Cars Chevrolet Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt High Resolution Exterior
- image 610093
Chevrolet Volt
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    149
  • Torque @ RPM:
    294
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.4 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    98 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    33995 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

The second-generation Volt brings improvements in every department

Launched for the 2011 model year, the Chevrolet Volt is GM’s first volume plug-in hybrid vehicle. Also sold as the Holden Volt, Vauxhall Ampera and Opel Ampera around the world, the five-door compact has already won numerous awards, including the 2011 North American Car of the Year. The most advanced version of the Volt used a 17-kWh battery that enabled it to return a range of 38 miles in all-electric mode. For 2016, the current Volt is being replaced by a redesigned, second-generation vehicle that delivers enhanced fuel economy from its revised gasoline generator, better performance and a greater electric-only range.

The new Volt has been revamped inside and out, with emphasis on a sportier exterior design and a brand-new drivetrain that’s significantly lighter than its predecessor. The five-door compact is also slightly bigger in its second generation, allowing Chevy to not only increase legroom front and rear, but enable the Volt — previously a four-seater — to offer seating for five. Read on for the full run-down.

Updated 09/13/2016: The 2017 Chevrolet Volt scored a Top Safety Pick+ award for its crash performance from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Check the "Safety" section for the full details.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.

40 photos / 13 videos

Latest Chevrolet Volt news and reviews:

2016 Chevrolet Volt – Driven

2016 Chevrolet Volt – Driven

Chevy’s second-gen Prius killer

The first-generation Volt came thundering into Chevrolet dealerships for the 2011 model year. Not only was it an all-new model for Chevy that competed with hybrid stalwarts like the Toyota Prius, the Volt helped carry GM through the desperate rough patch of 2008 and 2009. GM executives already had the Volt on the books at the time, and were able to convince the right people in Washington to extend a helping hand. Those loans, or what everybody called the GM bailout, helped the struggling automaker get back on its feet.

Fast forward to the 2016 model year, and Chevy has an all-new Volt rolling off the assembly line. Not one part number carries over to the new car, making it a ground-up re-think of the range-extended electric vehicle. New, bolder looks with a more conventional yet modern interior pushes the Volt into the mainstream while keeping its standout qualities. It might not be the prettiest thing on four wheels, but it looks better than its predecessor.

Looks aside, the 2016 Volt has a slew of upgrades, namely with the powertrain. An all-new 1.5-liter four-cylinder uses direct injection, an Atkinson combustion cycle, and an aluminum design to increase efficiency and cut weight. A larger battery pack now offers a longer range, with the total gasoline-electric range pegged at 420 miles – a marked improvement from the first-gen’s 379-mile range.

What’s more, GM has made the Volt more accessible. Its base MSRP drops by roughly $1,000 to $33,170. Federal tax credits can drop the price another $7,500, making the Volt as inexpensive as $25,670.

So what’s the Volt like to live with? Well keep reading for the full run-down.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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GM Plans To Run Autonomous Chevrolet Volts By 2017

GM Plans To Run Autonomous Chevrolet Volts By 2017

In a recent press release, GM talked about its plans to strengthen its core business, which involved several product-related initiatives and a number of alternative transportation programs. The company will begin to focus on expanding zero emissions technology, car sharing programs, and even revealed an eBike concept. The most interesting, however, is the future deployment of an autonomous vehicle fleet.

By the end of next year, a fleet of fully autonomous, 2017 Chevy Volts will begin to roam around the Warren Technical Center campus. GM employees will be able to use a smart-phone app to reserve one of the Volts, which will automatically drive and park at a set destination. As employees continue to make use of the autonomous fleet, data will be collected and used to expand on GM’s technological capabilities. This technology, called “Super Cruise” has been in testing for 3 years, and will also be available in the 2017 Cadillac CT6.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt

The second-generation Volt brings improvements in every department

Launched for the 2011 model year, the Chevrolet Volt is GM’s first volume plug-in hybrid vehicle. Also sold as the Holden Volt, Vauxhall Ampera and Opel Ampera around the world, the five-door compact has already won numerous awards, including the 2011 North American Car of the Year. The most advanced version of the Volt used a 17-kWh battery that enabled it to return a range of 38 miles in all-electric mode. For 2016, the current Volt is being replaced by a redesigned, second-generation vehicle that delivers enhanced fuel economy from its revised gasoline generator, better performance and a greater electric-only range.

The new Volt has been revamped inside and out, with emphasis on a sportier exterior design and a brand-new drivetrain that’s significantly lighter than its predecessor. The five-door compact is also slightly bigger in its second generation, allowing Chevy to not only increase legroom front and rear, but enable the Volt — previously a four-seater — to offer seating for five. Read on for the full run-down.

Updated 09/13/2016: The 2017 Chevrolet Volt scored a Top Safety Pick+ award for its crash performance from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Check the "Safety" section for the full details.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.

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Last First-Gen Chevy Volt Rolls Off the Assembly Line

Last First-Gen Chevy Volt Rolls Off the Assembly Line

In preparation for the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt, the last of the first-generation Volts was produced this week at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. As much publicity that surrounded the Volt when it first went into production in 2010 (shown above), the final car – a white 2015 Chevy Volt – rolled off the line with little fanfare.

Over its five years of production, Chevrolet sold 76,136 Volts (through April), and that doesn’t include export versions of the car like the Opel Ampera for Europe and the Holden Volt for Australia. The Volt’s sales peaked in 2012 with Chevy selling 23,461 Volts, but last year just 18,805 units were sold.

The first-gen Chevy Volt was a true innovator with its range-extended electric drivetrain that allowed 38 miles of all-electric driving with the added benefit of a gasoline engine that provided an extra 350 miles of range. Similar powertrain technologies have since been used by other automakers, including the BMW i cars.

Chevrolet has not said when production of the more advanced second-gen Volt will commence, but the car will be in dealerships sometime during the second half of this year. Even though production of the Chevrolet Volt is off-line, the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly still builds the Cadillac ELR, Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Impala.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Volt.

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Chevrolet Volt Is "Tomorrowland Today" In Latest Ad

Chevrolet Volt Is "Tomorrowland Today" In Latest Ad

Chevrolet has teamed up with Disney to ensure that moviegoers will see plenty of bowties in the upcoming summer blockbuster Tomorrowland, and the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt will be prominently featured. Ahead of the movie’s opening, Chevrolet has released the first advertisement, called “Tomorrow, Today.”

In the spot, Chevrolet highlights the evolution of some of General Motors’ most iconic, cutting-edge and futuristic concept vehicles: the 1959 Firebird III, 1964 Firebird IV, 1968 Astro II, 1969 Astro III and the 1987 Chevrolet Express Concept. Capping off these concepts, of course, is the new Volt, which Chevrolet labels as the “car of tomorrow today.”

Joining the Volt on the big screen (as well as in a display at Disneyland’s The Downtown Disney District), Chevy will also feature the equally futuristic Chevy EN-V concept.

Tomorrowland – starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie – opens in theaters May 22, but you can see the latest trailer by clicking here.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Chevrolet And Disney Plan To Launch "Tomorrowland" Film

Chevrolet And Disney Plan To Launch "Tomorrowland" Film

In the upcoming sci-fi mystery adventure film Tomorrowland, a cynical old scientist and bright teenager must team up to unravel an enigma that catapults the duo through time and space. The movie harkens back to a period when hope for the future was laden with thoughts of jet packs, automatic convenience and an abundance for all. As part of that optimism, Chevrolet has announced a partnership with Disney to help promote the new Volt, framed as the automaker’s bid for a brighter tomorrow.

“Tomorrowland is a place where nothing is impossible, which is something that Chevrolet believes can exist in the here and now,” said Tim Mahoney, Vice President, Global Chevrolet, in a press release. “The Chevrolet spirit reflects the hopes and possibilities of tomorrow in real instruments of change for today like the next-generation Chevrolet Volt.”

The promo will see a TV spot and digital adverts beginning in early May.

As a reminder, Chevy’s idea of a brighter future for today involves 50 miles of emission-free driving and 1,000 miles between gas fill-ups. The Volt has seen extensive revisions for 2016, including an updated exterior, a reorganized interior space, and a lighter, more efficient drivetrain.

Tomorrowland is scheduled for theatrical release May 22nd, starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson.

Continue reading to learn more about Chevrolet’s new "Tomorrowland" movie.

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Chevrolet Trademarks "Crossvolt" Moniker

Chevrolet Trademarks "Crossvolt" Moniker

With just days until the second generation of the Volt will be unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Chevrolet has taken the liberty of adding more fuel to the Volt fire by recently registering the "Crossvolt" name for "automobiles application." No matter how speculative it sounds, this could mean that the the Volt will probably get a bigger brother and thus form an plug-in hybrid sub-brand in the nearby future.

The original "Crossvolt" trademark application was actually filed back in 2011, one year after the 2010 Chevrolet Volt MPV5 concept car had been unveiled, but it was apparently abandoned in November 2014. A few days ago, another similar application was published for opposition, meaning that the original plan of adding a plug-in hybrid crossover or MPV to the lineup still stands.

With the second generation of the Volt to be unveiled in Detroit on January 12, 2015, the "Crossvolt" trademark re-filing could very well mean that a new iteration of the MPV5 concept car could be present alongside the volt. Alternatively, this might mean that we are actually about to see a production version of the Crossvolt at the show.

Some of you probably remember that a hybrid mule of the Euro-spec Chevrolet Orlando was spied last year testing with a group of Chevrolet Volts and a Ford Fusion hybrid in the U.S., which in theory could signify that underneath it may have been the upcoming Crossvolt, but nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet.

