GM unveiled its all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and as expected, the new vehicle shows a brand new design and promises greater efficiency and better acceleration. The second-generation Volt uses a 1.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder petrol engine a.k.a. range extender that produces 101 hp at 5600 rpm.
The new two-motor drive unit is also 12 percent more efficient than the first-generation and also 100 pounds lighter (45 kg). According to GM, the two-motor drive unit delivers a total output of 149 hp and 249 lb-ft of torque. GM says that the 2016 Volt accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds (0-30 mph in 2.6 seconds), while top speed is 98 mph or 157 km/h.
Furthermore, battery capacity improved to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation), while the weight was reduced by more than 20 pounds (9.8 kg). Using just the energy stored in the battery, the 2016 Volt offers an all-electric range of 60 miles (80 km). Still, using both the energy from stored in the battery as well as the range extender, the 2016 Volt offers a range of 420 miles (676 km).
Fuel economy is 41 mpg, while the electric efficiency is 102 mpg-e. When it comes to design, the 2016 Volt shows new, muscular lines as well as new features such as active grille shutters. Despite the new design, the front-end appearance retains the iconic Volt identity, with bright upper and lower grille pads. Inside, the new Volt offers enough room for five adults, while the controls are more intuitively placed.
Andrew Farah, chief engineer for the new Volt, remarked that owners could now set their charging preferences just for “home” charging. The EV will automatically adjust to this setting when it is at “home” according to GPS data. He added that owners will experience greater flexibility in charging their new Volt according to their own terms.
With this capability, owners could pre-set the 120V charging level to either eight amps or 12 amps. They could also re-charge immediately. Likewise, owners could set a departure time for each day of the week. They could also set a departure time and make the Volt re-charge only at off-peak rates. Any of these available settings -- to be programmed just once – will be the default configuration once the Volt reaches its home location.
Thanks to a new status system, it is easier for owners to confirm whether their Volt units are re-charging. This system – which also allows owners to easily confirm the charge status – comes with a specially designed tone that signifies that the EV is already re-charging. It also has additional tones for delayed charging. Furthermore, the new status system could indicate if the charge port door was left open after unplugging, just before the driver enters the EV.
Just located on top of the instrument panel is an updated charge status indicator light that shows the estimated charge level through a series of flashes. Even in the dark, an owner could easily plug in the Volt for re-charging, as made possible by an available illuminated charge port. In addition, the new Volt comes with a new 120V portable cord set with a simpler, more compact design. The cord is stored at a bin located on the left side of the Volt’s rear cargo area, just above the load floor.
Chevrolet made sure that the new Volt comes with an array of new standard and available safety elements that, along with an all-new body structure, help avoid crashes and protect passengers from them. For instance, the new Volt is installed with a standard rear-vision camera and 10 standard air bags, including knee air bags for the driver and front passenger.
Available active safety elements, meanwhile, includes forward collision alert with following distance indicator, lane keep assist with lane departure warning and side blind zone alert with lane change alert. Also available are elements like front automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert as well as advanced park assist with front and rear park assist.
In addition, the new Volt extensively employs high-strength steel throughout its body structure, thereby improving strength while reducing its weight. The new Volt also features more effective structural load paths in the frame as well as reinforced rocker panel structures and side structures.
All of these active safety technologies and structural enhancements build on the top-class safety performance of the current Volt, as proven by its 5-Star overall New Car Assessment Program rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.