have been like this?
Op-Ed by MonaroSS
GMI Contributor – 8 April 2012
Below is my Chevy Voltage chop, which I made from toning down the bulges of the Transformer’s Corvette Concept and plonking the 4-door cabin from the Fisker Karma into it’s middle. I could have used say an Old’s Aurora cabin as easily, but the Karma makes my point better.
God bless Bob Lutz, but he made an error right at the beginning of the Volt program because GM was too focussed on the Toyota Prius. And because of that, they chose to base Volt on the Delta platform; that was the error.
History tells us that expensive new technology moves into the automotive market by first appearing in expensive desirable vehicles and then trickling down to the mass market. This way the bitter pill of the cost associated with it is mitigated by the spoon full of sugar; which is the sexiness and desirability of those expensive vehicles.
To my eyes the Fisker Karma is a very attractive vehicle, and I would go further and say that my Chevy Voltage chop is even hotter, because it uses to good effect the styling that GM Design has available to it. Had Bob decided not to go against history and went the Fisker Karma route, then the Volt on sale today could easily look like the Chevrolet Voltage. And at $70,000 I bet they would be selling way more than the current Volt is; and dealers would be clamouring to get one on their forecourt. Sex sells. Even if you like the look of the Volt, it is not sexy.
It is also a lot harder to make a value proposition case for a $20K car having $10K of Voltec technology and a $10K battery pack added, thus selling for $40K, than to add that same $20K to a $50K car and selling it for $70K.
GM should have taken the aluminium frame of the Corvette Z06, stretched it to a 4-door, plonked in the Turbo Ecotec mated to the 2-Mode transmission, clothed it in a body like my Chevy Voltage made of carbon fibre, and stuffed it full of batteries. That would have gotten them 90% there to having a Fisker Karma competitor that people would genuinely desire and clamour for.
To deal with Toyota’s Prius they should have simply offered the Chevy Cruze with a range of eAssist hybrids and a plug-in version.
So what do others feel? Is the Chevy Volt package the best way to sell America on electrification of the automobile, or has Fisker with it's sexy and stylish Karma and new Atlantic found the better way to sell the idea to America? And then let the technology get cheaper with time until it's eventually within everyone's price range?
The Opel Ampera already had the lower panels white, but here I've deleted the black paint as well...