Whether the model is nearing a launch in production guise or concept form remains to be seen, but what is known for sure is that Chevrolet is more than prepared to use the "Crossvolt" name on an upcoming vehicle.

Click past the jump to read more about the "Crossvolt" moniker.

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2014 Chevrolet Volt

2014 Chevrolet Volt

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.

Therein was the Volt’s other major critique at launch: prices that mean buyers could afford almost two fleet-spec Priuses for the price of one loaded Volt. Luckily, time has caught up with the Volt’s technology and the pricing of competition from the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid, Toyota Prius Plug-in and Ford Fusion Energi.

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.

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Cadillac ELR Might Get a New Three-Cylinder Engine in the Future

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."

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Video: Chevrolet Presents its New Lineup in Creative Fashion

Video: Chevrolet Presents its New Lineup in Creative Fashion

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?"

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Rumormill: Chevy Adding a Turbocharger to the Volt

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.

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Woodward Dream Cruise 2011 ready to hit the road

Woodward Dream Cruise 2011 ready to hit the road

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.

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Ride and Drive Event: Ford and Chevy Vie For Your Business

Ride and Drive Event: Ford and Chevy Vie For Your Business

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.

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2011 World Car of the Year finalists officially announced

2011 World Car of the Year finalists officially announced

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.

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Super Bowl Ad: Chevrolet breaks the bank with a fleet of commercials

Super Bowl Ad: Chevrolet breaks the bank with a fleet of commercials

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.

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Video: Jay Leno receives his Chevrolet Volt

Video: Jay Leno receives his Chevrolet Volt

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.

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First Chevrolet Volt auctioned for $225,000

First Chevrolet Volt auctioned for $225,000

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."

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Car and Driver announces "10 Best Cars for 2011"

Car and Driver announces "10 Best Cars for 2011"

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.

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2011 Chevrolet Volt Z-Spec Concept

2011 Chevrolet Volt Z-Spec Concept

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.

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Motor Trend Tests The Chevrolet Volt

Motor Trend Tests The Chevrolet Volt

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.

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2011 Chevrolet Volt Will Need Premium Gas

2011 Chevrolet Volt Will Need Premium Gas

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.

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Chevrolet releases a video to highlight the Volt’s Value

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.

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2011 Chevrolet Volt Will Cost $41,000

2011 Chevrolet Volt Will Cost $41,000

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.

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Video: Chevrolet Volt travels cross-country in "Freedom Drive"

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.

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Latest Wallpapers:

The President meets the Chevrolet Volt

The President meets the Chevrolet Volt

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.

Press Release after the jump

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GM's Figure of 230MPG For The Volt Was Wrong

GM’s Figure of 230MPG For The Volt Was Wrong

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.

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Microsoft ties up with Chevrolet for a virtual Chevy Volt test drive on Kinect for Xbox 360

Microsoft ties up with Chevrolet for a virtual Chevy Volt test drive on Kinect for Xbox 360

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.”

Press Release after the jump

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4,400 early owners of the Chevrolet Volt will receive free home chargers

4,400 early owners of the Chevrolet Volt will receive free home chargers

If you’ve been licking your chops at the thought of purchasing the new Chevrolet Volt when it drops into dealerships at the latter part of the year, you might want to hear about this new incentive that could possibly even expedite your purchase of the electric car.

It’s been announced that the US Department of Energy would be handing out free 240-volt home chargers for 4,400 of the Volt’s early buyers. The early bird does get the worm, or in this case, the home charger. Manufactured by either ECOtality or Coulomb Technologies, these chargers will be made available by the DOE for prospective owners of the new Volt at an absolute bargain of a price. We don’t know what the price tag is, but Tony DiSalle, the Volt’s product and marketing director, says that "For Volt owners who want to install a faster 240-volt charge station, we expect the Department of Energy project to save $1,000 and $2,000". Taking into consideration the rumored price tag of these chargers - somewhere around $2,000, give or take - then you can expect a lot of interested buyers to save somewhere north of 50% with these chargers.

However, it should be noted that the DOE’s generosity comes with a price tag - albeit a metaphorical one, of course - of its own. If you partake on the DOE’s offer, you’re going to have to sign off on an agreement that lets the government agency collect the necessary information to help them understand the requirements and necessities better, as well as the pros and cons of seeing more electric cars on the road in the future.

Some might call it a double-edged sword as it pertains to a government agency keeping tabs on consumers, but as far as we’re concerned, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal, especially if they can help you save as much as $2,000 for any one of those home chargers.

