Next-Gen 2016 Chevy Volt – Official Voltec Details Released, Looks Like 50 Miles Of Range

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 155

2016 Chevy Volt

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt will feature an all-new Voltec propulsion system, that is made up of the battery, drive unit, range extending engine and electronic controls.

Confirmed Via Twitter - Next-Gen Volt To Get More Electric Range

Confirmed Via Twitter – Next-Gen Volt To Get More Electric Range

General Motors Tweets About 2016 Volt

General Motors Tweets About 2016 Volt

At a media event today in Warren, Michigan GM outlined a good bulk of its plans for the next generation of Chevrolet Volt.

The new Volt will feature a new, more powerful naturally aspirated engine – a 1.5l 4 cylinder power plant, replaces the existing 1.4l unit.  (full details here)

The 2016 Volt will now also have 5 operational modes, including the common all electric mode and range more, while also having the ability to use different blending of the two motors (electric/gas) depending on the performance and efficiency the road (and the driver) wants – giving the car a 20% improvement in electric acceleration.

If GM’s 20% performance estimate relates to ‘off the line’ acceleration as well as normal/eco acceleration, the next Chevrolet Volt will get to 60 mph in just over 7 seconds.

GM states that:

“The new system will be more efficient and offer greater EV range and fuel economy compared to the current generation.”

And while the company did not get into any hard specifics, they did outline some basically parameters than can give us a pretty decent idea of what to expect.

As far as efficiency goes, the new two motor drive unit is 100lbs lighter and 5-12% more efficient, so paper we can expect an extended range MPG of somewhere in the low 40s (the current Volt nets 37 MPG according to the EPA).  The next gen Volt will operation on regular gas, as opposed to premium.

As for range (via battery abilities), GM states the following:

“Revised cell chemistry, developed in conjunction with LG Chem, increases storage capacity by 20 percent on a volume basis when compared to the original cell, while the number of cells decreases from 288 to 192. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for improved (lower) center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack has decreased by almost 30 pounds (13 kg).”

The new Volt battery back is actually slightly smaller (and lighter) than the existing one, meaning that with a 20 percent increase in storage volume, its theoretical capacity would be about 20 kWh (the 2015 Volt is rated at 17 kWh). GM did note in the presentation that the new drive unit is more efficient as the Traction Power Inverter Module is now built into the drive unit, which reduces the complexity of the design and further improves range.

2016 MY Chevrolet Volt Battery Cutaway

2016 MY Chevrolet Volt Battery Cutaway

To us, the battery configuration looks to be near identical to the one currently in the 2015 edition of the Spark EV, rated at just over 19 kWh.  From a statement made by Larry Nitz (GM electrification boss) earlier this year on the new Spark EV battery pack being replaced by LG Chem over the A123 one in place for 2014:

“A newly designed battery system features an overall storage capacity of 19 kWh and uses 192 lithium ion cells. The cells are produced at LG Chem’s plant in Holland, Mich. The battery system weight of 474 lbs. is 86 pounds lighter than the system in the 2014 Spark EV.”

Any bets the 2.0 Volt might be following in the Spark EV’s footsteps?

Even though the 2015 Chevrolet Volt is rated at 38 miles, that was based off a slightly smaller 16.5 kWh battery from 2014. Using the specifications given today, our guess is that the 2016 Chevrolet Volt will have an all electric range of 50 miles on a 19 kWh-ish pack, while still allowing for perhaps 3-5 miles of variance from the unknown specific data points.

…but so much for that full size, adult 5th seat it would seem.

(full press release below)

Camouflaged 2016 Chevy Volt

Camouflaged 2016 Chevy Volt

1.5-Liter 2016 Volt Range Extender

The second-generation Chevrolet Volt will use an all-new Voltec drive unit and 1.5L 4-cylinder engine for extended range operation. The system was designed to be more efficient while providing increased acceleration.

The all-new Voltec drive unit used in the second-generation Chevrolet Volt is 100 lbs. lighter and up to 12 percent more efficient than the previous system.

The all-new Voltec drive unit used in the second-generation Chevrolet Volt is 100 lbs. lighter and up to 12 percent more efficient than the previous system.

The GM-designed electric motors used in the second-generation Chevrolet Volt deliver more than 20 improvement in electric acceleration. GM engineers designed the motors to use less rare earth materials. One motor doesn’t use any rare-earth type magnets.

The GM-designed electric motors used in the second-generation Chevrolet Volt deliver more than 20 improvement in electric acceleration. GM engineers designed the motors to use less rare earth materials. One motor doesn’t use any rare-earth type magnets.

The second-generation Chevrolet Volt uses an all-new battery system that maintains its signature t-shape configuration but uses nearly 100 fewer cells. The battery system will provide improved range while weighing 30 lbs. less than the previous battery system.

The second-generation Chevrolet Volt uses an all-new battery system that maintains its signature t-shape configuration but uses nearly 100 fewer cells. The battery system will provide improved range while weighing 30 lbs. less than the previous battery system.

Next-Generation Chevrolet Volt Features All-New Voltec Propulsion System for More Efficiency
Debuting in 2015, new model will have increased EV range


WARREN, Mich. – When the next-generation Chevrolet Volt debuts at the North American International Auto Show in January, it will feature an all-new Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system substantially developed from Volt owners including data collected on their driving behaviors.

The Voltec system includes the battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics. The new system will be more efficient and offer greater EV range and fuel economy compared to the current generation.

“Our Volt owners truly love the EV driving experience, with more than 80 percent of all trips being completed without using any gasoline. We’ve used their real-world experiences to define the next generation Chevrolet Volt,” said Alan Batey, head of global Chevrolet. “By putting our Volt owners at the center of what we do and leveraging our electrification engineering leadership, we’ve been able to raise the bar and will exceed their expectations with the new Volt.”

Enhanced Battery System Capability

General Motors’ industry-leading battery technology has been improved for the next-generation Volt. Revised cell chemistry, developed in conjunction with LG Chem, increases storage capacity by 20 percent on a volume basis when compared to the original cell, while the number of cells decreases from 288 to 192. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for improved (lower) center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack has decreased by almost 30 pounds (13 kg).

Approximately 20 million battery cells have been produced for the more than 69,000 Chevrolet Volts on the road today with industry-leading quality levels of less than two problems per million cells produced.

The battery system continues to use the Volt’s industry-leading active thermal control system that maintains electric range over the Volt’s life.

“The current generation Volt’s battery has proven to provide our owners exceptional performance when it comes to quality and reliability,” said Larry Nitz, executive director of GM Powertrain’s electrification engineering team.

Based on a GM study of more than 300 model year 2011 and 2012 Volts in service in California for more than 30 months, many owners are exceeding the EPA-rated label of 35 miles of EV range per full charge, with about 15 percent surpassing 40 miles of range. Current generation Volt owners have accumulated more than 600 million EV miles.

“It would have been simple for us to tweak our existing battery to provide nominally increased range, but that’s not what our customers want,” said Nitz. “So our team created a new battery system that will exceed the performance expectations of most of our owners.”

EV range estimates will be revealed in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

GM will manufacture the Volt battery pack at its battery assembly plant in Brownstown, Mich.

