Production Chevrolet Volt
GM takes the wraps of its highly anticipated Chevrolet Volt

After months of speculation, teaser shots, and spy photos taken on the set of “Transformers 2”, the production Chevrolet Volt has finally been unveiled to the public. Although General Motors made the horrible mistake of having key executives partially block the view of the Volt in every single photo available, it's still good to finally see the vehicle's final shape.

The Volt pictured to the right doesn't appear to be an actual finished vehicle, but rather a clay representation of what the production model will look like. That being said, the production Volt is noticeably "rounder" than the concept version. The concept Volt's unique glass beltline has also been replaced by what looks to be flat black paint to give the same illusion.

There were obvious concessions made for occupant comfort such as the taller roofline to accommodate a wide variety of body types. The concept vehicle's flared fenders have also given way to a more slab-sided appearance -- no doubt in an effort to maximize aerodynamic efficiency.

In its transition from concept to production, the Volt now looks more "ordinary" instead of something that drags consumers kicking and screaming into the future.

The Chevrolet Volt is estimated to have a price tag of $40,000 to $45,000 (before tax breaks/credits) when it launches in late 2010 as a 2011 model. The Volt can travel 40 miles on a charge before its internal gasoline engine (ICE) has to start to recharge the battery pack.

Taking into consideration the 40 mile battery range and the 7.2-gallon gas tank, the Volt will have a total range of 360 miles.

Updated 9/16/2008
GM recently revealed new pictures of the Volt sans the executives mugging in every shot. The new shots give a better idea of Volt's final shape. There's also a shot of the Volt's interior which looks quite remarkable.

GM also revealed a few more details about the Volt during the press unveiling. According to GM, here are a few of the highlights of the interior:

  • Driver-configurable, liquid crystal instrument display
  • Standard seven-inch touch screen vehicle information display
  • Touch screen-style climate and infotainment controls
  • Optional navigation system with onboard hard drive for maps and music storage
  • Standard Bluetooth for cellular phone and USB/Bluetooth for music streaming      

GM stated that the electric motor generates 150 HP and 273 lb-ft of torque which can propel the vehicle at up to 100 MPH. The company also noted that the average driver would save $1,500 in fuel costs per year based on an average daily commute of 40 miles per day, $3.60 gasoline, and 15,000 miles of driving per year.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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