All photos by Chevrolet
Bullz-Eye had the opportunity to test the all-new, award-winning 2012 Chevrolet Volt and we were pumped about it! We spent a week behind the wheel of the 2012 Volt, which we feel is part of cutting edge technology that will possibly change the auto industry forever.
If you want to blend in on the road, start looking elsewhere now, because the 2012 Chevrolet Volt is an eye catcher! The fact that the Volt name is all over the vehicle helps, but the styling and modern look of the car can make a statement for the driver before you even wave to the Volt’s admirers. Our test model had a sharp crystal red tint coat paint finish that was flawless (I looked for dirt and craters and found none), and combined with the 17-inch forged painted aluminum wheels, the Volt was looking good. Pretty much everything about the Volt is also directed towards efficiency and according to GM:
“Chevy designers constantly talk about form and function, but when it comes to Volt, Director of Design Bob Boniface will tell you that they didn't compromise aesthetics to enable function. The result? A vehicle that looks sporty, quick, smooth and modern, yet achieves an extremely low coefficient of drag. Countless hours in the wind tunnel influenced the styling of many exterior components including mirrors, a closed grill, rocker panels and the rear spoiler. In fact, the vertical blades that go from the bottom of the spoiler to the bottom of the bumper were designed specifically to trick the air into separating from the bumper more quickly, giving Volt extraordinary aerodynamics.”
Also included on our test model were outside heated and power adjustable mirrors, daytime running lamps and a solar-absorbing windshield. When you take a look at the Volt, you clearly understand what GM envisioned, and to their credit, they delivered a very sharp 2012 Chevy Volt four-door hatchback for their customers.
This was the part of the design of the 2012 Volt I was looking forward to, as I wanted to know what the feel was like inside an extended range vehicle. Well, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt didn't disappoint, because the interior has the look and feel of something totally from the future and that was exciting! Since the Volt runs first on electric charge, you basically have two interactive color LCD screens that provide up-to-the-second information and updates on energy usage, power flow and plenty more.
Other features in our premium package test model included power door locks with lockout protection, color touch radio with 7-inch screen and six speakers, air conditioning, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, efficiency display screens with programmable charge times, steering wheel radio controls, cruise control, rear seat 40/40 split folding seatback, power windows with express down with driver express up, USB port, OnStar, Bose audio system with navigation DVD-ROM and 30GB audio hard drive storage, XM radio, Universal home remote, Bluetooth for phone, light natural leather appointed perforated seating, heated driver and passenger seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, rear camera and park assist.
This Volt was loaded, but there are a few differences from your standard sedan. The back seats only seat two – partly because of the size and location of the electric battery – so no five passenger trips in this car. The hatchback provided plenty of space for storage and the overall headroom and fit and finish of the interior was very good.
The electric front-wheel drive 2012 Chevrolet Volt is so new and futuristic that we feel a new paradigm in performance and electric range capabilities has arrived. The Volt's long life battery consists of a 5.5 foot 435 pound T shaped 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack manufactured in the state of Michigan. The battery supplies energy to an advanced 111-kW (149 hp) electric drive unit to propel the vehicle. A 1.4L gasoline powered engine extends the range up to an additional 344 miles on a full tank of gas by operating the vehicle's electric drive system until the Volt can be plugged in and recharged and refueled. This combination has the Volt rated by the EPA at 94 mpg (EV), 37 mpg (Gas) and 60 mpg combined which is as good or better than any hybrid or diesel available on the market at this time. If your thinking that all of that info we just gave you sounds good, then wait until you get behind the wheel of a Chevy Volt and feel the power of this smooth, nontraditional transmission extended range the vehicle provides the driver and passengers.
The Volt also had a pretty impressive list of features including ultrasonic park assist, four-wheel anti-lock parking system, StabiliTrak stability control which included traction control, and pedestrian friendly alert. Also, no worries about the battery heating up the cabin too much as a liquid thermal cooling and heating system keeps the battery at a comfortable temperature as it's being charged and discharged. The Volt literally runs whisper quiet regardless if you are running on electric or gas, and the handling is as good as some of the best mid-size sedans on the road. We normally charged the battery overnight or for 7 hours for a full charge (as little as 4 hours using a dedicated 240-volt line), which takes a minute or so to plug in and unplug and store away the 120 V portable cord. Once in electric mode, expect around 40 miles of electric drive before the Volt switches to gas power. Again, the Voltec drive unit was powerful and seamless when increasing speeds and we enjoyed the experience!
Very few cars have received the type of attention that was showered on the Volt before one was ever built, and with that comes intrigue and certain expectations. The first thing that impressed us was the aerodynamic styling of this car which is striking and very appealing. The interior is well thought out and makes one feel as though they are experiencing the future in a very positive way. The Volt is a breakthrough and we are interested to learn if the public warms to the Volt which starts around 39k and as tested stickered out at $45,665. There are some generous tax breaks available that could lower the price significantly. With technology moving so fast in the auto industry these days, no one person really knows what the future holds for us, but the Volt is here now and on sale today.
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