By on September 16, 2008

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88 Comments on “Volt Birth Watch 87: It’s Official...”


  • avatar

    It looks better here than in the leaked pics, that’s for sure…

  • avatar
    dreamtech

    Doesn`t look too bad….but is that good enough? Why the blacked out shouldlers below the side windows? If the blacked out area was simply glass the effect would be similar and people would have excellent visability. High beltlines are getting old.

  • avatar
    picard234

    Looks like a Chrysler Cirrus on crack.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    While it’s not awful, there is a little too much Prius in it for my tastes.

    If GM had kept it looking like the original concept I would have seriously considered purchasing one.

  • avatar
    TexN

    It looks nice……….for a $22k car. Good luck selling it at $40k.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    um…civic headlights, MKIV jetta greenhouse, cirrus trunk, malibu grille…i can’t believe i thought the transformers movie spy video of the blue/purple one looked good.

    oh well. i wasn’t a prospective buyer anyway.

  • avatar
    N85523

    Looks slightly different from the leaked photos. My guess is that it may be because the leaked photos were actual photographs whereas this looks like a pixelated incarnation.

    EDIT:
    Autoblog now has actual photographs up. It’s the same as we saw Lutz and his cronies fondling

  • avatar
    aunt jemima

    the interior looks disjointed…too much going on.

    there’s the glossy white center section & white on the door, then black and gray, the LCD screen for the speedo, the futuristic looking cloth on the door panels.

    i would have preferred they keep one common theme on the inside.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    If GM had kept it looking like the original concept I would have seriously considered purchasing one.

    The concept wasn’t practical. If you want a car that gets the Volt’s purported levels of economy, it is going to have to look a certain way, eg, like a Prius.

    It’s a form-follows-function thing.

  • avatar
    tigeraid

    What a disjointed mess. So many PARTS of this car look great, but together they’re just ruined.

    The front end, viewed by itself, looks really neat, and tends to mesh the brand styling of the Malibu and whatnot with a kind of Honda Civic headlight thing. It works…

    Then the back end looks pretty cool, until you look at the tail-light that turns into a completely different shape when it goes to the trunklid–that doesn’t look futuristic or edgy, it just looks dumb.

    Then tying the two ends together is that abortion in the middle–wtf were they trying to accomplish? They give the car the current fad of having an ultra-high beltline, then they drop the actual window beltline BELOW it, and below the rear window’s beltline. What a mess.

    I understand the gorgeous concept was a little too “muscley” but this ridiculous.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    ferrarimanf355 :
    September 16th, 2008 at 11:16 am

    It looks better here than in the leaked pics, that’s for sure…

    That’s because it’s a computer rendering, expect to see it flying around in ads in a few months, if they don’t keep flogging the concept.

    And don’t forget your also looking at the fully optioned out, “Super Touring”, $55,000 Volt. The typical one they sell probably wont have all those extra weight options if they want to make that 40 mile EV range.

    If you don’t believe me look at the PR photos of the Cruze compared to the rental looking Cruze shots shown yesterday. Night and day in comparison.

  • avatar
    tomaxhawk

    Touchdown!! It’s Good! I like the styling. If it functions as good as it looks, I might consider buying it. (No I don’t work for or get paid directly or indirectly from GM) . Just my humble opinion.

  • avatar
    crackers

    From my perspective, the appearance is acceptable.

  • avatar
    ComfortablyNumb

    What’s with all the pictures of dudes? I think a few models could have done a lot to reduce the “meh” factor. Hey, now there’s a TTAC Photochop idea for you!

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Anybody trust any GM product it’s first few years of production?

  • avatar
    NickR

    Looks decent enough. The attachment of the mirrors is unusual, I wonder if that will make it into production.

    My only worry is that it will fall into the design trap of cars such as the Sonata, where for the sake of aerodynamics they have a steeply sloping backlight, producing a trunk with a very small opening that is a pain in the ass.

    It looks more purposeful than most cars of its ilk.

  • avatar

    I prefer these photos to the ones last week with the executives in them. I like the proportions and it looks pretty clean.

    WRT the blacked out trim under the windows, that’s obviously a nod to the concept. I’d have preferred that they not done anything there, but having larger conventional windows would have given it a 1990 Lumina sedan-like profile, and that ain’t good.