Drive Unit Focused On Improved Efficiency

Like the battery system, the next-generation Volt’s drive unit was reengineered with a focus on increased efficiency and performance, improved packaging and reduced noise and vibration characteristics. The two-motor drive unit operates approximately 5 to 12 percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current system.

The Traction Power Inverter Module, which manages power flow between the battery and the electric drive motors, has been directly built into the drive unit to reduce mass, size and build complexity while further improving efficiency.

The boost in performance comes from both motors operating together in more driving scenarios, in both EV and extended-range operation. The ability to use both motors helps deliver more than 20 percent improvement in electric acceleration. GM engineers designed the Voltec electric motors to use significantly less rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare earth-type magnets at all.

The new drive unit will be manufactured at GM’s Powertrain plant in Warren, Mich.

New 1.5L Range Extender

Energy for extended-range operation comes from an all-new, high-efficiency 1.5L 4-cylinder engine. The engine features a direct injection fuel system, high-compression ratio of 12.5:1, cooled exhaust gas recirculation and a variable displacement oil pump. The Voltec range extender runs on regular unleaded fuel.

“Using the 1.5L engine as the range extender assures owners they can go anywhere, anytime without having to worry about whether they have enough power to go through the Rocky Mountains or on a spontaneous weekend getaway,” Nitz said. “It’s all about keeping the promise that the Volt is a no-compromise electric vehicle.”

The 1.5L engine will be manufactured at GM’s Toluca, Mexico engine plant for the first year of production, then shift to the Flint, Mich. engine plant.

U.S./Canadian Content Increases

Since its introduction in late 2010, the Volt has established southeast Michigan as the hub of vehicle electrification development and manufacturing. The next-generation Volt will feature approximately 70 percent U.S. and Canadian components within its first year of production, a nearly 20 percent increase from the first-generation, Nitz said.

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155 responses to "Next-Gen 2016 Chevy Volt – Official Voltec Details Released, Looks Like 50 Miles Of Range"

  1. offib says:

    Bloody Great!

    1. offib says:

      My guesses are that there wouldn’t be a rear bench for a 5th seat.

      1. Assaf says:

        I wonder too… do the folks at GM realize how big a deal this 5th seat can be for sales?

        Regardless of how often one throws 5 ppl into the car, having only 4 seats designates a car into a smaller ‘niche’ in the eyes of consumers.

        That said, overall great news about battery and fuel efficiency, generally in line with prior hints.

        1. vin says:

          Maybe they do, which could be why they may have apparently left it as a 4-seater.

          I’ve rarely seen a compact car, whether it’s an ICE, hyprid, or plug-in, on the road with five people in it. Usually one, maybe two passengers at most.

          Personally, I’d rather have the increased range and acceleration versus another seat that I won’t be using. Wasn’t planning on getting a Gen 2 after my current Volt lease is up; improvements mentioned in this article would definitely change that.

          1. John Hansen says:

            I’m not sure you realized this, but children are short, and you frequently can’t see them in the car. 🙂

          2. James says:

            Vin – that is because you are a Volt early adopter, and one of the relatively small group that bought a v.1. The goal of v.2 is to lure conquest buyers from current hybrids and compacts ( or at least, that’s what GM SHOULD be aiming for ).

            We kept our Prius to this day because, with 2 kids they often have at least one friend to haul around – also, field trips, campouts…Hauling grandma without having to take two vehicles…It goes on and on. It’s one reason CUVs sell so much. People look for a third row for passenger versatility.

            The goal has to be from selling 22,000 Volts per year to guys like you and me – to 100,000 per year so economies of scale bring the Voltec CUV, Voltec pickup truck and Voltec large SUVs.

            Sometimes it cracks me up when someone says – “I could care less – it fits my needs”…Yet they have to realize for electrification to succeed on a large scale it has to meet the needs of all sorts of families and individuals.

            1. DaveMart says:

              ‘Hauling grandma without having to take two vehicles’

              No roof rack either, huh?

            2. jay Hutchins says:

              nice: “for electrification to succeed on a large scale it has to meet the needs of all sorts of families and individuals.”

            3. James says:

              Correcection: “I could’NT care less” Thank you.

          3. Mint says:

            You only need to glance at the highway to see that 80-90% of cars usually only have a single driver in the seat.

            Yet how many of those cars are 2 seaters?

            People don’t buy based on need. They buy on “what if” scenarios, thinking about the few times they had 5 people in the cars in the past.

            PHEVs already cost more than regular cars. You can’t expect them to go mainstream if they have further compromises.

            VW, Nissan, etc can get 80 miles range from a battery entirely under the seats, allowing seating for 5 and full luggage room. Why is it so difficult for GM to do the same with the Volt?

            1. James says:

              In the case of pickup trucks, guys go for the extra expense of 4WD and often very seldom use it, using the truck as a commuter car and yes, one driver and that’s it. There are those times when it snows in our area, but very seldom. It’s those times, when your friends, family and neighbors all count on you to get up that hill, or pick up their kids that you remember.

              We all know SUVs/CUVs are huge sellers due to what they may be capable of doing. We also read that almost nobody uses the AWD and those extra 3rd row seats are empty 90% of the time. It’s the capability that sells them. “I could go off-road if I wanted to”, sells millions of SUVs. They end up getting groceries and people to work all by themselves.

              In your case re: Volt with 4 seats. I disagree. Most of us use our cars solo the great portion of time. Carpooling aside, we buy a car so we ourselves can get where we need to go. You would buy a Smart if you thought the only circumstance you practically
              will see is one passenger. That’s never the case. It’s those times when you need that extra seat that can be a real limiting factor, requiring people take two cars or you buy a second or third car just for those times.

              I have a small family, so five seats gets us buy 95% of the time. We’re seldom called upon to chaperone our kids to camp or special event, and other folks usually have a minivan or SUV to carry our kids. Our kids are not big into team sports and quit GirlScouts so we’re good there too. Even so, that trip where we need to haul another person looms over our heads. The Volt has to stay home on those occasions. This is a case when that extra seat really is a necessity and not that luxury you seem to suggest.

          4. Priusmaniac says:

            30% of families have 3 children so that is 30% less market for the volt and so 30% more reason why they can afterwards say there is no demand for the Volt.

        2. Andrew S says:

          Yep, we looked at the Volt but it needs the 5th seat to work for us. Went and bought a different electric car instead. GM could have had our business.

      2. ClarksonCote says:

        If there isn’t a 5th seat configuration available, sales will not improve much. Hopefully GM recognizes this.

        1. DaveMart says:

          If that is the shape of the battery pack they don’t.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Not necessarily. They have many fewer cells contained within the pack. They may have chosen a configuration that allows them to provide a third seat with a minimal hump in the middle position.

            I don’t think we can easily infer that from the depiction. For all we know, the “T” shown is a fraction of the size of the old battery.

            1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

              Yep, plenty of RWD cars had fifth seats over the driveshaft hump, if GM was smart enough to make its new platform more accommodating of the battery perhaps they can get a 5th seating position in, even if it’s a hump seat.

              Of course, actually having an underfloor battery in a properly-designed EV platform would be far better.

              I’m curious to see real specs on this, guess it’ll be a few months of waiting. Still, nothing so far that would have me upgrading out of my 2013 before being able to buy a CPO Tesla or Model III.

      3. Just_Chris says:

        Rather than speculating on the likelihood of a 5th seat, is it possible to work out the height of the battery pack? and hence if it is possible to put a seat over it.

