Physician and electric car enthusiast Dr. Lyle Dennis got the thrill of a lifetime when he got a preview of the new Chevy Volt and the chance to take it for a spin.Actually, it wasn't exactly the Volt customers will have access to when the Volt finally hits the market. Although the "guts" of the car--the drive train--we're all Volt, the outside was a European-version Chevy Cruze compact sedan.
Says Dr. Dennis:
This vehicle is in the second generation of test cars, having been built after the first batch which were cruder "Malivolts." About 30-odd of these cars were in existence. They contained nearly finalized Volt powertrains including 16 kwh lithium-ion battery packs, 111 peak kw electric motors and 53 kw engine generators. This was not a Chevy Volt in interior or exterior design, but rather they were European-version Chevy Cruze compact sedans. The Cruze uses the same compact delta platform as the Volt and shares similar interior dimensions. Aerodynamically the Cruze has a higher coefficient of drag so true 40 mile AERs are not achieved but "come very close" per Mr. Ceisel.
The actual Volt is expected to have a battery-only drive range of 40 miles and an on-board gasoline engine. Its shell is expected to be a lot sexier than the Cruze's too.
Overall, Dennis seemed really impressed with the car. He raved about its handling, braking power, and silent engine. We'll see if customers have the same impressions soon enough when the car hits the market in November of 2010.