    I honestly see absolutely zero resemblance between this and the Prius. Now, the 2010 Insight and the Prius, that’s a different story.

  • avatar
    Raskolnikov

    I love the interior. It reminds me of my Mac.

    Exterior…..I suppose I’ll have to see it in person to pass final judgement. These pics are just so-so.

  • avatar
    Adub

    At first glance the photchop pictures look nice, but the longer I stare at it the more I see a flattened Asstek in the design, especially the back. The white interior center stack screams “iPod” but isn’t bad.

    Still, I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Currently GM’s finest are working on a plug-in SUV. What are they thinking?

  • avatar
    montgomery burns

    Heh, I just noticed that the upper grill is fake, a decal?. As noted above there is some interesting detail elements, but overall a D for effort and a “please see me after class” for execution. Here GM had an opportunity to stand out and blew it yet again with another derivative car styling exercise.

    I guess it will give them another “you see people don’t want a car like this” excuse.

  • avatar

    The car looks a million times better in live shots then it did in the leaked photos from last week.

    Look at the live, in person photos of it on other sites. It’s a great looking car in the flesh. I think the reveal takes a little wind out of “The Volt Lie” editorials sails.

    The new photos of the car will probably go a long way to satiate the initial negative reaction to it many had.

    Now if GM delivers the projected range on electricity then they may really have a game changer on their hands. Price tag or not.

  • avatar
    lewissalem

    I am actually a little surprised that many of the LEDs made it into the production vehicle. This product does seem to be more technically advanced (and most likely more expensive) then the current Prius.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    I’m shocked to say it’s not bad looking. In reference to what NickR pointed out, is this car a hatchback? Because that is one tiny trunk opening otherwise.

  • avatar
    rhino26

    i like it i think the front has a lot of character. espically for a gm product. the interior is nice especially the buttons on the console which do not have any lines they almost have a touch screen effect to them. they are completly flat without the gaps in between.the interior seems to be made of high quality plastics and the instrument panel is a nice touch. it all screams high tech. i like it i would buy one if it gets the fuel economy and its closer to thirty grand then forty.

  • avatar
    TexN

    Even at $40k, GM loses money on every unit sold. How does this car save GM?

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I like it. Sure it doesn’t come together like a RX-7 or look as classy as a Bentley, but I’m not expecting that. A car like this is first about economy, and unfortunately the automotive shapes that best blend aerodynamics and passenger space end up looking, overall, pretty junky. There’s a reason the new Honda Insight looks just like the Prius, and the Prius looks like a Prius, and the Volt looks very similar. Yeah, a gorgeous body would have been great, but I’m not about to dismiss this car because it doesn’t look drop-dead sexy. If it performs as is promised and delivers an otherwise overall solid driving experience, less than awesome exterior styling will matter very little to potential customers.

    I’m just trying to see the big picture. This car is revolutionary. I hope it works as promised. I’m sure it won’t, there are always bugs and tweaks that will need to be made. But it represents a real, living machine that could very well change the world in a way we haven’t seen since probably the Model T. I’m willing to give up a few style points for everything else that will hopefully make this car wonderful.

    And I LOVE the interior. I know some traditionalists will hate it, as will old people (who will probably have no idea what anything inside does), but to me, its got a fantastic looking steering wheel (finally from GM!), very cool center stack. The dash has a lot of character. It is actually designed with some flair and style, which not only looks very cool, it will help sell a car like this to its target audience: those who like their purchases to represent great design and progressive technology. Young, hip people who love their ipods, and have homes and cars full of technology, and who are willing to pay a premium for that technology. This car is not going for your grandmother (who still can’t program her VCR from 1988), nor the type of person who wants basic, cheap transportation. I love the style inside. I wish more cars today, regardless of propulsion, would look more like this.

    So overall, while the show car was stunning, for a production car, I’m very very happy with how it looks.

  • avatar
    rhino26

    the whole idea would be to change peoples idea of gm. look what i can build now tell me i can not build a good quality and dependable car or truck like the transplants. to change the consumers that they can build vechiles on the same caliber and that they have vechiles worth considering.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Nice.

    40 Large?

    No So Nice.

  • avatar
    Bancho

    It’s not bad looking except for the aforementioned blackot stickers adorning the shoulders.

    For those disappointed that it doesn’t resemble the concept (the front end in particular), what did you really expect? What would justify the long nose in a front wheel drive hybrid vehicle with a “small gas engine” to keep the batteries charged? What else would they stuff in there to best use the space? Maybe stick the batteries and fuel tank in there? That would really make it handle like a champ. I’m not GM fan but honestly, they had to make some concessions to practicality and efficiency. I think, aside from my gripe above, that they did a decent job.

    All that said, this is not the look of a $40k car.

  • avatar
    jwltch

    There’s something to be said about the fact that there are more pictures of the guys involved with the project than the actual car itself. At the same time, like it or not who knows if and when it will ever become readily available. This car is useless to the general buying public until they can manufacture Prius- and Civic-like quantities at a reasonable price. I can’t wait until they release it in small quantities. I want to see how this car really holds up. As for the black trim at the bottom of the windows, I wonder if that will follow my previous GM experience of warping, fading, and looking awful in a short amount of time.

  • avatar
    monkeyboy

    Looks pretty good to me.

    Wonder if you can tune a production EV?

    Why can’t people here understand “CONCEPT?”

    I was reading Hot Rod and the true enthusiasts there were mulling over the production ready Camaro VS. what they saw as a concept. They did take note that the prod ready version grew a “B” pillar. No complaints, no bitching, no whining. just glad it’s nearing their garage.

    They also mentioned that the Challenger concept had no “B” pillar and it too grew one for production.

    So is it that the true Hot Rod readers are less likely to get their panties in a bunch than the bloggers and Internet experts?

    Or are they just more knowledgeable of the development realities??

    I would buy this over the Honda version that I’ve seen.

    And it’s for sure going to be more technically advanced. Believe it or not, GM is responsible for most of the OBDII diagnostic protocol for what we now drive.

  • avatar
    netrun

    What is up with the Impala/Malibu front end on everything coming out of GM? That half-smiley face look does not do it for me. The Volt should stand alone and have it’s design set it apart. It should NOT look like a cookie cutter GM car.
    stupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupid ..

    The back end looks nice, though. Looks like GM is going hatchback a la Prius.

    And who designs GM wheels? Would anyone admit to that? They have the worst looking wheels. The wheels on the Volt look amazingly just like the wheels on the Silverado and just like most Pontiac wheels. Hopefully this will change before production as they pull weight out of the car.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “High beltlines are getting old.”

    You can thank the SUV/truck craze for that one. Car beltlines have been raised in order to improve side-impact protection, especially when the impacting vehicle is a monster truck.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    This looks pretty good. Solid B+ I say. There are a lot of ‘sleek’ styling elements (tail lights) mixed in with a slightly unique / slightly prius-y profile (but not *too* much) to warrant a double take. No awkward lumps (Honda Insight) or too much ripping off (Honda Insight) , and the interior is a little ipod-y but is going to cater to the silicon valley crowd providing it’s functional.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    The styling on the car looks OK. You can almost see the focus-group session that picked (polled?) the design cues in the reflection of the sheet-metal. If there is any criticism I would have on the styling of this thing, its that a Volt could drive by me this afternoon in traffic and I probably won’t notice. For a flagship product like this, I should see it coming before I am looking for it. I do like the user-configurable LCD concept for the dash, personalized dash is as natural as a personalized desktop for a PC. I think that will be ubiquitous in the industry and am surprised I don’t see it on a production car from two years ago.

    That said, all that really matters with this thing is the go-parts. Either it will actually have a technical edge on the Prius as a plug-in or it won’t. For $40,000, the money better be in the motor(s).

  • avatar
    Subifreak

    Much better pics! I like it.

  • avatar
    tommy!

    The Cruze is a much better looking car, and possibly cheaper to manufacture and more practical. This new fascination to “futurize” electric/hybrid vehicles is out of control. It’s really not necessary to go this far – even as a concept, because we know the production model will not look like this – for so little.

    Oh and definitely getting creeped the hell out looking at the serious man-love glam-shots of those executives.

    My eyes – the goggles, they do nothing.

  • avatar
    monkeyboy

    High beltlines are in a effort to minimize energy usage. Think about it.

    A/C is one of the highest usage item of battery and engine power. If you reduce the exposed greenhouse, then you reduce the power consumption and increase the passenger comfort.

    Pretty basic really…

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    1) Nice for a 20K to 25K GM. Not a 40K car.
    2) Wait at least 3 years to have the bugs fixed.
    3) Then go buy something comparable by ToMoCo, Honda or Nissan for better reliability and resale.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I like the fact that this looks like a car, not some uber-geek’s go kart. I’m not so wild about the view from the rear, but it may be changed by production time.

    I noticed that the wheels look pretty decently sized, along with the brakes behind them. I wonder if they’re expecting great speeds from this car?

    The interior is cool, but I imagine there will be other color choices. As a Mac user, I hate (no, really, hate!) the white keyboards and mice they’ve been issuing lately. I can’t imagine such a light interior looking good for any length of time (esp w/kids!)

    So far so good.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Pretty ugly.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    Form follows function. IMHO, I think it looks better than the Prius. Sure the middle of the car looks…ehm…slightly bloated, but at the same time, I think GM managed to give the Volt a very acceptable look for what the car is designed to do. No way would the original concept be practical and still manage to get 40 miles with those looks.

    Only thing that turns me off is the price: $40K!?

  • avatar
    threeer

    Concur with comments above. Not a bad design, actually kind of like it, but not for $40k. It’ll be a hard sell to anybody but early adopters. Ma and Pa Chevy won’t be dropping 40 large for this.

  • avatar
    Wulv

    Just to echo the sentiments here. $40k? no way it sells many, especially when you can almost get 2 of the competition for that .
    Shiny white plastic on the dash? That is a good idea? I know iPods are all the fad but basing a car interior off a portable music player or a laptop doesn’t seem like the grandest of ideas.

    The problem is it will be going against proven vehicles from other companies with (perceived or otherwise) reputations for reliability. I cannot imagine myself taking this to the local dealership for warranty work at all.

    All in all it looks good on the outside, well mostly.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    Hmm, over TWICE the cost of the upcoming Honda Insight…. Its not ALMOST twice the cost, it is MORE than twice the cost of the competition. Yet I don’t see how it looks any better, and the 40 mile EV range doesn’t save you that much money.

    The point being?

  • avatar
    the duke

    Overall, I like the appearance. I won’t comment on price, as it hasn’t been set yet.

    But look at Autoblog’s picture #30 from the full gallery (linked below). Are those the most ridiculously thick A-Pillars in history?

    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2011-chevy-volt-live-reveal/1039902/

  • avatar

    That’s because it’s a computer rendering, expect to see it flying around in ads in a few months, if they don’t keep flogging the concept.

    Didn’t GM have the real deal over at the RenCen? I know most everyone here and their mother is skeptical about the Volt, but ‘cmon, at least have a little faith, like Merrill.

    http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2008/09/16/analyst-calls-gm-f-cb-mer-lly-ul-brcm-aapl-palm/

  • avatar
    Mud

    It looks like everything else.

  • avatar
    mikey610

    RE: The $40k price tag.

    The price is irrelevant at this point, considering the fact that they are only going to sell 10,000 units for the first few years, meaning this WON’T be the vehicle that saves GM. They need saving a LONG time before that, and press announcements won’t do it. Neither will building more small cars instead of trucks, considering the huge profit difference between them.

    So even if the Volt does become a ‘hot seller’ in 2015…it might not be for a GM as we know it.

  • avatar
    gamper

    Looks very cool IMO. If the price is around $35K after tax break, sign me up. Its worth it.

  • avatar
    mdf

    CarnotCycle: I do like the user-configurable LCD concept for the dash, personalized dash is as natural as a personalized desktop for a PC. I think that will be ubiquitous in the industry and am surprised I don’t see it on a production car from two years ago.

    My only complaint is that there are too many physical buttons — this takes up space (and money). But as for “personalized dash”, it all seems so obvious now, doesn’t it? The “glass cockpit” is the future:

    http://gizmodo.com/336615/aptera-electric-car-works-great-says-popular-mechanics?mail2=true

    … except for the babyboomers who apparently need analog dials and idiot lights. “Or something”.

  • avatar
    amac

    The interior looks cheap, the blacked-out panels below the belt line are a huge mistake, the rear end needs a rethink and the mirrors are just plain ridiculous. Other than that, it’s OK… I guess.

