Volt Birth Watch 151: 30mpg+ During ICE Operation
Jon Lauckner, New GM’s Vice President of Global Program Management, picked up the FastLane webchat-a-phone and confirmed that he can’t confirm a final price for its tire-squawking (true story!) Hail Mary hybrid. This despite the fact that the Volt—or at least a small squad of hand-built prototypes—is due at the Chevy showroom—or at least down at the steps of Congress for the next ’round of bailout hearings—by the end of 2010. “Hi Dan,” Lauckner says, greeting the e-interrogator daring GM to whip out its sticker. “We typically do not lock in on pricing until about 3-6 months prior to start of production. The reason is primarily so we have an opportunity to take a look at the market, competitors and other factors. So stay tuned.” So to speak, ’cause that issue ain’t sorted out neither . . .
[Comment From Lev Blekher]
How does GM decide where to draw the line between maximizing the main purpose of the Volt even it it means unfamiliar characteristics (engine revving at stops), and making it friendly to the average consumer by decreasing it’s potential slightly, in favor of more comfortable feel (engine revs match speed, etc.) Thanks.
[Reply from Lauckner]
That is something we will decide during the development phase we’re in right now when we finalize the calibration of the engine in various conditions. We want to avoid unfamiliar characteristics to the maximum possible extent – we want the Volt to behave just like a normal automobile.
Maximum extent possible? Do I detect a bit of Where’s Jeff (i.e., Wiggle room)? But we have some new information! Lauckner says the Volt will be a thrifty, refined little thing, even when the EV-only mode is depleted.
I think most customers will be surprised at the refinement of the ICE. It will operate at several RPM points (not roaring) and the charge sustaining fuel economy (gas engine on) will be much more than 30 mpg.
Whoa! Dude! Where’s my plug-in hybrid electric/gas car?
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