2011 Chevrolet Volt Walk Around

GM designers have worked continuously on the Volt program since it was introduced as a concept vehicle four years ago, with the goal of making it as aerodynamically efficient as possible. The result of the low hood, front air dam, long roof, high decklid and cut-off rear panel is the most aero-efficient Chevrolet in history, with a drag coefficient of only 0.28, among the best in the world for sedans.

The final design is clearly a Chevrolet, with very good use of lighting as a design element, not one but two front spoilers to manage air flow over and around the body, and a bold alloy wheel design mounting Goodyear Fuel Max P215/55R17 low-rolling-resistance tires.


The Volt is as modern and different on the inside as it is on the outside. On cloth-seat base models, the door panels and other trim are metallic, but if the premium package is ordered, those panels become wildly graphic, including the dashtop. Either way, the interior looks very modern, the materials and graining are very well done, and there is plenty of light coming into the car from the large windows.

Volt seats just four people. The layout is for two up front in bucket seats, two in the rear on the bench seat, and the buckets are modern looking and very comfortable.

There are two large display screens, one directly in front of the driver, and one at the top center of the instrument panel, and between the two screens, there is every kind of technical information about the operation of the car, plus navigation and entertainment on the center screen. The very large speedometer numbers dominate the driver's screen, with the normal gauges arrayed around the corners, a battery depletion gauge on the left, and a floating virtual Earth on the right-hand side, the idea being to keep the Earth centered at all times for best battery life and best energy usage, functionally similar to the growing-leaf display in the Ford Fusion hybrid.

The center stack is very different from everything else out there, a smooth white plastic panel with a dozen and a half touch buttons and touch areas that operate all of the Volt's heating, ventilation, air conditioning, entertainment and navigation functions. It's a little bewildering at first, and the driver must use a carefully pointed fingertip to avoid hitting the wrong button or area, but after a short drive, the various functions are easy to find and fun to use.

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