Press Release after the jump

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Google and OnStar connect customers to their Chevy Volt

Google and OnStar connect customers to their Chevy Volt

This could be the start of a beautiful friendship or even the foot in the automotive door for Google through GM. Turns out, Google, OnStar, and Chevy are becoming quite the triumphant trio with their new smartphone mobile application through the Android. The original launch of this technology was at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show and already they have updated the application to add a cool new feature which will debut at the Google I/O Conference today and tomorrow. Their newest addition to the mobile app being demonstrated at the conference is the “navigation tab”. This tab will allow theChevy Volt owner to see the current location of their vehicle on Google Maps and will even give the location of the car in relation to their Android. That isn’t even the best part. The consumer can primarily use this application to get directions to any destination they wish to go. This works by having the consumer voice the destination to their Android. The phone then determines where this destination is and relays that information to OnStar. When the consumer hops into their Chevy Volt, the turn-by-turn directions will be waiting for them. These new features allow Chevy to maintain the commitment they have made “to providing Volt customers with the most connected vehicle experience possible”.

“These two new features add to the suite of mobile application features for Volt that given Volt owners a personal connection to their car,” said Tony DiSalle, Chevrolet Volt marketing director. “Connecting customers to their cars is one way we’re using technology to provide value and a real useful benefit to the Volt owner.”

Hit the jump for a full list of what the Chevy Volt application on the Android platform has to offer, a video, and the press release.

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Video: Chevrolet shows the electric range the Volt is capable of

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After months of seemingly endless videos of the Chevrolet Volt undergoing one test after another, Chevy finally - and mercifully - decided to bring it out of the production line and into the streets, although the Bowtie still couldn’t resist throwing a number of plugs for their electric car along the way.

In any case, with electric cars slowly infiltrating the market, Chevrolet wants to make the public aware that their electric car can just as easily walk the walk as it could talk the talk. Highlighting the Volt’s real-world electronic range, the video shows how far you can go on your Volt on a single fully-charged battery, without even using a drop of fuel in the process. It also talks about scenarios when the Volt’s battery runs out and the car’s range-extending gas generator kicks in, giving the Volt the extra mileage covered other EV cars can’t boast of.

While it’s good to know all these things, we’re taking Chevrolet’s proclamations with a grain of salt. For now, at least; until we see the real deal in action, we’ll be holding off on making rash judgments.

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Latest spy shots:

2010 Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Electric Concept

2010 Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Electric Concept

While waiting for the production version of the Volt, Chevrolet decided to tease us with a new electric concept carrying the same nameplate. This time, it’s a crossover. It made its world debut at the Auto China 2010 and comes to demonstrate the potential of the Voltec propulsion system.

The MPV5 concept features the same design as the Volt: a closed grille and aero-optimized lower air dam, a full-underbody belly pan, along with rocker claddings, creased tail lamps and specially designed blades on the rear quarter. The crossover is painted in Sonic Blue Metallic paint and sits on 19-inch Volt-inspired wheels.

And, of course, under the hood there is the same propulsion system with a total of 150 Hp and an autonomy of 300 miles on a full tank of gasoline. The MPV5 can hit a top speed of 100 mph.

We are curious to see what other Volt-like creations are up Chevy’s sleeve, especially since this crossover looks quite dashing. Check out the interior shots.

Press release after the jump.

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GM repays loans and invests in Poletown to produce 2012 Chevy Malibu

GM repays loans and invests in Poletown to produce 2012 Chevy Malibu

General Motors has been speeding down the track like a train with a purpose. What is GM’s purpose? To pay out all of their outstanding loans and invest for a better tomorrow. General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive confirmed today that General Motors has made payment on the $5.4 billion loan (2 billion of the loan was already paid) to the U.S. government, $700M of which was interest. Ouch. This payment was made five years ahead of schedule and illustrates GM’s progress since declaring bankruptcy last July. General Motors has also been able to repay loans to the Canadian and Ontario governments totaling $1.1 billion (in addition to the $400 million already paid). How’s that for progress?

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First pre-production model of Chevrolet Volt rolls out of assembly line

First pre-production model of Chevrolet Volt rolls out of assembly line

Over the course of a number of months we’ve been bombarded by Chevrolet with photos, videos, and even a detailed description of the Chevy Volt.

By the sheer amount of time and money being invested on this car, you would think that it should, at the very least, already be in the production stages, right?

Well, as it turns out, developing such a car takes longer than any of us ever expected. Yet, despite the slow-rolling of the Volt, Chevy has remained pretty steadfast in their commitment to making the Volt a reality and their latest piece of good news seems to be a step in the right direction.

According to Chevrolet, the first pre-production Volt recently rolled out of the company’s production facility in Hamtramck, Michigan.

Just so we don’t get ahead of ourselves, we have to point out that the car is a pre-production model, which is pretty much a glorified test car to determine whether the Volt is up to par to the enormously high standards General Motors has given it. But even if it is a ‘pre-production’ model, the mere fact that something finally rolled out of the assembly line leads us to believe that the Volt could very well end up out on the road one day.

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Video: Chevy Volt subjected to durability test

For some people, the work life becomes too toxic to the point that they’d do anything to get out of their jobs, even resorting to screaming at their bosses just so the company has a reason to let them go.

But that’s not the case for one Murray Butler IV, who probably has one of the best gigs in the world – at least according to him.

