Volt Crossover May Debut in 2015

FEB 16 2013 BY CLARKSON COTE 29

Volt MPV5 Concept

Volt MPV5 Concept

There’s been a great deal of speculation and interest around an SUV variant of the Chevrolet Volt.

A recent story on Truth About Cars discussed a guidebook produced by Morgan Stanley that details upcoming product offerings of various auto manufacturers, including GM.  The little gem that may interest the readership here comes at the end of their writeup about Chevrolet branded vehicles (emphasis added):

For 2013, the Orlando will apparently debut, though we’ve seen no movement on this so far. A “small SUV”, possibly the Trax, is set for 2014, while the Volt CUV is back on for 2015.

volt-mpv5-concept-rearThe Orlando, set for production in 2013, was the basis for the Voltec MPV5 concept shown here.  Recently, we wrote about an extension GM was granted for the trademark “CrossVolt” and speculated that GM may eventually release a Voltec CUV marketed with this name.

All of these tidbits may be pointing to an implementation of Voltec technology that soccer moms and other SUV-loving customers have been waiting for.

Do you think GM will deliver a crossover utility vehicle with a Voltec propulsion system?  Perhaps more importantly, will a 2015 entry be too late?

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29 Comments on "Volt Crossover May Debut in 2015"

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GeorgeS

It’s not too late but there will be a lot of disappointed people that it isn’t sooner. If you hang out on GM-Volt.com that’s pretty much the resounding drum beat. MPV, MPV, MPV. …..

and
seating for 5, seating for 5

Personally I like my Volt just fine as it is and have no desire for this MPV that will probably have more wt, more drag, less looks.

What I want is : Hold mode for my 2012 and a little better 0-60 time.

Thankfully we now seem to have someone that has successfully hacked into the Volts computer so we may see these improvements soon.

Mark H

George, I am with you on all accounts. Please let us know how to unlock the Hold function!

David Mirray

I have zero intrest in an SUV or CUV regardless of its powertrain. The Volt is fine the way it is now. However, I know everyone has their own opinion and I’m pretty sure some people would like having a Volt CUV. However, consider for a moment that Toyota created a CUV of its Prius. Although it is selling OK, the smaller hatchback version still outsells it 3 to 1, especially if you throw the Prius C into the mix. And thus GM has to ask itself if it is worthwhile to create a competing product with the Volt even though the sales on the new product would probably be smaller than the existing product, and take away a small chunk of the existing products’ sales even though those sales are already disappointing. Perhaps they are hoping the plug-in market will be more mature by 2015 when this product would be made available?

GeorgeS

Good point. No guarantee as to the demand for MPV relative to Volt as you point out with Prius V. Also look how long it took Toyota to come out with the V,,,so maybe slow approach GM is taking is the correct way to go.

I have both a Volt and a Prius Gen2. I much prefer the standard Prius to the V. It still has tons of room and I don’t want the MPG penalty of the V.

James
Disagree – not a good point. For one, the Orlando is available in S. Korea, Canada and elsewhere – why not USA??? GM insiders say as not to interfere with Traverse – Equinox sales, but it’s slotted under them and a whole different segment IMO. Meanwhile Honda, Toyota ( and previously Ford/Mazda with Mazda 5 ) just took that segment and ran with it – now there’s C-Max…. C-Max is outselling Prius V, but naturally Volt CUV would be in a different price category – which is good. Remember, if you watch and read dozens of Volt reviews – many pass on it due to the cramped back seat with low headroom, and big battery hump where the mid-seat section should be. I for one felt Volt was a sacrifice-mobile or one I’d bought so they’d build more. We have had situations where we had to take someone else’s car or two cars to bring Grandma, or friends along. That 5th seat is huge. If you don’t believe me, look at Lyle Dennis’ reasons why he ditched the Volt for a C-Max. CUV form factor means higher floor, more headroom and cargo height. Just go for a drive and count… Read more »
James
GM disappoints me a lot in that they always seem 2, 3 years behind everyone else, and by the time they realize they need to develop a new car in a popular segment ( see Cruze ), they’re already behind and always playing catch up. Why are these Cruze-based models sold every- where BUT here?!!! By the time they come up with a S.Korean/Euro-designed model here – they’re already getting long-in-the-tooth around the globe! I’ve really become a big Ford and Toyota fan because they seem to know the American market so well. GM seems to have China wired though. One theory on product overlap is that at least that late model is one-half to one leap ahead of it’s rivals. In GM’s case, the models seem to be equal to less-than-equal to their rivals from the start. So GM is always a step behind. The examples are legion. The wagon segment is heating up everywhere. GM has a Cruze hatch and wagon, but they won’t make it here for 1-2 more years! By that time Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Honda are revealing their newer models! GM management isn’t that “new” even after the 2008 shakeup. I think the beancounters… Read more »

