Volt Birth Watch 163: Sportier Than a GSXR

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Audi of America’s Johann De Nysschen calls the Volt “a car for idiots,” in an MSN interview. “No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla,” he tells Lawrence Ullrich. “So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.” And you have to admit that the guy has a point. For all the Volt’s hype, GM has offered little in the way of an explanation of the Volt’s potential appeal to people who don’t merely “want to show what enlightened souls they are,” as De Nysschen puts it. But don’t worry, GM has a meme for that! Specifically, that deep down the Volt isn’t an overpriced hair shirt . . . it’s a performance car!

Alex Cattelan, GM Powertrain Assistant Chief Engineer, Voltec Electric Propulsion System, wrote a post over at chevroletvoltage.com, describing tests of the Volt’s mountain performance. “Driving the twisty, winding roads of Knoxville, Tennessee,” she writes, “you really get to see what a car is made of. That is why I was there last week putting the Chevrolet Volt electric plug-in vehicle through its paces. ”

And what can she reveal about the Volt’s Tail Of The Dragon capability? We get some boring information:

Cabin conditions and under-hood temperatures all stand up to the heat and grade challenges put to the battery pack. System testing to date verifies that we can properly balance vehicle requirements such as drive performance, drive feel, thermal conditions and efficiency. Everything we are doing proves the Volt is right on track.

And we also get our moment of inspiration:

As I stood next to the Volt on top of a mountain last weekend, I felt overwhelmingly enthusiastic about its capability. I’m confident that Chevy Volt drivers will feel invigorated like I do by its exciting, smooth, quiet, and fuel-efficient performance.

You know, because it’s her job. But the best (and by best we mean least plausible) detail is saved for last.

For now, I look forward to hitting the open road again – but this time on my Suzuki GSXR 750 motorcyle. Somehow, I suspect my upcoming vacation to Georgia along some of these same roads will be somewhat less exciting – since nothing will top the experience for me of cruising along in a high performance electric car.

The implication is that the Cruze econobox-based Volt is somehow more fun than what is widely considered to be the best road-going supersport bike on the market. And even if that were true (it’s not) the GSXR750 starts under $12K. Oops.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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3 of 26 comments
  • Tcwarnke Tcwarnke on Nov 25, 2009

    Alex Cattelan is female. The post should be updated to reflect this.

  • Blindfaith Blindfaith on Dec 07, 2009

    When a person is paid to support a position, they will say anything this proves it. Al Gore is more proof Scientists that are paid to find support data for global warming I could go on but,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
  • VoGhost Matt, I'm curious why you write that inventory levels are low at 74 days. Typically, 60 days is the benchmark for normal inventory.