will buy a Volt." "You can't make a profitable electric
vehicle."General Motors has heard it all. But it
has defied its critics and persisted, completing the world's first
mass-market plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid. The vehicle
survived an economic downturn, the largest
industrial bankruptcy in U.S. history, and perpetually
noisy critics, and is on course to go on sale at dealerships on
November 30, 2010.Now the car has received the distinction of
being named the car of the year by two top American automotive
Trend and Automobile.Motor
the 61-year history of the Car of the Year award, there have been few
contenders as hyped -- or as controversial -- as the Chevrolet Volt.
The Volt started life an Old GM project, then arrived fully formed as
a symbol of New GM, carrying all the emotional and political baggage
of that profound and painful transition. As a result, a lot of the
sound and fury that has surrounded the Volt's launch has tended to
obscure a simple truth: This automobile is a game-changer.
Theodore, a seasoned automotive engineer and one of the panel judges,
enthuses about his surprise at how impressive the Volt's final
results were. He states, "I expected a science fair
experiment. But this is a moonshot."Automobile comments:
its metamorphosis from 2007 concept car to 2011 production car, the
Volt has gone through a reckoning. The turbocharged three-cylinder
engine and chunky, Camaro-esque styling have been traded for a
normally aspirated four-cylinder and a decidedly pedestrian shape.
Claims of 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, a 120-mph top speed, and a
total driving range of 640 miles turned out to be the usual
concept-car lore. The true numbers are 9.0 seconds, 102 mph, and 350
miles. But the Volt is far deeper than an eco-numbers car. In fact,
it's more than just a car. It's an idea. And during the past three
years, that idea -- blend the environmental benefits of electric
driving with the convenience of gasoline -- didn't change at all.
been following the Volt since its first days
as a concept. Given its evolution it's pretty easy to see
why the car won these distinctions.While there were
tweaks to the powertrain from the original concept, GM
delivered on virtually all of its primary objectives with the vehicle
being able to travel approximately 40 miles on a charge and an
additional 310 miles on a fuel-efficient gasoline engine. The
price is also right near the long speculated $40K mark, coming in at
$40,280 USD, before tax credits, factory incentives, or other
subsidies.The Volt is definitely a groundbreaking work by the
American auto industry, which will hopefully soon be followed
Focus Electric battery EV. The Volt will go head to
head with the 2011 Nissan LEAF EV plug-in which is gasoline-free, but
has a shorter 100-mile range.The Volt could win all the
awards in the world and that wouldn't convince some of its
detractors. But for those on the fence, it's important to
recall that similar criticisms were leveled against the Toyota
Prius. But that mid-to-low volume mass-market hybrid
established Toyota as the world leader in hybrids, a position that it
has since profited on tremendously as the technology matured
and became profitable. Now GM is poised in a similar
position and this time, it is ready to be the one to take the lead.
quote: I have no respect for Car & Driver. They submit awards and testing victories based on their personal preferences.
quote: I have no respect for Car & Driver. They submit awards and testing victories based on their personal preferences. Not necessarily the best performing or value car.