2014 Chevrolet Volt Getting 2.0L Turbo: Rumor

2014 Chevrolet Volt Getting 2.0L Turbo: Rumor

Note: After publication this story was revised to accurately reflect the Volt’s drivetrain.

Anyone thinking about switching to a Chevrolet Volt should consider waiting, at least if inside information leaked today about the 2014 model year is true.

When the Volt first came to market last year it was the product of a cash-strapped General Motors that couldn’t or didn’t justify extra spending on making the Volt everything it could be. Thankfully, GM seems to have staved off financial ruin and it looks like that success might translate into an improved lineup.

Coming just days after we learned the 2013 Volt will have slightly improved range, it looks like anyone buying the car before its 2014 model year debut will be getting a sour deal. That’s because the unimpressive 1.4-liter four-cylinder the company currently uses will supposedly be replaced by a much more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged unit scheduled the Buick Verano next year, InsideEVs reports.

Only making 149 hp out of its current electric drivetrain, the Volt has never been about performance driving, which might make you wonder why the automaker would be looking at an engine change at all.

Between the current engine and electric drivetrain, the car makes 149 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. That’s not too bad, but if the leaked information turns out to be true we could see those numbers spike significantly. The 2.0-liter engine would likely offer more than double the current engine’s power, which could be a more efficient and powerful charging system for Volts made in 2014.

Then again, the Volt’s relatively high pre-tax credit price mean any improvements could serve to make it a more attractive purchase to buyers able to afford a price that costs more than a BMW 328i, for example.

[Source: InsideEVs]

  • Jazzdoc62

    Given that the drive train is electric and the gas engine does not engage the drive train except at high speeds I can’t really see how the turbo would make much difference.  More hp would just generate more electricity.  The gas engine generally runs at fixed rpms and there is not a 1:1 correlation between how hard the accelerator is depressed and engine revs.  I have detected no acceleration problems at highway speeds in my 2012 Volt.  I can pass at over 80 mph whenever I need to on gas or electric power.  For most Volt buyers that appreciate the electric drive train the primary goal is to avoid burning gas the majority of the time so a turbo would offer little interest.

  • David

    Poorly written article by someone who has failed to do his research. 

    Luke Vandezande, the gas engine is not connected to the wheels – so a bigger gas engine would only recharge the battery faster.  Makes no sense unless it increases fuel efficiency.

    Now a bigger electric motor would be good.

  • danwat1234

    It may be an Atkinson cycle engine, which I hope it is, and I can’t believe it would be anything else. 37MPG on the highway as it is right now, they can’t afford to lower that any more.
    With an Atkinson they could bring it up to the low 40s.

  • danwat1234

    @Everyone:disqus , step back and re-evaluate. It will very likely not be an OTTO cycle engine. The current Volt gets 37MPG on the highway or so (EPA). They cannot afford to have it dip any lower. So, it is most likely an Atkinson cycle engine (like the Prius). What about the Turbo?
    Toyota has said that they have thought about putting a Turbo on the Prius Atkinson engine (and increase stroke length) for the sole purpose of increasing MPG.
    With a Turbo Atkinson cycle engine, we could see the MPG easily go over 42MPG highway if you never plug it in.

  • Decarvana

    I do not see how a turbo will help the volt out in
    performance at all.  Generating power to
    the battery or drivetrain any faster does not translate to better performance
    if the engine/generator just holds a constant speed no matter how much you smash
    the peddle.  I think they should work
    more on electric range then weigh it down more with a bigger generator.  Perhaps going to diesel will be a better bet
    for efficiency…

  • A larger engine to recharge the battery means that a larger electric motor could be used and sport mode could become much more powerful. If the ability to recharge the battery is quicker with the engine it means the engine can sit idle longer or run at a lower rpm to keep it charged that would translate into more efficiency. 

  • danwat1234 is the most correct here. GM is looking to improve the Volt’s performance and efficiency with a better range extending generator. My sense is that this is a clue to the type of powertrain improvements they might put in the Cadillac ELR to put it a cut above the Chevy Volt’s performance.
    We are seeing this powertrain evolve with a longer range battery and a more efficient gas generator.
    All good!

    16,000 with only 30 gallons of gas used. I’m happy now with the Volt I have. 
    The future only gets better.

  • Ray

    The phrase ”
    a price that costs more than a BMW 328i” is correct because the Chevy Volt is a much better vehicle than an imported BMW 328i. In fact, BMW can’t build a better “Volt” than Chevy, so instead it has taken in one of the original Volt engineers to work with them and build a copy. Expect that copy to be more expensive than Chevy’s Volt just because it is a “BMW”. I feel sorry for all those who still believe that German imports are “better” than American products.

  • davevolt

    The only way I think they could justify this is to offer a “performence” mode that would combine the power of the turbo engine and electric motor. They could then have a real screamer on their hands. Read into that 0-60 in under 5 seconds! Perhaps that is the stratagy, make it a souped up version so people can justify the price. My self that wouldn’t interest me, my volt acelerates just fine for me. I have no trouble passing at any speeds, and the gas engine rarely come on in my car. 2500 miles so far on this tank of gas, and only 2.5 gallons of fuel used so far. At this rate it will be January before I fill up again.

  • davevolt

    According to lemon reports, the German cars are among the least reliable cars you can buy. I know my dad always regretted the Mercedes he bough, as it made the mechanic rich, and him poor. I have a friend that has a BMW and it is in the shop more than his garage.
    The volt is the best car I have driven, and I have owned a few, including that Merceded that my dad had. Notice that I didn’t keep it.

  • davevolt

    This was my initial thinking, that the turbo version would go in the Caddy ELR, so they can charge the “caddilac price” and have a big time performence advantage. Like you I am vary happy with my 2012.

  • Dahc73

    I so agree the days of German engineering being the apex of the auto industry are gone.
    If you want style, reliability, and reasonable costs look at the American and Japanese auto companies.

  • Mhansen524


    In 2001 I shocked my friends when this muscle car gear head bought a Honda Insight. My daughter called it the outer space vehicle, but I just smiled as I continued to get 70 MPG. When I made my rare visits to the gas pump people in their SUV’s were asking me to please sell it to them. I am retired and prefer to keep my money in MY pocket. Now 12 years later with over 150,000 miles on it I have suffered a little MPG loss, but still get 60-65MPG depending on the season. Honda in it’s lack of wisdom discontinued the vehicle, but brought it back later as a high performance commuter car with 39MPG. Not a great deal. I vowed not to buy another car until the car manufacturers designed a car that could beat the Insight with it’s MPG capability. In 2012 I did some research on the Volt. I have followed the project by GM for about 20 years. You could only get info in Popular Mechanics. The muscle car magazines were not interested in the over weight beast loaded down by lead acid batteries. It made a better boat anchor than a car. Who would have thought the the batteries that operate their cell phones would become a game changer. When my new Volt came in I was over the top only for my wife to tell me that we had problems with the refi on the house and we would have to let the deal pass to the next buyer on the dealers list. I was really disappointed until we found out that the 2013’s were selling $2000 cheaper. To shorten the story, we have been driving our new 2013 Volt for 2 months now. It is the most fun I have had driving a car since buying and driving my 1969 GTO Judge. There was a brief period of acclimating to the Volt. With a few changes in driving habits we are sustaining over 300MPG and I have faith that GM will improve a already great design.

  • dumb

    Why don’t you slap in a 6.0L turbo charged v8 turbo diesel with some nice chrome stacks. Strap some batteries to the roof and slap a volt sticker to the side and call it electric.