Hyper-milers rejoice! Do you love coasting from stoplight to stoplight, driving sedately as possible and racking up vast mileages between refueling?
Well Chevrolet has some good news for you; the company’s extended-range electric car - the Volt, is soon to have an successor.
Spotted recently in the public wilderness, the next generation Volt has been out validation testing wearing camouflaged attire. So as always, I’ve decided to give the camo the digital finger and show you what Chevrolet could be really hiding underneath…
Sleek New Design:
Comparing old with new, an all-new wedge shape profile is vastly more aerodynamic than that of the stodgy outgoing Volt. There is less of a heavy-handed approach to elements such as the A-pillars, where previously they resembled thick columns plucked out of a Roman Colosseum.
Other visual points of interest include a front-end that exudes Chevrolet’s latest iteration of twin-opening front grille and vertical LED daylight running lamps flanking either side of the front bumper.
The greenhouse is more coupe-like with window glass that has a flow-effect into the front fenders. If you look below on the driver's side, you will also see a charging point for energizing the battery pack. Further back, a steeply raked C-pillar and hatch-like trunk emphasize that dynamic new look.
Passenger accommodation in the current Volt is hamstrung by an intrusive battery pack, average 2nd row head/leg room and seating that can only cater up to four people. Trunk space also lags compared to Toyota’s plug-in Prius.
Nevertheless, Chevrolet is working on fixing these issues so that the next generation car will have seating for five and improved passenger space. Also, expect improvements in materials and touch-screen interfaces.
What Will Power It:
Coal, Gas, Tabasco Sauce and endangered Penguins - all via the national power grid of-course. However, at the heart of the next Volt sits a new range-extender engine (E-REV), with a more efficient electric motor and next-generation lithium-ion batteries sending power to the front wheels.
The ranger-extender engine in particular is rumored to be a smaller, 1.0-liter Ecotec 3-cylinder - similar to what is used in the Opel Adam and new Opel Corsa hatchback. This unit, combined with an EV range of at least 60 miles will help the Volt travel those longer distances.
Reports that the Volt’s European sister, the Opel Ampera will not survive the leap into the second-generation model were recently rebuffed by Opel. Yet sales to date still have been poor - down 40% in 2013 and even worse this year - and staggering 67% drop for the first five months. Deliveries in America are fairly reasonable, however the Volt still trails Nissan’s Leaf.
With an increased focus on interior packaging, smarter styling and price reductions; Chevrolet’s next Volt could blow the Leaf into the gutter and provide stiff competition against Toyota’s plug-in Prius, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi and even BMW’s i3.
If you want to see the real thing, better have those tickets to the 2015 Detroit Motor Show on standby. Sales will follow later in the year.
Tell us your first impressions in the discussion area below.
By Josh Byrnes
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes