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Spied Again: Chevrolet Volt test mule

There has been a lot of controversy about our Chevrolet Volt test-mule photos, so were we thrilled when the hybrid team chose to take the (old) Malibu-bodied Volt “mule” for an afternoon ride – along with some other hybrids in the General Motors’ lineup. And we caught them all at a debriefing stop!

The General hopes to have the Volt on sale in late 2010 as a 2011MY model. However, that timing may depend on how well the Lithium Ion batteries development progresses. A task given to Continental Automotive Systems and A123 Systems. It could very well be a 2012MY car by the time Volt’s start rolling down the production line.

One thing we do know for sure if that the Volt will be riding on the next gen Delta chassis. This next gen chassis is also know as GM’s “Global Compact Car Architecture.” According UAW documents, GM seems set to build the Volt at their Hamtramck plant once the G-body Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS cease production.

Price wise, GM was hoping for an MSRP of around $30,000. It now seems that number may be closer to $35,000.

Background

The Volt project is an ambitious one. The aim is to create a vehicle that can deliver the equivalent of over 100 miles per gallon, while offering a top speed of 120 mph, and a zero to sixty time of 8.5 seconds.

The so-called plug-in hybrid aims to have a charge time of 6.5 hours, and a range of 45 miles on batteries alone. For many customers, this could mean the daily commute would require no gasoline.

As with any hybrid, an onboard generator recharges the batteries when the gasoline motor is running. What makes the Volt unique is that’s the only thing the gas motor does — in other words, it never drives the wheels directly. Maximum range — with a full tank of gas and charged batteries — is an impressive 640 miles.

The biggest news on the Volt’s development thus far is that engineers have come up with an algorithm for testing the durability of the batteries that can simulate 10 years of use — 150,000 miles — in just over two years of testing. Tests using the new algorithm are now going on around the clock in Detroit and Germany.

In an interview with Leftlane, Volt director Tony Posawatz indicated that several variations of the Volt could be in store for the future. Not only is the Volt platform being engineered to accommodate a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain in the future, but interchangeable bodies remain a real possibility. Since the hydrogen layout keeps every component in the same location, it makes it possible for GM to design different body styles — such as a sedan or van — that can be placed on the platform. This versatility means your Volt could be an SUV one day and a two-door coupe the next.

Click Link for Photos:http://www.leftlanenews.com/spied-again-chevrolet-volt-test-mule.html
 

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Interesting...it seems that GM IS retaining some of the wonderful traits (like body swapping) of the "skateboard" technology as seen in the Hy-Wire concept!
I noticed that too. Excellent. I pray GM has the money, and therefore the time, to bring this all to fruition. I'd be one of the first in line.

Oh, and God bless Larry Burns and his team.

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I saw my first Malibu Hybrid yesterday. Just plain generic white.

Great to see the mule venturing out into the real world. If GM can get the Volt done right, and the technology does easily move between vehicle types then they are well set for the future. Fingers crossed.
 

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Has anyone else noticed the golf-ball-sized ding in the back door?
not until you mentioned it but if you look at the third pic from April 16th it had it then, maybe it was used to mount some equipment? or it just had an unfortunate get together with something? Don't think they are too worried about it.
 

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Interesting...it seems that GM IS retaining some of the wonderful traits (like body swapping) of the "skateboard" technology as seen in the Hy-Wire concept!
Uh, huh. I always thought GM's skateboard concept was an enormously underutilized concept. It has the potential, I think, if properly executed, to revolutionize manufacturing. Imagine GM being able to respond within a week to market trends, like the very significant one that has occurred over the past several months as oil/gasoline prices have surged. I know I might be overstating the concept's potential, but still, I think it's quite underutilized. You might also be able to move plants closer to dealerships, thereby allowing custom-built mass production vehicles that would be delivered in a more timely fashion. No more need to ship Vibes from CA to NY. Designed properly, more plants would be able to build a wide variety of cars and trucks to meet regional demand.

Again, the concept has enormous potential.
 

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How dated is the article? I thought the price was now around $40K for the volt. And according to all reports testing on the batteries is going very very very well.
 
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