  • avatar
    Bancho

    the duke :

    Holy crap! You’re right! Those are some seriously thick “A” pillars! you could miss a semi in those things.

  • avatar
    mdf

    Holy heckers, what do I see?

    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2011-chevy-volt-live-reveal/1039909/

    Is that not a charge scheduler? Of course it is!

  • avatar
    mocktard

    Those wheels probably weigh 30lbs a piece. Not exactly the kind of weight you want to be shifting around when your goal is fuel efficiency.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    I like just about everything but the price.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Here’s a GM Fact Vs Fiction Truth for You: The production Volt looks hideous!

    And I’m quite intrigued that even at a place like TTAC, people immediately try to find excuses to hide GM:s complete and utter failure. Here are some examples:

    “From my perspective, the appearance is acceptable.”

    And that’s actually a positive comment.

    “Look at the live, in person photos of it on other sites. It’s a great looking car in the flesh. I think the reveal takes a little wind out of “The Volt Lie” editorials sails.”

    No, it’s not a great looking car. It looks like a fat and tarted up Cruze with some gimmickry styling points. And that’s all there is to it.

    “The new photos of the car will probably go a long way to satiate the initial negative reaction to it many had.”

    On the contrary. It goes to prove yet again that GM has failed on an epic level to deliver on earlier promises.

    “I like it. Sure it doesn’t come together like a RX-7 or look as classy as a Bentley, but I’m not expecting that. A car like this is first about economy…”

    Excuses, excuses, excuses…

    “I’m just trying to see the big picture. This car is revolutionary.”

    And yet more excuses… It’s all in the execution. Being revolutionary or thinking about packaging and economy doesn’t mean that the design has to be badly executed by default. It just proves that you haven’t reached your goals but are satisfied with results not hitting target. If you can’t deliver, you have to lower your expectations…

    “I hope it works as promised. I’m sure it won’t, there are always bugs and tweaks that will need to be made. “

    And yet more excuses not to deliver a finalized quality product. But I can understand what GM buyers will have to accept in forms of quality and service, with GM:s track record in mind.

    “I’m willing to give up a few style points for everything else that will hopefully make this car wonderful.”

    And yet more excuses. GM apologists, anyone? Bueller?

    “So overall, while the show car was stunning, for a production car, I’m very very happy with how it looks.”

    Yes, why reach for excellence when mediocracy comes so much cheaper?

    “It’s not bad looking except for the aforementioned blackot stickers adorning the shoulders.”

    It’s extremely bad looking, solely because of the aformentioned blackout stickers adorning the shoulders. That’s a cheap attempt not to deliver on promises. But perhaps some black plastic will do instead?

    “For those disappointed that it doesn’t resemble the concept (the front end in particular), what did you really expect?”

    I expected Excellence. And all I got was a Cruze at double the price, with some Volt styling cues stamped on it, and some dubiously untested and yet unproven new technology not even in production.

    “I’m not GM fan but honestly, they had to make some concessions to practicality and efficiency”

    And some more excuses. Aren’t people tired already of apologizing? Practicality and efficiency doesn’t necessarily mean a badly executed final design. But it takes some skills to do it right, skills that GM obviously don’t have. Solstice, anyone?

    “As for the black trim at the bottom of the windows, I wonder if that will follow my previous GM experience of warping, fading, and looking awful in a short amount of time.”

    I think it will look as good as that plastic cladding that Pontiac adorned all of their cars with in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s probably made of recycled Grand Prix’s.

    “Why can’t people here understand “CONCEPT?””

    “It looks like everything else.”

    “If there is any criticism I would have on the styling of this thing, its that a Volt could drive by me this afternoon in traffic and I probably won’t notice.”

    It’s not that we don’t understand the concept of a concept. What we don’t understand is GM:s way of taking a beautiful concept and f**k it up all the way. The Camaro is an example of a concept done right on its way to production. The Volt is the exact opposite. And the real question is how many Transformer movies that will have to come out before we can buy either the Camaro and Volt.

    ““High beltlines are getting old.””

    “You can thank the SUV/truck craze for that one.”

    “High beltlines are in a effort to minimize energy usage.”

