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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: the car is so ugly compared to the concept
By Brandon Hill on 4/29/2011 10:31:56 AM , Rating: 2
If what you said were try, how do you explain the Prius? Pure smug emissions? :)

By DanNeely on 4/29/2011 10:48:07 AM , Rating: 2
That and people who drive enough miles that the uglyness of the car is less than the uglyness of paying a third or a half again as much as the gas pump.

RE: the car is so ugly compared to the concept
By Dr of crap on 4/29/11, Rating: 0
RE: the car is so ugly compared to the concept
By Reclaimer77 on 4/29/2011 12:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
I have a friend who bought a Prius years ago. She had a paid off Honda Accord, which is very economical already.

But here's the thing, the like NEVER leaves the house. She drives maybe, and I mean maybe, 40 miles a week. And she's constantly complaining about her financial situations.

I finally got the nerve up and flat out asked her why she made such a stupid decision, and it was like watching a deer in the headlights. Her answer was basically "I dunno, it just seemed like the thing to do."

People are just stupid sometimes.

RE: the car is so ugly compared to the concept
By Gzus666 on 4/29/11, Rating: 0
By Skywalker123 on 5/1/2011 6:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
It's his imaginary friend.

By YashBudini on 5/1/2011 9:58:44 PM , Rating: 2
Anecdotal evidence is not totally useless. It can show even the most absurd things can happen on occasion. Obviously doesn't mean or imply it's most common event either.

I think under the right circumstances (many) you can ask the question R77 asked and get that particular response.

Clearly this is not a first nor a special time when somebody bought a car and later thought, "I don't know why I did that."

By YashBudini on 4/29/2011 12:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
The Prius sells for two kinds -

Actually it also sold to people with long commutes who expected gas to continually rise and not come down.

RE: the car is so ugly compared to the concept
By Gurthang on 4/29/2011 1:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
I have owned a gen 2 and a gen 3 Prius.

I did not buy them to save the planet.
I did not buy them expecting to the gas money saved would pay for the car.
I did not buy it as a green status symbol.

Honestly when I think about it and what my wife has said about them. (They were up until we went to just one car "hers".) The reason we bought them is that we wanted a 4 door hatch back car with cool gadgets that was not a minivan. The level of system integration with the touch screen, the keyless start and entry system and the general geekyness of the hybrid drivetrain have made it "the choice". I wanted the radar controled cruise control in the Gen3 but it was too expensive though there is something almost evil about being able to say "I have a radar lock" while driving heck the HUD even has a virtual car graphic showing the lock and its distance from you. (I had a loner maxed out Gen3 for a bit and got to play with it. The auto park thing was meh..)

Though I do admit to enjoying an occasional game of how high can I make the per tank MPG go on long boring trips. My record on the Gen2 was 56 MPG on the highway doing 75-80mph driving through Georga and the Carolinas with the car packed tight with luggage. The Gen3 hasn't beat that yet but it really has not been on any trips that long yet.

And I do admit a small amount of smug does occasionaly creep out when I hear one of my friends bitching about how much it costs them now to commute in their SUV/Uber Truck.

RE: the car is so ugly compared to the concept
By Dr of crap on 4/29/2011 3:13:47 PM , Rating: 1
So it sounds like money is no object for you when buying a car.

That goes against the majority of car buyers.

And again - "geekyness" - HUD screen -
You didn't buy for the Prius for it's mpg's, but for style,
just as I posted early on here.

RE: the car is so ugly compared to the concept
By Tabinium on 4/29/2011 3:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
So, your logic is that spending around $25k on a Prius means money is no object?

By YashBudini on 4/29/2011 5:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
Geekyness is spending hundreds on 4G phone as opposed to a Prius.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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