The General Motors-sponsored Test Track ride in the Epcot Theme Park of Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, is being revamped. Car enthusiasts should not miss the new ride since it will offer an “authentic, inside-the-studio look at the actual automotive design process.” There will be three different pieces – a design stage, a testing stage, and a production stage.
At the first stage, visitors can design the car, truck or crossover that they’ve always wanted. As soon as the car is complete, the ride resumes. The so-called “designer” could then ride through the test-track shakedown all new cars pass through. This won’t be a slow ride. In fact, Disney said that the ride could reach speeds of as fast as 65 mph.
The inspiration for this new on-track car is the appearance of the Chevrolet Volt and the Miray and EN-V concept cars. As soon as the test drive is finished, the visitor could choose to race the design made with that of others, film a fake commercial, or be part of a photo shoot. In addition, Chevrolet’s Miray and EN-V concept cars will be displayed. Chevrolet hasn’t confirmed yet if there will be other models scattered across the Test Track Pavilion inside Epcot. The new ride will open on December 6.
“At Chevrolet, the diversity of talent on our team allows us to consistently produce sophisticated, refined and detailed design – but we don’t typically design through the eyes of a 12-year-old,” said Jeff Mylenek, GM Design manager, Global Exhibit and Merchandising Design. “Working with Walt Disney Imagineering, we were inspired to see our brand story from a more youthful perspective and really opened the parameters on how to approach this design challenge.”
GM’s EN-V (short for Electric Networked-Vehicle) preaches what is considered as the core principle of personal mobility – freedom – while making a new definition of design leadership. Likewise, the new EN-V helps the vehicle become friendlier with the environment. Not only that, the two-seat electric vehicle could also help lessen worries about traffic congestion, air quality and mobility affordability as well as parking availability.
To this extent, GM has just unveiled three models of the EN-V in Shanghai, China, each representing distinct attributes that highlights what future transportation could be: Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic) and Xiao (Laugh). These three EN-V models will be on display at SAIC-GM Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai. Interestingly, Shanghai is seen to become one of the centers for personal mobility solutions in the future.
Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group, remarked that the new EN-V is reinventing the automobile as it creates new genes by combining electrification and connectivity. He described the new EN-V as an ideal and fashionable solution for urban mobility – one that frees future mobility from petroleum and emissions as well as from congestion and accidents.
Underpinning GM EN-V Concept is an evolution of the platform that underpins the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (P.U.M.A.) prototype, which was developed by Segway and made its debut in April 2009. Segway and GM have collaborated in developing and delivering multiple examples of the drivetrain platform that could link and power the new EN-V models.