GM Volt Forum banner

Keep the Wheels big GM!

11270 20
If I had only one request for the production Volt:

Please GM, do whatever possible to keep the wheel/tire package as large as possible. I know the show car was somewhat oversized, BUT the wheel/tire package was striking and was a main contributor to the attitude the Volt demonstrated. It is what caused the eyes to light up when you looked at the car.

If you want to set the car apart from the pack, don't skimp on the wheel size!

please ........ :)
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,803 Posts
I'm sure that they will keep them as big as they can and still make the 40 mile EV mark. Truth is, big wheels are inefficient and power wasters, but designers have swayed public opinion to believe that like all other things American, bigger is better. Given the demand for big wheels, I'm am absolutely convinced they will try to go as big as possible. So I hazard to guess, and it's only a guess, at 17".
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,376 Posts
Inefficiencies in the wheels are from rolling resistance, drag, and kinetic energy of rotation. Rolling resistance is a function of the tire material and not really depenant on the size of the wheel. As long as the width of the wheel is the same and the body of the car is at the same height, then drag would only be negatively affected by the increased size of the wheel well. I don't know how much of an affect this is. I believe the bulk of the losses, at least in ICE only, can come from the kinetic energy losses. It depends on the weight of wheel and how the weight is distributed away from the center of rotation. Well designed wheels minimize the weight away from the center. Larger wheels do rotate slower for the same vehicular velocity but I the kinetic energy can be higher depending on the distribution of mass for the two designs being compared.

Luckily, with regenerative breaking is not as much of an issue. There are still losses since the regen/discharge cycle isn't 100% efficient, but they are much less. So, with a well designed large wheel the efficiency losses may not be meaningful BUT the increased cost might be an issue.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
zzyzzx, I have to disagree.

I'm sorry, but the wheels on the concept Volt is the key styling detail that makes this car different, IMO. The Volt needs to have some style to set it apart from the cookie cutter economy cars available now.

17" wheels are a minimum size to use, or else the car will morph into a cobalt. I don't think that is what GM had in mind, or they would have just built an E-Flex cobalt. The Volt needs distinctive styling, something that shows the public a reasonably priced electric car doesn't have to look like a rolling lego.

If they turn the Volt into a Prius clone, GM will have failed, I think. Or at least misled us at a very critical level. The only reason to build the Volt concept as produced, and that they are still showing around the world, is that is was supposed to be different. It looks fun to drive. The wheels are a big part of the visual impression the car has.

If GM wants to truely change the paradigm of what a "green" car is, they need the production car to look as close as possible to the concept.

At least that is what I am hoping for.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
I hate the big wheels. They make it look like a clown car. I prefer normal size wheels, like the 14" wheels on my 1995 Ford Escort.
Dito! I would like smaller wheels as well.

Back in earlier decades Detroit new that if you put smaller wheels on a car, the car looked bigger. Chevy did that with the original Chevy II and the Corvair, and they looked like larger cars from a distance. Of course the converse of this is to put really big wheels on a big car it looks like a smaller car. I think it was Chrysler that pioneered that. Make a huge magnum car, then put huge wheels on it, and the public will think they are getting smaller economy car. So unless GM intends to make the Volt a much bigger car, I say stick with some 14" wheels and a smaller lighter car so that at least it looks proportionate.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,803 Posts
Of course the converse of this is to put really big wheels on a big car it looks like a smaller car. I think it was Chrysler that pioneered that. Make a huge magnum car, then put huge wheels on it, and the public will think they are getting smaller economy car.
What?? You can't seriously believe that Chrysler was trying to make people perceive the Magnum/300/Charger as smaller car do you? If you do, then you are seriously out of touch with automotive design trends and popular culture in America.

Like I said before, GM will put the biggest wheels on the Volt they can and still achieve the 40 mile electric range. I'm guessing 16"-17" with 45 series tires.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
What?? You can't seriously believe that Chrysler was trying to make people perceive the Magnum/300/Charger as smaller car do you? If you do, then you are seriously out of touch with automotive design trends and popular culture in America.
You hit the nail on the head. I AM out of touch with today's automotive design trends. Basicaly I hate the look of most of todays cars. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part todays family cars all look like they were punched out of the same molds. You often have to look at the emblem to determine what brand they are. I pine for the days when we all waited in October to see what the new Chevy, Ford and Dodge would look like. The days when you could see a car 3 blocks away and know exactly what make, model and year that car was.

HUMMM... Maybe that's why I still drive a '59 Chevy and a '73 Vette? I for one would give up a couple of mile per charge to get something really unique looking, like maybe the original Volt concept.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,803 Posts
I for one would give up a couple of mile per charge to get something really unique looking, like maybe the original Volt concept.
Yep. Me too. I also pine for the days of beautiful cars instead of the rolling appliances we have now. However I'm affraid that you and I will have to wait for the technology to mature enough to the point where they can afford some drag for style's sake. My guess is Volt v1.0 will look like a cross between a new Malibu and a Toyota Echo. Not real eye catching like the concept. Maybe they'll prove me wrong, but all the teases we have gotten so far point that way.:(
 

· Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
Funny, on another list I'm on, people get flamed for not searching first and adding to an appropriate thread.

15" tires with smaller wheel openings would get more range. That's why the Prius is the way it is. I don't think you would see more range with 15" in the current car if that's what Toasty is asking.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
Depends on the situation. The reason that it's normally frowned upon is that it can become confusing. If you're not checking post dates and replying to folks that have made their post 4 years ago. It can get pretty cluttered. Many message boards that I go to actually lock their threads after a month or two of inactivity.

Searching for old threads that answer your question is always considered good form. But most places I've been to won't chastise you for starting a new thread if the old threads haven't answered your question and there isn't a semi-current thread on your subject to post in.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top