Published on April 30th, 2014 | by Jo Borrás


2016 Chevy Volt (Spy Photos)

April 30th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Gas2.


After enjoying several years as America’s semi-official Jesus Car, the Chevy Volt is starting to lose its luster in the face of bigger, better plug in hybrids from Europe and Japan- not to mention the more practical Ford Fusion Energi built by Chevy’s cross-town rivals. With the launch of an all-new Chevy Cruze (upon which the Volt is based) in China and promises that it will replace the current 2014/2015 Cruze here in the US sometime next year, everyone is waiting to see what a new, 2016 Chevy Volt is going to look like- and, so far, this is the best look that anyone outside of GM has had.

GM is being cagey with the redesign of what is, arguably, its flagship model- but it’s worth noting that this camo’d body looks a lot more like the new Cruze than it does the muscle-car inspired “original” Volt concept that, you know, looked good. Still, there’s a ton of money in getting the hybrid Volt right. “The Ampera (Opel Ampera = Chevy Volt in the UK) has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any car, but it’s simply too expensive,” Steve Girsky, Vice Chairman of GM and interim president of GM Europe, told us. “If you want to make money it’s not about the cleverest technology, but who can deliver fuel economy at a lower cost.”

That “low cost” comment seems to imply that rumors of a lower electric-range, lower-priced 2016 Chevy Volt set to do battle against the also hotly-anticipated Tesla Model E are true. “In the coming years I don’t think you will need 100km [62 miles] of electric range,” revealed Thomas Sedran, GM’s Vice President of Strategy and Operations. “Around 30 to 50km [18 to 30 miles] should be enough to get you in and out of town and after that you still have the range-extender engine to help.”

With that in mind, it kinda makes sense that the 2016 Chevy Volt will share more with the 2016 Chevy Cruze than the outgoing hybrid does with its ICE cousins, today. Here’s hoping it gets a more exciting, less anonymous look to it on its way down US production lines, as well. You can see where the car’s at, below, and head on over to AutoExpress (via the source link, at bottom) to see even more spy pic of the new Volt.

2016 Chevy Volt Spied

2016 Chevy Volt spy pics

2016 Chevy Volt spy pics

2016 Chevy Volt spy pics

2016 Chevy Volt spy pics

Source | More Photos: CarPix, via AutoExpress UK.

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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.

  • N22TANGO

    I bought a 2012 Volt and at 25 months into ownership, have used only 39 gallons of gas. The car has been so remarkable and liberating that on May 16, I ordered a 2015 Volt. I had plans on trading in our 2013 Malibu ECO in on a 2016 Volt when they become available, but based on this article, forget buying a 2016 Volt if GM is going to “dumb-it-down” with less electric range. My 2012 Volt is incredibly inexpensive to drive on a charge from home and what is the point of buying a 2016 Volt that can not go as far on a charge? If this is the case, we will not trade our 2013 Malibu in on a 2016 Volt but will probably go with a Volkswagen E-Golf.

  • Kompani

    The body paint is rather nice, makes a change from most of the boring solid/metalic colours.

    • Benjamin Nead

      This will surely not be the paint scheme on the production car, Kompani. The reason they do this “fudge swirl camouflage” paint on prototypes is to trick the eye and make it hard to distinguish details such as panel lines.

      • Kompani

        I was being ironic.

        • Benjamin Nead

          Ah ha. Well, after I wrote my ironic quip above, regarding how
          automakers are falling over themselves to build PHEVs with less and less pure electric range, I thought that some here might not get the joke. But, yes, it does seem sad that this is the prevailing trend.

      • Burnerjack

        Sure didn’t do it to blend in…

    • Burnerjack

      Maybe “paisley” is the way to go….

      • Kompani

        Probably a bit of a disaster walking past one after a heavy night on the drink!

  • Benjamin Nead

    The race is on! Back in 2011, the original Volt got around 40 miles on an electric charge before the gas range extender kicked in. But we were only getting started. Then it was the Ford C-MAXX Energi, with 30 miles of electric range. The current leader in this race build a PHEV with the smallest electric-only range is the Toyota Plug-In Prius, with about 16 miles. But we’re not done yet.

    Who will be able to make the first PHEV with less than 10 miles of electric range?
    Or 5? Or 2? How close to zero miles of battery range can a major auto manufacturer offer us and still be able to call the car “electric” or “plug-in?” Can it be done by 2015? The best marketing executives in the industry are working overtime on this. Stay tuned . . .