    Let me give you a little secret. High beltlines is nothing else than a styling fad. It’s a gimmick. It’s called fashion. And the problem with the Volt is not the high beltline in itself, but that the concept had windows in its beltline. Hiding the beltline with black plastic in a cheap attempt to mimick the concept is not only cheap, it’s counter-intuitive to the current styling trend of high beltlines. If you want a high beltline à la Chrysler 300, fine, do so. If you want windows in your beltline, that’s equally fine. But black plastic cladding? I haven’t laughed as much since I saw the quad STACKED tailpipes on a Ferrari. GM is so f****d it’s laughable.

    “The styling on the car looks OK. You can almost see the focus-group session that picked (polled?) the design cues in the reflection of the sheet-metal.”

    It looks like a Cruze with some focus-group polled Volt styling cues stamped on it for PR purpose. It looks absolutely ridiculous.

    “Form follows function. IMHO, I think it looks better than the Prius. Sure the middle of the car looks…ehm…slightly bloated, but at the same time, I think GM managed to give the Volt a very acceptable look for what the car is designed to do.”

    And that’s actually a good review, coming from a GM apologist. No, there’s no need to worry here. Move on…

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    It’s been around so long that the WSJ has this snarky headline: GM Debuts Redesigned Chevy Volt

  • avatar
    monkeyboy

    Ingvar,
    Are you in engineering anywhere?

    Your intuition and explanations are unique.

  • avatar
    BuckD

    I think it looks pretty nice. A far cry better than the Prius and Insight, although that’s a low bar. Here’s a conspiracy theory for you–the photos leaked last week were to manage expectations so that when the Volt was officially unveiled today, people would say, “Oh, it looks OK after all.”

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    “Ingvar,
    Are you in engineering anywhere?

    Your intuition and explanations are unique.”

    No, I’m not an engineer, but I work with design. Earlier, I worked in film, now I work with architecture.

    And I’m just tired of all the bullshit. I got rashes all over me just reading all the comments.

  • avatar

    call me a GM apologist too, but I don’t think it looks bad at all. The prius looks stupid and many people buy it over a civic hybrid because it ‘looks like a hybrid’. If anything, the Volt probably doesn’t look stupid enough.

  • avatar

    Mr. Chen, I did get some lulz out of that one.

    Now, about the configurable LCD dashboard display… how the hell did that get past the infamous GM bean counters? I’m amazed…

  • avatar
    AG

    It looks part Cruze, part Civic. I like it.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Forget the car. What about the beef cake? They should do a calendar: 2010 Hunky Men of Volt.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    Exterior reminds me of an ’09 Malibu with added shelf on rear fender, and black belt under windows. Interior? – Fisher price w/ video screens?
    Ah well, another sedan. Let’s hope in future GM gets drivetrain into an alternate body layout that’s more practical.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    With likely more than 2 years until production starts, this vehicle is still a “concept”. The big wheels will be replaced with small, skinny, light wheels with low rolling resistance tires, the LED headlights and tailights will be replaced with more conventional bulbs, the grill will become a sticker, it will get 25 miles per charge instead of 40, etc. Being as how these soon to be replaced styling elements fail to differentiate it from a Prius, I fear for the actual production unit.

  • avatar
    Diewaldo

    OK, so they took the rear of the concept car and glued it onto a Cruze with the headlights of a Honda testcar.

    Did they really think they could get away with this?

    I am really underwhelmed!

  • avatar
    Bancho

    I didn’t really mean to make my post sound like an apologist’s argument. I just figured it’s GM and this really is the best we can expect from them. It’s like when teachers use positive reinforcement to provide encouragement to the kids who perform poorly in class.

    The Volt concept looked pretty cool….and pretty damn impossible to bring to fruition as it was designed. The whole project is a big let down and they’ll be lucky to rival the Plymouth Prowler in overall sales when all is said and done.

    The Volt will arrive in showrooms someday and find itself out priced, and outclassed by the competition. I can’t envision any outcome that would be different. Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I surprised? No.

  • avatar
    faster_than_rabbit

    Hideous ugly nonfunctional grill. Given a clean sheet, this is the best GM can do. Think about that.

  • avatar

    Remember that Volt ad that was running during the Olympics? It seems that GM already reworked it to show the production version…

    http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/

    (click on “Video” in the top banner)

  • avatar
    MrDot

    Those fat-ass tires are going to hurt fuel economy.

