Automotive News Provides Additional Insight on Next-Generation Chevy Volt

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 38

Can't Hardly Wait for the Arrival of the Next-Gen Volt

Can’t Hardly Wait for the Arrival of the Next-Gen Volt

Here’s how Automotive News sees the next-gen Volt shaping up:

Chevrolet Volt Increased Range In 2013

Chevrolet Volt Increased Range In 2013

“No major changes are expected to the plug-in hybrid before a redesign arrives in late 2015 as a 2016 model. GM aims to shave several thousand dollars in cost from the next-generation Volt, which currently stickers for nearly $40,000 [prior to recent reduction]. GM probably will downsize the 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine to improve its efficiency in range-extension mode. Possibilities include a 1.0-liter or 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine.”

“Media reports have suggested that the next-gen Volt will get a dedicated lightweight platform. Cost constraints make that unlikely; expect it to remain on the same platform as the Cruze and Buick Verano, the enhanced Delta architecture. But the platform likely will be modified to maximize weight savings and wring out more electric range.”

In regards to the next-generation Chevrolet Volt, here’s what we think is coming:

  • 50 to 60 miles or electric-only range
  • Arrival in late 2016 or early 2017
  • Possible 3-cylinder engine as range-extender
  • Will still share the Cruze’s D2XX or D2UX (as it’s known in the US)
  • Reduced price tag compared to current Volt – perhaps the “comfortably under $30,000” will become a reality
  • Fifth seat…yes please

The only notable difference between us and the prediction put forth by Automotive News is in regards to the next-gen Volt’s arrival date.  Though we have reason to believe that our prediction is more accurate.

Source:  Automotive News via Autoblog

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

38 responses to "Automotive News Provides Additional Insight on Next-Generation Chevy Volt"

  1. Assaf says:

    5th seat would be huge. It will cement the Volt as PHEV/EREV flagship.

    1. Brian says:

      I don’t personally need the fifth seat for my family of four, but I sure do need a larger trunk for our luggage! The next generation Volt either needs to be bigger (maybe mid-sized or larger), or GM needs to make that crossover version already! I’m still hoping that they are working on it behind the scenes, and it will suddenly appear one year at an auto show in nearly production version.

      1. vdiv says:

        Agree. I’d rather have the trunk space than the 5th seat, which in a compact like the Volt would be useless anyway. There is not enough shoulder room for three adults in the back or even two adults and a kid.

        It does not make sense that GM is not at least making some noise about a cross-over plugin. With the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV showing up next year, as imperfect as it may be, GM would lose a huge opportunity.

        1. KenZ says:

          We’ve been thinking about the Outlander PHEV (mainly because of the 4WD for ski trips). When you say “as imperfect as it may be,” what are you negatives about it? I’d just like to be a bit better informed (not counting the battery recall).

          1. MTN Ranger says:

            Only negative I see is the small battery pack and corresponding 22 miles AER.. It should be least a 16-20kWh to allow at least 30+ miles of range.

    2. David Murray says:

      I like the bucket seats in the rear, they are much more comfortable than a bench seat. I can’t remember the last time I needed to carry 5 people in the car.

    3. Priusmaniac says:

      Agree with the fifth seat. It is a make or break for at least 20 % of the market that have either 3 children or just want it for other reasons.
      Leaving 20% of the market aside is just not feasible.

  2. The fifth seat would seem to imply a totally revised battery package? It would possibly be like the Model S or in two portions with more under the rear seat, or a portion up in the engine bay?

    I certainly hope that a revised Volt can beat or at least equal the Prius in MPG while the ICE is operating.

    Neil

    1. If the new Volt stays at 4 seats, then the rear seats needs to work for taller adults. They could improve the useable space inside the car by slimming down the seats…

      Neil

    2. Anthony says:

      I imagine that the new battery package would be underneath the bench as well as under the trunk, the area currently occupied by the top of the “T” in the current pack.

  3. evnow says:

    We’ll have these 2 cars coming in 2017
    – 60 EV miles PHEV from GM for $35k
    – 200 miles BEV from Tesla for $35k
    and may be
    – 150 miles BEV from Nissan for $25k

    As I keep saying, future is sedan BEVs and PHEV SUVs.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Ah, yes, Akerson’s comment about the Volt needing to be 50 to 60 miles makes even more sense now.

      If they want to use the same battery in PHEV CUV/SUVs then that Volt 50/60 battery would be capable of giving you a comfortable 40 in an Equinox.

    2. Bonaire says:

      GM needs a 120 mile BEV by 2017. I don’t think Tesla will make those numbers (200 and 35k – it will be more of an “or” starting with 120 mile for 38K and then 200 for 42K – if they can pull it off).

  4. jzj says:

    Why is GM’s PHEV architecture limited to the Cruz body? I would think that it could be adopted into several different body styles if the same battery style as everyone else is using – a pancake under the floor – is used by GM. I like the Volt, but I despair that virtually every EV/PHEV is a small car, but for the Tesla and the RAV4 (I own the RAV and I’ve really come to appreciate the small SUV form factor). I would love to see a family van PHEV, and given that vans are somewhat higher I would think that a pancake battery under the floor would be readily accomplished. True, vans are heavier and that will effect performance, but no one is expecting sports car performance from a van.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Delta II (Cruze) and Theta II (Equinox) platforms will go and will be merged into a new Delta II X platform. It’s expected to be between Cruze and Equinox in wheelbase.