Butler is one of those rare kinds of people who not only enjoys the work he does, but even compares it to like “being in Disneyland.” So what exactly does he do?

Continued after the jump.

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General Motors releases video on how the Chevrolet Volt works

By now, a lot of us have probably been hammered with lectures and tutorials about the idea of electric cars and how it’s going to revolutionize the auto industry in the future.

One of the most visible proponents of electric cars has been General Motors and with the Chevrolet Volt, the auto conglomerate has the ideal car to show everyone the merits of EV driving without compensating for performance and reliability.

But for every one of us that know about electric cars like the back of our hands, there are probably hundreds – maybe thousands – that still can’t tell the difference between standard vehicles and those that run on electricity.

So, in a PSA round-about way, GM decided to release a video showing exactly how the Chevy Volt works. Don’t worry; if you’re watching this for the first time, it’s not as complicated as it looks. GM did a smart thing in keeping it simple. After all, you can’t teach someone new tricks without having to explain it in as easy a way as possible first.

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Video: Chevy Volt goes through a Solar Heat Test

Video: Chevy Volt goes through a Solar Heat Test

By now you would’ve figured that General Motors would go through great lengths to promote the mettle of the Chevrolet Volt. Having previously done a water trough test, GM decided that maybe the Volt should be subjected to yet another test, this time, of the scorching variety.

To ensure that any part of the Volt would not be subjected to warping or sagging when exposed into hot weather, GM turned up the knob on the old pressure cooker to see just how the Volt handles being in the figurative spotlight.

In this video, the Volt is being given a solar heat test, with temperatures reaching as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t know your conversions, 200 degrees Fahrenheit is twice as hot as the boiling point so you can be rest assured that if there’s any part of the car that couldn’t stand the heat, this test would show it.

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Video: Chevy Volt does an EV-lap in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium

The latest Chevy Volt promo video is now up and running with the folks from GM, led by Volt chief designer Andrew Farah, take their Volt traveling troupe to the parking lot of Dodger Stadium for a quick ‘test lap’.

It’s not the typical test lap we’ve all seen in the past, but it nevertheless shows how the Volt shows off its EV power in a quick lap around a makeshift circuit in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium.

As you can see, Farah pretty much knows the ins-and-outs of the Volt, driving it masterfully around the course without even touching – or grazing – any of the cones that lined up the course. What’s even more impressive is that he does without even burning an ounce of fuel, showing off the true ‘electrical’ value that lies in the Chevy Volt.

Check it out to see for yourself how the Volt did in the ‘Dodger Stadium Test Run’.

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Video: The Chevy Volt Dance

By now, you’ve probably heard of Chevrolet’s new marketing campaign for the Chevy Volt, including the eyebrow-raising, yet LSS-inducing ‘Chevy Volt Song’.

It turns out that the Chevy Volt Song has an equally dumb-founding cousin: the Chevy Volt Dance.

Don’t get us wrong: we appreciate the arts of singing and dancing just like everyone else, but we do have to question the rationale of PR and marketing heads of Chevrolet for their decision to market the Volt like some sort of variety show.

While the Chevy Volt Song does have a tinge of catchiness into it, the Chevy Volt Dance is straight out of a choreographed noon-time variety show, complete with the backflips, gyrating, and break-dancing. The Volt, we surmise, will be better off without ‘the Dance’ and we just hope that Chevrolet does something about it like say, burn any and all tapes and remove all evidence that such a dance ever existed.

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Video: The official Chevy Volt Song

Video: The official Chevy Volt Song

You know a song/jingle has made an impression on you when you find yourself unknowingly singing it all the time.

That’s how we felt after listening to the official "Chevy Volt Song".

According to Maria Roher, GM’s director of global Volt marketing, the song was created not just for marketing and promotional purposes, but also to inculcate into the minds of people that the future of auto industry is of the electric variety.

“We are not only looking to sell our Volts come start of production but we are also looking to educate our youth on something that is rather new and sophisticated and quite eco minded,” she says. “A Volt song helps us to achieve those objectives. ’Chevy Volt and Me’ explains what Volt is all about as a better EV in simple friendly terms.”

We have to give it to GM and the Volt team. There’s a certain catchy tune to the song that you can’t get rid of after listening to the chorus, “E for electricity and V for Chevy Volt and me…”

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Video: Chevy Volt goes through Water Trough Test

General Motors must have a lot invested in the Chevrolet Volt EV. The new electric car is still about a year away from seeing the dealerships but GM isn’t wasting time as far as promoting and marketing what the Volt can – or presumably, cant – do.

In their latest released video, the Chevy Volt goes through a flood test at the Milford Proving Ground to highlight just how the batteries inside the car will be sealed in the event of an actual flood.

Check out the video to see the Volt turn into an amphibious vehicle.

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What could the Chevy Volt do with a smartphone app?

What could the Chevy Volt do with a smartphone app?

