Chevrolet Volt First Drive

14 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Chevrolet Volt First Drive отключены
Chevrolet Volt Electric Cars

Chevrolet Volt: First

After four years of and three years of hype, finally driven a production Volt plug-in hybrid. We some character from the obsessively engineered vehicle in history. We didn’t expect so personalities at once.

Full General Motors wanted us to the Volt so badly they me to Detroit, parked me in a surprisingly hotel in Rochester and let me drive around for a couple of days. GM showed off where in the cavernous plant it once built the Allante. Sadly, we weren’t to take pictures of that.

About The Defroster

GM’s request before handing the Volt was to drive it as slowly as — in the name of a contest among the 200 journalists testing Volts to see how far could travel on battery alone. The winner gets a to use for a month. I couldn’t turn a challenge, even if I have no — to put a Volt or its charger (For the if we win, we’ll give the one Volt loan to some — or unlucky, depending on what you of it — Jalopnik reader).

Luckily I had the of Larry Laws, the GM engineer with accounting for every of energy used in the Volt’s system; in other words, its joule-r. He also holds the GM for all-electric travel on a single with 60 miles. At one point, as we paraded through the suburbs, realized he’d accidentally on the defroster for a few minutes.


That might cost you a he said.

The Volt begins and in its 16-kwh battery pack. the single-most expensive component, the engineering challenge and will decide whether the Volt or fails. And with a million of testing, GM has obsessed over batteries like William in his toupee closet.

The pack uses 60% of its charge; the rest toward keeping the battery for at least eight years. The also has its own liquid heating/cooling unlike the Nissan Leaf — uses 90% of its battery charge and on air to cool its pack. Congratulations, adopters; you’re the test in a global engineering showdown.

In an and a half, I covered 47.4 managed to keep 8 miles in and felt like a gluteal much of the way to the rush-hour commuters. was good enough to win among my and place second overall: the leader is currently wanted in a of Oakland County jurisdictions on nuisance charges. Most in the mid-40s; we found it would focused effort to get below 30 all electric.

The Rosetta Stone For Geek

our drive, a guy in a Ram pickup motioned for to roll down his window. I heard this thing run on electricity?

Laws politely him, grimacing a little. OK, what I thought, the man said, Just tellin’ ya what I on the news. Got to love second-hand readers.

The dustup over revelation that the Volt quite as exclusively electric as it had claimed had many people at GM But it’s a useful reminder of why the exists at all.

I was there in 2007 when GM rolled the on stage at the Detroit Auto promising a new kind of vehicle sported not just a 40-mile range, but up to 640 miles of total with fuel economy on the gas alone nearing 50 mpg. And its environmental benefits, the Volt get nearly $1 billion to be built because of them, especially a corporate champion who once man-made global warming to earthenware .

From its inception in Bob mind as the iCar, the Volt’s mission was to revive GM’s for technical prowess, while those smug bastards across the Pacific with dinky hybrids in their Lutz contended the Prius money on engineering accounting, but was marketing at twice the price.

There’s no need to rehash the of the revelation GM made that the occasionally will use its gas-powered to drive the wheels on occasion, at as low as 30 mph. The problem wasn’t the but the way GM handled them. It had told the tech enthusiasts that would be the only force the wheels. emphasizing the difference the Volt and all other hybrids, the Prius.

When it was made that wasn’t the case, the system has a mode (only at speeds and with certain of battery charge) similar to a GM’s communications team on, half-blaming the enthusiasts for caring details so much.

Instead of the elegance of GM’s engineering help the Volt polish reputation among a group of fans, GM showed it didn’t quite how to speak geek. Farah, the Volt’s chief had lost his voice by the time I the question. The Volt, he said has personalities.

Diva-Free Driving

the wheel, the Volt works for a first impression like an with law school debt.

Chevrolet Volt Electric Cars

the lit blue start button, and screens in the instrument panel and launch with little fillips. The touch-sensitive control pays homage to early and the silent start emphasizes the electric nature.

The best part of driving the comes from snapping the hamsters onto their at full charge for a maglev-like of 273 lb-ft. The overall system 149 hp for 3,700 pounds of car, of a zero to 60 mph time in a shade 9 seconds. Its not speedy, but respectable family sedans, and far better a Nissan Leaf or Toyota

To accomodate 435 pounds of lithium-ion GM engineers had to rework much of the Cruze-based body and suspension. The remain geared to the comfortable, McPhersons up front and torsion bar but have been tuned for the weight of the battery. The battery lowers the center of gravity two and befitting a vehicle so closely to Bob Lutz, the Volt can hustle needed.

The Volt has three modes: Normal, Sport and Sport squeezes the torque the tube just a touch Mountain changes the power to reserve enough for climbing passes at highway speeds, any Volt driver east of the need not worry about.

On top of three modes, GM throws a in its shifter. The Volt’s drive has a L located below D that an old-fashioned low gear. What it does is kick up the aggression of the braking system; combined Sport mode may be the best way to the most of driving the car.

It’s only after time in the Volt that the wears down a little and questions arise. At first, the dash requires a glance from the road for many The dashboard’s busy graphics and suggest the designers could be the target of a blog post Ray LaHood.

And once the battery and the 84-hp engine kicks in, the electronics start making that won’t seem to unsuspecting drivers. The engine’s switch-on is seamless, but to maintain its revs frequently don’t vehicle speed or driver Punching it on the freeway at 55 mph reveals the of the optimizer that controls all driving functions: a dumb old car just dump gas into the maw immediately, but the Volt takes a of seconds to decide how to best extra energy and feed the with a dropper.

It gets the job eventually.

Mileage? In several miles of fairly aggressive I was getting roughly 33 mpg in engine-only That generally comports what GM expects; the original 50 mpg came from a three-cylinder in the concept. (Outlandish numbers include electric-only driving, the Volt’s systems frequently in reporting).

The $41,000 sticker before for a semi-luxury compact car knocks buyers out; the lack of to charge also knocks more households out of consideration. It may take a few years to see whether gas and prices conspire enough to the Volt more financially Still, GM will have no selling 10,000 Volts year in North America, and the 60,000 vehicle target for (including Amperas for Europe) reachable.

Miser, savior, — it’s a lot of different personalities to on a single vehicle.

But the one persona GM crow about, if it’d stop eating so much first, is this: The Volt is the advanced electric vehicle/hybrid in the

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