The Chevrolet Volt is an important trendsetter as the first mainstream model to establish the plug-in hybrid segment as a viable answer to long-range EV driving. That same segment it created, however, is now bursting with new entries three years after the Chevy first hit showrooms.
The Volt shows how far the level of technical knowledge has come in just a few short years, as the latest models have little difficulty topping the Volt’s MPGe scores and do so with conventional three-man back seats and traditional trunks for luggage.
At the time of the Volt’s development, its Chevrolet Cruze -based platform could only accommodate the giant T-shaped li-ion battery pack if it was laid out under the center console and back seat bases – creating a cockpit much tighter than most are willing to accept in a $35,000-plus new car.
The Accord PHEV and Fusion Energi are both actually a bit more expensive than the Chevy , but can deliver a quicker and more-efficient drive while making fewer interior compromises.
For 2014, the Volt gets a (very slightly) larger-capacity battery pack, detail trim and color changes, and a simpler opening mechanism for the EV charge door on the front fender.
Where does the Volt fit in today’s eco-confused market? Does its battery-plus-generator powertrain still rank as a world-beating first or more of a barrier to purchase among buyers who need a big trunk and seating room?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Chevrolet Volt, with highlights on how its interior room, efficiency and performance rank versus the much-newer competition.
When Cadillac unveiled the new ELR at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, the model arrived with a four-cylinder engine and electric generator that delivered a total of 207 horsepower. In the next two years, however, both the ELR and the Volt could adopt a new three-cylinder engine. The new engine would displace 1.0- or 1.2-liters and will be much more fuel efficient than the current 1.4-liter version.
This new engine will be developed in cooperation with one of the company’s Chinese partners, which asked to remain unnamed "due to the confidential nature of the subject." If approved for production, the new engine will be used for Volt starting 2015 and for the ELR in 2016.
The company announced no specifications for its new engine, but for sure the new engine is part of the company’s strategy to reduce weight by as much as 15 percent by 2016.
There are no details up to this point if the new engine will be offered in the U.S. A GM spokesman said: "We don’t have one right now for the U.S. and I wouldn’t be able to say that we have one planned for the U.S. at this point either. We have not announced any of that."
Chevy revealed a very cool commercial that highlights the coolest models it has unveiled in the past few months, including the Sonic, Spark, Impala, Corvette Stingray and Volt. There’s no need to tell you, but from all these models the new Stingray is our favorite, but the 2014 Impala is also pretty sexy model too.
The idea behind this commercial is that Chevy is offering a model for anyone out there; you just need to dare go and find the one that suits you best. What we cannot understand is what the heck the robo-dog is doing in there. Then again, much like blue jean commercials, car commercial don’t make sense, so who knows!
Chevrolet’s motto for the new commercial is also pretty direct: "With the best lineup of vehicles ever, we believe ingenuity can do the impossible. So why just go from A to B when imagination can take you everywhere?"
On the surface, the Chevy Volt is actually a pretty good looking car, if you are able to ignore the fact that it pumps out only 149 horsepower from its paltry1.4-liter engine and uses an electric motor for 30 miles before the gas engine ever kicks in. We’re not trying to say it’s a sports car, but it could certainly fall into the sports sedan area.
Unfortunately, we come right back to that 149 ponies and that immediately disqualifies this otherwise stylish car from sniffing the sports sedan segment. Well, GM obviously has noted the potential for the Volt and rumors are now swirling around that Chevy will start installing the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that the all-new Buick Verano T is receiving into the Volt .
As of now, this is still a rumor, but given that the Cadillac ELR and its sexy exterior is due to debut any time now and will likely ride on the same platform as the Volt, it only makes sense to use the powerful boosted 2.0. The ELR with only 149 horsepower would be like dumping a Civic Si engine in a Ferrari , it just doesn’t quite fit the looks.
We are uncertain if the Volt receives the full-powered version of the 2.0-liter engine, or a detuned model, it will mean that the Volt could push up to 270 horsepower, if it receives the full-power 2.0. Also floating around is a rumor that this new engine will receive a larger electric motor for a little extra gasoline-free oomph.
All we can say is that we truly hope that these rumors are true, as the Volt in its current form is underwhelming, to say the least. We’ll keep you updated as more details roll out on this possible upgrade.
Anybody that has ever had an appreciation of classic cars knows that the annual Woodward Dream Cruise is one of the can’t-miss events of the calendar year.
Held annually at Michigan’s legendary Woodward Avenue, the world’s largest classic car cruise is shaping up to have another memorable 2011 staging, complete with over 30,000 classic vehicles and an attendance that’s expected to reach well over 1.5 million people.
This year, the Chevrolet -sponsored event will be held on August 20th when you’ll see some of your favorite cars in history. An event like this brings out all types of cars from different generations. You name it, it’s there: from hot rods, classic cars, muscle cars, rat rods, art cars, TV cars, and everything else in between. In fact, at least one of every type of Mustang model made since the car debuted in April 1964 will be in attendance, as well as the Shelby GT500 , both street and racing versions of the Boss 302 , and the Mustang GT and V6 Coupe with performance package. Getting back to the main sponsor, Chevrolet, the Detroit-based company is bringing many cars from their past, present, and future, including the Cruze , Camaro , Corvette , Volt , Sonic , and ZL1 Camaro .