        I assume that the fittings on the end of the pack are a standard size so could be used to determine the scale and hence the height, width and, with the drawing of the layout, length of the battery pack.

        This new pack seems much shorter in terms of height than the current pack with the electrical connections crammed in at the end. On the current generation there is lots of space between all the connections and the front portion of the pack is shorter than the rear portion. I wonder if they’ll put in the 5th seat but with no leg room. Begs the question why didn’t they make the gap in the battery pack bigger to give the passenger in the middle some leg room if this is what they are planning to do.

        1. Ziv says:

          The new pack does appear squatter than the old pack, but it would still have a pretty noticeable hump under the 5th seat. But if that seat is carrying a kid in a car seat it won’t matter, or if the kid is pretty small.

          I think a compromise 5th seat is better than no 5th seat.

    2. GeorgeS says:

      I agree.

      After the first article today I was a little disappointed but I must say after reading this one GM really has done some major redesigns and improved almost every aspect of the Voltec system.

      more range, more acceleration, less weight, a redesigned transmission that still includes the original concept of pure series AND power link only with tweeked motors and probably gear ratios to make a smaller more efficient transmission.

      Not sure what the 5th mode is though.

      Color me as intriqued and possibly going to get another one.

      1. bro1999 says:

        Blended EV+ICE mode

      2. GeorgeS says:

        I don’t see any mention of a 5th mode in the full press release.

        Eric did you use some creative writing to come up with that?

        1. bro1999 says:

          “The 2016 Volt will now have 5 operational modes, including the more common all electric mode and range mode. Volt 2.0 will also have the ability to use a blending of the two depending on the performance and efficiency the road (and the driver) wants – giving the car a 20% improvement in electric acceleration.”

          1. bro1999 says:

            So the 5 modes would be:
            and now Blended (zooooom!)

            1. Jay Cole says:

              George said:

              “I don’t see any mention of a 5th mode in the full press release. Eric did you use some creative writing to come up with that?”

              The site UI doesn’t allow for multiple writing credits, but I penned some of this piece. There was actually a separate live media presentation in addition to the press release today.

              Anywhoo, there is actually 5 modes – but GM didn’t suss out specifically what they all were.

              1. bro1999 says:

                So do you think when they say 5 drive modes, GM is talking about mechanical drive modes, or user-selectable drive modes?

                1. Jay Cole says:

                  I’d wager mechanical modes, but it wasn’t particularly clear.

            2. GeorgeS says:

              I don’t like the sound of this. It sounds like they have gone to a Ford type tranny then. I wonder what the top speed in EV mode is.

              1. pjwood says:

                Yeah, If I hear you, we were all tilting at greater EREV. As motor use gets wiped away with marginally more range, there’s less/no point in its potential synergy. I mean, who cares? I drive one of these things, and about 10-15% of the miles are electric (20k/year). That equates to maybe 5% of the TIME, with the engine on some highway.

                Perhaps this is an affirmation of the betting man’s 50 AER. But some of us at least hoped for more, in a REx configuration. The “synergy” and “blended” PHEV stuff doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, apart from changing the way things will look on paper.

                Still, thankful.

                1. James says:

                  Soooo much to ingest! No turbo or non-turbo 3cyl., no third passenger in back ( Look at the emergency cut off, right where it is in SparkEV – don’t think it’s likely they’d put a removable panel or flip-up so first-responders could get to it…? )

                  GM went to current owners to see what they wanted. ???!!! . Why not go to people who opted NOT to buy one and see what THEIR PRIORITIES WERE? GM again – seems to be not getting it.

                  Don’t get me wrong – the performance improvements sound wonderful – yet more room inside and higher CS mode MPG seem like no-brainer upgrades.

                  GM may redeem itself in the long-rumored two Volt strategy. Perhaps todays news is about the high-end, high AER Volt, and GM has yet to let the cat out of the bag on Econ Volt with lower AER, less features and 3-across seating in back.

                  My next Volt would then be a conundrum. The frugal Scott in me – the techie and geek and the environmentalist would yearn for the higher AER Volt, while the practical side would probably end up opting for Econo Volt with less AER but more practicality in inside space.

                  1. Larry says:

                    GM stated within the past day or two that there will not be multiple versions of the new Volt.

                    1. James says:

                      I haven’t seen that – if that is truly the case, it’s a dumb move. Volt v.2 should have a model at a pricepoint that directly competes with Prius hybrid.

                      The non-5 seating is really sad. Really. It won’t bode well for Volt sales.

              2. ClarksonCote says:

                The transmission they have today is capable of what they describe, and they took advantage of it a bit in the ELR. That’s why the ELR has faster acceleration in Hold mode than battery only.

                1. GeorgeS says:

                  we need to know what zero to 60 is in pure EV mode and top speed in EV mode. Both 0-60 and top speed are compromised in pure EV mode in the Ford setup.

                  If they have made this into a plug in Hybrid instead of like now where the Volt is a pure EV I am going to be disappointed.

                  1. HVACman says:


                    I don’t think they’re talking about blending ICE and EV power for maximum acceleration. We need to remember the ELR was Volt 1.5 and a place to experiment with new gen Voltec concepts. Perhaps there are clues there about the 5th mode.

                    The ELR has an EV mode that delivers higher overall EV HP (157 HP) and improved acceleration over the gen 1 Volt while using the same gen 1 transmission. How does it do that?

                    I think they achieved that by blending both MG1 and MG2 HP for more HP than either one individually could deliver. In the gen 1 Volt, the MG1/MG2 blending did not add HP, but improved efficiency by slowing down MG2 to a higher efficiency speed range. It is likely that the gen 2 volt will blend MG1/MG2 in two ways – one for max efficiency and the other for power.

                    1. David Murray says:

                      There is really no way that the two motors can compliment each other and be used together for more power. The way the setup works, they actually work against each other. So the two-motor drive system actually requires switching back to one-motor drive in order to have full acceleration power.

                    2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

                      There is really no way that the two motors can compliment each other and be used together for more power. The way the setup works, they actually work against each other. So the two-motor drive system actually requires switching back to one-motor drive in order to have full acceleration power.


                      Rotating the ring gear in the direction of travel of the sun gear acts to make the sun gear ‘taller’. If you engage the ring gear motor earlier (and more smoothly) you have a wider ratio that can enable more torque for quicker launches as well as more efficient higher speed.

                      Presumably a larger battery will also allow a larger energy budget to feed the motors.

                    3. larry4pyro says:

                      Speculation based on the patient filed for the new transmission indicate it has only two clutches, both controlling the input paths for the ICE. One path is direct drive (1:1), the other is geared as an overdrive. When both clutches are closed the input path from the ICE is locked because the two differently gear paths fight against each other. By locking up the ICE path the carrier gear is fixed thereby providing the reaction force necessary for the two motors, one attached to the sun gear the other to the ring gear, to combine and add their outputs. The gearing is such that the smaller motor goes into a overspeed condition above 40 MPH so I believe the system switches to just the traction motor above that speed. At the higher speeds the smaller motor is used to slow down the traction just as it does on the current Volt.

