One of the top questions people ask is, "When will the final production Volt design be shown?"

I just toured GM's Chevy Volt E-Flex Design studio. First let me be clear, GM is not showing anyone what the final production vehicle fully looks like yet.

I also spent considerable time talking to Bob Boniface, the director of Chevy Volt/ E-Flex design. I questioned him about the timing of appearance releases.

He explained to me that final car designs generally make their public appearance roughly two years before the car reaches production. He noted as an example that the Camaro design was actually revealed in December 2005, and will hit showrooms this fall. That's a nearly 3 year interval which he felt was a too long. Bob says, "You want to time it so that the public and the media maintain their interest in the car, but you don't want to show it too early because you don't want to tip your hand to the competition."

Noting that the Volt is slated for production in 2 years and 7 months, he said "if you do the math, expect to see the car sooner rather than later"

He also said GM normally ties design releases to large public events. Some upcoming events to might be the media mule drives slated for July, or GM's centennial celebration in the fall.

For those who have raised the concern here, Bob said "it can't be a Cobalt with a battery..over my dead body."

About the design freeze, he said at this moment, "We're tweaking some areas trying to get some last counts of drag out of it"..."we don't have to start shipping data for feasibility just yet, so we're going to keep working on it until the last minute, but if I showed you the car tomorrow, that's what its going to look like."

In the design center Bob demonstrated the new front quarter panel, which we've seen before, but he also revealed a rear quarter panel. The rear has a harder edge than the show car.

What can be summarized about the production design compared to the show car is the following:

-it will look unmistakably like the Volt
-overall proportions have changed
-front end is much more rounded
-roof height has gone up
-low rear overhang stays
-dropped belt line is still there
-length is identical
-very sporty and athletic
-has a nice stance and rake

Bob said this about body color, "the car will be available in a lot of colors. Our color and trim studio has done lots of research on color and trim style. We have a board that shows a bunch of side views of the production car in different colors. In black it iswonderful. "

Regarding the show car's transparent roof, "I wont comment on the appearance of the roof right now, there are still content decisions that have not yet been made."

I studied in person the 1/3 camouflage model seen in the picture above and I can say the theme is clearly futuristic and the car will make an electric statement and look like nothing else on the road.

Enjoy the high-def video below to see that same scene. And if you get a chance, check out my live interview Monday April 7th at 12:30 PM on the Fox Business News Network.


Chevy Volt Design[/URL] from Lyle Dennis on Vimeo .