Although he didn’t expand on the subject, Chevrolet’s former Vice President Brent Dewar showed audiences this slide as part of the electrically propelled Volt’s unveiling at the L.A. Auto Show last week. General Motors has touched on the topic of producing user friendly applications for both the Blackberry and iPhone for their new battery operated production car by the time it arrives in showrooms across the country, but they still aren’t saying exactly what the program will do. Our best guess is that the smartphone applications will be based around recharging the Volt’s batteries, we have heard that Chevy’s BEV will come from the factory with features like programable recharging. A penny pinching move that allows owners to wit until rates go down after midnight to start charging their Volt.

So what could GM do with the world’s greatest key fob? Using a smartphone with an LCD screen as opposed to a palm full of plastic that is limited to only a few fixed buttons will allow the software engineers to go as far as their imaginations can take them. If you thought that the new Prius’s remote activated ventilation system was cool, the Volt app should put the tiny gas sipping Toyota to shame. Although it probably won’t let you operate the car like James Bond drove the BMW 750 in Tomorrow Never Dies it will most certainly bring a bit of fun to owning a Volt. The ball is in your court GM.

Any suggestions? Comment below.

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Chevrolet goes with 'Viridian Joule' for the Chevy Volt color scheme

Chevrolet goes with ’Viridian Joule’ for the Chevy Volt color scheme

If you recall some time ago, Chevrolet came out with a paint color contest to name the official color of the Chevrolet Volt. And now, after what has seemed like an inordinate amount of time, the winning color has finally been announced.

Viridian Joule.

Yes, apparently, that is a legitimate color, or to be more specific, a legitimate hue. It turns out that ‘Viridian’ is a real word, which means ‘a long-lasting bluish-green pigment made from hydrated oxide of chromium. As far as ‘Joule’ is concerned, we do remember from our Home-Ec classes that it’s a unit meant to describe some sort of electric energy.

The contest was one by David Thomas from Sanford, Florida, whose ‘Viridian Joule’ name beat out notable contenders the ‘EV-ergreen’ and the ‘environMINT’. In hindsight, ‘Viridian Joule’ isn’t all that bad of a name, especially since ‘EV-ergreen’ and ‘environMINT’ didn’t really get any overwhelming thumbs up from us. But we did wonder for the life of us why Chevy had to have such a contest. Couldn’t they have come up with something themselves?

We’re guessing that it’s their way to keep the public involved in whatever they do, which, at the end of the day, isn’t bad idea to drum up interest for the Volt.

Press release after the jump.

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2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

The final version of the Chevrolet Volt electric car was presented today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. At the even GM announced that the electric sedan will be available late next year in California with other lead markets to be named later. Production will begin in 2010 and 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.

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. One thing to remember while you are at the pump; this little baby has to be filled with premium gasoline.

Also, the Volt’s exterior color has an official name: Viridian Joule, a name suggested by David Thomas, 40, of Sanford, Fla.

UPDATE 07/22/2010: Chevrolet has taken the Volt on its first cross country trip! Check out the video above!

UPDATE 07/27/2010: This article has been updated to show the price that has just been released for the Volt.

UPDATE 07/28/2010: Chevrolet is highlighting the value of the Volt in the video above. Check it out!

UPDATE 10/16/2010: Motortrend has tested the Chevrolet Volt and has gotten some tremendous results! On their first trip, the hybrid got them 127mpg while traveling along the street and highways of Los Angeles. On their second trip, the guys over at Motortrend drove the heck out of the Volt at its top speed and were able to get 75mpg proving that the Volt is one efficient vehicle!

Press release after the jump.

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Chevrolet’s Volt color-naming contest has three finalists

In one of the strangest contests we’ve come across recently, Chevrolet has narrowed down the list of its ‘Volt Color Naming Contest’ to three finalists.

That’s right - a color-naming contest.

What’s even more surprising was the fact that over 13,000 people submitted their ‘entries’ for the contest, which, as we’ve said, has been narrowed down to three colors. These three colors are “EV-ergreen", which was submitted by Devin McQuarrie of San Jose, CA, “Viridian Joule”, which was submitted by Dave Thomas of Sanford, FL, and “environMINT”, which was submitted by Matthew Valbuena of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.

Voters can now cast their votes over at the Chevy Volt website with only one vote per IP address will be counted over the next two weeks. The contest will conclude on December 1 in Los Angeles where a winner will be officially announced. The three finalists will also be brought to LA for the official announcement and as a prize; the winner will get to take the Volt in its winning color out for a test drive, becoming the first outsider to be given the opportunity.

It’s not much for a prize, to be honest. We were kind of expecting Chevy to give the winner a Volt model of his own. After all, he was the one who thought of the color of the car.

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Video: Chevy Volt subjected to water test

Electric cars like the Chevy Volt may not have to worry about the mounting fuel prices all over the world, but is it presumptuous to believe that they should worry about the weather, especially when it rains?

It is after all general knowledge that water and electricity don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. So if you’re one of those people that won’t buy an electric car because of this ‘fear’, you can now rest easy.

