Video: Early look at production Chevrolet Volt

Video: Early look at production Chevrolet Volt

Update: While some may doubt the likelihood of General Motors' upcoming Chevrolet Volt appearing on time, the carmaker’s engineers and designers don’t seem to have the same qualms. In a video for ABC news, GM's exterior design executive director Michael Simcoe gave a preview of the upcoming car by revealing part of a completed clay model.

The clay model shows that designers have stayed true to the original concept, with some minor cosmetic changes to the front grille. These changes include a modified headlight cluster, with an indent on the bottom-middle section of the headlights, rather than a smooth line as shown previously.

Additionally, the air intakes that straddled the grille of the concept have been removed and replaced with indicators that stretch from the front to the side. While the car is never fully revealed in its production trim, the outline of the Volt can be seen through the cover, and reveals a high-waisted profile that bears some 'family resemblance' to the Volt concept.

Original: Larry Burns, VP of Research and Development at GM has confirmed the carmaker has settled on a final design for the much anticipated Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, the car GM hopes will bring it back into competition against Toyota's Prius and a host of new hybrid and electric cars.

While the production version won't look exactly like the stunning concept, Burns has stated the production Volt will definitely bear a "family resemblance" to it. Reportedly, drag on the production version is 30% less than the hard-edged concept Volt, suggesting it has taken on a more rounded and friendly appearance. Pictured above is an official teaser that hints at the design of the final version.

The Volt is powered by an 'E-Flex' plug-in hybrid system, consisting of a lithium-ion battery with an electric-only driving range of around 40 miles. It also has a small, flex-fuel engine to recharge the battery on the road. So far the biggest hurdles for GM was shoehorning the large batteries and engine into the car and still having enough room for four adults and their luggage, reports The Detroit News.

With production expected to begin in just a couple of years, GM seems well on the way to ironing out any issues the Volt may have - batteries have already been produced that satisfied safety and size requirements but long-term durability testing is currently under way to determine their life expectancy.

The Volt is shaping up to be the car that will make or break GM this decade, with Vice-Chairman of GM, Bob Lutz, recently expounding on the massive opportunity that GM missed by not developing a hybrid program earlier. But the mistake seems to have strengthened Lutz's resolve, who stated in a blog entry that GM "are going for the brass ring" with the Volt.

Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid concept

Via: Autoblog.nl