Tony O'Kane | Jun 19, 2012

Holden's extended-range hybrid, the Volt, has yet to arrive in Australian showrooms, however rumours are already circulating that its Chevy-badged twin may soon receive a turbocharged motor - which could then find its way to Australian-delivered Volts.

The Volt is currently powered by a 1.4 litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, which directs the bulk of its output into recharging the Volt's on-board batteries.

Unlike the Toyota Prius, the Volt relies on its electric motor for propulsion, so the size of the combustion engine (in effect, a glorified generator) isn't as big a limitation on power output.

However, GM's engineers reportedly want to extract more power from the Volt's petrol-electric powertrain.

A higher-output electric motor is expected to be fitted to the Chevy Volt later in its product cycle, and a 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine may also be squeezed under the bonnet to help keep its battery topped up.

The 2.0 turbo petrol/electric powertrain is also expected to propel the Cadillac ELR coupe, a luxury two-door based on the Converj concept and built around the Volt's Delta II architecture.

With GM's 2.0 turbo engine family currently able to put out a maximum of 200kW, it could provide a substantial performance boost over the Volt's 61kW 1.4 litre atmo four-pot.

Whether shoehorning in a high-output turbo motor into an eco car is a good idea is another matter.


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