2016 Chevrolet Volt Out-Accelerates Tesla Model S 85


2016 Chevrolet Volt Test Results Via Motor Trend

2016 Chevrolet Volt Test Results Via Motor Trend

2016 Volt

2016 Volt

To 30 MPH…

Testing by Motor Trend has shown that the 2016 Chevrolet Volt easily beats figures listed by General Motors. As we reported on previously, the Volt can zip from 0 to 60 MPH in 7.1 seconds, much quicker than GM’s official time of 8.4 seconds.

But what’s perhaps even more impressive is how quickly the 2016 Volt gets from 0 to 30 MPH: 2.2 seconds.

For comparison, here are the Motor Trend test results for the non-performance Tesla Model S 85.

  • 0-30 MPH – 2.3 seconds
  • 0-60 MPH – 5.0 seconds

So, the 2016 Volt is quicker toΒ 30 MPH than the non-performance Model S 85, not a result we expected to see.

However, the performance version, the P85, smokes the 2016 Volt to 30 MPH with a time of 1.7 seconds. But still, the Volt’s quickness to 30 will make the new plug-in car seem very zippy in around-town, city driving.

Interested in finding out more about the 0 to 30 MPH and 0 to 60 MPH times for plug-in cars? Check out this post from the past.

Categories: Chevrolet


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74 Comments on "2016 Chevrolet Volt Out-Accelerates Tesla Model S 85"

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Uh-oh. I predict the Tesla-vs.-GM comment wars here on InsideEVs just shifted into a higher gear…

Electric torque is the winner!

And the Tesla is sold in more than two countries in the world unlike the new Volt

You mean “more than two continets”. Is it?

No I mean the new Volt will be only sold in the USA and Canada

That is great news that GM has seen the light, now they just have to agree to let the rest of the world have it as well. I could never understand why GM would want to limit worldwide sales.

Of course they don’t… They wouldn’t have done the huge R&D effort on Gen2 of the Volt if they thought couldn’t sell, or was a failure.

But you have to be patient; their EV battery production capacity is constrained, particularly since they also want to intro a BEV (the Bolt).
If they can only produce, say, ~30K Volts the 1st year, and they can sell all of them in North America, it would be a waste of money to homologate the car and market it elsewhere for now.

I’m sure they’ll start selling in Europe as soon as they can make enough batteries, as Opels.
As for the RHD version you’d need in NZ — It would certainly not make sense now, and likely as a next stage, only after LHD versions are sold in Europe & elsewhere: The UK + Ireland + OZ + NZ are not a single market, or a huge one relative to RHD (and unfortunately, while japan is also RHD, Japanese rarely buy non-Japanese cars except a few luxury brands, so I doubt there’s a significant market there).

Very nice….should be tough to beat in a stop light to stop light race. What’s the Leaf 0-30?

I am really excited to test drive the new Volt. That acceleration should be a Prius killer.

Except it is still not big enough.

Ooops not big enough! Better tell GMs engineers that it’s smaller than they planned it – shrinkage from transport?

As a matter of fact, many of us will take a good look at it due to it’s size. Model S is less appealing to us – because of it’s size. But Chevy is consistent, they promote rumors of an MPV for years, then present the Bolt?

Why can’t they build a “wagon”?
Am I the only one who goes camping, bike riding and buys big box TV’s once in a while???

Also American’s are BIGGER now. We need headroom in the back for 6 foot to 6’2″ people.

And 150kg weight of each person

Heck, I would be happy if there was legroom for a midget in the backseat. I am 6’4″ so my Volt is a 3 person car. I used to laugh when people complained about the lack of a 5th seat. I would have been happy just to get 4 people in my Volt.

Have a look to the Outlander PHEV

You would be surprised how much you can fit in a Volt, since it’s a hatchback . I fit my bike and my dog in there no problem. We’ve moved furniture and camped out. It’s the best no compromise plugin outhere with no battery degradation issues people will be easily hitting 300k miles with them

A Volt should not even be allowed to park next to a TESLA

As long as it’s not a Supercharger stall, I’m OK with it.

Tell that to all (many) Model S owners that also own a Volt. Check out the Tesla forums.

Prius killer? LOL

The acceleration is a performance car killer.

The Leaf 3.4 seconds 0 to 30, according to Car and Driver.

P85 isn’t even the performance model anymore. Motor trend testing the P85D (not the P90D yet), but didn’t list 0-30.


0-60 is 3.1 seconds on the P85D, so 0-30 is probably ~1.2 seconds.

Well, the real advantage that the Volt has is the much lower mass. F=ma

My most favorite equation every to the bane of idiots everywhere.

My poor old Fusion Energi is zippy off the line too, but 0-60 is like 8.5 seconds. She’s got a heavy butt, but like above, the electric motor gets her moving.

The P90D is now the hottest Tesla.

No, the _P90D_ (underline is for Ludicrous mode) is the top Tesla. The underline will actually appear on the back of the car if you order Ludicrous mode.


So I need to buy an old 60KWH model and then stick that _P90D_ emblem on the back. Everyone will be too afraid to try to race me then. πŸ˜‰

Hahha just flip the 6 over and put a line under it.!