Put me on the wait list. We just got an X3 for my wife since there was no hope on the horizon. I couldn’t convince her on the Volt, because she likes to ride higher. She has a 14 mile work commute, so the MPV, along side my LEAF, would put us at a virtually zero gas household.

It may take some prying to get the X3 out of her fingers though 🙂

James

BMW X3 – I rest my point.

Some people don’t know the market. So many people are
insistent upon the CUV-SUV form factor. Sure, EVs are
great, but they don’t see them as practical. Mitsu’s coming
SUV, and the potential of VW’s….they’re a bit off the
mark IMO – pricewise and sizewise. BMW and Mercedes sell
$50,000 CUVs, Cadillac has SRX and there’s tons more
in that price space. Why? Because folks are buying them.
I barf when I see their TV spots: “The high mpg ______
( fill in the blank )” High MPG my *ss!

James

Just got home from a short road trip. $3.68/gal unleaded reg.
$4.19 diesel in my neck o’ the woods ( Seattle ).

You still think an EREV CUV is a bad move for GM?

You’re right the 2015 time frame is way late!

James

Local news said gas is highest price ever for this time of year.

Well, there’s always the Outlander plug-in.

MrEnergyCzar

Yeah, it looks good on paper, but it is their first shot at this (very complex) drivetrain. I would have rather seen a year of road time before signing up for it. With all the Voltec miles GM already has, I think the MPV/CrossVolt will be better out of the gate. We also needed to replace her Murano this year, so only vehicles that would be on the lots by fall were on the list.

I hope the Outlander does really well. It could really jumpstart the plug-in SUV market.

evnow

Outlander Plugin will have almost a year of roadtime before we get it in the US.

Good point. I think we are out of the plug-in SUV market now for a few years, unfortunately.

Next up is replacing my LEAF at the end of its lease, summer ’14. Early front runners are another LEAF (only if it has a larger pack), the LE, or a used Volt and wait for the Tesla Gen III.

vdiv

Well, there is also the Rav4 EV and eventually the Model X. I wish Toyota got a little more serious about the Rav4 EV and made it for sale world-wide.

Let’s also not forget Nissan who are very serious about that whole EV thing.

I would love either the Rav4 EV or a Model X, unfortunately my wife gets range anxiety in her ICEs. It is range extender or no deal with her.

Even in our house there are two totally different markets. The more options that get brought to market, the better the sales will get.

James

This is one challenge for Model X and others. Women.Which
is a good slice of it’s target market.

My wife has that whole anxiety thing going on. She would not
drive a LEAF or Focus EV which is why I opted for Volt. If we
won the lottery I’d buy and drive the EV almost soley in our
household.

A small EV like LEAF would be our grocery-getter, town car.

It is funny, she loves driving the LEAF. She will almost fight me for it on days where she is driving <30 miles, but she could never have it as "her" vehicle everyday.

She works in the medical field, so is naturally a germ-a-phobe and hates gas pumps. In that regard, she would love to have a plug-in, but cannot overcome her range anxiety. So ironically, I drive a LEAF and regularly use a gas pump to fill up her vehicle.