    Guyincognito nails it.

  • avatar

    That huge tunnel with batteries is really awkward!
    Who would want a 4-seater in stead of a 5-seater?

    I think they need to put the Volt drivetrain in an SUV with batteries under the floor. But then you need even more expensive batteries, of course, to get 40 miles of electric range.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    netrun :

    What is up with the Impala/Malibu front end on everything coming out of GM? That half-smiley face look does not do it for me. The Volt should stand alone and have it’s design set it apart. It should NOT look like a cookie cutter GM car.
    stupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupid ..

    What do you mean, Impala/Malibu front end?

    The first Chevy with that front end on it that I recall was the 2005 Chevrolet Uplander. We all know how that worked out! I don’t recall seeing any other Chevy that year or earlier with the hideous monstrosity masquerading as a “grille” that the Uplander brought to the table. I distinctly recall my first in-person encounter with an Uplander in a shopping center parking lot and the unmistakable WTF reaction it gave me the way no other production vehicle has. I want to like the brand new Malibu, I do, but that grille…

    Ingvar, why should GM strive for design excellence when mediocrity is making their competition billions?

  • avatar
    brettc

    It doesn’t look bad, but I agree that we don’t need a bunch of pictures of dudes standing by the Volt. The interior colours are a little annoying, but maybe it’ll look better in person. As much as I think GM sucks, this car could be a step in the right direction. I guess we’ll wait and see when it makes it to your friendly local dealer whether or not it’s actually a decent car. And if they do price this thing at $40000, they’ll be screwed once the “gotta have it” people get theirs. You can buy 2 Prii for that much, or even two Jetta TDIs, and those are both proven vehicles. I’ll wait until I see one on a lot to make a final judgement though.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    “Ingvar, why should GM strive for design excellence when mediocrity is making their competition billions?”

    Because the Volt was supposed to be the be all and end all of cars since the 55′ Chevy. The Volt has been pushed as the saviour of GM per se. And pushing that concept whilst delivering that production car doesn’t spell saviour to me. It sounds more like mediocracy talking. And if GM is counting on that car to save the company, then the leadership is delirious bordering on criminal negligence. I’m sorry, GM is f****d, there’s no other way to see it.

    “I didn’t really mean to make my post sound like an apologist’s argument. I just figured it’s GM and this really is the best we can expect from them. It’s like when teachers use positive reinforcement to provide encouragement to the kids who perform poorly in class.”

    I’m sorry, Bancho. I used some comments merely to make a point. It’s a war out there, you know…

  • avatar

    Ingvar, who has been pushing this car as the end-all be-all? To my knowledge it hasn’t been pushed as such by GM themselves or as their savior. It’s been pushed as a showcase and proof that GM can make advancements in motoring and technology. The story of the car’s gestation is also an interesting one that the media has reported on themselves, including this site.

    Nothing about the car screams mediocrity to me, if anything it looks like they got everything so far exactly right. The car looks very good inside and out.

    The big question is the range, if it works as projected then GM has delivered a revolutionary car to the market. A huge stride. Whether people will buy it at the pricing guesstimates is an entirely other matter.

  • avatar
    KnightRT

    And I’m quite intrigued that even at a place like TTAC, people immediately try to find excuses to hide GM:s complete and utter failure.

    I’ve got it. You’re shorting GM’s stock. Bravo, now it all comes into focus.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    “Ingvar, who has been pushing this car as the end-all be-all? To my knowledge it hasn’t been pushed as such by GM themselves or as their savior. It’s been pushed as a showcase and proof that GM can make advancements in motoring and technology. The story of the car’s gestation is also an interesting one that the media has reported on themselves, including this site.”

    Are you kidding me? Where have you been the last year? After googling for 48 seconds I come up with this:

    “General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), after seeing sales plummet for larger cars and SUVs over the past 18 months because of higher energy prices, is now doing a major about-face. It’s no secret that a large part of GM’s future strategy is tied up in alternative fuels and electric vehicles for the consumer market. Translation: inflation and energy prices are changing consumer gas price attitudes.

