GM engineers. Information is heavily compartmentalized, and different departments are silos that do not share much. In short, engineers do not have access to highly specific cost accounting data.

    The other issue you raise is whether fixed costs should be paid for now or later. G.M. learned important lessons during the bankruptcy about the inevitability of the day of reckoning. Currently, the company has unfunded hourly pension obligations. CEO Akerson is smart to be paying up front.

    Individuals can not expect that politicizing G.M. cost accounting structures will advance vehicle electrification. If that is your goal, get out there and buy a Volt.


  40. 40
    Noel Park

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (6:54 pm)

    James McQuaid: The “GM engineers” you had a conversation with are likely either: 1) pulling your leg, or 2) not real GM engineers.

    #39

    I’m putting my money on #2. +1

    Or maybe there never really was a conversation at all……………………..

    James McQuaid: If that is your goal, get out there and buy a Volt.

    Amen to that!


  41. 41
    Dave G

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (7:22 pm)

    Loboc: 15M cars per year in the US have PM starter motors. It’s likely that ‘rare earth’ materials aren’t all that rare.

    The problems with Perminent Magnet motors are:

    1) PM motors are larger and heavier than induction.

    2) PM motors cost more. Magnets aren’t cheap.

    3) PM motors are harder to handle. Once a big magnet sticks to something, it’s really hard to pull apart.

    4) PM motors have worse average efficiency. A PM motor operating at it’s full rated power is more efficient, but at 25-50% of it’s rated power PM is actually less efficient than induction. Since most EVs and EREVs operate in the 25-50% range, induction is more efficient. This is because, with a PM motor, the B field on the rotor is fixed. Induction motors can vary the B field in firmware.

    For these reasons, the Tesla Roadster, Model S, and Model X all use induction motors.

    The only down side to induction is the added complexity in Firmware, but Tesla mastered this, so GM should be able to as well.


  42. 42
    GM Protest

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (7:24 pm)

    These GM guys revealed this because they want me to post this here to pressure GM top management, since the cost is already less than $30,000, yet the sales is abysmal (I call it disaster), it is critical to ramp up the productions as quickly as possible: 1). To push down cost even further. 2). To expand the lead over Toyota and make it impossible for Toyota to catch up!.

    One of the reason why US based companies can’t compete well against Asian (whenever Asian catches up) is because these guys are MBAs, they focus on short-term interest (such as the union contracts, which almost killed domestic industry, and still a burden today), if GM’s real intention is NOT to ramp up the production of this vehicle (maybe because it can cannibalize sales of Chevy Malibu, which is Camry fighter), this company will fail again!

    Toyota is a great company because it bases many critical decisions from a long-tern perspective, and they are willing to lose in short-term, Americans think they are god and can only win, too bad, this kind of thinking can be harmful!!!


  43. 43
    Eco_Turbo

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (7:44 pm)

    Dave G,

    I almost bought one on Dec 31st of last year. It would have come in at $32,172 including the tax credit. It would have had all the features you mentioned, because it was a 2012 Chevrolet Volt. Leather seats and White Diamond Tintcoat. I chickened out because the payment, even at 0 percent interest for 72 months, would have still been $551/month. Leasing, at the miles I drive per year, would have been even more.


  44. 44
    George S. Bower

     

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    Jan 9th, 2013 (7:56 pm)

    hvacman: I believe the Volt’s main motor is an induction motor, which is not synchronous. There is always some “slip” between the rotor rpm and the AC stator frequency, which induces the magnetizing currents in the squirrel-cage. An induction motor’s starting torque is typicallyabout % of “running” torque when started across the line. When I was designing/building photovoltaic-powered pumps, we found that a PM motor’s starting torque could be up to 500% of running torque and started under-load much easier and came up to operating speed quicker than an AC induction motor.

    Thx HVAC man,
    I think you are agreeing that PM would be good.


  45. 45
    Mikejarrett

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    Jan 10th, 2013 (12:12 am)

    I agree about the voltec MPV5. All of the good that I do with my volt is undone by my wife hauling kids in our 12 MPG enclave. Put a minivan on a volt platform and I’d but it tomorrow.


  46. 46
    Deedee Lusardi

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    Jan 10th, 2013 (2:20 am)

    This is an excellent guide of what to expect during the short sale process. Deals are available, but consumers must remain patient, and ensure they work with an experienced short sale Realtor.


  47. 47
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 10th, 2013 (2:03 pm)

    The picture looks so much like the Volt’s outline that I think it is a Volt under the camo. Updated hardware and software, but in a Volt body.


  48. 48
    Anthony Wald

     

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    Jan 12th, 2013 (5:34 pm)