    • The federal rebate starts at $2500 and requires at least a 4 kWh battery. Each full kWh above that adds another $417 to the rebate, maxing at $7500 with 16 kWh.

      Battery prices have honestly fallen enough that the rebate will pay for all or nearly all of the marginal cost of a larger pack.

      • Benjamin Nead

        Interesting. I wasn’t aware that the federal rebate worked on a sliding scale in regards to the car’s battery capacity and that it was capped at 16kWh.

        The only thing I knew before was that it had to be applied during a single tax year and that it scaled on the amount of income tax owed (ie: if you owed less than $7500 in federal taxes the year you would be purchasing the EV, that would be amount the amount of the rebate.)

    • KC

      Or 1? Who will do it! I just don’t understand the ludicrosity!

      I compared the Fusion Energi to the Volt. I liked the ride and comfort of the Fusion, but couldn’t justify the low range and price.

      I’m a Chevy Volt owner and love it! Things seem to be pointing to two versions in 2016, one with around a 30 mile range for around 30k and another with around a 60 mile range for hopefully under 37k. (both pre-rebate).

      • Benjamin Nead

        This is what I’ve been hearing as well, KC. I’ll leave to someone else here with better math acumen than I to amortize it, but the 60 mile range version for $7K more should pay for itself fairly quickly and keep on providing financial dividends in operating costs beyond that point.

        I’ve also caught some speculative news blurbs that GM would be offering an “affordable” 200 range EV in a few years, at about the same time that Tesla has announced that they would be rolling out theirs. The 2015/16 time frame should be an interesting one for EVs.

    • Detfan1

      Where do you get your mileage comparisons from? Why the hell do you give the Prius Plug in 16 miles range, when it is 11, and actually only 6 when totally using the battery, which is only possible at low speeds? How can you say the Prius plug-in is the leader, when the Volt is? The Ford C-Maxx energi only gets 21 MPG on electric, not 30. So, sir, your post is not well taken, as it is an obvious exaggeration of the facts.

    • Exotics

      ford c maxx is ugly

  • MarTams

    practically learned nothing new about the 2016 Volt from this report.

  • mk1313

    Just bought a Volt and if anything would want more all electric range not less!

    • Burnerjack

      Interesting input. Maybe if GM is looking at this they would/should offer optional configurations, tailoring the EV/hybrid duty cycle to different customer demographics.

    • KC

      I’m hoping the new Volt has the rumored 60 mile range and a smaller engine/generator to get 50+ mpg when running on gas. This might get me to trade up, if the price is right. For my 35 mile round trip commute to work, the Volt is great, but I’d love a little more range for those extra trips around town.

      If Chevy wants to try to compete with the Prius, the best place to start will be matching or beating its mpg. The general population doesn’t seem to understand the whole electric range yet, thus putting out a high mpg will get noticed more than a higher electric range.

      • mk1313

        Don’t know about others but deliberately did not get the Prius until a better tech came along. Making it more like the Prius is a step backwards!

      • rrcivil

        in another article I read is that for the 16 model year they will have a Volt with the current specs at a cheaper price but also have a Volt with newer battery and motor with 60mile ev range. The source compared this to gasoline cars that have different engines available.

  • Carney3

    More practical? The Ford Fusion Energi plug-in may have more rear-seat space (and a fifth seat to boot), but it costs thousands more and has much lower electric range. Since electricity costs much less per mile, it might be acceptable to pay more up front more MORE electric range, since you could figure that going electric more often would pay for itself. But having LESS electric range and costing MORE doesn’t make the Fusion more practical, unless you have three kids or your two kids are six feet tall.

    • vdiv

      It also has almost no trunk as it is occupied by the battery, but you know you wouldn’t expect an objective take on the Volt from a site like this one.

      • Objective take on the Volt from Gas2 or CleanTechnica? I don’t know about Gas2’s opinions, but we’ve written very favorably about the Volt for years. The car has gotten tremendous reviews and its owners are extremely happy with it. I actually follow just one forum on Feedly, the forum. (Of course, if Tesla’s forum had a feed, I’d also follow it. 😀 And I should find a Nissan Leaf forum and follow it as well. :D)

    • Exotics

      Ford Fusion is horrible, you cant even drive on pure electric, and it sucks compared to the Volt.

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