The pending 2016 Chevrolet Volt was previewed by a focus group in California this week, allowing impressions to leak out.
Stylistically, the Volt now riding on the D2XX platform shared by the redesigned Cruze is wider, longer, probably improving potential road handling, and accommodating more back seat space.
The top image is a photoshopped mirror image done by kdawg.com of an original which had only half of the front revealed by the cover.
Focus group members were shown the whole car but ansctioned images are only of a front corner revealed. The cover is to officially come off January 12 at the North American International Auto Show.
The focus group members signed an agreement not to share more details than GM wished revealed, but a blogger at mychevroletvolt.com has divulged some hints.
Commentary on the styling from this eye witness Volt fan is as follows:
It looks lighter, higher off the ground, thinner, leaner longer. There’s no more ground hugging front skirt to rub against the front driveway. Less like a stubby hatchback and more like a full length sedan. You can see the lights have changed, they are more angular and thinner.
Other details are it may be just a glorified four seater, but may be called a five passenger vehicle by definition.
[T]here appears to be a bench in the back between the two original seats,” said the blogger. “It looks designed to put an infant/child seat there, but not space for an adult/young adult to sit. Seems like more legroom too.
The interior of the car also looks better, and gone is the “iPod” looking interface. Expect more refinement throughout.
The new Volt as previously reported will benefit from a 1.5-liter Ecotec gas engine as a range extender replacing the old 1.4 liter. It runs on regular gasoline instead of premium and promises improved efficiency as well.
The Volt operates like a pure electric vehicle for 40 miles and when the battery is depleted, the gas engine seamlessly kicks on for over 300 miles range. The new 2016 version is expected to build on this design thesis while improving the drive experience all around.
A ground-up re-think of the powertrain has two motors adding torque and the idea was to optimize efficiency for electric range and gas mileage in charge sustaining mode.
GM has said it has 12-percent efficiency improvement, but the actual numbers are not known, including all-electric range and gas mileage when just the gas engine is running.