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New look of the Chevy Volt – a detailed look and analysis

December 11, 2007

The new look of the Chevy Volt concept made it’s debut today in the form of a vague teaser image of the front end.

However, a news report shot by a local Detroit news station got inside the design center and got to see a lot more in detail. Here are some decent-sized images of what they saw:

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And here are my observations:

1) On a physical model of the front end, the sunken grill, headlights, and foglights have been smoothed out. Interestingly for aero, there is a “splitter” element on the bottom of the front end, rather similar to what the EV1 had. That feature might have something to do with cutting up the airflow and smoothing it out along the whole body.

2) We can now see from disguised clay renderings what the general flow of the roof line will be like (higher). The rounded front end is still thrust far forward in a very un-Prius like fashion. A sketch of the rear profile on a whiteboard looks slightly less angular.

3) A foam and wood model might give some hint of the C-pillars.

4) Of great interest is the dummy interior – there is an arm rest with drink holders in between the two rear passengers. I don’t know if this is a fold-down, but it portends the possibility that the Volt will be a four-seater.

Overall, although the baby-Camaro look has been replaced with more aero-sensible lines, I still think it looks quite nice – European with a dash of American. Contrary to fears that it would basically imitate the lines of a Prius – there’s not a grain of rice in the new Volt.

I look forward to seeing more, as well as what the competition has to offer in the next few years.

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