2013 Chevrolet Volt

By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com

The Chevrolet Volt has established an entirely new segment in the global automotive market. It is a five door, four-passenger car designed to provide the fuel saving and emissions reducing benefits of an electric vehicle without the range limitations associated with all electric vehicles.

For 2013, Volt offers an e-AT-PZEV specification that earns the Volt a coveted green sticker for single occupancy HOV LANE ACCESS IN California and New York. Volt also adds a Hold mode that allows owners to direct when the Volt uses its gas generator. This feature helps save money because owners who mix city and highway driving can save the battery charge for city travel, where the Volt’s EV mode operates most efficiently.


Other updates for 2013 include a body-color roof and deck lid, available lane departure warning system and forward collision alert crash-avoidance technologies, as well as GPS-enabled navigation capabilities to Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system.

Under the hood the heart of the Chevrolet Volt is its Voltec propulsion system, which combines pure electric drive and an efficient, range extending engine, giving the Volt up to 382 total miles of range.

The Volt’s long-life battery consists of a 5.5-foot, 435-pound T-shaped, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It supplies energy to an advanced, 111-kW electric drive unit to propel the vehicle. Using only the energy stored in the battery, the Volt delivers an EPA estimated 38 miles of fuel and tailpipe emissions free electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. When the battery energy is depleted, the Volt seamlessly transitions to extended range mode. Power is inverted from a technically advanced, 1.4L 84-hp gasoline-powered onboard engine to the electric drive unit to provide up to 344 additional miles of range.

Charging the Volt’s battery is simple and intuitive, and can be done with a 120V conventional household electrical outlet, or a dedicated 240V charging station. The vehicle is completely rechargeable in about four hours using a 240V outlet and 10 to 16 hours in a 120V outlet.

Once the vehicle is plugged in, owners can schedule either immediate or delayed charges, even coordinating charging according to departure time or when electricity rates are lower. Owners also can manage and monitor the Volt remotely via computer on MyVolt.com; or via a Smartphone through RemoteLink, an exclusive Smartphone application powered by OnStar.

Working closely with aerodynamicists in GM’s wind tunnel to shape the Volt, design and engineering teams developed the most aerodynamic vehicle in Chevrolet’s history. By reducing the energy needed to overcome air resistance, Volt aerodynamicists contributed an estimated eight miles of electric range, and 50 miles of extended range.

The Volt’s rounded and flush front fascia, tapered corners and grille enable air to move easily around the car to reduce drag. In the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler control air flow. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass also help reduce turbulence and drag.

Inside, the Volt offers the space, comfort, convenience and safety features customers expect in a premium five-door sedan including storage compartments and 40/40 rear-folding seats. It also delivers them in a variety of interior color, lighting and trim options unlike any offered before on a Chevrolet sedan.

Two seven-inch, high-resolution full-color screens are featured; One is a reconfigurable graphic cluster display and the other, in the center stack, features a touch-screen display, touch control switches and integrated shifter.

Volt safety and crash-avoidance features help protect occupants before, during and after a crash. Crash-avoidance features include standard anti-lock brakes with traction control, StabiliTrak electronic stability control and advanced, LED daytime running lamps that make the Volt more visible to other motorists and pedestrians.

Occupant protection continues with a strong structure, and the Chevrolet Volt’s body-frame-integral structure strategically blends advanced steels to help ensure crashworthiness and stiffness. Nearly 80 percent of the Volt’s overall structure consists of high-strength, advanced high-strength or ultra high-strength steel.

After a crash, the Chevrolet Volt offers the security of OnStar, which uses built-in vehicle sensors to automatically alert an OnStar advisor in certain types of collisions. The advisor is immediately connected to the vehicle and can request that emergency help be sent to its location.

Three years of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Volt. OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows Smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called Family Link allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.

In conclusion the Chevrolet Volt is a stylish, fun-to-drive plug-in hybrid, if you drive less than 30 miles a day; you may never have to fill the Volt up with gas. The 2013 Chevrolet Volt will have a starting price of $39,145.00, the one I drove included the Premium Trim Package, Enhanced Safety Package 1 and 2, White Diamond Tricoat, Chevrolet MyLink with Navigation, Polished Aluminum Wheels, Bose Premium Speaker System, and it came in at $44,690.00.                                   mlezcano@carsntravel.com

Posted in CAR REVIEWS, Chevrolet.

Emilio Lezcano

Journalist - Editor - Photographer
Professional Race Car Driver

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