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Chevy Volt
GM's shining star finally get an official price

The Chevrolet Volt is undeniably the most high profile project going on at General Motors these days. The vehicle was first unveiled as a concept back at the Detroit Auto Show in January of 2007 and since that time has gone through a long gestation period.

The production version of the Volt is unrecognizable from the original concept that debuted in 2007, but its mission remains the same: to provide 40 miles of electric-only propulsion and an additional 300 miles when the 1.4-liter gasoline engine/generator kicks in.

Today, GM has announced official pricing for its Chevy Cruze-based vehicle. The vehicle will be priced at $41,000 ($33,500 net of full federal income tax credit). Fully loaded, the vehicle will run you $44,600 before the tax credit. It will also be available for a 36-month lease ($350 per month with $2,500 due at lease signing).

“The Chevrolet Volt will be the best vehicle in its class… because it’s in a class by itself,” said Joel Ewanick, vice president of U.S. marketing for General Motors. “No other automaker offers an electrically driven vehicle that can be your everyday driver, to take you wherever, whenever. The Volt will be packed with premium content and innovation, standard.”

When it comes to “mainstream” electric vehicles, the pricing of the Volt puts it a few pegs above Nissan’s Leaf electric vehicle (EV). The Nissan Leaf has a base MSRP of $32,780 before the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs. Depending on what state customers live in, the final price of the Leaf can drop down to around $20,000 after local and state tax incentives.

According to GM's Online Order/Reference Guide, the Volt rides on a 105.7" wheelbase and measures 177.1" x 70.4" x 56.6" (L x W x H). Cargo capacity for the vehicle is listed at 10.6 cubic feet. Standard features for the Volt include a GPS navigation system (7" display), 30GB hard drive for audio storage, XM Radio/XM NavTraffic, OnStar, MyVOLT.com Vehicle Connectivity, and Bluetooth.

The Volt's 1.4-liter engine/generator also inexplicably requires premium fuel to operate. The gasoline generator is rated at 80 hp while the electric motor is rated at 74 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Total rated system power is 150 hp according to GM. The Volt's battery pack will come with an 8-year/100,000 warranty.

According to Green Car Advisor, the Chevy Volt can accelerate to 60 mph in about nine seconds. Top speed for the vehicle will be 100 mph.

When it comes to charging the vehicle, GM had this to say:

While the Chevrolet Volt will come standard with a 120-volt charge cord that will provide owners with the ability to charge their Volt directly from a standard home electrical outlet, a total of 4,400 Volt buyers in launch markets could be eligible for a free 240-volt charging station, including home installation.  The installations are part of a program developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to install approximately 15,000 240-volt home charging stations across the U.S.

The Chevy Volt will be available in Silver Ice Metallic, Black, Crystal Red Metallic Tint,
White Diamond Tricoat, Cyber Gray Metallic, and Viridian Joule Tricoat.

Although customer-ready production models of the first generation Chevy Volt have yet to hit U.S. streets, GM is already brainstorming about changes it will make to the second generation model. The current Volt uses an off-the-shelf engine that it shares with the Chevy Cruze. Such a large and complex motor that is merely serving as a generator is both wasteful and expensive. GM instead wants to look at other options such as a smaller two-cylinder gasoline engine, rotary engine, or a small displacement diesel engine.

The Volt will also get a larger sibling in the form of the Volt MPV5. The Volt MPV5 trades the rather restrictive 4-passenger sedan configuration of the standard model for a crossover configuration that seats five and offers a more generous cargo area (62 cubic feet with the rear seats down). Due to the more compromised aerodynamics and heavier body, the Volt MPV5 can achieve a battery-only range of 32 miles instead of the Volt’s 40 miles.



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RE: Premium
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 7/27/2010 4:20:47 PM , Rating: 4
When the engine is used in the standard Chevy Cruze (with higher horsepower levels in fact) it will not require premium.

The 1.8L I4 in the Cruze (10.5:1) uses regular
The 1.4L I4 turbo in the Cruze (9.5:1) uses regular

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/11/cruze-2009...

That's why I'm scratching my head. It's a seriously neutered economy car engine...


RE: Premium
By Suntan on 7/27/2010 5:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
There is more to it than just comparing displacement to horsepower made.

Depending on the cycle used, how close they get to stoichiometric with the air/fuel mixture to promote fuel economy, etc. the desire for premium may be to promote optimum efficiency/performance even if the engine isn't set up to be a high strained powerhouse.

Alternatively, premium fuels tend to have more/better additives to minimize carbon buildup on valves/injectors, and they most likely do not have any ethanol mixed in with them, which may be desired by GM engineers due to any number of reasons based on the projected duty cycle of the engine.

*Assuming* most people use this car the way everyone expects them to be used, it would be plausible that a person would buy very little of the liquid, as such paying an extra twenty cents a gallon wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Then again, maybe they were rushed to get the car into production before they could properly calibrate the engine to deliver reliable performance on the lower test stuff... Although I doubt that is it.

-Suntan


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