The all-new Volt is expected to bring with a more modern design, as has been hinted at in spy photos of the car. Changes are expected to include a more streamlined roof, smaller glasshouse, and as the above image suggests, a sloping boot-line.
The 2016 Volt will reportedly be built on the same underpinnings as the next-generation Cruze small car, a move that will save General Motors significant engineering and development costs and is also expected to shave the price of the car significantly. No firm details have been revealed about the car, but it is expected the new model will improve EV driving range (currently claimed at 87 kilometres) and interior space (the current car is a compromised four-seater).
Chevrolet chief marketing officer Tim Mahoney said the car had sold in big numbers in the US - more than 65,000 since it was introduced in late 2010, making it the highest-selling plug-in hybrid in that market. Mahoney said the new model will build on the levels of innovation seen in the first-generation Volt.
“Volt is the perfect example of the ingenuity that drives everything we do at Chevrolet,” Mahoney said at the Centre for Automotive Research Management Briefings.
“Volt fully delivers on the promises of Find New Roads [Chevrolet's marketing tagline] and will continue to provide consumers with the transportation solutions they need and deserve in the future.”
An infographic (above) regarding the current-generation Volt has been released, and further details have been confirmed by the brand. Chevrolet claims "Volt owners who charge regularly typically drive more than 970 miles [1560 kilometres] between fill-ups and visit the gas station less than once a month".
Chevrolet also claims that "63 per cent of their overall miles in electric vehicle mode, collectively logging more than 500 million gas-free miles [806 million km] since the Volt’s retail debut in 2010. That has saved more than 25 million gallons [95 million litres] of gasoline".
Locally, the Volt hasn't seen nearly as much success, presumably restrained by a lack of government incentives toward low-emissions vehicles and a higher price point than is expected of a car of its size. The $59,990 Holden Volt has managed only 42 sales in 2014, down 44 per cent on the same time last year. Just 223 have been sold since the car went on sale here in 2012.
If the Volt were to be confirmed for Australia, we'd expect to see a price drop - more practical plug-in hybrid models like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV have arrived on the scene at more affordable prices (from $47,490), while the EV-only Nissan Leaf has also dropped in price significantly - it is now priced at $39,990 driveaway, dropping from $51,500 when it launched in 2011.
"We’re not in a position to discuss future product," said Holden senior manager of product communications, Kate Lonsdale. "We have no announcements to make about Volt at this stage."