                2. danwat1234 says:

                  There is a software hack for 1st generation Volts where the engine can help with acceleration, I assume via parallel hybrid mode, full gas power + full main electric motor power. Bad News Racing and Wait4me Performance has the hack.
                  I too am very curious if Chevy made a ‘sport+’ mode where the engine can help directly but in all other modes the engines won’t necessarily come on if you floor it.
                  Along with a lower temperature ERDTT down to 5 degrees F or so so the engine won’t needlessly come on with short trips in winter.

            3. DaveMart says:

              I do hope that the 5th mode is not back seat driver mode.

              That is really irritating when it comes on in my car.

              1. Good one. Totally cracked me up.

              2. ffbj says:

                Jolly Good!

        2. Naturenut99 says:

          It makes the most sense. No it isn’t official. But they changed from 1 large electric motor to 2.
          Which can also be more efficient in EV mode. But really plays well when you let it decide what’s better to use for medium to long trips. (Ie: similar to Prius)
          The only other option that I can think of is if they added an Eco mode, but then it would be Eco, Normal, Sport. That might be too crowded.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Yes and No, Naturenut. The Volt has always had two motors, and at high speeds, they’ve always worked in unison to provide motive power, regardless of whether the engine is running.

            It sounds like they did tweak the motor sizes and characteristics to leverage this more often, however.

            In short, the Volt always has had two motors to propel the car, and uses them both in today’s models, whether in battery or extended range mode.

            I think they just refined that implementation a bit more this time around.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              Sorry, when I said “to provide motive power” I really meant “to provide motive power with higher efficiency”

            2. James says:

              Exactly. That’s the way I interpreted it also. Not blended ICE and motor. Remember a “motor” is electric, and an “engine” is an infernal-combustion powerplant. It’s confusing as we all say “motor” when we describe and engine – as modern slang.

              I think your assessment is spot-on. Not changing the way V.1’s current two motor setu works, just improving upon it.

              ELR might be the first showcase of this new setup – which explains why GM is leaking out the details now – in time for ELR to get it first.

              1. James says:

                Sorry for the typos – I’m just so excited this is a whole lot of news, all at once!

                I’ll buy Volt v.2 if it’s not ugly as sin. The performance improvements are just too many to pass up.

                I’m guessing from all the information we do have today – that AER will be over 50. Think about better aerodynamics – a given noting the steeper slope of the windshield and lower nose seen on the test mules. Think of lighter range extender ( aluminum block instead of current caste iron ) and lighter battery pack and electric drive system ( smaller, more efficient invertor ). Low rolling resistence tires have improved since
                2010 also. I think your 50 mile guestimates are on the low side.

                Just think – if you can get 60 miles AER with no range anxiety with a thermally-controlled pack instead of Nissan’s air-cooled one – what is that going to do to LEAF sales?

                Also unspoken is the strong indication that there will be an Econo Volt to duke it out with Prius hybrid. That would be an absolute shootout and big game changer. If that pricepoint was same as Prius – the gloves are off on a side-by-side comparison. To me, Prius conquest sales are job one for Volt v.2. This means seating for 5, and much better CS mode MPG. What we know about 4th gen Prius is at least 55mpg hwy.

        3. DonC says:

          While the article refers to the modes as representing the drive modes available — Sport, Mountain, Hold — I think the modes are how the motors/engine combine. Right now there are four modes, including two power split modes, one with MGB providing torque and one with the engine providing torque. The fifth mode would be MGA and MGB working together to provide propulsion. The transmission would become 5ET50 rather than 4ET50.

      3. offib says:

        I also want to know what the 5th mode could be. If it has anything to do with performance, or economy. Honestly, I’m only getting a little up baet about this because of the talk about the ELR getting an early upgrade. I’d love to know how has the new Volt’s performance improved, to get a sense how well the ELR might improve. Call me a sucker for Cadillacs.

        Still, if everything turns out for the best, performance wise, the ELR might finally make a worthy name for itself. That would be awesome. Now if only they slapped on a realistic price tag.

        1. GSP says:

          Did they say “Range Mode?”

          I hope this is the fifth mode, and it allows a charge to 100% SOC for those days you need a little extra range. Just like the “pure- EVs” have.


      4. HVACman says:

        Remember that the new engine will be rated at about 87 kW. That means the new motor-generator it is connected to will be rated at 87 kW (117 HP), not 54 kW. Blend that with a 150+ HP main motor and you could have over 200 HP at the drive wheels in blended two-motor mode, as compared to the current 150 HP max.

        Also, based on the weight reductions for the just the next-gen drive train/battery, they are probably lightening the whole next-gen Volt package by probably 400 pounds, or 10%. Newton says that if you combine 10% less weight with 10% more HP and you get 20% more acceleration.

    3. Sounds great! Plus finally assembly no longer in mexico! possibly 48-50miles on electric!
      No more requirement for high octane.. wow apparently GM has been listening. I won’t trade in my Wrangler because off roading is a hobby but for my daily driver I am interested in the 2016 Volt.

      1. kdawg says:

        Final assembly has always been in Hamtramck, MI. Every Volt/Ampera in the world came off that line.

      2. Raymondjram says:

        Don’t confuse the Chevy Volt with the Ford Fusion which is assembled in Mexico. The Volt is only assembled in Michigan and nowhere else.

        1. Ziv says:

          The Gen II Volt is up to 70% North American content from the 40% NA content in 2011.

    4. mrenergyczar says:

      Well said. The first battery image shows the notch for the 5th seat if you look closely. If the battery is only 19 kWh’s, using 15 out of 19 kWh’s easily gets you the coveted 50 mile range. If the 5th operating mode is Eco mode, we might get 50 mpg in cs mode… Triple 50..

      1. DonC says:

        I think the modes they’re referring to are power modes not driving modes. Rather than having a large traction motor and a smaller generator motor, looks like the motors are closer in size and, in the new fifth mode, can combine to provide propulsion.

    5. Mike Ballor says:

      I’m the future will we be able to get one of these drives for a boat?

  2. Sublime says:

    Put this in an Equinox and you won’t be able to keep them on the lot.

    1. mrenergyczar says:

      Maybe they have a “Bolt X” up their sleeve….

    2. Raymondjram says:

      That is the best idea for the next EREV. There are many potential customers who wish for Volt efficiency in a larger vehicle with more passenger and cargo space as in the Equinox. Another will be a EREV Impala.

  3. bro1999 says:

    Looks very exciting…..except for the fact it seems there will not be a 5th seat still.

    But it’s my theory that GM is going to ‘refresh’ the current Volt and chop the middle section of the battery and offer a ‘budget’ Volt alongside the true Volt 2.0 that will have an EV range in the 20’s and 5 seats.

  4. pjwood says:

    Not sure you can just take 20% of 16.5kwh and call Volt2’s pack 20kwh.

    “The cells are positioned lower in the pack for improved (lower) center of gravity”

    Looks to me like the old pack was already to the bottom, which makes the above statement imply they are shaving the top, and not using all of that space for the more dense cells.

    My guess, is that “lower in the pack” equates to fewer kwh of storage. Perhaps not enough to fully offset the 20% volumetric gain, but by an amount that may make 50 miles of AER a taller reach.

    Saying “50” definitely comes with an asterisk.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      GM is saying the pack is pretty much the same weight (30lbs less) but the pack is also smaller in overall size.

      So unless they are putting in something other than batteries in there, logically it would have to be pretty close to a 20 kWh pack (such as the 19.X Spark EV pack), depending on the variance in their 20% density claim.