      For the next generation you should expect GM to design PHEV-readiness into their vehicles on that platform.

  5. Anthony says:

    I think the rumors of a bespoke aluminum chassis are real, but only if Tesla threatens the order of things. If Tesla does disrupt the market with the Gen 3 for 35K that can go 200 miles and people flock to that, GM needs a counter-disruption (self-disruption?) plan. This aluminum chassis is that plan. They’d likely build an EV and PHEV with that chassis – 200 mile EV and a 350 mile PHEV. I think they’d be a bit bigger than the Volt, maybe even a family – Volt and Volt crossover.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      It is not out of the question their new car to be made out of aluminum in that there has been a big move among car markers to use aluminum to save weight on even gas powered cars.

  6. Dan Frederiksen says:

    Didn’t ….. Akerson say it was 3-4 years out?

    They gave us a half assed product and waited 6 years to make a new one. Which will also suck because it’s still done by the tar minds that make Suburbans and pickups.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Yeah, I wonder what Jay was thinking here.. Akerson plainly said the next volt is at least 3 years down the line. So that means 2017 at the earliest.. When EV manufactures say ‘at least’ , they mean it!

      1. Eric Loveday says:

        InsideEVs says late 2016 / early 2017…It’s Automotive News who thinks the next-gen Volt will be here sooner.

    2. David Stone says:

      They make what people want.
      People want suburbans and pick-ups.

      Why?
      Stupidity combined with cheap gas.

    3. ClarksonCote says:

      92% of consumers say they’d buy one again, highest satisfaction among car owners repeatedly on JD Power and Associates.

      Doesn’t sound “half-assed” to me…

  7. Schmeltz says:

    OK, I’ll be the impatient voice of the group…Why in the world will it take another 3-4 years to bring out an all new Volt? November 2010 was the launch of the original. So say the new one comes in November of 2016 as Insideevs is speculating…that’s 6 years of developement? What have they been doing all of this time? I mean, I guess I could be a little more understanding if they are on the doorstep of a major battery advancement or something, but I’ve heard none of that so far.

    I guess there isn’t any pressure from competitors either. Tesla could have something formidable coming in the Blue Star, but that’s nowhere close to being ready either. Ford refuses to lower their Energi cars in price. Toyota is almost completely disinterested in EV’s. Everybody else is waiting until batteries get cheaper. So looking at that, I guess GM can afford to take their time. (Answered my own question)

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      There is a slim chance that Envia battery technology will be ready for a 2016/17 vehicle that will allow much greater range for less money. But considering how long it takes to commercialize a new battery chemistry, that may take until the end of the decade.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        I have seen Envia Batteries website and they don’t really have any updates in the last six months or if the website has been updated in the last six months.

      2. Bonaire says:

        Envia is close to closing – just had layoffs and so on (reported here).

    2. Anthony says:

      1. Battery technology improvement is slow. We’re just getting to 200Wh/kg now, and I expect it’ll be until 2016-17 before we see 400Wh/kg, and 2020 when we get to 600Wh/kg.

      2. Shared platform with gas-fueled cousins (cars don’t need frequent platform updates).

      3. Design, engineering and tooling up are expensive. Amortizing that cost over six years is great for your balance sheet, especially considering how low-volume the Volt is.

    3. pjwood says:

      +1 I don’t think it’s tech. The tech is here, and $/kwh have fallen. GM must have parked Voltec concluding the market wasn’t ready for it, or at least as they packaged it. Tesla proved a different outcome, in a different market segment. Memo missed. GM spends all this money, on a more viable format, and then balks. “60 miles” could be a $2,000 option, tomorrow. And that wouldn’t even buy a Tesla sunroof.

      I’m speculating what’s in their heads, and its boggling my mind. Part of it, I think, is the success of the $3.75=”cheap gas” narrative, which you can’t really blame GM for. Even Left media regurgitated a loser’s view of it, after the 5k price move. I had hope it was more political, but stories clearly suggested the Volt as a roundly dismissed black ball.

      1. Bonaire says:

        People buy $8 packs of cigarettes in NYC. They’ll pay $4 for gas for the most part. I think it takes $5.409 gas to get EV sales above 12,000/month.

  8. MrEnergyCzar says:

    To stay ahead of the competition, I think they’ll stick with the next gen rolling off the line in the Fall of 2015 as a 2016 model….

    MrEnergyCzar

  9. Bonaire says:

    Wondering… What if they played A123 against LG Chem and tried to shoe-horn in the Spark EV sized 20kWh (21?) pack into the Volt and use say 16 kWh of that range? Using A123 EXT cells for better winter results? Yes, the LG Chem plant in the USA may make cells for the 2014-2015 Volt and other US-sourced vehicles like the Ford Focus EV. But could GM ask for more from A123? Should they? Has A123 lowered their unit prices to acceptable levels since bankruptcy and take-over? Volt could lower its overal costs by using a more passive TMS for the battery pack since the EXT cells are “supposed to” handle heat and cold better than anything. TMS removal means fewer parts in the battery system, less radiators to get punctured or cared fore, no cooling pipes and so on.

