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Discussion Starter #1
Today I read a review in the local newspaper about driving a Prius for the first time. This lady was just your average American who rented one of them to get really good mileage on a longer trip. The two main compaints that she had with the Prius were that she could not see the front of the car and didn't know where the front bumper was. She seemed to be able to get over that after driving it for a while. On the other hand she hated the fact that rear visability was terrible. She considered backing the Prius dangerous and she never got over disliking that rear visability issue.

So Chevy... Take note. Make the front bumper easy to find and let's have some good rear visability. It can be little things like this that eventually make or break the success of a new car.
 

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I honestly have the same problem in my Camry Hybrid when it comes to knowing exactly where the back end is. The "aero" shape makes the corners dissapear in the mirrors about 2 1/2 feet from the actual end of the car.

I think with the Volt being a hatch back the way it's set up will be Ok backing up. But we haven't seen the final desing either really.
 

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I test drove a Honda Civic Hybrid and had the same issue with seeing the front of the car. I couldn't even see the hood!

You all are right...it IS a big deal breaker. Very uncomfortable feeling.
 

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I do agree with Sentinel. If the concept car had not change much from the back. The back part is pretty much glass.

 

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Say NO to Pony Cars

I have heard a lot of you complain about how uneasy some people find driving in newer autos that have taken their design cues from aerodynamics rather than what is hip at the moment (like tail fins back in the 1950's).

There is an excellent reason why the production Volt will NOT look like a "Pony car", as much as Bob Boniface (lead designer for the Volt) would prefer otherwise. The concept Volt actually did better in the wind tunnel BACKWARDS! If you look at the Concept car, it looks like a box with beveled edges.

Aerodynamics and CD are everything when it comes to electric vehicles so if you think that this kind of design is a deal breaker then you will have to put off buying one until they can create batteries that can store over 10 times what the current A123 type can. I'm guessing that this won't be a long time.
 

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Running Backwards

The concept Volt actually did better in the wind tunnel BACKWARDS!
That is truly funny:D I had a mental image of the Volt zipping down the road backwards. However we need a windscreen to see where we are going. I do not think we are ready to drive by video screen. I think that is what they were trying to do with the high beltline of the prototype. I thought it looked a bit like the Chrysler 300, only with a longer hood. Back in the 30’s the Chrysler Airflow had the best coefficient of drag (I think). It had a long hood with the sloping grill. I preferred the V-shaped grills myself though I do not know how aerodynamic they were. They probably just forced the air into the fenders creating even more turbulence. I am intrigued with the aerodynamics of the Formula 1 cars. All sorts of interestingly odd aerodynamic protuberances. They must do something, otherwise they would not be there.

Red HHR
 

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I am intrigued with the aerodynamics of the Formula 1 cars. All sorts of interestingly odd aerodynamic protuberances. They must do something, otherwise they would not be there.
Red HHR
They keeping the tires firmly on the road. At high speeds they need the downward pressure stability and handling.
 

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To Eliminate Drag?

They keeping the tires firmly on the road. At high speeds they need the downward pressure stability and handling.
That is what they used to do. On the newer cars they strategically direct the air around and to different devices. I believe they reduce drag as well as adding downforce.

Red HHR
 

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That is what they used to do. On the newer cars they strategically direct the air around and to different devices. I believe they reduce drag as well as adding downforce.

Red HHR
I'll have to look at some current designs. They sound interesting.
 
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