Generally not very important for this segment of car, but it definitely helps with first impressions and good press.

As a Volt proponent, I take no joy in saying this:

The performance statistics cited by Motor Trend shouldn’t really count.

The car has to be in Hold mode (pulling power from battery and engine simultaneously) to hit those numbers. That’s fine for comparing to other ICEs, or even other hybrids. But for comparing EVs, we should really stick to GM’s all-electric numbers.

Exactly this, the quoted GM number of 8.4 seconds 0-60 is in EV mode. Comparing the all electric Tesla to a PHEV with the ICE running should not be done on an EV website.

Which IS impressive. My Fusion can take 15-16 seconds to get to 60 in EV only, iirc.

Actually the more important number is how much electricity it uses. The reality is if you are burning up the roads in “insane” mode you a burning a lot of natural gas.

Depending of the grid mix in your region, you may not burn any FF.
And if the grid is all natural gas, the electric car does not use much, as it use it’s energy 5 times better than any ICE car.

Let’s take worse than NG, the worst case of all states : coal from West Virginia (96% coal), the Model S emits nearly half the CO2 of it’s similar ICE competitor, the Mercedes s550.

At this point in time both autos use fossil fuels and both are getting us to a fossil fuel free passenger transportation system. As long as batteries and electric components are being sold then costs will fall while innovation continues.

Will never be as bad as a Jag, and will never Stink.


Thank you very much for giving us some vital info on this subject, info not included in the article.

Any chance the InsideEVs editors will update the article, with a credit to Spider-Dan? Certainly seems appropriate to me, given the “mission statement” of InsideEVs is to give its readers the “inside story”.


Thanks for the clarification. I had the same question. If the Volt can do it in EV mode then that is very impressive. If the ICE has to be on that is far less impressive and not really as comparable (although it is still worth mentioning).

Yep. This article should also mention Car & Driver’s track test numbers of the 2016 Volt in their October issue (“available now at your local newsstand!”). Unfortunately, their Volt review is not yet online.

C&D unhelpful failed to state whether their track testing was in EV or hybrid conditions but they found 0-30 in 2.6 seconds and 0-60 in 7.8 seconds.

Interestingly, C&D also reported surprisingly low decibel cabin noise — the same or lower than their 2014 track testing of a Tesla Model S 60 kWh car.

Tesla S60, 2016 Volt
Idle: 32, 37
Full Throttle: 72, 65
70 mph: 67, 67

This might imply that C&D did their Volt testing in EV mode as opposed to MT which tested in hybrid mode.

If C&D was also testing in hybrid mode then it would be very impressive that the Volt was this quiet even with the engine running.

How come everyone doubt the numbers so much?

In Chevrolet’s New Road magazine, it states that new Volt’s combo twin e-motors improves the low end acceleration by more than 20% than the previous generation due to the torque and ratio.

20% is a lot.

If original Volt does 0-60 in 9 second (MT clocked 8.8s back in 2011), then 20% improvement would be 7.2 second (or 7.04, dead on today’s new number) which is on top of the MT number.

The original Volt does 0-30 in 3.2sec, so 20% improvement would be 2.56s which is more than 10% slower than the 2.2s number. Maybe the additional weight loss and better tires made the last bit of improved. The original Volt also got a SW tuning to hold back the torque as well until slightly higher RPM, so a removal of that handcuff can make a difference as well.

So, it is NOT necessary for the car to be in the HOLD mode for that to happen.

But I agree that 2.2s is very fast and it would be nice to know if it is EV mode or NOT for sure.

We’re certain now that the MT track runs on the 2016 Volt were done in hybrid mode (in Hold). A MT editor acknowledged that explicitly in response to a question I posted in their comment section.

As for GM’s statements about 20% improvement from the new combined dual motor mode, I believe they have generally qualified that as applying primarily to 0-30 mph speeds and you correctly noted that 2.6 seconds 0-30 mph that GM claims for EV mode is consistent with 20% improvement from the original Volt’s 0-30 mph number.

ModernMarvelFan said:

“How come everyone doubt the numbers so much?”

Because in EV mode, the power of the Volt — just like the Model S — is limited by the power output of the battery pack. Since the Volt’s battery pack is so much smaller, and thus has much lower maximum power output, it seems improbable that it can match the bigger car’s performance, even at very low speeds.

If the 0-30 time given in the article is for the Volt in parallel mode, powered by both the electric motor and the gas motor working together, then that would help explain how it might be able to match or even best the Model S at relatively low speeds.

