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Old 11-04-2014, 12:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The 2016 (gen 2) Volt is coming, whats new? UPDATE: first drive review



Greencarreports has some info for us on the new Volt. It looks like they're doing some very nice updates to it. Here are the highlights:

Full article here

Quote:
The primary goals for the new powertrain were to improve performance, raise overall efficiency in both electric and range-extended operation, and cut engine noise significantly.

...

The major technical difference in the 2016 Volt will be that both motors can both power the car and act as generators, whereas in the previous generation, the car was powered by a 111-kW traction motor and the range-extending engine drove a 55-kW generator.

...

The two-motor drive unit is more efficient than its predecessor, operating at 5 to 12 percent more efficiently. GM declined to specify what metrics that referred to.

It's also 100 pounds (45 kg) lighter than the existing system.

Overall, low-speed acceleration is improved by 20 percent, according to the Volt technology team.

...

The range-extending engine is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder version of GM's new Ecotec series of three- and four-cylinder engines.

Importantly to Volt buyers, the new engine is designed to run on regular fuel.

...

First is a 12.5-to-1 compression ratio, higher than the standard version's 10.5-to-1, for more efficient combustion.

Second is cooled exhaust-gas recirculation, required to allow the use of regular-grade gasoline while keeping emissions of nitrous oxides within acceptable limits.

Finally, GM fits what it calls wide-authority cam phasers, which allow a broader spread of valve timing to allow the engine to operate in a mode close to the Atkinson Cycle, which reduces back pressure by keeping the inlet valves open longer.

...

The inverter is smaller, lighter, and more efficient, and the integrated location contributes to a total weight reduction for the new powertrain of 130 pounds compared to the current generation.

...

LG Chem continues as the supplier of lithium-ion cells for the next Volt, but the latest generation of cells have 20-percent increase in volumetric energy density over the cells used in the 2015 Volt, which themselves were new this year.

The number of cells in the battery pack is cut from 288 to 192, still arranged in 96 modules and producing roughly the same total voltage.

...

GM declined to specify the pack's total energy capacity (17,1 kilowatt-hours in the 2015 Volt) or the percentage of the pack that it uses (presently about 65 percent).

Nitz said, however, that the new pack had higher energy capacity and used more of it, presumably indicating an increase in the car's rated electric range above its current 38 miles.
There is no word on the finalized EV range, or the mileage when the engine is running. But, those changes sound like some very good upgrades.

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Old 11-04-2014, 12:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm betting this caught a lot of Volt fans/owners/watchers off guard.

Most of the speculation I've seen predicted a smaller, 3 cylinder range extender, not a bigger displacement 4.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I didn't see any total weight of the car specs? Because tbh, if the thing weighs 3,500lbs, which is 500lbs heavier then my 302 5.0 V8 Windsor that's in my Mustang, I don't see that little 1.5L motor pushing that. Especially with the 12.5 compression ratio. Sorry not going to happen.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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C'mon - it is the electric motors that provide the grunt and low end torque. The engine is designed to either provide electricity, or to provide highway cruising and/or assist the electric motors.

The Volt is primarily an electric drivetrain car.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The current engine is a 1.4L Balto.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It sounds like some good improvements, even if they are refusing to disclose many of the numbers.

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Old 11-04-2014, 06:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ironically thats been the path of the prius and honda hybrids. Larger engine, smaller battery, smaller or different arrangement of electric motors. The crz went from being a sport hybrid to a hybrid with a turbo or push to pass button.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This sounds like a much better improvement than the incremental improvements the Prius makes.

Allowing the ICE to provide direct motive power to the wheels is huge. I've heard it said that the car only achieved 30 MPG when running the ICE/generator to propel the car.

Hopefully this makes the price of used Volts plummet. Perhaps a used Volt is in my future.

How has the reliability been for these vehicles? What are the major complaints?
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I haven't actually seen anything about reliability probs with the current Volt. I'm sure I've read it's got one of the highest customer satisfaction rankings out there.

If they got better highway mileage with the ICE running, I'd consider a used one some day. Sounds like the 2016 will get better highway mileage. Something to consider around, oh, 2022.
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
There is no word on the finalized EV range, or the mileage when the engine is running.
Apparently the new range figures are:
  • "42 miles or more" for electric range
  • "up to 425 miles" overall
Source: Recharge Wrap-up: Chevy Volt's new, improved powertrain; Inabikari wants to build Tesla Model X fighter

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