The guys at GM-Volt, together with the Volt’s lead engineer Lance Turner – the same man who was one of the key figures behind Mitsubishi’s EV1 project - took the Volt out for a quick test to ensure that the car’s battery pack won’t short-circuit when it gets doused with water.

What they did was they placed the Volt inside a container and filled it up with seawater up until the water touched the batteries. The batteries, it turned out, were wrapped in a specially-constructed seal, which paid close attention to the high voltage lines between the battery pack and the inverter.

It’s a must-see video, especially for those who are looking to purchase a Chevy Volt down the road. At the very least, it should alleviate some of your fears.

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Video: Building the Pre-production Volt

Fresh off the announcement that the Chevrolet Volt will have EPA estimated 230 MPH, General Motors has released this video of the future plug-in electric vehicle make its way down the assembly line. From body panel attachment to a fully systems diagnostic run, the American gives us a glimpse of what is to come with these preproduction Volts.

About the whole 230 MPG thing, the EPA’s new train of thought it that a plug-in electric vehicle will be traveling many more city miles than highway ones in electricity only mode. So General Motors expects the Chevrolet Volt to consume as little as 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles when driving around town. Considering that the average cost of electricity in the U.S. is approximately 11 cents per kWh, a typical Volt driver will pay somewhere around $2.75 to travel every 100 miles. That equates to less than 3 cents per mile.

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Chevrolet Volt Expects 230 MPG in City Driving

Chevrolet Volt Expects 230 MPG in City Driving

Even if General Motors all new gas electric hybrid the Chevrolet Volt has not made an official debut, the automaker has started to reveal more and more details about the future electric car. GM said that the future Volt will be able to achieve a city fuel economy of at least 230 miles per gallon, and that it will be able to travel up to 40 miles in pure electric mode from a full charge.

The actual as mileage of the Chevrolet Volt will depend on how far the owner travels amongst other factors such as how much cargo or how many bodies they bring along with them and even how much accessories like the air conditioning is used. Chevrolet has already verified the Volt’s 40 mile electric range through vigorous developmental testing which results in a petroleum-free driving experience in both city and highway cycles.

Based on the EPA’s new train of thought, plug-in electric vehicles will be traveling many more city miles than highway ones in electricity only mode. So the government agency has decided to use kilowatt hours per 100 miles traveled in order to categorize the efficiency of a plug-in electric vehicle. Using this methodology, General Motors expects the Chevrolet Volt to consume as little as 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles when driving around town. Considering that the average cost of electricity in the U.S. is approximately 11 cents per kWh, a typical Volt driver will pay somewhere around $2.75 to travel every 100 miles. That equates to less than 3 cents per mile.

Press release after the jump.

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Toyota set to produce 30,000 plug-in hybrid cars in 2012

Toyota set to produce 30,000 plug-in hybrid cars in 2012

The plug-in hybrid revolution has begun.

Toyota Motors Corp., one of the foremost authorities on hybrid technology is planning on producing about 20,000 to 30,000 plug-in hybrid in 2012.
We all know that if there’s a manufacturer that can make this claim and back it up, it’s Toyota. After all, their very own hybrid car, the Prius, was the first hybrid vehicle to appeal to the mainstream audience.

Plug-in cars are different from the standard hybrids because they can be charged at home through an electric socket, although by running on electricity, these cars come with batteries that can be heavy on the wallets, and that’s not even counting the electric consumption bills you’ll have to come face-to-face with every month.

Nevertheless, the future for these cars remains promising, especially considering that the world’s supply of oil won’t last forever.

Continued after the jump.

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GM plans to have Chevy Volt to produced in China

GM plans to have Chevy Volt to produced in China

We mentioned a while back about the growing number of cars making its way into China. But apparently, cars aren’t the only ones infiltrating the world’s most populated country.

So are car factories.

We recently got word that General Motors, in an effort to build their brand on overseas markets – especially in China and Asia – will begin making the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car in China starting in 2011.

Now it seems that tapping into the largest market in the world is a sound strategy for GM, especially after going through its worst crisis in company history. The Detroit-based manufacturer is expected to use its China facility to continue building on its revolutionary technology in a wide variety of vehicles, which includes the Volt and a host of other cars the company is trying to introduce to the vast Asian market. Unlike their dismal showing in the US, GM is hopeful that the Chinese market – the biggest in the world by a mile – will take a liking to the Volt and the slew of other vehicles they’re planning to produce in the country. As it stands, all Volts built in China are to be sold there but the company is expected to open its doors to other Asian markets as well.

Continued after the jump.

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GM begins pre-production of the Chevy Volt

GM begins pre-production of the Chevy Volt

Chevrolet revealed the Volt Electric Vehicle as a concept back at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The first pre-production Volts have already rolled off the assembly line. Most of these vehicles will be used for the testing purposes and in order to validate the vehicle’s production quality and design efficiency. These pre-production models will also be used to develop the final software and controls for the new vehicle, including the way that the driver interacts with the new EV. Like all test vehicles, some will have short lives, as they’ll be crash tested after the GM engineers have run every test possible on them. Everything from endurance testing, to battery and drive train interface examinations, the design team will even go so far as to test the windshield wipers and the doors ability to be opened and slammed over and over again.

