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Chevy Volt MPV5 Concept
The Chevy Volt sedan gets a bigger brother

Earlier this week, DailyTech brought you some early information the crossover version of the Volt. Patent drawings of the vehicle were uncovered which gave the general shape of the vehicle. Other than the fact that the vehicle shared its platform with the Volt, not much else was known about the vehicle.

Today, however, General Motors is spilling the beans on the Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Concept. The vehicle looks thoroughly modern and shares a similar design theme up front with the Volt sedan. Out back, the Volt sedan's taillight design is mimicked on the larger Volt MPV5. The Volt MPV5 even carries over the Volt sedan's Apple-esque dashboard fully intact.

"The Volt MPV5 concept takes the efficient design of the Chevrolet Volt and adapts it to the family vehicle crossover segment. It's immediately recognizable as a true member of the Chevrolet family," said Bob Boniface, Director of GM North America Crossover Exterior Design.

Whereas the Volt sedan is seriously compromised in interior room due to a large bulkhead running down the centerline of the vehicle – the bulkhead houses the lithium-ion battery pack -- and is only capable of carrying four people, the Volt MPV5 can carry five people. In addition, the 180.5-inch long vehicle has a 30.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats -- that capacity jumps to 62.3 cubic feet when you fold down the rear seats.

The Volt MPV5 uses the same Voltec powertrain as the Volt sedan which means that there is a 1.4-liter gasoline engine and a 16 kWh battery pack. Due to the additional weight and poorer aerodynamics, the Volt MPV5 is only capable of traveling 32 miles using the battery alone (compared to 40 miles for the Volt sedan). The total driving range once the gasoline engine/generator kicks in is rated at 300+ miles according to GM. Top speed is listed at 100 mph.

"The Volt MPV5 concept demonstrates the flexibility of the Voltec propulsion system, which can produce enough electric power to propel a range of vehicles. from a compact sedan like the Volt to a crossover like the Volt MPV5 concept," said Doug Parks, Global Vehicle Line Executive and Global Vehicle Chief Engineer for Electric Vehicles at GM.

Given America's penchant for crossover vehicles, the Volt MPV5 with its increased people-carrying abilities and vastly superior hauling capabilities may make it an even bigger hit than the original Volt.

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Wrong direction
By JediJeb on 4/22/2010 4:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
Why not go the other direction and put the powertrain in a Solstice? I might consider buying that. Would be more like the original concept.

RE: Wrong direction
By lightfoot on 4/22/2010 5:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
Solstice has been discontinued and the factory sold. The Solstice is dead. Deader than dead even given that its parent Pontiac is also gone, not to mention its twin the Sky and its parent Saturn.

But as a Sky owner I'm not sure where you would put the batteries. The trunk is already pretty small, and the glove box isn't much bigger.

RE: Wrong direction
By Alexvrb on 4/22/2010 10:24:44 PM , Rating: 3
Sad but true. That was a great platform, especially in turbocharged trim. I would have definetely looked forward to seeing a refresh on the Sky, in particular. But yeah, attempting to add a huge battery pack to those cars is kind of a "lolwut" situation.

If it was that easy to just slap some batteries in an existing car and instantly get an all-around solid E-REV (serial hybrid), they wouldn't have needed to build the Voltec platform. Either way, I think a serial hybrid is a better (more flexible) choice right now than an all-electric, until we get some seriously improved batteries.

RE: Wrong direction
By JediJeb on 4/23/2010 10:47:42 AM , Rating: 2
I probably stated that wrong. I was thinking going to a smaller two seater instead of up to a SUV/Crossover. Doesn't have to be the Solstice itself, but along those lines.

If I could afford a new car now I would be looking at the Solstice/Sky because I think those are nice cars. Would prefer and AC Cobra, but these are at least along those lines style wise :)

RE: Wrong direction
By Alexvrb on 4/24/2010 3:23:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well, even your revised idea is still not too hot. First, they still would have to build, design, and sell Volt sedans, etc, before looking at anything else. Then you must consider that this MPV and the Volt are both first-gen Voltec-based vehicles. This first gen does not lend itself well to a sports car version. It was never designed with that in mind. Yes, instead of a sports car, they could make a simple Volt coupe. But it would be just as heavy and almost as large, plus it would eat up production capacity which they'd rather spend on sedans and MPVs. I don't think it would strike a chord with the Volt's target audience either.

A second generation design, also using the Delta II platform, future lighter-weight battery pack, more advanced engine (HCCI? variable geometry turbo?), and an upgraded suspension, could certainly be built into a competent sports coupe/roadster. But not right now. If you want something like that, look at the Fisker Karma. Or if you can live with pure electric, a Tesla roadster.

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