The Chevrolet Volt has been the talk of
the town for quite some time in automotive circles. First shown as a
concept over three years ago in Detroit, the vehicle is now just
months away from hitting
U.S. streets as a fully-fledged regular production vehicle.
Unsurprisingly, even though the Volt
won't launch until later this year, GM's top brass is already
thinking of ways to improve the vehicle with the second generation
model. One of the main points of focus will be on the Volt's internal
combustion engine according
to Edmunds Inside Line.
The upcoming Volt makes use of a
four-cylinder gasoline engine developing just 71 hp. Quite
frankly, using this relatively large engine that is only serving to
recharge the batteries is overkill. "Right now, the propulsion
system is too expensive, even with using an existing engine,"
said Karl Stracke, GM's VP of global product engineering.
New options on the table for the second
generation Volt include a smaller, two-cylinder gasoline that would
produce between 20 to 24 horsepower.
Another option would be small rotary
engine (with just one rotor). Probably the most recognizable vehicle
on the market today with a rotary engine is the Mazda RX-8. That
vehicle's rotary engine is extremely compact and weighs
just 245 pounds with all accessories attached. A rotary engine
for the next generation Volt wouldn't need to be nearly as powerful
as the RX-8's 13B-MSP Renesis, so it could be even lighter and more
The only downside to using a rotary
engine would be the relatively high fuel consumption, but that should
be more than offset by the compact dimensions and weight savings.
A final option would be the use of a
diesel engine. "The cost of the engine would be higher for the
manufacturer, but the fuel costs would be cheaper for customers,"
While cutting costs on the internal
combustion engine is important for the second generation Volt -- and
part of broader effort to cut costs throughout the project -- cutting
costs for the battery pack will have to be even more drastic. The
current battery pack in the Volt costs GM around $10,000 each. GM
hopes to bring that cost down to roughly $5,000 for the second
quote: drove 16 mile down a mountain then the blance on a mostly straight hwy using the least amount of pedal pressure for the balance of the trip 38 miles at 102mpg your mileage may vary. Also overrode the auto dsg using 6th gear. Have custom order low rolling resistance tires
quote: never believe those EPA figures.. they are a joke..
quote: Jetta TDI: 30 mpg / 41 mpg (city/highway)
quote: You also need to put in the $8000 tax credit.
quote: But assuming that these take off, GM can lower production costs.
quote: If people had a shred of decency, they wouldn't. Why am I helping to pay for your goddamn Volt again? I could accept a reasonable subsidy, maybe, but 8 grand !?
quote: I can tell you right now that a 2-stroke is the wrong motor for turning a generator.
quote: I am a HUGE 2-stroke guy
quote: The other issue is that 2-strokes make huge amounts of horsepower, but not a lot of torque. Naturally you can tune around that, but torque is generally preferable to HP.
quote: A final option would be the use of a diesel engine. "The cost of the engine would be higher for the manufacturer, but the fuel costs would be cheaper for customers," said Stracke.
quote: I'm not sure why they kept jacking up the price on it till its 30 cents or more higher.
quote: Yeah, its a less refined oil product so I'm not sure why they kept jacking up the price on it till its 30 cents or more higher. It used to be the other way around.