Chevrolet Volt becomes a political punching bag for Republicans

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 11, 2012

The Chevrolet Volt has become “a political punching bag” for Republican politicians after it had been reported that its batteries caught fire after government tests, GM CEO Dan Akerson said during a Congressional hearing about the Volt last January. The Volt has been cited by conservatives on many issues ranging from government bailouts to radical left-wing environmentalism. Among the various comments that had been reported include Republican Newt Gingrich who criticized the Volt because it doesn’t have space for a gun rack. Mitt Romney referred to it as "an idea whose time has not come."

Meanwhile, conservative group American Tradition Partnership Inc. described them to be “exploding Obamamobiles." Akerson said that the Volt’s sales had been affected by all these negative vibes.

Those who oppose Obama consider it as an effective way to raise their appeal among voters. Art Spinella, the president of CNW Marketing Research in Bandon, Ore., studies new-vehicle buyers. He said that there are more Republican owners of Silverado pickups and other Chevrolets than Democrats ones.

CNW’s survey of 1,416 people determined that Chevy customers tend to lean conservative but less than 14% of Volt buyers so far this year refer to themselves as Republicans. On the other hand, around 53% identify themselves as Democrats.

Those who buy Chevrolet models as a whole were 37% Republican, 22% Democrat and 41% independent. Regardless of what’s going on politically, GM has been disappointed with Volt sales. It had expected the Volt to get a 230 mpg rating in 2009 but the Environmental Protection Agency only gave it a 95 mpg rating for city driving.

The Chevrolet Volt has a sleek, bold, and performance-oriented stance that communicates its electrically driven capabilities. It also has the appearance of an upscale, midsize sport sedan. These are possible because of its wide front track that measures 61.2 inches, wide rear track that measures 62.1 inches, a wheelbase that measures 105.7 inches, a wheels-out stance, premium execution, and sculpted belt line.

Bob Boniface, Chevrolet director of design, says that the Volt is one revolutionary car, and that they wanted it to have as sleek and dynamic a design as possible. According to him, when you look at the car, you can see that it is very technical and has a refined execution, with many interrelating surfaces that bring clean and crisp edges and creases.

Chevrolet’s engineering and design teams worked closely with aerodynamicists at GM's wind tunnel in order to shape the Volt and to develop the most aerodynamic car in the history of Chevrolet. By lessening the energy required to overcome air resistance, Volt’s aerodynamicists contributed around eight miles’ worth of electric range, then 50 miles extended range.

What’s more, the car’s rounded, flush front fascia, grille, and tapered corners enable air to smoothly move around the car to lessen drag. Meanwhile, in the rear, a carefully designed spoiler and sharp edges control air flow. The aggressive rake on the car’s windshield and back glass helps reduce drag and turbulence, too.

Meanwhile, both inside and out, flush relationships and element-to-element gap are better than, or as good as, any in the segment. The underhood compartment also isn’t overlooked as all components have been held to a high standard in terms of appearance and everything harmonizes with the remaining parts of the Volt using similarly grained colors and surfaces.

Additionally, the car’s distinctive, gloss black liftgate appliqué at the rear carries the Chevy bowtie as well as one of the two Volt insignias (the other insignia is found on the car’s forward quarter panel.) Lastly, the Chevrolet Volt comes in six exterior colors, including Viridian Joule Tricoat, Silver Ice Metallic, Crystal Red Metallic Tintcoat, Black and Cyber Gray Metallic, and White Diamond Tricoat.

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