If you happen to be in the area this weekend, you’ll get a first-hand look at some of those classic rides that you’ll have the chance to check off of your bucket list. But if you’re not within the vicinity, you can still keep up-to-date with the latest happenings courtesy of the event’s official radio station, 104.3 WOMC. Head over to the WOMC website and find out everything you need to know about the Woodward Dream Cruise 2011.
Ford and Chevrolet have been competing since the beginning and with today’s challenging economic times, the rivalry has grown even more fierce. It was not so long ago that car dealerships were selling hundreds of vehicles a day and running out of inventory. Ford and Chevrolet could produce any vehicle of any quality level and have it be a top seller. As the consumer has grown more conscious and more knowledgeable, the business of selling automobiles has grown more difficult.
It is hard to negate the fact that the American auto manufacturers have made leaps and bounds in terms of quality and sustainability for the vehicles they produce. These companies have begun to emerge from the financial crisis and are plotting their return to dominance. New marketing tactics have helped lead the charge and get the consumer thinking about their products. One of the best ways to do this is by having the consumer be able to test the vehicles in a non-sales environment.
At the Barrett Jackson auction in Orange County, both Ford and Chevrolet had ride and drive events set up to stimulate the car enthusiasts at the auction. Without paying any money or being hassled by a greasy car salesman, I was able to test drive the full range of new General Motors products as well as several different Ford rides. After completing some test drives, I was then whipped around the track by a professional driver in a Corvette ZR1 which left little doubt in my mind that these companies know how to show off their stuff.
Hit the jump for more details on the Ride and Drive experience.
The Geneva Motor Show is now in the rear-view mirror, which means that the spotlight has now turned to the New York Auto Show this coming April, and if there’s one thing that we can all look forward to in New York, it’s that it will be the site of the 2011 World Car of the Year awards.
All in all, 39 vehicles were included in the initial entry list comprising of new cars from all over the world. From these 39 cars, the list was whittled down to ten finalists with the top three contenders from these 10 cars receiving the final nominations for the 2011 World Car of the Year title.
The cars that are subject for nomination are selected and voted on by an international jury panel consisting of 66 automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world. Each member of the panel has been appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the merits of their experience, credibility, and influence within the auto industry in their respective countries and, to an extent, in the region.
Eligibility for the World Car award is important in determining which cars can be nominated for the awards. This year, all candidates for the awards must become available for sale on at least two continents from January 1, 2010 to May 30, 2011.
Apart from the World Car of the Year title, other awards that will be announced at the New York Auto Show include the World Performance Car of the Year, the World Green Car of the Year, and the World Car Design of the Year.
Check out all the nominated cars for each of the categories after the jump.
It must be a good sign for the auto industry to see so many car brands coming out with their own commercials for the Super Bowl. We don’t know how much each commercial spot costs but we heard it’s somewhere around $2 million, making Super Bowl Sunday one of the most important, if not THE most important day of the year in the advertising circles.
For their part, Chevrolet spared no expense with the number of commercials they made specifically for the Super Bowl. Centered on the tag line "Chevy Runs Deep", each ad features a marketing spot for a number of Chevy-branded vehicles, including the Cruze , Cruze Eco, Volt , Camaro , and Silverado HD with a number of unique plots for each of the ads.
We’re not going to spoil anything, but we do have to say that Chevy hit some funny bones with their ads. Out personal favorites include "Tommy" and "Status", with "Ms. Evelyn" also places right up there for the all the meaty guys watching the game.
Check all the ads after the jump and get your fix of all of them before watching the game. At least you’ll be ahead on some of your friends on that department.
A few days ago Chevrolet announced that the first 350 Volts would be delivered to customers in California, Texas, Washington D.C., and New York. We should have guessed that one of those vehicles would land in the hands of fellow car enthusiast, Jay Leno. The guy has everything anyway, why not a new Volt?
Being an automotive connoisseur, Leno’s first act as a Volt owner was to compare the vehicle with the electric models on the market. He may not feature vehicles like the Volt very often in his Garage, but he insists that this car will be his daily driver. He also says that “electricity is like sex, people lie about it” and that the Volt has "electricity when you need it and gas when you really want it."
The Chevrolet Volt is designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery runs low, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the total driving range to more than 300 miles before refueling or stopping to recharge the battery. The downside at the gas pump is that the Volt has to be filled with premium gas, but at least you won’t be visiting the gas station as often.
The firstChevrolet Volt left the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant on Monday destined for initial retail launch markets. However, before customers had the chance to buy it, the first unit was put up for auction. Now, before everyone starts ranting about how Chevrolet is just trying to capitalize on the fact that the Volt is one of the first electric vehicles out on the market - we did (insert sheepish grin here) - we have to let everyone know that this particular auction was actually a charity auction. The final bid came in at $225,000 with the winner being announced as soon as the funds are verified. All proceeds will go to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation that supports science, technology, engineering and math initiatives. Now that’s the holiday spirit we all know and love.
The vehicle offered in the charity auction was the first Chevrolet Volt available for sale, bearing the vehicle identification number ending inBU100002. It features a Viridian Joule exterior, Light Neutral interior with dark accents, Premium Trim Package, Rear Camera, Park Assist Package, and polished wheels. The auction also included a 240-volt charging station and home installation which adds up to a pretty penny as well.
The first 350 vehicles will go to customers in California, Texas, Washington D.C., and New York.
"Today is a historic milestone for Chevrolet," said Tony DiSalle, Volt marketing director. "We have redefined automotive transportation with the Volt, and soon the first customers will be able to experience gas-free commuting with the freedom to take an extended trip whenever or wherever they want."