2011 Chevrolet Volt Photo

2011 Chevrolet Volt - Review


We weren't able to test the Volt mule's top speed, which GM says will be 100 mph, but certainly from 0 mph to almost freeway speed, the car could clearly keep up with traffic.

A few other journalists have driven the Volt as well, and their consensus matched ours: The Volt's powertrain offers a smooth flow of power from rest to speed. The Volt team is particularly proud of the lack of motor whine, and because the "Voltec" powertrain has no transmission, you hear no changes in tone from shifts to match gearing to road speed. In fact, the loudest noise is tire roar.

We drove an early mule that had been hard-used, with over 13,000 miles on a car less than a year old. (Among other duties, it went to Washington, DC, so GM's then-CEO Rick Wagoner could drive it to the auto industry hearings.)

Ours, said vehicle line director Tony Posawatz, actually had some of the oldest software of any mule. Frankly, we wouldn't have known it. Our codriver listened in vain for inconsistencies in power delivery, but couldn't find any.

GM stressed that these mules were not representative of the final suspension tuning. The Volt powertrain adds roughly 660 pounds to the standard Cruze, Weber said, and it drove that way. We'll reserve judgment on handling until we can drive one of the 75 "integration vehicles" that will go into testing this summer; they'll resemble the final Volt in almost every aspect.

Ford Focus EV

Ford Focus EV

Enlarge Photo

EV Mule Faceoff: Chevy Volt v Ford Focus EV

Follow Us

Comments (7)
  1. "Tom G"

    Heh, they should be upset by the west coast startups. Don't look to giant companies for quick innovation. Tesla has the right model - release as soon as possible and revise and update later. They will probably get bought by a big company sometime anyway.

  2. "mm"

    You have no idea what your talking about. GM and Ford are looking at "affordable" vehicles for average consumers. Tesla makes a 100+k vehicle that has two seats. hardly practical and hardly an impact in any market. If the Volt is going to help save GM, it needs to be a mass produced vehicle. Building a limited use vehicle won't help.

  3. By limiting the battery charge to 40 miles, The Volt is strictly a commuter vehicle. After 40 miles it is just like any gas-powered car with good to a little better gas mileage. Tesla Model S Sedan has a better design with a 300-mile range before charging and NO gas!

  4. Regarding Tesla not being affordable, they will be announcing later this year a much affordable model car that will be one for the masses to be able to afford as noted their on their site. GM is just mad that Tesla beat them to selling a real EV to the public in less time and are profitable at the same time. Also GM proves that they can't separate themselves from using gasoline. Plus the Volts $40K sticker price is way above what most people can afford. Plus, Telsa maks pure EV's using no gas!

  5. Don't mix apples and oranges when talking about or comparing capabilities of electric or hybrid vehicles. The Volt is an electric vehicle with an onboard charger system which will allow you to continue if you need to go more than 40 miles (think SoCal, the great plains, midwest, and etc.). The Tesla is an electric vehicle that will go 300 miles and then must be recharged. The Volt and any other vehicle configured that way is a much better way forward for the country instead of a city/urban ONLY vehicle. A Volt type powertrain can be configured to use diesel, CNG, and etc. to provide the range needed. The Tesla has to have the grid and time (recharging) to provide the ranged needed. I believe Chevrolet is on the correct path and time will prove or deny that path based on sales and if other manufacturers follow that path. A perfect example of a path not to follow is the Smartcar. It has two seats but mileage is no better than many small four seaters. It's only advantage is parking is small places and because of that is doomed to failure in this country.

  6. A problem with electric only would seem to be what mileage per charge one gets when using AC or Heat.
    Not to mention radios, lights and such.
    The Volt approach seems to be better for my uses.
    As far as green goes, don't forget how as all that electricity is produced. Nat gas hybrid might be the cleanest possible car.

  7. Here with the Ford Focus EV, Ford Company has announced bang in Electric Version. they have taken all the care to make this car as this would be the first from them & this will make the step ahead to new era of electric car. waiting for you Focus.

Commenting is closed for old articles.

© 2015 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.