“Because in EV mode, the power of the Volt β€” just like the Model S β€” is limited by the power output of the battery pack” Yes and No. Volt’s battery pack is capable of 10C discharge rate or higher. 18.1kWh would imply 181kW of power. Volt’s electric motors are rated at 149kW combined. So, there are more than enough of power from the battery pack. Now, it is possible that Volt’s power electronic motor drives can’t handle too much more power than that. But even that doesn’t make 100% sense since Volt 1 is slower with same power output and gen 2 is faster with same power output in the EV mode. So, the improvement got to be tunning. The engine would only help slightly, that is why combined system (ICE+motors) output is NOT greater than the combo motor (2 electric motor) output. Based on the Voltec design, if the engine provides too much torque, it will actually counter the torque from the eletric motor and reduce torque to the wheel. So, the engine would only assist in lower load condition. In gen 2.0, the engine can’t provide torque AND additional generator power to the power the main traction… Read more »

Geez…before we had 0-60 races, now 0-30, soon we will have 0-15 Mph races involving EV’s…”and now the GM Bolt beating flat out the Lamborghini…”

No, they’ll have 0 – 0 races. πŸ˜‰

Actually, GM’s doing that now– since the second gen won’t be available in America for several additional months. πŸ˜‰

I didn’t know that California is no longer in America….

Clarification Please: Are you meaning – who can go nowhere the fastest? Or – did you mean from 0-30-0, or 0-60-0?

I think the point is not that the Volt is going to beat a Tesla, it’s that, as a much less expensive car, it nips at the heals of the low-end Tesla, and, for your middle class car-buyer, provide an satisfyingly zippy driving experience.

Well Mythbusters did a race between a human and a race car from 0 to 30 … feet.


0 to the speed limit is all that matters.

And that 0-60 time is the Volt using gas, not pure electric.


The Chevy Volt is the best mid-range EV sports sedan.

The Tesla Models S is the best luxury EV sports sedan.

Both cars have a great “sports” feel and both best for their price range address range-anxiety.

Yep, two different market segments.

The Model S 85 is nearly the slowest Model S you can buy (only the RWD only 70 is slower)

The 70D is faster, the 85D is much faster and the P85D is much much faster. Then there is the P90D w/Ludicrous mode…

The standard 85 may be the “slowest” Tesla but it sure aint f***kin slow!

thing hauls ass and you can feel it, but obviously not as much as a P85 or the D

The “Me Too” marketing spin only goes so far. The better vehicle for FREEWAY Acceleration– is still clearly the Tesla.

Sorry GM.

I don’t believe it. Show me video, or this is a lie.

So apparently the Volt is pretty quick when it’s ICE is running. Wonder what the performance would be if the whimpy 101 hp ICE is replaced with something more powerful, say a 260 hp turbo 2 liter. I would think this would produce a high performance car with 0-60 times under 6 seconds, but, and this is important, an AER in the 50’s.

well the ELR is also faster than a gen 1 volt even.

Even on battery alone, the ELR is very quick; it accelerates substantially as a Cadillac should.

I don’t think we should be emphasizing much larger engines: to think that my ELR gets this fantastic performance, with an engine only 55% of the size of the current VW beetle’s engine, and roughly around the same size as the traditional beetle engine from 66-67 (it being 1300, then 1500 cc, respectively, the ELR’s engine at 1400 cc is right in the middle).

When the battery is dead after the first 40-50 miles of driving, then all the power has to ultimately come from this 1400 cc engine – and when you open the hood, the engine looks really dinky which it is. But again, the overall performance of the car is just fantastic.

So lets not worry about put v6’s v8’s or v12’s in the latest PHEV’s. The dinky 4 cylinders work just fine, and use precious little gas even while giving this great performance.

Yep, it’s interesting that the market hasn’t caught on to EV torque.

Larry4Pyro – Curious idea! Here is another Cute one: Drop in the 250 Hp 3rd Gen Mazda RX7 Twin Turbo Wankel in that spot where the little 4-banger is!

(I had a 1983 RX7 with the 12A, but it had an aftermarket Arkay Turbo to bump up the stock 100 Hp to 205 Hp, and other testing showed that this package still delivered 185 Hp out the Transmission, and – they Rev’s come Really quick on my Turbo, plus 6,500 RPM Redline in all 5 Gears, so I can only imagine how fast the Twin Turbo would be!)


The Volt is a series hybrid as such it doesn’t have better acceleration with engine on / off. The Fusion Energi is a parallel hybrid and gets a boost in acceleration from the engine if it is on.

Here is the 0-60 times for several EV’s including the Volt and Energi.


motor Trend found that the Model S 85 does 45-65 mph passing in 1.9 seconds which is better than the Volt’s 4.2 seconds


Looks like the ribbing on the roof prevents installation of after-market sun-roofs – bummer!

Hey Josh the 1st Volts were a prius killer. My 12 Volt can outrace any prius and not use any gas. The prius is back there putting away using gas. Oh you better not floor the prius you might disturb the phony 50MPG. My Volt is at 97 MPG and that is low compared to what I hear other Volt owners are doing.

So true. The Volt gen I has over 100 ft*lbs advantage over the Prius.

Okay so I got a new Volt

And this thing is a rocket

This car hauls no joke

It leaps off the line (spins the tires if you smash the pedal all the way down, kind of cool)

but this thing just has tons of power at any speed

I was going 64 on the freeway and stepped on it and in roughly 3 seconds I was going over 90!!!!

And you can feel this car pull, Its a mini Tesla and I love it!

I can smoke pretty much any sports car I come up against