Approximately 80 of the extended-range electric vehicles will be produced over the next year or so, putting General Motors ahead of their pre-production deadlines for the electrifying automobile. The American automaker hopes to start producing road going Chevrolet Volts for retail sales by the end of Fall 2010.

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2009 Holden Volt

2009 Holden Volt

After seeing the American version, and also the European version of the Volt electric car, today is time for the Australian one. Production version is expected on the Australian market in 2012.

Like the Chevy Volt, its Australian brother has the ability to travel up to 64 kilometres on electricity before using petrol or producing exhaust pipe emissions.

For trips of up to 64 kilometres, Volt is powered solely by the electricity stored in its battery without using petrol or producing exhaust pipe emissions.

When the battery’s energy is depleted, a small petrol-powered engine generates electric power for the vehicle to travel hundreds of additional kilometres .

Advanced technology enables the vehicle’s battery to be charged in less than three hours on a standard 240v power outlet. Charge times are reduced if the battery has not been fully depleted.

Press release after the jump.

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Chevy Volt to get battery upgrade

Chevy Volt to get battery upgrade

The unveiling of the Chevrolet Volt was one of the most highly anticipated events in the auto industry this year. The car is a gasoline-electric hybrid, meaning it has two sources of power – an electric motor, and a standard internal combustion engine. In electric mode, the vehicle’s design is such that it can be driven for a maximum range of around 40 miles. When power is nearly depleted, the gasoline engine kicks in to drive a generator which recharges the car’s batteries.

Crucial to the success of the Chevy Volt is its batteries. General Motors’ first concept electric vehicle, the EV1, used lead-acid and nickel metal hydride battery packs. The Volt employs lithium-ion packs which are considerably lighter.

GM is currently working with Applied Sciences, Inc. and, its affiliate, Pyrograf Products towards improving the Volt’s electric mode range. The two Ohio-based companies are looking into the use of carbon nanofibers in battery production. Their initial studies indicate that this space-age material greatly improves electrical conductivity and could be used as fillers in the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries.

Reducing weight is vital in improving a vehicle’s performance; and the balance between a battery pack’s weight and power capacity is a key factor in the successful design and production of hybrid cars. The EV1’s battery pack tipped the scales at 800 pounds; using lithium-ion for the Chevrolet Volt successfully cut that in half. According to John Mackay of Applied Sciences, Inc., “By making the carbon perform better, you can reduce the weight of that component in the battery. GM researchers say they have not seen any carbon materials that have performed as well as ours."

The $1.5 million research and development of carbon nanofibers for this application could effectively extend the electric driving range of the Volt to 80 miles, maybe more. The question is: Would this greatly affect the final pricing of the car when it hits the market in 2010?

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Chevrolet Volt eligible for $7,500 tax credit

Chevrolet Volt eligible for $7,500 tax credit

Turns out you don’t have to give out mortgages like candy and then blow all the proceeds on drugs and strippers to get your hands on part of the government’s $700 billion bailout package. Instead, put down the hooker and pick up a Chevy Volt.

As part of the Wall Street bailout package, $1 billion is set aside for discounts for hybrid cars with batteries rated at 4 kWh (kilowatt hours) or more. While the current Prius’ 1.3 kWh battery pack does not qualify, the 6 kWh Chevrolet Volt should qualify for the maximum $7,500 tax credit. See, sometimes the good people win (or at least get some of their own money back to buy a car.)

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It's Official: Opel Volt coming in 2011

It’s Official: Opel Volt coming in 2011

It’s no surprise. Not only is the Chevrolet Volt easily one of GM’s most ambitious projects (new technology, short timeline), but we have also been hearing many rumors that the European Opel brand will get its own version of the gas/electric hybrid. So, very few were surprised at the official announcement from General Motors at the Paris Auto Show that Opel’s Volt will arrive in 2011 (Chevrolet’s will debut in 2010.)

"Since fuel economy and the whole issue of ecological driving is as important in Europe as it is in North America, we made a decision that we’re going to trail the North American Volt with an Opel version of that vehicle in the 2011 time frame," said Hans Demant, managing director of Opel.

Opel will utilize the technology and powertrain from Chevy’s Volt, but says it will likely change the design for its customers. The final product will likely still look a lot like the Volt considering the final shape was chosen for its low aerodynamic drag.

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Bob Lutz talks about the Volt on the Cobert Report

Bob Lutz is a man in demand. After our interview time with him about the Chevrolet Volt, Lutz was quickly whisked away to go to New York. At first we didn’t know exactly why, but now its clear we were the warm up interview for Stephen Colbert.

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