You may think you've already seen the 2011 Chevrolet Volt inside and out (online at least) but in truth you've only seen mock-ups. The first real, complete pre-production Volts are currently testing on the streets around GM’s Warren test center in Michigan and these are the first images of the prototype vehicles.

The vehicles have been fitted with a lithium-ion battery pack, which features more than 200 lithium-ion cells, sophisticated computer controls, liquid cooling system and other components. About 80 of these pre-production Volts will be assembled and continue testing until the car’s eventual sales release late next year.

Because these are the first vehicles to integrate both the Volt platform and the Volt powertrain, they are being referred to as 'integration vehicles'.
“The purpose for the integration vehicle builds is two-fold,” said GM's Rob Peterson. “First, they validate our production design, vehicle safety and performance capabilities. Just as important, the build activity provides valuable insight into the final vehicle assembly process to ensure a high-level of build quality and manufacturing efficiency when full scale production begins in November 2010.”

With GM still in bankruptcy, however, the Volt's production milestones seem at once more relevant and completely fanciful, and with a $32,500 base price (after rebate) it's going to have a tough fight ahead of it even if production goes smoothly.

GM has previously stated that its financial issues won't affect development of the Volt, however, so don't count the car out yet.

Chevrolet Volt Integration Prototype hits the road