Chevy Volt is “One of the True Landmark Automobiles of This Generation”


Chevy Volt a Landmark Automobile?

Chevy Volt a Landmark Automobile?

Chevy Volt reviews no longer grab our attention for the obvious reason that the Volt is now 4 model years in with few changes.

It's Likely the Volt Will Forever be Remembered...Don't You Think?

It’s Likely the Volt Will Forever be Remembered…Don’t You Think?

However, this recent Volt review did, but not for the driving experience or the fuel economy achieved.

Rather, this review caught our eye due to a single sentence that we think is true.

“A test drive in the Volt reminds you that it will one day be considered one of the true landmark automobiles of this generation.”

The question is, do you agree that the Chevrolet Volt will someday be considered “one of the true landmark automobiles of this generation?”

If so, why?

If not, then why not?

Source: Times Free Press

Categories: Chevrolet

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44 Comments on "Chevy Volt is “One of the True Landmark Automobiles of This Generation”"

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I disagree with the word “someday” because I considered the Volt a “true landmark automobile” the day I saw its first commercial and on the day I bought one. I wasn’t just buying a regular car I was buying a future car in the present day.


The add touts GM’s Hybrid 2 mode. GM has brilliantly cancelled it instead of trying to incrementally improve it and lower its cost.

Its a good question. I would say yes except the fact that there is so much competition now for the glamour, especially from Tesla. So the question is, 50 years from now, when people look back, who will get the credit? Sure, the Volt came out a few years before the Model-S, but not before the roadster. And while I personally consider the Volt a better achievement because it is much more affordable than Tesla vehicles, history may not look at it that way. Especially if Tesla becomes a major automobile company producing millions of vehicles per year by that time.


Perhaps a “landmark automobile” can stand apart from any car company?

In my opinion the credit will be shared between the Volt, Leaf and Tesla for this rEVolution. It will have it’s place in history even though the Leaf and Tesla will probably get more credit in the long run, both for being pure EV’s and for being more global and less of a one market cars.

Or when Toyota makes a Volt knockoff, everyone will give them the credit πŸ™‚

I agree it’s a three-way share. Inexpensive (relatively) EV, luxury EV, and mid-end EV with backup for no range anxiety. I mean seriously, with just these three cars most of the market is covered. Sure, one can bitch about the Leaf’s looks or range, or the Volt’s blind spots or center console, or the Tesla’s, um, well, price is about it. But these are in the noise frankly. They’re all GREAT cars for what they are, and they all hit the spot they were shooting for. I think we as a collective group of EV lovers got really, really lucky with the release of those three vehicles. Everything else is gravy.

The question is, do you agree that the Chevrolet Volt will someday be considered β€œone of the true landmark automobiles of this generation?”

It will if GM allows it. However, to make it a landmark GM needs to improve it. Advertise it. Make it available in other platforms. Time will tell if GM has the fortitude or if they just give up on it like they did with the 2 mode, and the EV1.

+1 Exactly

If GM doesn’t improve and proliferate Voltec and basically making GM EREV’s a one trick poney then it won’t be remembered much for leading plug-in vehicles to the mainstream

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Voltec should be the 21st century’s Small Block.

GM’s too hidebound for that to happen though.

That’s a tough one. A good argument could be made for upping the traction motor power and making it a more premium drivetrain until costs come down enough for mainstream cost first buyers.

Personally I think they need to add battery size options. The cost works best when the battery best matches or are exceeded by the driver’s daily requirements. This is true for BEV’s too but only matching obviously and needing some buffer. For premium vehicles owners can afford the largest batteries to cover contingencies but for value buyers they won’t be willing to pay for much more battery than they need. Once prices come down enough then more will “super-size” it.

“one day be..” reminds me of the Mitt Romney quote “an idea whose time has not yet come”. Not that would-be leaders shouldn’t try and set the example, but I’ve gone back on this statement in my head many times. A balance of policy imposition and natural market demand did not make the Volt rise above what GM has recently taken to calling a “niche” product. We can blame their marketing, but can’t deny conventional plug-ins are either off the radar, intimidating, or plain expensive for most. $7,500 didn’t change that. The car is so far ahead of its time, sandwiched between too-short BEV range and dressed up hybrids. 4 years on, and it is still basically alone with double the later’s AER. I3 sales will begin near the 5-year mark, and be represented by a car that in all-electric, range-extended, trim could be considered its first competitor. It wasn’t that Romney was wrong about our collective psyche. More than the car crowd will turn around and exhault the Volt, someday. It was his miserable view that capitalism exists to take advantage of perception, right to the very end. ..a little Republican self-therapy.