    Robert Lutz, GM’s product design expert extraordinaire (oh, and Vice Chairman), is placing a large bet on the Chevrolet Volt, a 100% electric vehicle that GM hopes will capture the imaginations — and wallets — of energy-conscious consumers. Lutz even calls the Volt GM’s “moon shot” in a reference to a once-in-a-lifetime NASA goal to place a man on the moon in the 1960s. GM has a once-in-a-product-cycle chance to get a mass-produced, well-liked electric vehicle into dealer showrooms before any other global auto manufacturer.

    Lutz, who speaks the best geek-speak there is concerning vehicle dynamics and drag coefficients, seems certain that GM can outfox Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) by getting a popular, 100% electric vehicle into mass production first. Toyota’s existing Prius is a hybrid (gas and electric), and the race is on to get a completely electric car onto the showroom floor. Since there is no gas engine, which provides power for air conditioners and many other components, all systems from entertainment to windshield wipers had to be created from the ground up for the new Volt. From reading this Lutz interview, the Volt has the potential to place GM on top of the auto world again. That is, if done right and before the competition beats it to the electric vehicle game.”

    And there’s tons of spin out there, saying the exact same thing: Volt is the moon-shot that will save GM:s ass. And I’m not talking about Lutz being caught with his pants down. This is nothing I just invented, they have been pushing this furiously for the last three years. I mean, where have you been?

  • avatar
    mel23

    In a Bloomberg interview, Lutz said GM has a 3-year lean on Toyota re. battery technology.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    Well at least it looks a lot better than that hideous concept. This is one time when the production article is not a come-down from the concept.

  • avatar
    amac

    The Duke:
    “Are those the most ridiculously thick A-Pillars in history?”

    YES! The car’s overall design seems thick-ish. I don’t like this car. C’mon everyone, IT’S AWFUL!

  • avatar
    briandfromo.p.

    It’s a Saturn Ion from the rear doors back.

  • avatar

    it’s as bland as its honda & toyota competitors (which assumes it’ll get built). but why do all these hybrids have such distasteful video-game interiors. the pre-arse console is an embarrassment, not to mention a dangerous distraction & from best one can tell from the promotional material for the re-volt, it’s gone there, too.

  • avatar

    Hey, as a member of the Sega generation, a video game interior is a selling point to me…

  • avatar

    Ingvar, perhaps we’re reading two different articles but what you posted doesn’t imply from GM that the Volt will save the company.

    It does say that it has the potential to make GM a technology leader in this area which I agree with if they pull off the range they are going for with the car.

    I’m certainly not going to tear it down before GM delivers it and we see how it performs for ourselves. I give them credit for going through with this car. If it the range is delivered it could have major ramifications on the automobile and the Volt’s grandchildren could end up being pretty common if GM survives that long.

    I like what I see so far. Kudos to the team and I hope for their sake (as well as ours) that they can pull the car’s range off.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    “Ingvar, perhaps we’re reading two different articles but what you posted doesn’t imply from GM that the Volt will save the company. “

    Well, apparently not. But I can translate it for you:

    “Robert Lutz, (…)is placing a large bet on the Chevrolet Volt”

    “Lutz even calls the Volt GM’s “moon shot” in a reference to a once-in-a-lifetime NASA goal to place a man on the moon in the 1960s.”

    “GM has a once-in-a-product-cycle chance to get a mass-produced, well-liked electric vehicle into dealer showrooms before any other global auto manufacturer.”

    “Lutz, (…) seems certain that GM can outfox Toyota Motor Corp.”

    “…the Volt has the potential to place GM on top of the auto world again.”

    In my world, that translates into “Volt will save GM:s ass”.

  • avatar
    Jeff in Canada

    Overall, I like the styling, but I am still holding my judgments for when this car is seen in the flesh on the showroom floor.

    One point that worries me. The touch-sensitive ‘buttons’ on the center stack, this poses the same problem as touchscreen nav units. You have to take your eyes off the road to find the button. Without any tactile sensation from one button to the next, this is a major ergonomic and safety factor.

    I do hope real buttons find their way to the production vehicle.
    Love the LCD gauge cluster though, I think this is the way all cars will go in the next few years. The resolution is high enough now that it won’t strain the eyes, but I wonder how an LCD will perform under direct sunlight, compared to a traditional gauge. It needs to be deeply recessed to hide it from reflections, etc.

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