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Chevrolet Volt

Bob Lutz is a legend among auto enthusiasts  (Source: Patrick Arena/The Car Lounge)
Bob Lutz is tired of the Volt haterz

The Chevrolet Volt has been a bit of a lightning rod in the automotive industry and political arena. The vehicle was first shown as a concept back in early 2007 and went into production in late 2010. 

The Volt can travel from 25 to 50 miles on battery power alone before the gasoline engine/generator kicks in to keep the vehicle moving. All of this technowizardry comes at a steep entry price, however. The Volt's base MSRP is $41,000 before a $7,500 tax credit

Because of the Volt's high price tag and GM's past bankruptcy, the Volt program has come under a lot of scrutiny. Rush Limbaugh was a vocal critic of the Volt, noting in July 2010

I'm not going to recommend people go buy an electric car that gets 40 miles to a charge.  That would shoot my credibility.  It takes three to four hours to charge the thing, 40 miles to the charge.  And then there's a backup gas tank that gives you 375 miles.   

So who's kidding who here?  And all this is 41 grand.  This is the most expensive Chevrolet outside a Corvette.  

Bob Lutz, former vice chairman and "Car Czar" for General Motors, is fighting back at the critics in a new book due out next month. Lutz, who identifies himself strongly with conservative ideals, had some harsh criticism for some of the more vocal critics in the media according to Motor Trend magazine

Animosity towards the Obama administration is so intense among the right-wing talk-show hosts that any vulnerability, however tenuous, must be attacked and blamed on ‘socialist influence’, with no regard to truth or to the damage these reckless claims can make to GM, an American corporation, to the dedicated and hard-driving members of the Volt team, and to a now-misinformed public that may be steered away from a transportation solution that would fill their needs perfectly.

Lutz went on to say that these people hurt the credibility of the Republican Party. The outspoken Lutz doesn't take too kindly to people criticizing the hard work that went into developing the Volt, and feels that the Volt is just the beginning of a new wave of advancements in automotive powertrain design.

The skeptics, the pundits, the GM haters, and those who detest lithium-ion as a chemistry will all be dragged, however unwillingly, to the same conclusion. Volt paved the way; Volt was the first with the extended-range EV concept; Volt demonstrated the will and the technological capability of General Motors.  And to all the doubters, opponents, critics and skeptics… [including] Glenn Beck, I say: ‘Eat your hearts out. Volt is the future’. 

The Chevrolet Volt (EPA classified as a compact) is definitely not for everyone – its high price of entry (before tax credit) makes it a non-starter for many people. And in many cases, sub-$20,000 compact cars that can achieve 40 mpg or greater on the highway and roughly 33 mpg combined make better buying options. Likewise, hybrids like the Prius, Fusion, and Sonata offer more room than the Volt, excellent fuel economy, and much lower price tags.

However, for those that like to stay away from gas pumps as much as possible, but still want the added security of a gasoline backup when needed, the Volt makes a credible alternative to all-electric vehicles like the Leaf.

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RE: Good on him
By callmeroy on 4/29/2011 8:58:51 AM , Rating: 1
You were down-voted for THAT comment?

There's not one nasty thing you said in it or curse word or anything...just your opinion...

(thus proves my point that the forum voting system is meaningless)

RE: Good on him
By Tabinium on 4/29/2011 9:31:59 AM , Rating: 2
I rated it back up...but it just goes to show the haters outnumber the fan boys.
I'm not sure I would call the Volt "revolutionary" from a general motoring standpoint, but I agree that it is in terms of engineering technology. No current production vehicle has a powertrain anywhere near as sophisticated or efficient (yes, not even the Prius!). The battery technology is the limiting factor with hybrids, yes, but vehicles like this are needed drive battery innovation.

RE: Good on him
By mondo1234 on 4/29/2011 10:17:31 AM , Rating: 2
I rated it back up..

How did you do that and still post....Hmmmm

RE: Good on him
By DanNeely on 4/29/2011 10:46:30 AM , Rating: 2
It's not hard to make the claim as long as you're unaware that making a post also cancels your earlier votes.

RE: Good on him
By Lerianis on 4/30/2011 2:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
Which it shouldn't, to be blunt. You should be able to post AND to also uprate posts, save your own.

RE: Good on him
By Shadowmaster625 on 4/29/2011 10:48:59 AM , Rating: 4
Anybody who thinks that paying well over $60,000 (SIXTY FREAKING THOUSAND FREAKING DOLLARS) once you factor in financing, dealer gouging, taxes, etc... anybody who thinks it is cool to spend THAT MUCH MONEY for so little car is cracked out of their freakin gourd.

RE: Good on him
By DanNeely on 4/29/2011 1:54:24 PM , Rating: 2
Extreme dealer gouging really shouldn't be factored into the normal price. Stupidity like this goes away after the initial sales because only the most fanatical early adopters are willing to pay it; and headline gouge attempts often fail to sell at all.

RE: Good on him
By Sheffield on 5/20/2011 12:28:48 AM , Rating: 2
Anybody who thinks that paying well over $60,000 (SIXTY FREAKING THOUSAND FREAKING DOLLARS) once you factor in financing, dealer gouging, taxes, etc... anybody who thinks it is cool to spend THAT MUCH MONEY for so little car is cracked out of their freakin gourd.

Nice to hear you say that about me. Actually it was $44,000 (MSRP - no add-ons or extra profit. As good a deal as anybody can get these days,) plus 8% sales tax. Financing was at 3%.

It adds up to less than I have spent on other cars. BUT this one is damn fun to drive. I am not supporting tinpot dictators in other countries, price-gouging oil companies, or gasoline speculators. I'm averaging over 100 miles a gallon on my lifetime average. Once Clipper Creek updates the charger located across the street from my office, I'll be all-electric the vast bulk of the time.

Go to a dealer and drive one of these cars before you tell the world that it's not worth the money. It drives wonderfully. Full of all the right kind of touches. AAA crash rating. Looks sharp. Handles great. Very much like a luxury sports car that has 4 seats.

On top of that, it's from an American company, creating American jobs.

Yeah, it's more expensive than a Hyundai. In this case, you get what you pay for. Fifty years from now you will find them in lists of the greatest cars of all time. So maybe you'd like to get grounded in reality before you criticize my sanity, eh?

RE: Good on him
By YashBudini on 4/29/11, Rating: -1
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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