THE NEXT GENERATION VOLT
Scenes From A Hollywood Coming Out Party
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sat, Jan 17, 2015
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
FIRST LOOK: 2016 CHEVROLET VOLT
Story by Sean Spear
Pictures by Sean Spear and General Motors
What do Paris Hilton, Torri Spelling, and Lance Bass have in common…besides being TMZ bait? Apparently it is a love for environment-friendly cars making their debut in Hollywood. Such was the case at Quixote Studios in WeHo Monday night, where the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt took center stage in a studio featuring DJs, dance club lighting, lounge chairs, and a free-flowing bar.
Billed by Chevrolet as an exclusive reveal event, the atmosphere was decidedly more a private party vibe, with a car sitting off to the side. However, once the celebs started arriving and paying attention to the car itself, you then got the sense that the marketing team was thinking creatively about how to revamp the image of the car.
The ‘first-gen’ Volt has been a consistent but less than stellar seller. As an officially electric vehicle that just happens to have a back-up gasoline generator under the hood, consumers seem to take a confused pause when considering purchasing the car. Then coupled with its relatively short EPA-rated 38-mile all-electric range and 300+ miles range-extending back-up generator that pours electricity back into the battery pack after depletion, it is not considered a ‘true’ electric vehicle like its closest sales rival, the EPA-rated 84-mile range electric-only Nissan Leaf. Still, Volt owners, who give the car the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry, say that this power combination is exactly what makes the car the most useful to the average driver. There is no such thing as ‘range anxiety’ with a Volt. Despite these pluses, the polarizing looks (read Chevy Impala cool from the front but Honda Insight geek from the back) and $40K price tag of the initial run of first-gen have never helped its mass appeal.
“We looked at how we could make the car more ‘familiar’ in appearance, while building on the platform’s concept.” said Jason Ditman, GM Chief Engineer for the Volt’s Drive Unit. And so this is where the celebrities seem to come in. If GM can make the car look less ‘aging electric nerd’ and more ‘chic energy-conscious nerd’, then the car may sell more like the sales-leading Prius and less like the sales-lagging Leaf. Having a few fashion-forward Hollywood celebs oogle at your new car certainly can’t hurt.
2016 CHEVROLET VOLT: WHAT’S NEW
• New two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter (45 kg) than the first-generation drive unit
• EPA-rated pure electric range is now 50 miles (combined city and highway)
• EV plus extended motor range: 420 miles (estimate including EV on fully charged battery and full tank of fuel)
• Two-motor design enables 19 percent stronger zero-to-30 mph acceleration
• Battery capacity increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current car) with weight reduced by more than 20 pounds
• Regen on Demand™ feature enables driver control of energy regeneration via a convenient paddle on the back of the steering wheel
• New 1.5L range extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined GM-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 mpg
• Stronger body structure and quieter ride
• New braking system with improved capability and blended Regen feel
• New, five-passenger seating with available rear heated seats
• Location-based charging capability
• 120V portable cord set has a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location
• Available illuminated charge port
Chevrolet announces that the 2016 Volt goes on sale in the second half of 2015.
For more information about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, click here.