Designer Explains Changes in Volt: Concept to Production ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Designer Explains Changes in Volt: Concept to Production

Monday, October 20, 2008

Designer Explains Changes in Volt: Concept to Production

Lutz at GM once joked the concept Volt would have been better off going backwards in the wind tunnels.

With a 40 mile all electric range promise to keep, the designers working on the 2011 Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV or plug-in hybrid) had a challenge to meet when they started moving from the concept vehicle to the production vehicle.

The concept vehicle was built with a long, muscle car look that impressed many.  It's large wheels and front hood covered up two big electric motors, a gas engine, plus the battery pack, which in the production vehicle is about six feet long.  That much motor required a lot of space, allowing the concept designers to stretch the hood out and made the Volt into an electric 'Camaro'.  The wheel base and larger wheels, if you had taken the Volt out for a spin, would have made it handle like a truck, but they certainly passed the 'cool' factor.

But the production designers needed to meet a different standard.  Since the Volt will be built on the base of the Chevy Cruze, and they could get rid of one of the electric motors and the battery was moved back and under the car, the hood could be downsized.  Put in a different angle for the windshield and all of a sudden this big muscle car was exchanged for a 'Prius' look. 

Plus, they got to have some fun with the interior

Many of the early fans have fled from the Volt 're-design', but in the end, Boniface and the design team are going to get their 40 miles of all electric range.  After that, the gas engine will kick in to charge the battery pack.  According to the designer, the concept would have traveled 10 or 20 miles less on all electric charge.

Source: Ohioans help refine Chevy Volt from sporty idea to real world - Business –

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