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The Tale of the 2017 Volt

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We sat down with Executive Chief Engineer Pamela Fletcher and Executive Director of Global Design John Cafaro to talk about the engineering and design innovation that went into creating the revolutionary next-generation Volt.

 
What are some of the technological breakthroughs in the next-generation Volt?

Customers tell us they love range, so we wanted to give them more range. We’ve fine-tuned the aerodynamics and drag coefficient, resulting in up to 53 miles of pure electric range,1 nearly 40 percent more than the first-generation Volt. The new Voltec propulsion system optimizes two new motors for prime power delivery, while increasing efficiency. Volt offers up to 420 miles of total range,1 without having to stop and plug in. The improvement in fuel economy and EV range will save time otherwise spent at the pump, as we expect owners to go over 1,000 miles between fill-ups by charging regularly,1 providing a more convenient driving experience for our customers.
 

What are the other differences between the first- and second-generation Volt?

The first-generation Volt was a breakthrough vehicle, and the second-generation Volt takes that idea even further. Volt is the no-compromise electric vehicle with a gas-powered generator on board to take you hundreds more miles beyond its battery range. We worked around every system of the car to make it more efficient and the new vehicle is over 230 pounds lighter than its predecessor. We also have a new battery cell that delivers 20 percent more energy by volume.2 It’s more energy dense but weighs 21 pounds less than the Gen I Volt with a lot more capacity.

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How did you approach exterior design for the next-generation Volt?

When we started putting pencil to paper on the Volt, we wanted something exciting-looking. We knew it was going to have four doors, but we really wanted something sleek with a coupe aesthetic. The biggest change from Gen I to Gen II from an exterior standpoint is that the car's just got a lot more attitude. We spent 340 hours in the wind tunnel, validating and tuning the exterior surface like you might tune a guitar, dialing in the notes just perfectly so they sound right. There is this hint of something beautiful and functional about the car's new shape. We made the next-generation Volt more dynamic and more gestured. It's eco with an attitude.
 

What interior enhancements have you designed into the vehicle?

We added richer materials throughout the interior, so it’s more sculpted, swept and has a lot more movement. We also made the controls more intuitive and added advanced phone integration technology. Apple CarPlayTM3 compatibility allows you to conveniently access select iPhone® apps on the Chevrolet MyLink touch-screen.4 And new for 2017, we will provide Android AutoTM3 compatibility, so you can access select phone apps in a smart, simple way. Chevrolet design has evolved through the years and we’re looking at things totally differently. We’re taking some risks along the way, but that’s what makes life exciting.

 

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