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Chevrolet Volt
GM isn't going to let a little thing like a lack of money prevent the Volt from coming to market in 2010

General Motors has been in a downward spiral all year with lagging sales and losses in the billions. GM and its cross town rival, Chrysler, asked Congress for monetary assistance to stave off bankruptcy by the end of the year. In the end, the Senate failed to hand over even $14 billion USD to the two struggling Detroit giants.

Now as the White House mulls what plan it will present to help GM and Chrysler stay in business during 2009, GM is stating that it will bring the Chevrolet Volt to market no matter what. This confidence in the Volt program comes despite that fact that GM announced yesterday that it would halt the production on a new engine assembly plant which will produce the 1.4-liter gasoline engine/generator for the vehicle.

Despite the setback with the engine assembly plant, billions of dollars in losses, and a production schedule that leaves little room for error, GM is still committed to bring the Volt -- and the Chevrolet Cruze -- to market by the end of 2010 as it has always stated.

If the engine assembly plant is unable to be completed in time to get the production Chevrolet Volt and Cruze out the door in 2010, GM will be forced to rely on one of its overseas facilities to produce the engine according to the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly enough, the Chevrolet Cruze is already available in overseas markets like South Korea albeit with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine -- two years ahead of the car’s North American launch.

"Everything that involves heavy cash outlays obviously is under review," said GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel on Wednesday. "Our intent is to still go forward with a new facility bringing that engine to Flint, Michigan."

"Although we are temporarily absolutely stopping all work on everything, the Volt will be out as originally scheduled," added one GM executive.

GM is banking on the Volt to bring it some of the same positive press that has been bestowed upon the Toyota Prius. However, the Prius and its rival, the Honda Insight, have base prices below the $24,000 mark. The Volt, however, will be priced near or will surpass the $40,000 mark before a $7,500 tax credit.

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RE: Price
By MozeeToby on 12/18/2008 6:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand how the Volt's drivetrain works. Yes, it has a 1.4 liter engine. All this engine does is charges the batteries for the 150 horsepower electric motor.

Since you only use all 150 hp at maximum acceleration, the small engine can keep up, even though it's peak hp is much, much lower. In essence, you get a 150 hp car, with nearly flat torque and power curves (you don't need to wait for the engine to spool up before power arives).

RE: Price
By Suntan on 12/18/2008 7:29:19 PM , Rating: 4
In essence, you get a 150 hp car, with nearly flat torque and power curves

Sorry, no, this is incorrect. Electric motors have varying torque curves (depending on the type of motor and other factors) but they do not have constant torque across their RPM range.

Very generally, you can envision an electric motor to have max torque at 0 rpm (stall torque) with it reducing inversely to RPM, reaching 0 torque at its highest RPM (no load speed.)

Although you will get excellent stop light launches (which all the news articles always love to spout on about endlessly) don't expect to get nearly as effective umph while trying to pass someone at highway speed compared to the old sparker.


RE: Price
By Jimbo1234 on 12/18/2008 9:48:26 PM , Rating: 2
Suntan is correct to a degree. Torque drops off with speed linearly for DC motors. It's not quite so for AC motors and based on the control system, can have a flatter or even rising torque curve.

RE: Price
By Spuke on 12/18/2008 10:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
Some Volt info about its engine.

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