Intro: Chevrolet has brought a game-changing car to market with the all-new 2011 Volt. The Volt is an extended range electric vehicle, meaning that it can run on electricity for up to 40 miles, and is backed up by an electric generator.
The Volt presents an aggressive stance, highlighted by an aerodynamic shield grille, rakish headlights, and black accents running along the side windows. The whole appearance is set off by LED fog lights and standard 17-inch five spoke aluminum wheels.
Performance: The Volt comes equipped with a lithium ion battery pack, sending power to a 150 horsepower electric motor that delivers 273 pound feet of torque to the front wheels. Connect the included power cable, and the Volt will charge overnight, giving the driver 40 miles of pure electric driving. When the battery pack is exhausted, the Volts 1.4-liter gas generator recharges the batteries.
Fuel Economy: The Volt is so revolutionary, that the EPA has had to establish standards for it and others like it. On battery power only, the Volt gets the equivalent to 95 miles per gallon city, and 90 miles per gallon highway. When the initial charge has been exhausted and the Volt turns to its electric motor, it gets 35 miles per gallon city, and 40 miles per gallon highway.
Features: The Volt features an attractive and futuristic 4-passenger interior. The battery pack is fitted below the rear center console, so the Volt has bucket seats front and rear. Up front, the center console is styled much like modern laptops and music devices, and features touch-sensitive controls.
The instrument panel and standard navigation screen are optimized for usability and informing the driver of fuel-economy. The fully digital instrument panel has customizable modes detailing mile per gallon data, and the drivetrain status, while the center screen houses the touch screen navigation system and controls for the standard Bose sound system.
We would suggest the heated front seats as options as well as the rearview camera, for safe and comfortable everyday use.
Safety Features: Standard safety features include, StabiliTrak stability control, traction control, and a full array of front and side impact airbags. A safety feature unique to the Volt is its pedestrian alert system. Because while in electric mode, the Volt makes little or no noise; this system will chirp the horn to alert oncoming pedestrians.
Pricing: Base MSRP for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is $40,280 in its lone trim.
Warranty: The Volt is backed by a 5-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Summary: Chevrolet has taken a gamble on the green future of the automotive industry with the Volt. The result is a supremely fuel-efficient car that sacrifices little in the way of comfort, style and everyday usability. (2:49)