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GM's Lutz Gives Trackside Volt Impressions

Posted by: David Kiley on June 13, 2008

General Motors is in a battle of PR and bloviation for the next two to three years against Toyota over which company will bring the first viable plug-in hybrid car to market.

GM is spending big to see that it wins so that it can possibly reclaim some of the green ground lost to Toyota’s Prius.

To that end, GM product boss Bob Lutz gave Sam Abuelsamid of some impressions from his first drive of the Chevy Volt at GM’s Milford,MI proving ground.

Lutz: “The thing that’s eerie is the silence, there’s just no mechanical noise whatsoever,” he says. “Our first shot out of the gun, our electric motors and drive system are deathly silent, there’s no whine or whirring noise from the electric motor.”

According to Lutz, the engine/generator never turned on during his test drive. Lutz describes the experience as “like being in a conventional car at 70mph, shutting down and coasting with no engine, that’s what it sounds like.”

“(The car) had great acceleration, I had it up to 75-80mph going around the circular track. It handles well because the weight of the battery pack is very low,” Lutz says. “The center of gravity is probably lower than it is on a conventional car. All I can say is I was thrilled.”

Reader Comments

jo jo

June 24, 2008 6:22 PM

OK, let me see if I understand this. The same executives that ran this company into the ground while collecting big bonuses for presumablely destroying shareholder value, now want to bet the farm that consumers will want to buy a high-tech plug-in hybrid from a company known for unreliable vehicles (after all, the more complicated the machine, the more reliable, right?). Not only that, but a company so committed to cutting-edge technology, that they insisted on LITERALLY destroying every single one of its EV1 electric cars (no other car maker went to such lengths with their electric cars) for some reason that has still not yet been logically explained and sold off it's key battery technology patents. Now they have Bob Lutz, Mr. Anti-Hybrid, pushing hybrid GM vehicles. Perhaps they are selling to the demographic that include people who appreciate the surreal...

National Transport LLC

February 20, 2009 5:43 PM

Again, a lot of excitement has been generated due to the Volt, but will it really appeal to the public? I think that remains to be seen.

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