As one of the most esteemed auto magazines in the world, Car and Driver’s annual “Top 10 Cars” is always a good barometer for automakers to see if one – or maybe two – of their vehicles made it to the list. With a readership that spans the entire world, Car and Driver’s Top 10 list is read by millions of people so it’s kind of a big deal for these companies. From the usual suspects to a number of new surprises, the “Top 10 Cars” will reveal what cars the magazine is highly recommending for the next calendar year.
In determining which cars make it to the list, editor-in-chief, Eddie Alterman explains: “In our testing, we are looking for those automobiles that deliver spectacular value, real driver engagement, and the highest fulfillment of their intended mission.”
He continues: “Our testing takes place over a week on real roads in the real world, marshaling more than 60 new test cars and our entire editorial staff. It’s a real workout, and the best cars on the market emerge victorious."
For 2011, the list has a number of old guards that have made multiple appearances while there are others that are making their inaugural face-time. Just to give you an idea on what to expect, three American, German, and Japanese models made it to the list with the other spot going to a model from South Korea. There are also three cars – the Audi S4 , the Mazda3 , and the Ford Fusion Hybrid – that dropped out of the list, which means that you’re going to be seeing a number of new entries making it to the Top 10.
So without further ado, Car and Driver’s “Top 10 Cars for 2011” after the jump.
Chevrolet has brought with them a trio of test vehicles for their new Z-Spec line of aftermarket accessories. One of those testers is the concept version of the all-new Volt electric car featuring some of Chevrolet designers’ ideas for a potential line of accessories.
Sure, an electric vehicle isn’t the most ideal car to tune, but that doesn’t mean that the Volt can’t pull off the ground effects kit, the modified rear fascia, the blacked-out trim accents, and the new 19-inch wheels, as well as some exterior graphics. Inside, the Volt gets a sports steering wheel, leather-wrapped Recaro front seats, and racing pedals.
The new Z-Spec line is being showcased on Chevrolet’s trio of small cars; the Volt , the Cruze , and the Spark , but eventually Chevrolet says that the whole lineup will be able to get fully customized using the Z-Spec line.
"Chevrolets have always been vehicles customers love to personalize and Z-Spec could give them more choices than ever," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing.
As much as we like the idea of an all-electric vehicle with a long range, we are getting a bit tired of hearing about one such machine, the Chevrolet Volt . Still, as much as we might despise recent news on the vehicle, it’s our job to report whatever comes along.
This bit of information comes from Motor Trend, who have just recently completed a thorough test of the new Volt. During this test, one of their staff members averaged 127 miles per gallon.
That number came after driving the city streets in Los Angeles and the highways around the area. During the test, the electric battery ran out of juice and the motor kicked in to recharge it. If you end up traveling over 70 miles per hour, the motor will kick in to help the wheels, but it will also make the Volt more efficient.
On the next trip, the Motor Trend guys cranked the Volt up to its top speed and drove the hell out of it. They averaged 75 miles per gallon, which is truly amazing. It turns out this is one fuel efficient vehicle.
The Chevrolet Volt has been the center of news recently and to be honest, we’re a bit tired of it. Alas, one more piece of news has just come to the surface. It seems that owners of the Volt , after they have traveled the 40 miles or so on the electric batteries, will need to fill their cars up with premium petrol.
That’s right, premium. Drivers must pay at the pump in order to be a part of this Earth saving movement. So, not only are you paying a massive amount for the car itself, you are paying more at the pump. It seems odd to us that the small 1.4-liter 80 horsepower motor would need the high-grade juice, but we’re sure there’s a reason.
Really though, is this a big deal? Premium petrol isn’t all that much more and it shouldn’t cost owners that much extra to fill the car up. Not to mention you won’t have to visit the petrol stations that often, hence the reason for the Volt.
It should be interesting to see how the Volt will work on a daily basis once it’s released.
Want to know what makes the Chevrolet Volt the better electric vehicle? Yeah, Chevrolet wants you to know as well, which is why they have released this two and a half minute highlighting the Chevrolet Volt. One of the major features, of course, is its capability of running 40 all-electric miles and traveling for up to 340 miles on single full tank. Being able to charge it anywhere and everywhere is also a nice little perk as the liquid cooled lithium ion battery can be charged in ten hours using a 120V outlet or in four hours using a 240V outlet.
Another cool feature for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is its eight year or 100,000 miles warranty that covers all 161 battery components found in the Volt. Of course, this warranty loses its originality as Nissan is offering the same one for their Leaf.
Pricing for the Volt was just released yesterday and will cost $41,000 before federal and state tax incentives. The federal tax credit adds up to $7,500, cutting the cost of the Volt to $33,500. The lease option seems to be the best choice with buyers being able to lease their very own electric Volt for $350 per month for 36 months. That is the exact same payment that Nissan is asking for with the Leaf EV . The tax incentive will be factored in the lease payment.
Check out the video and let us know if you think the Chevrolet Volt is the better electric vehicle or if Nissan’s Leaf Attack Plan will outrun the competition.
