While we've already seen much of the production-ready Chevy Volt, the official launch by GM fills in all the visual gaps, and many of the technical details, for the highly-anticipated hybrid.
The sharp styling is partly a result of the work of GM 'aerodynamicists' who toiled away in GM's wind-tunnel to maximise the aerodynamic efficiency of the Volt, while ensuring the vehicle would still be pleasing to the eye. (Take that Toyota Prius.)
Inside the cabin, the Volt features an array of technological goodies all wrapped up in colour, trim and lighting options never before seen in a Chevrolet sedan. Driver-configurable LCD instrument panel, seven-inch touch-screen vehicle information display, touch-screen climate and stereo controls, Bluetooth and USB connectivity are all standard on the Volt, while satellite navigation and hard-drive storage for maps and music will be optional.
GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner explained just how important the Volt will be, not only to GM, but to the industry as a whole:
"The Volt is symbolic of GM's strong commitment to the future... just the kind of technology innovation that our industry needs to respond to today's and tomorrow's energy and environmental challenges," he said.
The Volt's 16-kWh lithium-ion battery can hold enough power to cover an impressive 64kms before requiring a recharge. The batteries can be recharged on the move by the on-board petrol generator or from a standard 120/240v wall socket. A complete charge will take only 3hrs when using a 240v socket, 8hrs for a 110v socket, and requires less electricity in a year than your average refrigerator. With the equivalent of 112kWs and 370Nms of instant torque at hand, the Volt is capable of a commendable 160km/h.
What do you think? If GM were to bring the Volt to Australia, would you be interested? We'd have no problem tootling to work and back each day in something like this, so long as funds still allow for a track day special on the weekends.