Chevrolet has made a major commitment to providing world-class, fuel-efficient vehicles to its customers around the world. In recent months, through GM’s Shanghai GM joint venture, Chevrolet has introduced the fuel-efficient Cruze in China. It will introduce the Volt electric vehicle with extended range capability in 2011.
In preparation for the Volt’s arrival, Chevrolet is leveraging Auto China 2010, which starts today in Beijing, to introduce the Volt MPV5 electric concept. The five-passenger multi-purpose crossover concept demonstrates the potential of the Voltec propulsion system by utilizing the same foundation as the Volt, for gas- and tailpipe emissions-free electric driving.
Maximizing Efficiency and Style
The styling of the Volt MPV5 concept borrows design and aerodynamic cues from the Chevrolet Volt. The front fascia is among the most aerodynamic of any crossover thanks to its closed grille and aero-optimized lower air dam, both of which help improve fuel efficiency. A full-underbody belly pan, along with rocker claddings, creased tail lamps and specially designed blades on the rear quarter, also help the Volt MPV5 concept cut through the wind with ease. The intense focus on improved aerodynamics enables greater all-electric range.
The exterior of the Volt MPV5 concept isn’t solely about efficiency. Its Sonic Blue Metallic paint provides a contemporary appeal, while the dual skylight panels and 19-inch Volt-inspired wheels build the Volt MPV5 concept’s sporty credentials.
“The Volt MPV5 concept takes the efficient design of the Chevrolet Volt and adapts it to the family vehicle crossover segment. It’s immediately recognizable as a true member of the Chevrolet family,” said Bob Boniface, Director of GM North America Crossover Exterior Design, whose team worked in conjunction with members of GM’s design studio in Australia on the Volt MPV5 concept.
The Volt MPV5 concept’s dimensions provide added passenger comfort. While the 2,760 mm wheelbase of the Volt MPV5 concept is a mere 15 mm longer than the wheelbase of the Chevrolet Volt, its body is 181 mm longer (4,585 mm), 73 mm wider (1,871 mm) and 182 mm taller (1,612 mm) than the Volt.
Inside, the Volt MPV5 concept adopts the Volt’s center stack and gauge cluster along with its striking two-tone leather seats. Thanks to the Volt MPV5 concept’s size, passenger comfort doesn’t take a backseat. Typical for Chevrolet crossovers, the Volt MPV5 concept’s seating position allows for maximum comfort and flexibility, including improved entry and egress.
When it comes to cargo, the Volt MPV5 concept carries on the crossover tradition thanks to its flip-and-fold second row seating, which provides up to 1,764.1 litres of cargo space with the seats folded and 863.7 litres of space behind the second row.
Voltec Power Boosts Green Credentials
The Volt MPV5 concept utilizes the same Voltec propulsion system found in the Chevrolet Volt, including the added capability of an engine generator to extend the driving range and eliminate “range anxiety.” A 16-kWh T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack powers the electric drive unit.
The flexibility of the Voltec system enables the Volt MPV5 concept to meet full vehicle speed and acceleration requirements while driving the vehicle and its five occupants up to 51.5 km on pure electric propulsion. This is double what the average urban commuter in China travels each day. When the battery is depleted, a 1.4-liter engine generator sustains the battery charge and provides up to 482 km of electric propulsion.
“The Volt MPV5 concept demonstrates the flexibility of the Voltec propulsion system, which can produce enough electric power to propel a range of vehicles. from a compact sedan like the Volt to a crossover like the Volt MPV5 concept,” said Doug Parks, Global Vehicle Line Executive and Global Vehicle Chief Engineer for Electric Vehicles at GM.
“Rapidly growing demand for personal transportation across China is creating new environmental and energy security challenges,” said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. “GM is committed to finding and adopting solutions, which include the electrification of the automobile. The world premiere of the Volt MPV5 concept in Beijing demonstrates GM’s desire to make China a global focus of its advanced technology strategy.”
GM continues to advance electrification in China through research and development. It has launched the China Automotive Energy Research Center (CAERC) in Beijing. The venture with SAIC and Tsinghua University is developing a comprehensive automotive energy strategy for China. The GM China Science Lab, which opened last November, is carrying out advanced automotive-related research, including battery development. In March, GM introduced the EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) concepts in Shanghai. A centerpiece of the SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai, EN-V embodies GM’s vision for personal urban mobility in 2030. In addition, GM is supporting its Shanghai GM joint venture’s “Drive to Green” strategy, which is focused on developing green products, supporting green manufacturing and undertaking a green responsibility.