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Last week Andrew Farah, Chevrolet’s top Engineer responsible for the upcoming Volt plug-in hybrid, said that the car would be a sporty rival to Japanese alternatives. Now he is taking that claim a step further, telling Automotive News that it will have, “the feel of a sports car.”
In fact, Farah doesn’t say that the Volt will be that way, but rather that it already is. One reason for this is that the lithium-ion battery pack lowers the car’s center of gravity, improving overall handling dynamics.
That added weight also has its disadvantages, but Farah says they are making the best of the situation. “There are a thousand reasons why heavy is bad, but a few why it is good,” he says. “And so we are getting those advantages of the good heavy, and the disadvantages we are managing.”
Farah does admit that while the Volt may feel like a sports car, it is certainly lacking the sound of a sports car – something which is almost unavoidable with a tiny gasoline engine and a silent electric motor. He says the Volt team of engineers continues to work on that aspect of the hybrid, but did not comment on if the Volt could use a noise-maker to generate a more sports car-like exhaust note.
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]
The upcoming Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid will be a sporty alternative to Japanese hybrids says the car’s chief engineer. Andrew Farah let this juicy bit of info slip on a recent chat session on GM’s official FasLane blog.
“Our chassis is much more sporty than either of the other vehicles,” said Farah, referring to the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. One-upping a Toyota in a performance contest isn’t exactly something to brag about and while Honda usually makes an excellent handling car, the new Insight is not a usual Honda and even rides on a rear suspension setup that is only “semi-independent.”
Perhaps the extra sportiness of the Volt will help to justify its expectedly high price-point.
Farah also let slip some other info about the car. He confirmed that the battery port for recharging the lithium-ion battery pack (which has a life expectancy of 10 years) has been relocated from the fender trim to where the gas cap would typically be.
Farah also said that the Volt will be undergoing hot weather testing this summer “out west,” so to everyone in Phoenix, we suggest you keep your cell phone cameras ready.
General Motors may still be in bankruptcy protection but that doesn’t mean work at America’s largest automaker has stopped. In fact, engineers have been hard at it, especially those working on the upcoming Chevrolet Volt.
Today Chevy has released a few photos of a pre-production model of the Volt. Until now, every other version was either a show car or a test mule and not an actual representation of what the Volt will look like – or be like for that matter.
The pictures show top Volt engineer Andrew Farah testing the car in a real world scenario and then plugging it back in to charge the battery pack. The Volt uses state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries and if the car makes it to market soon enough, it will be the first mass-market vehicle to do so with lithium-ion power.
The Volt is a PHEV (a plug in hybrid electric vehicle). It is a full hybrid that can operate on gasoline, electric power or a combination of both and will be able to travel as many as 40 miles on pure electric power before the gasoline engine needs to kick in.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Volt Pre-Production Model