Email List Sign Up

Volt powertrain offers surge of acceleration

May 3, 2009

Volt powertrain offers surge of acceleration

BY JAMES R. HEALEY
USA TODAY

Based on the thin evidence available, folks who buy or lease the Chevrolet Volt electric car — scheduled to go on sale in November 2010 — should be surprised and pleased.

If the so-called Volt mules — chassis and powertrain from the Volt within a Chevy Cruze’s metal — that General Motors provided for a few miles of driving around the GM Tech Center in Warren on Tuesday were representative, Volt owners will be treated to remarkably punchy performance from the electric drivetrain and a level of quiet refinement that appears to lead the industry.

Why the urgency? Volt is as close as the modern auto industry has come to "making it up as we go along." The car’s lithium-ion battery packs remain under intense development and testing. GM is betting it will know everything it needs to by the time the showroom-ready chassis, body and drivetrain come together next year.

Based on a few miles in one of the mules, Volt should be:

 

  • Powerful. Electric motors give instant torque, and the Volt motor has some serious guts. If the production version — which GM says will have even more power — is like the tester, you’ll be able to embarrass muscle-car drivers when the light turns green.

     

     

  • Quiet. None of the whine typical of electrics when they accelerate exists; nor the distant whine and howl on deceleration when the motor becomes a generator to recharge the battery pack in what’s known as regenerative braking.

     

    Gas-electric hybrids, even the best, don’t completely scrub out all the whine.

    The tuning of the gasoline engine is another matter. It wasn’t operable in the test cars, so there was no hint of how smooth and quiet it’ll be when it comes on to charge the batteries, if needed.

Share
Seniority Lists
Recent Posts!
Bargaining Committee

Chairman
Mike Herron
President
Tim Stannard
Zone at Large – 1st
Danny Taylor
Zone at Large – 2nd
Mark Wilkerson
Committeepersons
Joe McClure
Chad Poynor
Steve Roberts
Derek Lewis
Bill Cundiff
Kirk Zebbs
Don Numinen
Jay Minella
Danny Bragg
Chris Hill
Rashad Thomas
Keith Oswald
Chris Brown

1853 Officers

President
Tim Stannard
Chairman
Mike Herron
Vice President
Darrell DeJean
Financial Secretary
Mark Wunderlin
Recording Secretary
Peggy Mullins
Trustee (3)
Jay Lowe
Dave Clements
Dave Spare
Sgt. at Arms
David C Spare
Guide
Ashley Holloway
E-Board at Large (2)
David Ryder
Steve Roberts
GM Unit Chair
Mike Herron
Voith Unit Chair
Larry Poole
Ryder Unit Chair
Patrick Linck
AFV Unit Chair
Neil Osborne
Retiree Chair
Mike Martinez

Get Text Alerts



asdasdsd

*Standard text messaging rates may apply from your carrier