An exclusive ride in the Chevy Volt

Monday, December 13, 2010 - 12:26pm

It all began with an invitation to auto writers to drive the most talked about new car in the world right now.

And the drive would be through the Texas Hill Country.

So how could I turn down a chance to test the innovative new Chevrolet Volt.

Here’s where the tough life of an auto writer at a product introduction begins. In this case the lovely Crossings Lodge north of Austin.

Here we spent two days learning about and driving the new Chevy Volt.

Bags weren’t even unpacked as the first walkaround began.

The Volt differs from either pure electric cars or hybrids in a couple of ways.

It can go roughly 40 miles on pure electrical charge, stored in a row of batteries down the spine of the car.

Then a small, 1.5-liter gas engine starts, virtually silently, and doesn’t drive the car but simply recharges the battery.

So, you get ultimately a range of between 350 and 400 miles.

Houston Chronicle Automotive editor Tim Spell is sold.

“The best thing I have to say about it is that there is very little to say about it,” he told us. “It’s all completely seamless. It drives like a regular car.”

On the road in traffic and in the Hill Country, the car drives like any other mid-sized 4-door sedan, albeit one with incredible mileage.

The big issue will be the $41,000 price, but that is helped by a $7500 tax credit offered to all new alternative energy cars.

Overall, it is a breakthrough that has been 5 years in the making. The Chevy Volt may not be the ultimate answer to scarce oil in the future, but it is the beginning of one.

And like new and innovative vehicles from both Ford and Chrysler, it’s built in the USA.

That’s nice to say for a change.

For information on government rebates for alternative fuel vehicles, follow this link...

And the official Volt Website is here...|_2008_Chevy_Retention_|_IMG_Chevy_Volt_|_Chevy_Volt_|_chevy_volt


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