Yes, there are few EREV competitors. My Volt lease is ending in November and my wife wants a bigger car that seats five. My only choice would be a Fusion Energi, but I can’t get over the 21 electric miles and weak electric motor. The i3 REx is similar to the Volt – small and four seater, but with twice the electric miles. But it is currently overpriced ($900 lease?!?).

You need a Via Presidential SUV that gets 45-50 miles before the engine starts. Plenty of room there. But the $$ might be an obsticle. (it looks to be basically a Volt-icized Caddy Escalade).

I think the Volt will be seen as a landmark car, especially if GM continues to improve upon its technology. The Ford Mustang is seen as a landmark car because Ford continued to improve it. So GM, the ball’s in your court. Please continue to improve the Volt and it will one day have its own legacy.

The long list of awards and the many customers that love driving around town most of the time on electricity only and still have the ability to take long trips with respectable mpg should make the Volt a landmark, since it was really the first mass-produced EREV or PHEV, if you prefer, to call it, to do so. I think GM will market the Gen. II version EREV much more aggressively, when they should have more profit baked into it JMO. I believe that Tesla and NISSAN also deserve just as much recognition for their EV accomplishments.

To me the Volt stood out mostly as proof that after going bankrupt, GM was again be a credible car company not just a dead man walking.

The GM EV1, was their landmark vehicle. The Volt merely rides behind, in its shadow.

I disagree. The Volt is 10x the car the EV1 ever was.

It’s not about the size or complexity of the car that makes the EV1 a true Landmark Vehicle– but how radical a departure from traditional fossil fuels, the GM EV1 represented. It was the first time an American Company produced a working vision of a clean, sustainable transportation future for the entire world to see.

The Volt was descended from what has been learned and developed from the EV1. It is the Volt’s grandfather, by direct heritage. Unfortunately, the Volt was created under a different political will, and never fully matured into a full BEV; as it still needs to suckle hydrocarbon fuels raped from mother earth’s teat.

Some of the earliest cars were EVs. In that sense, EV1 did not do anything “landmark”. However, the Volt is a true “landmark” vehicle because it married two different technologies together – the first time it was ever done in a mass production automobile. There are many Hybrids, BEVs, plugin Hybrids, etc but the Volt is the first and the best EREV!

The EV1 died and became little more than a memory. The Volt took the best of what the EV1 offered and did it one better with its range extended capability, and proceeded to do what no other battery powered vehicle had ever managed to do – sell in quantity and finally establish a lasting place in the auto mass market for electric cars. Other successes followed, and more is to come.

The EV1 was a thought and engineering exercise. It was not designed with the intent of mass production and was a nice technology showpiece and CARB fodder. The Volt is designed to be manufactured in quantity and I do believe GM had the belief that it would sell in decent volume (>50K). Unfortunately, they failed to realize there could be some headwinds and that they may have to expend some effort to actually reach those volumes. Some of those headwinds came from the economy, some from sour politics, and some were self induced (such as making it a Chevy).

I think the Volt & Leaf are landmarks because the represent the first time in history someone could actually OWN a highway-capable plug-in vehicle produced by a major manufacturer.

Don’t forget Mitsubishi, Ford, Honda, Fiat, etc. The i-MiEV was made in 2009 (available only in Japan at that time though).

Focus EV was a year later than the Volt/Leaf. Others even later than that. These companies seem reactionary to what GM & Nissan were doing. Who were reacting to what Tesla did.

But those you mentioned are not landmarks. Even if the i.MiEV was avaliable it was rather a reason to not go electric. It might be mentioned in history but more of a “look what could have killed the revolution”-kind of mentioning.

There is no reason at all to mention Ford, Honda and Fiat. Mitsubishi might get some kind of mentioning when history summs this up

Toyota RAV EV beat them by many years …

I still can’t buy a Rav4 EV, so I don’t consider this landmark.

A lot of early Electric Auto Association members who bought their v1 Toyota RAV 4’s would probably take exception to that statement.

Santa Monica still runs theirs…

Volt is the Model T, Tesla is the Deusenberg. Both are landmark vehicles, in their respective portions of the market.

