General Motors Corp. will introduce the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Volt next Monday at the Detroit Auto Show. The automaker has been releasing a series of teasers that started back in August with the photo of the Volt’s new back end and badging; and lately, there have been photos of a sheet-covered 2016 Volt with just a little bit of the front left corner showing. All of this has triggered a wave of media coverage and online commentaries in the past few weeks. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- The sheet was briefly pulled off the refreshed 2016 Volt two days ago at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – see the photo above. The back-end of the car wasn’t viewed during this brief display.
- Looking at what was shown at CES, it does have a more pointed, aerodynamic look than the 2011 to 2015 model year Volt, which likely comes from changes being adopted during the redesign to increase fuel efficiency. GM is waiting to reveal more information on the improved fuel efficiency.
- Some of that fuel efficiency will come through installation of the Regen on Demand regenerative braking feature that was originally introduced in the Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid.
- The 2016 Volt does look more like a sedan look than the first-generation Volt models. Whether it will retain the five-door hatchback function from the previous version will have to be determined next week in Detroit.
- There’s less noise generated from tires on the road in the NextGen Volt, according to GM’s product chief Mark Reuss as he takes another test drive in this video. An improved steering system also takes the car to the next level, Reuss said. Chevy Volt owners were listened to during the redesign to make sure all the little glitches have been cleaned up.
- A crossover utility version, the Volt MPV5 or Crossvolt, probably won’t be shown off next Monday. It is possible to see it roll out in the next couple of years. In August, GM applied for a trademark for the “Crossvolt” that was published for opposition on Dec. 23. In 2010, GM showed a concept called the Volt MPV5, a compact crossover running off the Volt’s drivetrain. In 2013, a prototype very similar to the MPV5 was spotted as it was being tested with a fleet of Volts. I would bet that a plug-in hybrid crossover would find a lot of interest from those thinking about acquiring a Volt but wanting more storage space and functionality.
- The “bi-coastal” strategy for the Volt isn’t going away. Chevrolet’s marketing chief, Tim Mahoney, says that the west coast and northeastern region of the US will likely to continue being where most all of the Volts get sold, current model year and through the 2016 MY changeover.