Well, the big day has come and gone: Now we've driven a 2011 Chevrolet Volt prototype. More than 18 months before buyers can walk into a Chevy dealer and test one, we got behind the wheel.
What's the Volt like? It's remarkably ... unremarkable.
And we mean that as praise. General Motors has managed to build a radical car that seems so normal it'll make the average American driver completely comfortable with electric drive.
For half an hour today, we drove a Volt "mule"--a Volt powertrain installed in the body of a 2010 Chevrolet Cruze subcompact--around the roads of the GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. It uses "production-intent" components and, said vehicle line executive Frank Weber, provides about 80 percent of the capabilities of the final car.
Just like normal, only different
In fact, the Volt accelerates, brakes, and drives exactly like a quiet, smooth subcompact. If, that is, it happened to have a powerful engine mated to an automatic transmission so quiet you...