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GM confirmed the production version of the Chevrolet Volt, announcing that the new plug-in hybrid vehicle would feature 40 miles of electric driving range and extended-range capability for "hundreds of additional miles."
GM calls the Volt an E-REV, for extended-range electric vehicle. The first 40 miles of range are powered by a 16-kwh lithium-ion battery; the battery can be recharged by the Volt's gasoline engine, which also runs on ethanol.This eliminates "range anxiety," which GM says comes from the fear of a depleted battery.
GM admits the Volt has evolved from the evocative concept shown at the 2007 Detroit auto show, but it says many cues have come over from the striking concept version. The closed front grille is one hallmark that's carried over visibly into the production version, while the tapered corners up front and clean lines at the back (including a small spoiler) are styled to manage the Volt's aerodynamics.
For recharging at the wall, the Volt can be recharged in a standard 120-volt household outlet in about eight hours; on a 240-volt line, the Volt can be recharged in three hours. GM estimates a recharge will cost less than a cup of coffee. Some 220 lithium-ion battery cells produce the equivalent of 150 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is 100 mph, but don't expect dramatically quick acceleration figures.
The Volt's cockpit is identical to the grainy spy photos shown a few weeks ago here. The center stack is cloaked in Apple-white plastic, with a flip-up touch-screen display. GM says the four-passenger Volt is available with a range of interior colors and lighting options. The cabin also sports an integrated shifter, two info displays and a touchscreen for the infotainment system in the gas-electric hybrid.Bluetooth and USB connectivity are standard, while a hard-drive navigation system is an option.
GM wants to build the Volt in its Hamtramck facility that also makes Cadillacs, but hasn't locked down the incentives it wants to produce the vehicle. Production begins in late 2010.
PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS: 2011 CHEVROLET VOLT
5-door, front-wheel-drive sedan
Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV)
independent McPherson struts front, compound crank twist axle rear, four-wheel disc brakes, full regenerative brakes to maximize energy capture, electric power-assist steering
Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly (subject to GM successfully negotiating satisfactory government incentives)
Top speed (mph):
EV range, city (miles):
40 (based on EPA city cycle)
Wheelbase (in / mm):
105.7 / 2685
Length (in / mm):
177 / 4404
Width (in / mm):
70.8 / 1798
Height (in / mm):
56.3 / 1430
Cargo volume (cu ft / L):
10.6 / 301