Ask The Best And Brightest: What Do You Want To Know About The Chevy Volt?
Tomorrow your humble Editor boards a plane for Michigan, en route to a date with the Chevrolet Volt. TTAC has followed the Volt’s bumpy road to production-readiness since Bob Lutz decided that the Prius had to be “leapfrogged,” and we’ve tracked every change to the Volt’s mission, message and mechanical blueprint along the way. And though cars don’t exist in a vacuum, giving the Volt a fair review will require us to leave a lot of this contextual baggage at the door.
Certainly we will continue to report and opine on the development of the Volt program, but our forthcoming review will be focused on the vehicle itself. Because this is a clear break from our previous reporting on the Volt (which focused on the program rather than the car), we would like to take this opportunity to find out what you, our readers, are most interested to learn about GM’s green halo car. Obviously we will be giving our driving impressions (with the requisite TTAC flair) and we will try to report observed efficiency in as accurate a manner as is possible, but there’s still an awful lot to learn about this symbolically significant but still poorly-understood vehicle. So tell us what elements of the Volt’s performance, presentation or technical gubbins you are most interested in. Would you rather know how efficiently the Volt can be driven or what to expect as a worst-case mileage? We only have a little more than a day with the Volt… help us make the most of it!
how many times can you open and close the sunroof before it becomes jammed open?
From the comments I am reading here today, I recommend that you not waste your time testing it at all. No matter what you report, you will see the same incredibly unsophisticated thinking regurgitated again and again with no minds opened, nor opinions altered by anything resembling facts. It reminds me of the farmer criticizing the model T the first time he rode in one: "There's no place to hitch the horses." It is troubling to see concerns voiced about dragging dead batteries about, then wishing for a large heavy tank full of gas to achieve huge "range" figures in a vehicle whose delineated purpose is to serve as a method to simply cut down on the dependence on gasoline to fulfill the tranportation needs of a certain population of drivers who find it to be exactly what they need for a large enough portion of their driving. The rest of the market simply needs to move on and stay their course if they so please. The Volt should be seen as one in a myriad of differing approaches for maintaining a mobile future for all of us. None are claiming to be the best. Of course there can't be a magic formula that will give everyone their perfect fantasy vehicle. Expect a fractured market for the next decade or two as all these solutions are tried out and developed. It will be a time of fantastically varied choices for us all, which is far better than car life was during the past gas crises. Surely you can see that.
Find out how to hack the battery conditioner so that you can use up more of the battery, and then how to cover your tracks so the warranty isn't voided.
Actually, I'd like to see you drive it to a Chevy dealer and see how prepared the Service Department is for these cars. No one else is going to be able to work on them, at least for a year or two. An indication of how seriously GM is taking this project is how well they've prepared their mechanics to work on the Volt. Has GM sent anybody from the dealership to school to learn about them? I don't believe that high-voltage work or regenerative braking system system troubleshooting are something they've done before, and those are areas for which special training is a must. Success in troubleshooting and repairing the early production models is going to be critical to GM. With the internet, everyone in the country will know of every vehicle that is down for repairs for more than a day. Oh, and DougW: It reminds me of the farmer criticizing the model T the first time he rode in one: “There’s no place to hitch the horses.” You remind me of the advocates of Samuel Langley's airplanes.... they should have worked fine.