Scoop: First Glance at Next Generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt

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We've been hearing a lot about the next generation of GM's Chevrolet Volt lately, but this is the first time we've actually seen a prototype of the extended-range electric car that is rumored to arrive late next year as a 2016 model.

While heavily camouflaged, the new Volt's silhouette suggests that the reports about Chevrolet refreshing, but not dramatically altering the design of the car, likely hold true. However, it does appear to have a sleeker and pointier shape, if you will.

Our spies, who had a closer look at the car, told us that particular attention was paid to covering the roofs of these prototypes "leaving us to wonder if there is simply another glass roof underneath, or some sort of solar panel".

Believed to ride on a newer platform, the next Volt will incorporate the same powertrain solution as the current model, employing an electric motor for turning the wheels and a traditional, gasoline-fueled engine whose main role is to charge the lithium-ion batteries.

It was recently reported by Reuters that GM's brass is mulling the development of a lower-cost base version of the 2016 Volt with less equipment and more significantly, a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range of less than 300 miles or 480 km than the standard car, which would probably approach or even surpass the 400 mile or 640km mark.

The same sources said that the entry-level Volt would start from around $30,000 compared to about $35,000 for the current model, government subsidies included excluded.

By John Halas

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoopS