For those that are automotive enthusiasts it will be no surprise to you that both Motor Trend and Automobile have vehicle of the year awards. Motor Trend calls theirs the “Car of the Year” award and Automobile calls theirs the “Automobile of the Year.” This year both magazines have something in common—the car they choose. For those that have seen the news wire, it will be no surprise that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt swept both awards. That said, it still is pretty surprising and both magazines had trouble making the choice. You could say it was the hardest unanimous decision and is a good barometer of how the public feels as well.
Both magazines nod to the fact that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is probably one of the most controversial or “hyped” and a car that has had “unprecedented levels of publicity” since it’s debut as a concept car back in 2007. The production Volt is a far cry away from the original concept and as Automobile points out, the performance and range claims fall into the “usual concept-car lore.” The final numbers have come down from the 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, 120-mph top speed and a total final range of 640 miles to 9.0 seconds, 102-mph top speed and 350-mile total range. Of course, then there is also the controversy that cropped up in the last month or two around whether the gasoline motor can actually directly drive the wheels. The answer ended up being yes, which had people call in foul.
The bottom line—GM and Chevrolet have taken a lot of turns on their journey to develop the next generation of automobile transportation. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is a car like any other car, just ask Motor Trend or Automobile. The Volt might not have everything that was originally envisioned, but it has served to change the automobile industry.