I don't believe there will be any significant changes in the Voltec drivetrain yet, because we know that this will cause a chain of events that will not help Volt sales, mostly the need to supply more than one version of every part, change the plant assembly instructions, or train their service areas. GM kept drivetrain changes to many years between models in other ICE lines. For example, I have a 2009 Chevy Equinox, but it still shares parts with the previous years (2005 to 2008). That is a money saving practice for parts manufacturing, and for service, storage and administration among their dealers. So I believe GM will do the same with the 2012 and next model years.
There may be a few "nitpicking" changes, though. If the present 2011 Volt owners have common complaints and problems (being it such a brand new design), GM will do some redesigns to correct them for the next years. Some changes could just be decorative, either on the outside or the interior, and some may be totally invisble to the new owner, although it will affect the dealer support somehow.
In conclusion, I know as a GM owner that there will be very few changes, mostly to fix problems as reported by present owners, between the present 2011 Volt model year and the next 2012 model year. Reducing the need for changes will allow the manufacturing cost per vehicle to drop, and GM to increase its profit, too. But if GM feels generous, they may drop the price for the 2012 Volt a few thousand dollars (I hope!).
Last edited by Raymondjram; 01-21-2011 at 07:15 AM.
Reason: Grammar and spelling fixes
Extra content standard items will likely become options in order to get the price down. For example, the black roof becomes a $500 option, the Bose stereo and hard drive becomes a $900 option, the forged alloy wheels become a $800 option. The five year OnStar might reduce to the much shorter duration found on other GM cars (one year?). Since Cadillacs will no longer be made on the same production line, the white and green tricoat paint options may go away, possibly the red tintcoat as well.
The real answer is, nobody who would tell you knows anything, and people who do know will rightfully keep their mouths shut. We know a larger vehicle based on the Voltec powertrain will be introduced in the next couple of years, probably on the cute ute scale.
Although I know what Akerson said (who I'm still questioning as the right CEO for GM, because he really doesn't understand cars at all), there's no point in lowering the price of the Volt while demand remains high, which I think rising gas prices and the boatload of awards it's received will assure. I would not expect it to get any cheaper, or even decontented, until 2 to 3 years out, and that entry-level market might go to a completely separate model (not called the Volt.) One change I do expect in the short term is for the Volt to get the lower emissions certification it needs for CA incentives, and supposedly E85 capability is on the way (but who cares anymore.)
As far as paint options going away, why would GM remove a profit item? They surely make money charging for fancy paint, and people are obviously willing to pay for it.
My personal prediction is that for MY 2014 we'll see a mid-cycle refresh to the Volt, with about at 25% improvement in EV range, decreased charge time on 240V, and about a $3K lower price similarly equipped. It's possible there will be a slightly decontented trim level that shaves off another 2 grand or so. A big unknown is if there will still be a federal tax incentive at that time, but I wouldn't be surprised if certain states like CA keep offering benefits to EV purchasers.
Since I will not be able to get my volt until the 2012 models come out I was wondering if there will be any changes at all? Anyone insiders know?
I'm not an insider but I can tell you that there will be some minor changes in the 2012 model year. Currently the Volts are being produced with the 1.4L gas engine being imported from Austria. Starting this summer the Flint, MI engine plant will begin production of the 1.4L engine for the Volt for the 2012 model year (Flint currently is making the 1.4L Turbo for the Cruze). Rumor has it that the 2012 Volt engine will be E85 compatable.
Also currently the Volt battery cells are manufactured in South Korea. LG Chem will have a cell production facility open this summer in Michigan that will produce cells for the 2012 Volts.
Thanks everyone for the responses. I wanted a 2011 model but they will not be released in my area until the 2012 models come out. I cannot wait to get one, I'm first on the waiting list at the dealership!!!