Volt Birth Watch 116: Mr Lutz Doesn't Go To Washington

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
volt birth watch 116 mr lutz doesnt go to washington

Maximum Bob Lutz was not invited to grovel testify before congress this week, for all of the obvious reasons. So Lutz earned his champagne and cigars the honest way this week: driving cars and blogging about it at Fastlane. Of course, that doesn’t mean Lutz doesn’t have an opinion about the bailout. He’s just strictly forbidden from saying anything besides “I am not going to comment here about any government loans or hearings or GM’s financial situation — just like I wouldn’t engage you in conversation about it if I ran into you in the produce aisle.” Wheh. There goes one recurring nightmare. Besides, as Lutz points out “we have other places online for that conversation, such as gmfactsandfiction.com.” And if that’s not Lutzy enough for you, just wait until he starts talking about the Volt he’s been driving!

Bloggin’ Bob reveals that GM has “moved from the Volt test mules using previous-generation Malibu bodies (affectionately known as ‘MaliVolts’) to test vehicles using vehicles from our next-generation global compact car architecture.” Not bad, considering the thing is going to market in two years. So what’s it like to drive, Bob? “I have to say, after driving it with the Volt system placed within, I feel terrific about the driving dynamics of that architecture. It instantly feels several price classes higher than what it actually is, due to the level of refinement.” Several price classes higher than what, Mr Lutz? The Volt will cost $30-40k depending on government subsidies. So Volt buyers will be getting M5 “driving dynamics” for Lexus IS money? Or will all the Cruzes on that platform just be as good as the IS350? Confusing stuff.

But there’s just a little more weird news. Bob “couldn’t be more pleased” with the powertrain and propulsion system, even though GM still hasn’t officially selected a battery contractor. Besides, Lutz recounts “We started with about a 60-percent charge on the battery pack, to see how it would perform and when the engine would kick on. To my delight, we went about 19 silent, electrically powered miles before that engine engaged.” Given that the goal is 40 miles of all-electric driving, there’s clearly still some work to be done. Of course, Lutz acknowledges this. Sort of. “Right now, the engine is tuned rather aggressively so that once it did kick on, it tended to cut in and out quite a bit at low speeds. But we will find the right balance to address that — that’s why we’re doing all this development work!”

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  • KixStart KixStart on Nov 22, 2008

    Droid800, That's not how I remember it. Of course, I could be remembering wrong. That's one of the pitfalls of having your PR get w-a-a-a-y ahead of your actual development.

  • Droid800 Droid800 on Nov 23, 2008

    Kixstart- They probably were going to make it at LA, and you know how that turned out. Right now GM corporate is going to try and bury any good news to make their situation look dire. That would definitely include any news about the Volt advancing. I'd wager that when they return to DC after Thanksgiving that GM will give up the goods and announce a supplier. (of course, that will be accompanied by an extended hand asking for cash)

  • Jkross22 Most cars would be better with a manual. Maybe not the large SUV/sedan classes of cars, but everything else would be better/more enjoyable. Everything smaller than a Camry would drive better with a manual.
  • Tassos this "tease" is not worth the paper it's printed on. As is the vast majority of such "teases" that do not reveal a single spec or decent photo of the vehicle.
  • Tassos Even when new, these were tiny, worthless, unsafe, unstable pieces of JUNKTO ask.. $7,200 (don't forget the $200) for this utterly worthless 38 year old rustbucket is a testament to what a total fool must one be to be buying any car today. My advise to all of you who are eager to buy anything today is W A I T. Wait two years. Keep what you have, it could not possibly be worse than this worthless piece of excrement.Oh, and BTW,, I DID drive this worthless thing, had to rent it on a 5 day vacation on an island in the Mediterranean. So don't tell me I don't know it.
  • Mcc65704141 Looks like another unwanted four door
  • 28-Cars-Later Nice Tundra silhouette.