We finally have some pricing information on the Chevrolet Volt. General Motors Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Joel Ewanick announced the Volt’s pricing at an event named Plug-In 2010. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt will cost $41,000 before federal and state tax incentives.
While the sticker price is rather high, the lease deal seems to be the best choice. Buyers can lease their very own electric Volt for $350 per month for 36 months. That is the exact same payment that Nissan is asking for with the Leaf EV .
Buying this sort of car comes with perks. Buyers will get a federal tax credit of $7,500, cutting the cost of the Volt to $33,500. Buyers will have to finance the $41,000 and get the credit back on their next tax return. For people who choose to lease the car, the credit will be factored into the payment. The Volt will require a $2,500 down payment, but now buyers can buy the car at the end of their lease.
That price will get buyers a well equipped sedan. The car comes with a navigation system, a great battery warranty, Bluetooth, Bose Sound System, and a subscription to OnStar. The only options for the electric Volt are heated leather seats, chrome wheels, three premium paint colors, and rear park assist.
We are very interested in how the Volt will sell. The sticker price is a tad high and the Volkswagen TDI models offer great mileage at a cheaper price. We will have to take the Volt for a drive to really get a good idea of how it operates.
Chevrolet knows that the Chevrolet Volt will be subjected to a number of questions as soon as it is released, not the least of which will include how the electric car will fare on long-distance, cross-country trips.
So before the question is even asked, Chevrolet has already decided to answer it. Earlier this month, during the fourth of July weekend, Chevrolet took the Volt on a cross-country road trip where it traveled from Austin, Texas all the way through a number of states before arriving at its eventual destination in New York City, completing a distance of over 1,776 miles in the process.
Okay, so the entire ‘Freedom Drive’ wasn’t as electrifying a trip as George Washington crossing the Potomac River as Chevrolet seems to exaggeratedly suggest, but we’ll give them points for embarking on the adventure in the first place.
According to GM CEO and President Ed Whitacre, the whole purpose of the ‘Freedom Drive’ was to illustrate and prove that the Chevy Volt is built for just about any driving situation. From urban city driving to cross country road trips, the Volt is built not just for the short fix, but for the long haul as well.
The Chevrolet Volt got an unexpected visit from no less than US President Barack Obama when the Commanding Officer took a trip to Chevrolet’s production facility in Holland, Michigan. Yeah, and we’re all lucky enough to have the President himself knock on our front doors and ask to have a round of beer with us in our backyards.
President Obama’s visit came during the ground-breaking ceremony of Compact Power’s new facility in the area. Incidentally, Compact Power, which is owned by LG-Chem, will be a key supplier to the Chevrolet Volt. Likewise, the new facility is expected to be of the key sites that will spur further growth of the country’s high-tech industry, a sentiment echoed by the President during his visit at the facility.
As for the Chevrolet Volt, President Obama seemed to be eager to get behind the driver’s seat of the car and was optimistic that the electric car, which is capable of running 40 all-electric miles and can travel for up to 340 miles on single full tank, would set a new standard in fuel-efficient vehicles and would pave the way to a future where automobiles wouldn’t be as dependent on fuel as they are today.
Remember when GM claimed that the Volt could get around 230 miles per gallon? Well, think again. It was calculated using a government formula that never got final approval.
"We just don’t know right now" what the new number is likely to be, Micky Bly, executive director of global electrical systems for GM, said Wednesday at GM’s battery factory in Brownstown, Mich.
The Volt is an electric car and we’re sure most of you already knew that. It can go 40 miles on its batteries alone, but it also has a gas engine that is used like a generator. To find out the mileage for that would take a mathematician and the government doesn’t appear to have one.
The gas engine’s mileage is dependent on how charged up the battery is, which can vary based on each car’s charge. The Society of Automotive Engineers is currently working on a way to calculate mileage stuff for plug-in hybrids and electric cars. The organization expects the government to use its new standard for all future plug-in vehicles.
How’s this for a new way to learn more about the Chevrolet Volt ? Of course, all you need to do is have a Microsoft Xbox 360 and purchase the latest Microsoft add-on, the Kinect for Xbox 360.
Sounds simple enough, right?
Here’s the catch, though. For all your efforts, the only thing you’ll get out of it is an interactive video advertisement on Xbox LIVE. Think we’re kidding? Well, okay, we are. The real catch in this whole tie-up - and trust us, it’s a good one - is that you’re going to get a chance to test drive a virtual Chevy Volt through Microsoft’s first no-controllers-needed racing game, the "Kinect Joy Ride". After viewing the video advertisement in-dash on Xbox LIVE or on the Web, consumers will be able to unlock the Chevrolet Volt in “Kinect Joy Ride” to actually drive the car in the game.
According to Jim Campbell, U.S. VP for Chevrolet Marketing: “The Volt applies advanced environmental technology to give Chevrolet drivers freedom from the gas pump, making it one of the most exciting developments the automotive industry has seen in years."
“Conversely, Kinect allows us to bring the excitement of the showroom to the living rooms of our customers," he adds. "It’s a way for us to replicate the experience of physically engaging with a product that is essential to the customer’s purchasing decision.”