Chevrolet plans to introduce two versions of the redesigned 2016 Volt -- a standard model and a lower-priced hybrid having a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range, reports Reuters citing supplier sources. Sources also told Automobilwoche that Opel is also planning a smaller version of the new Volt.
The redesigned Volt is due to be built around 16 months at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck site. Chevrolet spokesman Mike Albano remarked that they have found a formula that works for Volt customers and they are going to “deviate from that formula."
In 2013, GM North America President Mark Reuss said that the carmaker could take "thousands of dollars" out of the cost of new Volt. Since launching the first-generation Volt 39 months ago, Chevrolet has so far sold just 58,158 units, despite cutting prices and offering heavy discounts.
GM recently announced that it will invest $384 million to upgrade tooling and equipment at Detroit-Hamtramck to build the next-generation Volt "and two future products."
Detroit-area suppliers privy with GM's plans told Reuters said the future products are a new flagship sedan for Cadillac in late 2015 and a redesigned Buick LaCrosse midsize sedan in spring 2016.
According to suppliers, the 2016 Volt will have the same underpinnings as the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze, which production will commence in late 2015 or early 2016. The standard Volt won’t be heavily modified away from the current model, which has starting price of just under $35,000 and has a driving range of up to 380 miles (610 km).
The lower-cost Volt will have a starting price of just over $30,000 and will have a driving range of less than 300 miles (480 km), and will have less equipment. Chevrolet’s Volt strategy is similar to Tesla Motors Inc., originally offered its Model S with a choice of three different battery packs at three different price points.