  10. Sparks007 says:

    I’ve owned my Volt since December 2010. Here’s my take on the Nexgen Volt.
    The basic body style is fine. Don’t waste time and money on changing the 4 door 4 seat configuration. The average owner has a second car and it’s probably a 4WD SUV or a Pickup. The 35 mile range is good enough for me. If the range can be extended without increasing the price, fine. The range of the ICE is also about right. I go on occasional long trips of 1,000 mile +, and when I need to stop for gas I need to stop for snacks etc. anyway.
    The Volt needs more power, particularly at passing speeds. It also should have better gas mileage.
    The electric motor should be beefed up so it can handle power from the battery and generator simultaneously. This should be enabled in a new Sport+ Mountain mode. Call it a Highway Cruising mode.
    The 4 cylinder ICE should be replaced by a lightweight 3 cylinder 1.0 or 1.2 liter Atkinson engine.
    Target performance should be 0-60 in the 7 second range.
    Target ICE mileage should be in the 45 to 50 mpg range.
    This should be the basic model and sold at the current price point or lower if the accounting dept. allows.
    An SS model should be offered. It would have and adjustable suspension for better handling and improved clearance at low speeds. Additional power should be provided by a still stronger electric motor and possibly an electric supercharger Price it appropriately.
    Just a thought but, why not experiment with an electric valve train? Atkinson economy and Crower performance on demand. Not exactly in the Panamera / Tesla league but could be a contender.

  11. Bloggin says:

    The next gen Volt plug-in hybrid should get:

    1. a longer 50-60 EV mile range

    2. more powerful electric motor, where the Spark EV with 400 lb-ft torque gives a clue there.

    3. more efficient gasoline engine. Since the Volt is plug-in hybrid it needs a powerful gasoline engine to drive on gasoline only mode when wanting to save battery power for later.

    4. 5 passenger capacity, more cargo space.

    5. price drop to $30k. GM already stated the price will drop up to $10k. We are just half way there with the current $5k price drop.

  12. David Murray says:

    I say they need to have two models. One that has a low entry level MSRP with approx 30 miles of EV range. Then a performance model with 60 miles EV range and a faster 0-60 time in the 6 to 7 second ballpark with an option for a faster charger. The low end model could essentially compete with the Prius and the Ford Energi products. The higher end model would compete with Tesla’s low end products.

    I’m not sure where the Cadillac ELR would fit in with that scheme, though. I would think it should be based on the high-end Volt.

  13. Kent says:

    Perfect timing for me! That’s right about the time that I plan to trade in my 2012 Volt that I purchased in 2011.

  14. Tom says:

    Design engineers have now made gasoline engine generators that do not have a crankshaft nor, pulleys. The designs could potentially reduce the engine compartment requirement for the engine by 60% or more. Given, GM’s timing for the next generation; it only seems plausible that GM would consider a sleek new engine generator, that’s light weight and compactd.

  15. Visitor says:

    GM needs to decide if they are going after the ‘expensive car’ market or the ‘budget car’ market. Right now, they offer a budget car for an expensive price which is the wrong place to be. Either other option would probably work better. Look at the Tesla, they are selling all the cars they can make, and nobody looking over the Tesla is trying to calculate ROI or pennies saved per mile, or compare it to a Prius. It is a car that just stands on its own.

    For the Volt, GM needs to sell higher volume so they have been trying to promote efficiency, but in the process ignoring the car’s other benefits. I think GM needs to pay more attention and promote the car’s performance, features and luxuries rather than efficiency; the car is plenty efficient as it is (incremental improvements are always welcomed, of course). They need to make the car stand on its own, as opposed to try to battle on efficiency alone. I never see people talk about the Volt being a great car to drive, instead everyone compares it to a Prius or other ICE budget vehicles (let’s face it, you can’t beat a Toyota Corolla or a diesel VW on efficiency numbers alone). But comparing a Volt to a Corolla is just wrong (should we compare a VW GTI to a Kia, or a Benz to a Honda?)

    Imagine the Volt reaching 0-60 in < 7 seconds (with corresponding performance increases across the range) and a truly upgraded interior and exterior, full of modern electronics (can you believe the back-up camera is an option?, it should be standard, given that you are literally blind when backing up). Economies of scale alone over time will take care of price. Then you will have a contender.

  16. Wallace says:

    You never heard anyone talk about how good a Volt is to drive? Let me tell you. It drives better than gas cars. Anyone that has owned one will never go back to gas cars again. Super quiet, yet if you listen for it, the electric motors sound sweet when taking off. The sound will wow anyone fortunate enough to hear it. No waiting for the right gear, no shifting, just immediate power when needed. I take off faster than anyone at lights regularly. Sure more power would be welcome, but more range and a 5th seat would be more important. The Volt feels like you are driving on a cloud. Handling is really nice with the electric steering. I would like the Volt to look more sporty like the Ampera or the ELR.