For its second year of production, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car will come down $1,000 in price and be offered with several new features and two new colors.

The list price of the 2012 Volt, including an $850 destination fee, is $39,995. That compares to $41,000 for the 2011 model.

The most expensive 2012 Volt will hit $46,265 including delivery, before subtracting any applicable Federal, state, local, and corporate incentives. Many 2012 Volt buyers may be eligible for a $7,500 Federal income-tax credit for the purchase of an electric car.

The three option packages offered on this year's Volt expand to a total of seven for the 2012 model.

Chevrolet has added several features to the 2012 Volt, including standard keyless access with passive locking. When the keyfob moves beyond a certain distance away from the car (in a driver's pocket, say), the new Volt will automatically lock itself.

The turn-by-turn navigation feature in GM's Onstar service is now standard for three years. And the standard AM/FM stereo with CD player now includes MP3 playback and a 7-inch diagonal color touch-screen display

The Volt continues to offer an in-dash navigation system as an option.

2012 Chevrolet Volt

2012 Chevrolet Volt

The two new exterior colors are Summit White and Blue Topaz Metallic. Two new interior accent colors, white and "spiced red," will also be offered.

Two options will join 2012 Volt production somewhat later in the year. One will be the Chevrolet MyLink feature, which provides Bluetooth streaming audio for certain types of phones and music players.

The other is a set of new 17-inch alloy sport wheels with black inserts.

The 2012 Volt can be ordered from Chevrolet dealers starting today, after which a Volt advisor will be assigned to the buyer for order updates and other information.

While the 2011 model was only available in seven states and the District of Columbia, the 2012 model will be available in all 50 states by the end of this year.

Until then, however, the company is continuing to roll out availability in phases, so not all regions will receive their Volts immediately.

The Chevrolet Volt provides up to 35 miles of range on its 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, which is recharged by plugging it into 120-Volt or 240-Volt wall current.

After that, a 1.4-liter gasoline engine switches on to run a generator that provides electricity to power the car for another 300 miles or more. It can be refilled with gasoline like any car.

The Volt is built in GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, and the company expects to manufacture up to 45,000 Volts during the 2012 calendar year.



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