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Old 11-30-2009, 02:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Chevy Volt driven by ABG (and good video on Jay Leno's Garage)

Hi,

The good folks over at AutoBlogGreen have driven a pre-production Volt, and they are the first journalists to drive it with the ICE running:

Quick Spin: 2011 Chevrolet Volt charges toward production — Autoblog Green

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Last edited by NeilBlanchard; 12-03-2009 at 10:05 AM.. Reason: fixed typo in title
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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NeilBlanchard -

Neato. I like the air dam detail. It looks verrrrrry familiar :



It looks like it's in 3 parts. I wonder if it is spring loaded so it can collapse when you hit a curb.

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Old 11-30-2009, 04:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hello -

This is an interesting blurb :

Quote:
When we first talked to GM about the Volt three years ago, the thought was that the engine would simply run at a constant speed to maintain the battery charge. As development has continued, that strategy has evolved. The output of the engine/generator is based on the needs of the battery and motor, not what the driver is demanding. As the level of the battery changes, the generator is controlled to provide the necessary, electrical output. The engine speed in turn is selected to maximize the load on the engine. An engine runs most efficiently at full load. If the electrical demand is low, a lower engine speed is used in conjunction with the generator control to get the desired load.
I was expecting a single-RPM engine.

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Old 11-30-2009, 05:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
NeilBlanchard -

Neato. I like the air dam detail. It looks verrrrrry familiar :

Our cars are starting to look normal again!

Now that this stuff is going mainstream, maybe my wife will let me put the airdam back on the Elantra...



Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Hello -

I was expecting a single-RPM engine.

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Well, it's a good news it's not fixed rpm. It allows to pick up the most efficient operating point for every load level.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hello -

Accidently found this image :



This means the Volt is designed to ride about 2" lower than the Cruze.

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Old 11-30-2009, 08:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasdrouille View Post
...

Well, it's a good news it's not fixed rpm. It allows to pick up the most efficient operating point for every load level.
Yes, you're right. It's just that I've been hoping that the "ideal" would be viable in the real world, aka an engine designed to run at a single RPM. They also ditched the 1.0 V3 Turbo in favor of the 1.4 V4.

[EDIT: V3 and V4 are the wrong term, I meant to say I3 and I4]

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Old 12-01-2009, 10:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Popular Mechanics has now also driven the Volt, and they have a video that explains the reason for the change in the charging scheme: they want you to return home with an "empty" battery so you will charge it there, where it is the most efficient.

GM 2011 Chevy Volt Test Drive - 2011 Chevrolet Volt Pre-Production Test Drive - Popular Mechanics
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
This means the Volt is designed to ride about 2" lower than the Cruze.
I don't think that has anything to do with ride height. It's just that the center of gravity is lower, presumably because of the batteries mounted low in the frame.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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More reviews:



The National Post (Canada) has a review:
Exclusive Preview: 2011 Chevrolet Volt - Posted Driving

So does the LA Times:
Chevrolet Volt: A sneak peek at GM's plug-in hybrid -- latimes.com

I've moved this over to the "Hybrids" subforum. As much as GM is fighting tooth and nail to convince people (journalists) to not call the car a hybrid, it certainly doesn't fit in our Fossil Fuel Free section! Series hybrid EV is probably as close as it gets.

Apparently we can expect to see a video on Jay Leno's Garage too.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I don't think that has anything to do with ride height. It's just that the center of gravity is lower, presumably because of the batteries mounted low in the frame.
Coincidentally, the ride height is also about 2 inches lower than the Cruze.

Not disagreeing about the effect of the pack on C.G.



Of course these are both pre-production vehicles; no saying if their ride heights are definitely what consumers are going to see.

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