      We did note that we think 20 kWh is the theoretical max given specs. That being said, the weight savings could have come at the cost of the cells themselves with other weight somehow added elsewhere…that would net out at the low end around 18 kWh.

      1. Anton Wahlman says:

        I think that could be accurate, but one also has to ask the question: Why make the pack meaningfully larger than the 16 kWh tax benefit ceiling? Why not stop at 16 kWh? Yes, I know they massaged it twice to 16.5 and then 16.8 or whatever, but that’s almost rounding. Why go higher than that?

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Well, I think because that is what the market expects, and the CEO(s) repeatedly promised at least a 20% range jump/50 miles over the past couple years.

          Hard to double back on exec talking points. Its kind of like having a CEO that loves Falcon wing doors…fiscally practical or not, (=

          GM’s first LG Chem contract has expired anyway, so the raw cell cost on the 2016 pack is still probably several thousand dollars cheaper than a 2013. Even at par, a 18 to 20 kWh pack would only be $300-$900 more then continuing the existing one.

        2. Naturenut99 says:

          Because people will use it.
          We already use every bit we are given.
          It is not that much more to complain about.
          Just because you might not use it all, many others do.

        3. pjwood says:

          Why spend $.10 per a mile on gas, when $100 per mile storage costs can net your costs down to $.03. That pays for itself every 1,500 miles, without Uncle Sam’s credit.

          Thanks, Jay. So, on the assumption they didn’t use a heavier chemistry, 20kwh is more easily implied. Thanks.

          Seeing this, too: “The engine features a direct injection fuel system, high-compression ratio of 12.5:1″…on regular unleaded! I didn’t realize, but direct injection must be timing the fuel delivery until significantly after Top Dead Center (TDC). Otherwise, big time detonation. New stuff, pretty cool. Without SIDI, this engine would come apart.

      2. codyozz says:

        It would seem that the image of the battery you have above (from the presentation?) is from Volt 1.0. Is it possible they are being tricky here and will have a new and updated pack design but aren’t showing it yet? I think the top of the pack is going to be shaved off and the case will be a few inches shorter.. leaving plenty of room for a fifth seat… albeit with a sizable tunnel still There. I thought it was weird that GM didn’t design that battery cut out section to coincide with where the back foot room was.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Nope, while it appears visually similar at first glance, that is the new 2016 hotness.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Jay, was there any post-presentation questions about the number of seats? i.e. 4 versus 5 on the Gen 2?

            1. Jay Cole says:

              All very quiet on the 5th seat…no crumbs at all

              1. ClarksonCote says:

                Drat! Okay, thanks for the quick response. 🙂

              2. HVACman says:

                Actually, they weren’t quiet. GM made an announcement during the FB chat to everyone asking about the 5th seat to please just be patient for 10 weeks – they just can’t answer that now.

                Based on the number of people hammering them with the 5th seat question on FB, they probably were also hammered about it back in 2011-2012 during their polls on what Gen 2 should have. I’m figuring it’s almost a lock that the new Volt will be 5 passenger.

                1. Jay Cole says:

                  Well, I guess that is a matter of prospective.

                  Saying wait 10 weeks is technically some sort of answer, (=

                  Put another way, wait ten weeks also means, “look in the back window went when we put it on display in Detroit in January”.

      3. James says:

        I think the form factor of the LG cells looks pretty much exactly the same as those in the current 17.1 kwh pack. Makes sense as price reduction was job 1 and retooling the entire LG operation after only two years of real production doesn’t seem likely.

        I always thought turning the current cells sideways and stacking one section vertically, instead of horizontally, would be the solution there. We’ve seen the breakdown videos of the pack and there are current cooling channels in the cell structure that would have to be retooled for the vertical stack section. This form-factor would allow the needed space for the third seating position in the rear.

        My prediction is 4-seater is the high AER top-line Volt and the 5-seater will be a smaller battery, lower AER Prius-fighter with 3 across seating. The cells on the images appear the same size as the current ones. The emergency cut off is in the same position on SparkEV which also lacks a center seating position.

  5. EVer says:

    no one can do it like tesla

    1. Raymondjram says:

      That is true. And this article is why GM can do it better.

  6. Maybe they are saving the 5th seat for the reveal?

    1. Anthony says:

      At first I doubted this, but looking at their current Facebook chat, they’re saying they cant talk about having/not having a 5th seat until January, which means there is smoke. I think what we might end up with is a bench across the back but a very high tunnel, so you could conceivably have a child seat in the rear middle and two occupants in the rear left/right. But you certainly aren’t going to pack three adults back there.

  7. Spec9 says:

    No 5th seat? 🙁

    Well, I hope they at least stretched it a bit to provide more leg & head room in the back.

    Also, aren’t they announcing two different Volt models?

  8. Londo Bell says:

    From what the pr states, I would say that Volt is definitely a PHEV or Plug-in hybrid with this new version, having the ability for both motor and engine to operate concurrently. A step back really, to the real and true EV movement, especially since more gasoline will be used (now that the driver has the ability to select concurrent mode).

    With regards to the electric motor – that’s what Nissan did (1 unit, less rare Earth metals) in 2012 on MY2013.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I wouldn’t confuse taking advantage of versatility with design constraints. A Volt can be propelled at full acceleration and full speed without using the battery. A “standard” PHEV cannot. That’s the main differentiator.

      1. Dan Hue says:

        +1 – Nicely worded.

  9. Rob Stark says:

    So those hoping for the Triple Nickel you only get 5 cents.

  10. Anthony says:

    No 5th seat is a big negative. I’m really surprised they didn’t go with the Spark EV tray/pan style pack and are sticking with the T design.

    20kWh is a big deal though, 70% SoC range (20 to 90%) for 20kWh is 14kWh, or enough to propel it past 50 miles assuming they are able to cut a few hundred pounds over the first gen Volt.

  11. Schmeltz says:

    No 5th seat is a mighty big negative for a lot of people. They may surprise us with a 5 seat option, but looking at that “T” battery GM seems to adore, it doesn’t look hopeful.

  12. Stan says:

    If the pack is as much smaller in volume as it is in mass (which it certainly appears based on the images), the floor hump could easily be the same size as any rear drive ICE vehicle GM makes. It should therefore be easier for GM to package this system in other vehicles and likewise GM should have no problem installing a 5th seat.

  13. Stimpacker says:

    Glad to see GM is improving the design.

    Yea, the lack of 5th seating and to a lesser extent the smaller trunk will hurt sales. It’s not appealing as a family mover.

    Just in my group here at work, we have 5 Volts. All used by either single adults or commuter only. 90% of the Leafs on the other hand, have child seats in them, indicating family use.

  14. Stan says:

    The smaller volume also equals a lower overall pack height which squares with their lower center of gravity claims.

  15. kubel says:

    No 5th seat. 🙁

  16. Naturenut99 says:

    While it might be looking like no 5th seat. I believe the pack that is shown is the old pack. Not the 2nd gen.
    And 20% less size of that size could, I repeat could mean they had enough for the 5th seat. I guess I’m just hoping for the best.

    1. pjwood says:

      I agree. Bottom image doesn’t score with top one. Click the top one, and you can tell the “T” is notched below the cross.