Our ultimate setup is me driving the all electric car for my long commute, and her driving a range extended CUV for her short commute. We will get there, just couldn't make it in this generation of cars. I was out of time replacing her Murano, so X3 is was.

I have learned it is best to keep her happy.

I’d be interested. I assume it would be based on Gen 2 hardware. So you’d get solid 40-50 mile range, seating for 5, etc.

James

Currently I hope GM keeps blowing up battery packs in it’s
testing facilities. This is good news and it’s going to take
at least until 2015 to try to improve the enery density in
those LG packs. Hopefully the LG plant will still be there
in 2015!!!

While I agree 2015 ( as I posted in my above reply ) is a long
wait, it might be the soonest we can see a lower aero cd.,
heavier CUV EREV that has a chance at 30-40 miles AER.
It’s definately a harder sell to get German and Japanese
premium label CUV buyers to switch to a Volt CUV if it’s
numbers aren’t impressive. People’s mindsets don’t change
very quickly and they still see Chevrolet as a domestic
cheapie brand. Perhaps GM would be better off if they
marketed Voltec CUV as a Caddy?

BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Lexus buyers are highly
image conscious – and a $40,000 Chevy just doesn’t
touch off their snob buttons.

Looking forward to being able to get a full electric version of a Volt. How about offered in multiple pack options like the Model S? Maybe even different motor/inverter options too? Cheap batteries and more range will change the EV landscape. Right now with ‘expensive’ EV’s and marginal ~100 mile +/- 20 range; most people out there are still timid of laying down the cash. The Leaf as it is; isn’t going to win over the general populace. It’s not cheap enough, not enough range, and no performance. Even if it was ~$8,000 it would be like the old KIA’s and Daewoo’s. Undesirable and people don’t want them even at that price. If Smart EV was extended out to a 4 door model; it would have a better chance. I REALLY hope companies DON’T go with the ‘battery rental’ mode and I’m stuck with another monthly bill that will never end or go away. For around town/commute, electric really makes sense. For cross country trips; just rent any vehicle and put the wear and tear on it instead or keep your old gas vehicle for those occasions. RAV4 EV is very appealing except for it’s price right now. GM; the… Read more »
Nelson

Do you think GM will deliver a crossover utility vehicle with a Voltec propulsion system? Perhaps more importantly, will a 2015 entry be too late?

Well, it all depends on the price of the 4 door BMW i3 when it debuts. If priced affordably, (< $50k with the REX option included) then a Voltec crossover will have to compete accordingly. GM better realize their competition is breathing down their back.

NPNS!
Volt#671

Is the i3 big enough to compete with a CUV? I got the impression it was more LEAF size.

evnow

i3 is small – won’t directly compete with a CUV. Mitsu outlander phev would be the real competitor.

Anton Wahlman

Almost everyone I’ve asked would be very interested in a minivan version of the Volt. People love the Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna et.al. — but they want the Volt powertrain. Make one of these — with seating for 6 or 7 tall (6 foot 7) adults. Keep the battery pack at 16 kWh, re-arrange the shape, and let’s get on with it. This one is much over-due.

Jeffrey R

Cool looking SUV!! The more EV options we have, the better. Im down. I may be able to convince my mom to buy this one.

James

Minivan? Maybe not at first. Each year minivan sales are
declining. GM bowed out, and so did Ford. It’s the stigma
that people feel belongs to that type of vehicle – “soccer mom”,
or – ” boring ” – practical isn’t sexy to most folks.

Where GM could score would be Cadillac, Buick and Chevy
offshoots in the Land Rover Evoque category. Look at that size
and that design language for a big seller. Evoque is selling
very well yet is underpowered and gets lousey mileage. The
style of the Evoque even has Volt-esque headlights, check it
out. Folks who buy this vehicle are style conscious and feel
an SUV gives them the sporty appearance that camouflages
a larger, more usable space inside. 2 and AWD variants
would be wise.

evnow

Minivans still sell 5x more than plugins. It is still a very large market – and a plugin in that segment would sell well.