The Leaf is rather the Model T…. Or maybe the Model E will be the Model T, hehe… πŸ˜‰

I’ve always said history will look at the Volt as the car that, after many years of failed attempts, provided a firm and lasting foothold for electrified cars in the auto marketplace. It was the first one to break through the early adopter pool and be accepted by mass market consumers; as success for the LEAF and Model S followed in the Volt’s wake.

All the more remarkable considering it happened at a time when GM was at its lowest point in its history – bankrupt and widely trashed for years of subpar products, and hated by many unforgiving members of the EV community whose resistance offered no help to the Volt to catch on.

Yeah. The Volt is absolutely one of the true landmark automobiles today.

ICE drive trains are easy. EV drive trains, laptop batteries, and non-cooled batteries are easy. The Voltec drive train and high-level battery charge and thermal management strategies were true engineering challenges. It ingeniously merged a Prius-like transmission with an existing GM 2-mode concept to produce a uniquely versatile drive train for transitioning main-stream drivers to a total EV future. Leaf and Tesla owners still need two cars to have true “drive anywhere” freedom. Volt owners can be one-car owners and go anywhere, at any time, on their schedule, right now. It has been an automotive landmark since the first retail production units drove off the assembly line in Dec 2010.

Very well said. When I bought my 2010 Prius, I felt as though I was riding in what would be the pinnacle of automotive technology for years to come. Now, after owning the Volt for the past year, the Prius (while still a terrific car) seems like yesterday’s news.

I hope in the coming months/years with Ms. Barra at the helm, GM will continue to build on the Voltec platform, hire some competent talent to market and sell the Volt…from GM HQ all the way to the sales staff at the dealerships. GM should be more than a bit embarrassed at how poorly they’ve marketed this car.

“Landmark” sure, I think it has the qualities for that. Probably more of a “stepping stone”.
More impressive is if it were labeled “Disruptive” .
That Label goes to Tesla and maybe LEAF.

The Leaf will be disruptive when it can go more than 150 honest miles per charge…

leaf deserves no award ugliest EV

Volt is the only car ever produced that addressed poor city mpg as well as keeping trip capability. My city mpg is infinity. Yet I can just jump in and drive to Galveston without a worry at 70mph and 40mpg. No compromises. Neither Leaf nor S can do that (yet).

The Volt is a landmark. The Voltec powertrain gave GM a two+ year head start over their competition, and no one has yet equaled it. It’s not a perfect car by any means, and I really, really, really want to see them offer a small AWD CUV, preferably with five seats and a smaller battery option to keep the MSRP down and boost the highway gas mpg and performance.

Even though a PHEV like the Volt is a transitional vehicle on our way to all-electric, it was still the first PEV that a mainstream, middle-class buyer could both afford and use without dealing with range anxiety or having to learn far more about how the car works than is typical. As the next, almost equally painless step beyond an HEV, the Volt is brilliant. I’ve waited a very long time to be able to say that again about an American car (and now I can say it about two of them – go Tesla!).

Only had my Volt a few days now, but the more I drive it the more I love it. The design is over four years old now, yet it still feels like the future to me.

That being said, GM is squandering a huge opportunity for Voltec to be a true game changer.

Wagon body style? Nope.

Truck body style? Nope.

AWD version? Nope.

Performance version? Nope.

After four years, instead of the above (all easy), we get the ELR fiasco. AndGM still cannot (or will not) effectively communicate why the Voltec platform is great. So sales remain relatively low for such a great car. Unfortunately, for these reasons, the Volt will go down in history as being very relevant, but not a “game changer”.


The Volt was designed by the same guy that designed… EV1, Pruis, Tesla all models so far, Fisker, Mazda’s entire current lineup and some models since the eighties, Leaf, GTR, R8, LFA, most Ferraris since the F40, most Lambos since the Diablo, RR Ghost, Phantom and about a hundred more. To put this into perspective there would be no electronic fuel injection, ABS, Traction control, Stability control, Vtec, Vortec, Skyactiv etc. The genius that designed the F22, F35, 787, the first Scramjet engine and the facility to test fire the engine as it did not exist at the time. Anyways he retiring and taking his completed designs with him including a Volt SS design. Note…some of the technologies mentioned were already invented but not used by companies as they cannot see past there noses in most cases. The auto industry is dumb. If you don’t believe me just review timeline of advances that happened before he started in the early eighties. When he started, engine advancment was at a standstill. No company saw the right path and they still don’t not that it matters. Modified Volt… not for sale…