      That could easily mean a much smaller hump/5th seat.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        I bet your right.
        There IS going to be a 5th seat.
        I failed to click on the first image earlier.

        1. James says:

          You guys are GENIUSES! I thought I was detail-oriented but I also did not enlarge the first image. You’re right – the top pic is definitely different, the lower pic being the current pack!!!


          Now I can definitely say I am totally psyched!

          Good job fellas! 🙂

      2. Priusmaniac says:

        Indeed there seems to be a difference, the slope is longer on the center section side which would indicate a lower height. But then why is GM annoying us what all the other “details” since that would be THE great news to tell?

        1. Dan says:

          Because they have a big reveal scheduled in January, and it’s not a “reveal” if you’ve already given out all the details.

  17. Jim Bo says:

    Yes, the long section of the T is lower than the top of the T in the first picture. It is a different battery pack than the later picture. Sure looks like it will be a 5 seater to me. Good observation

  18. This is big news. Bravo Chevy!

  19. kdawg says:

    “The next-generation Volt will feature approximately 70 percent U.S. and Canadian components within its first year of production”

    Is that 70% before or after engine production moves from Mexico to Flint?

  20. Bill Howland says:

    No crumbs maybe but I was told by my Chevy dealer that, there would be a standard bench seat in the rear (3 passenger), and that , he said as an option , 50 mile All Electric Range.

    I see nothing in this release that contradicts what my dealer told me.

    Seems truly, ‘better in every way’.

    More AER.

    Less weight.

    More power if wanted but you can drive all electric if u want.\

    5 seats.

    Now, how about a lower price tag?

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        Based off of them taking out 30 pounds of battery mass that should save anywhere from $300 dollars to $800 dollars.

        I personally think if this car was at $25,000 before tax credit it would wreak the Prius into a fossil.

        1. william edwards says:

          BEVs and real PHEVs are already letting the air out of Prius sales…I have been rather surprised by the lack of innovation by Toyota. I guess fool cells might be all they can do now…

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Nobody’s mentioned it yet but in the exploded view you see a drive cogged chain for apparently the lockup mode.

      As far as I can see the original doesn’t need one.

      I’m always skeptical of the reliability of those things and hopefully they’ve made it beefy enough so that it never stretches.

  21. Chris B. says:

    Well, I’ll be…looks like GM came through on some of the performance aspect as well! So many of us on the Volt forum came from more “high performance” cars and I dare say we miss some of that performance (in all honesty, it is my primary draw with regard to the BMW i3). If this car really hits 0-60 in under 7.5 seconds in it is going to be pretty dang tempting as compared to the i3 rex which is only a tick faster at 7.5 (see Car and Driver’s test here:

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Well, all they had to do was ungimp what the Volt already had.

      RAV4EV has the same spec of motor in terms of rated power and torque, is heavier, has more frontal area, and yet is in the low 7s 0-60. Volt could have done this this whole time, except for GM gimping it in software and diff ratio. What it looks like to me is that they’re giving it a shorter ratio and augmenting it for efficient highway use by bringing in the ring gear sooner, as well as loosening up on the software gimpage.

      1. pjwood says:

        The Volt hasn’t seduced me to go for more off the line power, but I think better electric acceleration at highway speeds would be nice. I just don’t see that conscious moment where I’ve warmed up the engine, because I think it will be one of those days I’m looking to take a run at 7 seconds.

        A survey asking to swap between 40,50,60 miles of range, price, and 5,6,7 second 0-60 times haunts me at this moment. I think they were deciding on this very configuration, a long time ago.

        1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

          Well, they could keep the ring gear clutched in at all times while in electric-only mode and have a wider range of combined ratios (especially with a secondary motor/generator with 85kW vs 55kW). This would also remove the ‘shift’ point when transitioning between modes.

      2. ModernMarvelFan says:

        eRav4 has a much larger battery pack which can pump out much higher power to support the higher constant output of the motor.

        Volt battery pack can’t especially in terms of longivity and reliability.

        1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

          0-60 in 7 seconds needs a 7 second burst mode. Advertising a motor’s power without factoring battery limitations is false advertising.

          GM gimped its software and gearing.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            Burst mode or NOT, it generates heat. It doesn’t mean that GM doesn’t allow the full power operation. It just means that it won’t be able to sustain that power.

            Even Tesla S has SW limiting the power if the powertrain overheats.

            The so called “gimp” in gearing is just silly logic. There is NO such thing as gimping in gearing. Gearing is design for tradeoff. E-Rav4 has a much shorter gearing (just like Model S) which means it is a blast in 0-60mph, but you trade off with lower top speed. Isn’t Volt’s top speed higher than the Rav4? Also, Model S compensate that by having a much higher voltage drive. (Model S reach top torque rating around 41 mph and then loss torque after that). Volt battery packs are much smaller and that is hard to overdrive the motor to have both low gearing ‘and’ higher top speed.

            I think most people just don’t understand EV drivetrain enough. They keep comparing it to the old ICE powertrain.

            1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

              RAV4EV in sport mode has top speed of 100mph.

              Volt has plenty of cooling for typical urban traffic.

              Again, rated power between the motors is nearly identical, though Volt actually has more potential power due to the motor/generator.

              GM could do a LOT better. Hope Model III comes out soon…

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                The reason e-Rav4 has a 100mph top speed in sports mode is due to its much larger pack. When the motor becomes “saturated” at higher RPM, the only way to increase its speed is by forcing higher voltage into it. It will reduce efficiency and generates far more heat.

                With the much larger battery, the E-Rav4 can afford to do it with a low gearing ratio for low end performance AND have a higher speed by forcing the higher Voltage out of the larger battery pack.

                Volt can’t do that with its battery alone. The only way it can achieve that is by starting the generator/ICE AND max out the battery pack, then change the gearing ratio as “aftermarket mod” has shown. But that is a “different” kind of car already…

                1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

                  Does it exceed the power and torque rating that’s advertised?

                  If not, then that point is moot. Power * gearing / friction = speed. Sustaining speeds of that level could tax the cooling system or drain voltage a lot more quickly with the smaller battery in Volt, but the acceleration in traffic performance is not a function of sustained output vs. drag.

                  I am convinced that GM could shave at least 1/2 second off of Gen 1 Volt’s 0-60 time with updated BMS, electronics control unit, and traction control software, though getting to 7s would require shorter final-drive, which may be doable swapping gears in the diff and kicking the ring gear via secondary motor in at lower speeds (which is basically what Gen 2 is going to do).

  22. Blind Guy says:

    I like what I’m hearing so far. There are so many more details that we want to know. I hope there is more back seat leg & head room, easier to use controls, push-button gear selector and a Bose system that doesn’t mise on power w/noise cancellation. I’m still hoping for an EREV CUV or 200 mile BEV announcement as well.

  23. Chris B. says:

    Blatant jab at BMW’s i3 Rex in this sentence too (regarding the mountains):

    “Using the 1.5L engine as the range extender assures owners they can go anywhere, anytime without having to worry about whether they have enough power to go through the Rocky Mountains or on a spontaneous weekend getaway,” Nitz said. “It’s all about keeping the promise that the Volt is a no-compromise electric vehicle.”

    1. william edwards says:

      I just finished reading the book on the Volt that came out way before BMW even had the twinkle of an i3 and GM was sweating those details years ago.

  24. Ocean Railroader says:

    I really like what GM did here if what they are saying is true. In that a 20% raise in battery density is really what we need right across the board. Also GM appears to be the only car maker to officially like rising the EV range of their battery packs without raising prices.

    The cool thing about their plan of making the battery bigger with higher density while cutting a small section out is that you get two benefits of this idea.

    The first benefit is you get a rise in range and 50 miles range for a plug in hybrid will help the car save tens of millions of gallons each year in that you now add more people who will be driving under EV mode instead of border line gas mode.

    The Cool thing by cutting out 30 pounds of battery with higher density cells is that you are saving anywhere from $400 to $1000 dollars in battery cell costs that you don’t have to put into the car. Also the smaller yet higher density pack drops weight off of the car.

  25. Jeff N says:

    I don’t think anyone else has mentioned that Volt 2.0 is using the same number and configuration of cells (2 cells parallel x 96) that is used in the Spark EV which has a 19 kWh pack. That seems suggestive that the 2015 Spark EV and 2016 Volt are sharing the same cells or at least very closely related cells.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Jeff,

      That is a very good observation, too many coincidences there I think to ignore. I add a little ditty into the article. /thanks

      1. Jeff N says:

        Thanks. My knowledge of the Spark EV pack is limited, but I think they used a different temperature management system than Volt 1.0. The Volt 2.0 pack looks like it is reusing the Volt 1.0 liquid cooling fin design.

        1. DonC says:

          The A123 pack had cooling plates on the bottom. When they went with the LG Chem cells they went with the Volt fin design for the TMS.

      2. DonC says:

        The Spark EV battery does have the same number of cells in the same 2P96S configuration and uses the same fin design as the Volt. It is, however, 74 pounds heavier. Probably not the same cells. If the cells are the same then the Volt capacity of the next gen Volt’s battery is not much greater than it is now (the Spark EV battery has a capacity of 18.4 or 18.6, can’t remember offhand).

        The whole 20% less volume is weird. Maybe they don’t want to energy density since it would be too easy to compute capacity. Also note that using a greater percentage of the cells gives the same result as having more cells.

    2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Hopefully the Spark EV motor is used for the primary drive motor as well, or an evolution of it at least.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Spark EV motor has rare earth metals. I think the Volt main traction motor is an induction motor.

        Also, Spark EV motor might have a lot of torque but it has NO range on RPM.

        1. Jeff N says:

          Volt 1.0 has permanent magnets in both motors. Volt 2.0 has permanent magnets but with reduced rare earth metals in the larger traction motor but the smaller generator motor is now induction.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            Volt1.0 has Induction motor as its main traction motor. If it uses REM, it is NOT in the magnet…

  26. HVACman says:

    at, WOT just confirmed the 5th mode. Both MGA and MGB work together to create more HP at low speeds.

    He says the Voltec transmission will likely be labeled the 5ET50

  27. Larry says:

    TMS and AER as good as my real-world Leaf range. I’m very interested. Leaf lease expires in 3 months. When, oh, when could I get one of these (and pass my Prius on to some deserving soul)??

  28. Bloggin says:

    A 50 EV mile plug-in hybrid commuter car sounds very good. 50 EV miles should be enough range for the average round trip daily commute, with charging at night at home. While also having a hybrid for longer trips when needed, and no need to search for a plug along the way.

    Getting the engine smaller, lighter weight and remaining very quiet more efficient was important, so if one never really need to use it, it won’t really impact much that it’s there.

    Volt is now raising the bar, which means it’s time for Ford to upgrade the Energi models past 19 EV miles. Both the Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi is due for a mid-cycle refresh for MY2016.

  29. Holden says:

    Just wanted to note the press release mentions a 5-12% improvement in MOTOR efficiency, not engine efficiency. AKA MPGe while operating in electric mode.

    This would indicate a new range of 40-42.5 miles if calculated using the current pack.

    Also gone apparently unnoticed is that both motors now could technically be utilised for kinetic energy recapture during deceleration, further improving MPGe.

    The incremental improvements of the internal combustion engine were only mentioned, not measured. Chevy has purpose built an engine for this application – 2nd gen Prius MPG levels perhaps?

    1. danwat1234 says:

      It may only be a 2% increase in 2-motor drive unit efficiency, according to a screen grab on the greencarcongress article ‘2016 Chevy Volt: Bigger Battery, More Motor Power, New Range Extender Engine Details’

  30. Bill Howland says:

    There was something on the VOlt Forum of an upcoming optional ‘slightly improved charger’.
    Does this mean (a la model S) single charger 3300 watt and dual-charger (6600 watt) option?

  31. Kubel says:

    I might turn in my LEAF at the end of the lease and buy one of these. But then I would be going back to gas. I promised myself I would never do that.

  32. Ryan says:

    I want one without the gas motor.

  33. danwat1234 says:

    ‘The 2 motor drive unit operates 5-12% more efficiently’?
    But in the John Voelcker greencarcongress article(2016 Chevy Volt: Bigger Battery, More Motor Power, New Range Extender Engine Details), the picture says ‘peak motor efficiencies increased by 2%’
    and ‘total greater power capability by 4%’.

    So the number need some explaining!
    I think the increased power could be right, because 20% greater acceleration off the line may be just in software by getting rid of the ‘soft start’ the first gen Volts have.

  34. DaveMart says:

    The Volt I pack weighs about 180kgs according to the Volt forums.
    So the saving of 13.6 kgs is around 7.5%

    Irritatingly they don’t give the specific energy , but they have improved the volumetric density by 20%, so making the heroic assumption that the relationship is unchanged then the overall increase in capacity would be around 10%, just about enough to back up GMs claim that every parameter is improved.

    With drive train improvements and lighter weight my guess is that they are shooting for an AER of 50 miles, a good marketing number.

  35. Drew says:

    I just hope the setting that allows improved acceleration will not require significant gas usage in general. It would be nice if the extra boost just kicks in automatically when one holds down the accelerator during that tricky highway merge, but otherwise holds things quietly in reserve.

  36. David says:

    Color me skeptical.
    Same body style, same 4 seats will not appeal to the masses, not appeal to families. Acceleration isn’t the reason why someone avoids the Volt and won’t be the reason why someone decides to buy the new Volt.

    So far from what they’ve announced, I think they’re missing the boat. Like the ELR. Everyone keeps hoping for something they haven’t announced yet. We will find out eventually.

    They need a taller cabin, more CUV like, with 5 seats and more interior room. Doesn’t look like its going to happen in any regard. Same T shaped battery taking up huge amounts of interior room instead of it being under the floor. Same 4 seats. Same body style.

    They need more electric range and better fuel economy. But rather than put in a smaller range extender, they went with bigger. To further emphasize its gasoline ICE roots rather than BEV. Blended mode sounds like more of a typical hybrid, less BEV. Yet on the most important measure of all electric range, they are silent. Even if fuel economy is better due to improved efficiency, it would have been better if they had gone with a smaller engine and focused more on the BEV side.

    All in all, so far it sounds like the new Volt swings more towards ICE and traditional hybrid and away from BEV.

    1. FSJ says:

      +1 I agree absolutely with this assessment. Right now I’m not excited, I’m gravely disappointed. The manufacturers seem to be doing absolutely EVERYTHING they possibly can to avoid giving us a big battery. A teeny weenie increase in AER with a smaller battery is not what I want. I want more POWER. More power for miles, more power for heat, etc. I want an i3 with the Volt’s good Rex. Why is this too much to ask for? I need to be able to go 100 miles at highways speeds with the heat blasting. Right now, I have no hope for an upgrade to my Gen1 Volt, or the EV SUV we need. Can’t afford a Tesla, the only ones doing it right, SOOO tired of waiting for the next big let down.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        ” I need to be able to go 100 miles at highways speeds with the heat blasting”

        LOL. Is there even a BEV that can do that? E-Rav4 is probably the closest one but that is still questionable if it can do 100 miles with “heat blasting”…

        Certainly NO EREV/PHEV can do that yet. That requires at least 35kWh battery which is more than 2x the size of battery that Volt currently has…

        1. FSJ says:

          Exactly. Thank you. I rest my case. Regardless of that fact that only a Tesla can do what I ask (as opposed to no car on the market), that is what I require.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:


            And Volt cost $35k and Tesla cost at least 2x of that… Tesla Model S starts at $71k and typical sales price is around $90K, almost 3x of the Volt price.

            Model 3 doesn’t exist today and its prototype or concept car doesn’t even exist today…

            When it does, then you can make your point again…

    2. James says:

      David, your skepticism is understandable, being that GM does garbage like ELR and plasters an $80,000 sticker on it. I do have some hopeful facts for you, though.

      I took a screenshot at CNNMoney and it appears the 2nd-gen T Pack has a jog in the mounting plate and it’s rear portion dips down. This would indicate everything above here is wrong and there is some difference in housings from v.1 to v.2.. This shows a 3 -across seat in back.

      As to the larger engine compared to the oft-quoted turbo 3cyl., That is very interesting. 3rd gen Prius added 4 mpg HWY by INCREASING the hp. of it’s gas engine! They realized that at torque-demand situations and also hwy. driving, the smaller engine of 2004-2009 Prius lugged it down, creating less MPG! Also, BMW’s i3 shows us a tiny range-extender cannot pull long inclines or steep upgrades. The GM 3cyl. probably wasn’t adequate in CS mode. This 1.5L four is lighter than the current 1.4 Ecotec – aluminum block vs. caste iron. So with better CS Mode mileage comes quicker 0-60 times if you want. The 5 driving modes indicates you can have your MPG and the option of a quicker 0-60. I love my Volt, but it’s 9.0 0-60 is embarrassing. It’s about equal to my 2nd gen Prius, and tiny ICE subcompacts womp me. I’m here for MPG and AER so I don’t complain – but having that 7.0ish 0-60 would come in handy at times and be a bonus.

      The CUV form-factor has dogged Volt since MPV5 was shown in China. They could have done it, and didn’t. It makes all the cramped backseat complaints go away due to higher body, but along with that comes more aero drag and less MPG and AER. The Prius-like low nose and hatch form-factor comes purely because of aero drag. Honda went that route with Insight v.2 and GM also with Volt. It’s function over form. In my opinion, Volt looks racy and sporty, where Prius and Insight just look weird. I know supercars like Ferraris have a low nose and streamlined headlights for speed.

  37. Basically – not many of the details that have not revealed, will be left out by the time we get to the NAIAS (North American International Auto Show – Detroit Auto Show), and – since we can’t buy/order one yet – not too much to sweat!

    If they have been paying attention to the buzz, they might just be – as I’ve been told – keeping their cards a little closer to the chest this round!

  38. danwat1234 says:

    I would of liked to see an HCCI part time sparkless ignition gas engine instead of Atkinson cycle. It would be more efficient but GM I guess still hasn’t figured how to control the combustion after 5+ years of development.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Can’t help but think free piston linear motor and electric valves would provide the flexibility and controllability HCCI require, with electric turbocharging..

      1. James says:

        You need to set your engineering hats aside for a moment and realize that off-the-shelf range extenders are the only way GM can sell Volt at a price that doesn’t get into the luxury car area.

        All that whiz-bang stuff sounds excellent indeed, but the R&D, manufacturing implications and all would make it pie-in-the-sky unless it could be sold in an ELR at $90,000 to make a monetarily worthwhile.

        At that point – go skateboard and all-electric and do a Tesla. Ditch any range-extender talk altogether.

        1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

          You need to set your engineering hats aside for a moment and realize that off-the-shelf range extenders are the only way GM can sell Volt at a price that doesn’t get into the luxury car area.

          Or, like Toyota, develop a platform centered around efficient range extenders and amortize its costs across a large # of vehicle types. It all goes to corporate commitment, and whether Voltec is a side/vanity project or the direction of the company.

          That said, I don’t see anything wrong about using Cadillac as the uber-technology brand for GM, which gets the latest and greatest in power, efficiency, etc. at premium prices, with benefits trickling down into comparable platforms. GM has been working on HCCI and all manner of engine techs for many decades, maybe they can actually make some money off them and bring America back to the forefront of automotive engineering instead of bean counting, backstabbing, asskissing incestuous and inbred corporate management.

          A fullsize sedan and CUV for Cadillac w/40kWh battery, 250kW power budget between front 150kW Voltec and rear 250kW motor, 40kW/120kW Atkinson/Miller motor with electric turbocharger/generator, would cost a pretty penny, but have silent powerful performance that would put a Rolls-Royce to shame. Development of those techs for their premium brand would burnish it as well as provide a proving ground that would lead to those techs going into mass-market vehicles later on down the road, such as how techs have traditionally shown up in S-Class Benzes 10-15 years before trickling down to the mainstream.

          1. Dan says:

            What you are asking is for is akin to asking Toyota to have their Prius hybrid technology across a large number of vehicle types… in 2001. In reality, Toyota didn’t start doing so until 2005, 8 years after the release of the Prius.

            Voltec is still new technology. Give it some time.

            1. Charlie H says:

              Yeah, except it’s not 2001 any more. “Voltec” is basically HSD on steroids, with more primitive ICE and a bias to electrical operation. The Volt isn’t even the only production PHEV on the market, there’s the Prius PHV and the Ford Energi vehicles.

              The Volt needed to come out of the gate as a solid effort. The lack of seats, limited cargo room, premium fuel requirement, mediocre range and mediocre CS mode fuel economy coupled with the very high price, all conspired to hold it back.

              Of those, which is the most important? And don’t answer that in the context of selling to EV Zealots, to make the volumes Akerson was confidently predicting, the thing needed to appeal to families and to be a complete car.

              I believe there were two people, above, who said the lack of the fifth seat was a deal breaker. I’ve seen posts elsewhere and The True Believers pooh-pooh that as a non-problem. And, yet, the car does not sell. The Leaf, with Complimentary Range Anxiety included at no extra charge and a fifthe seat, sells far better. Lyle Dennis eventually abandoned the car on account of limited seating.

              I’d say that seat is d@mned important.

    2. Charlie H says:

      HCCI offers the most advantage in idle and low-power regimes, neither of which are employed much in PHEVs or HEVs.

      Think about it, does the Volt need to idle? No… it shuts the engine off and runs electrically.

  39. Robb Stark says:

    ***mod edit*** usually you can just drop the URL of the JPG into the comment box and the magical fairires will convert it to an in-line image, but in this case, it is so large it doesn’t format…so there is issues with it showing up ***mod edit***