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Discussion Starter #1
The question for ECO is, would it cost more or less than the base LT? Opinions on that would differ…Here are some ideas although some will raise the cost, some will lower the cost and would be about the same…
1) Lighter wheels and tires…For over a decade, strong and lightweight autocross rims have been available with 15” breaking in single digit pounds…If you assume these aren’t strong, remember autocross is just about the most stressful way to drive a car…15” rims will fit and it is even possible 14” rims will fit as the front rotors are 10.87” and cars have come OEM 14s in the past…Combine that with 185 tires and you’re probably around 50% less weight than the stockers, less rolling inertia and less contact patch…Probably looking at a 10 miles of range increase and probably costs around the same as the stockers…
2) Lighter brakes…Staying on the course of unsprung weight, let’s focus on brake rotors…I looked and as far as I could tell, they have standard rotors…CF will be too expensive; what racing has done for decades is a 2-piece rotor…The “disk” that the pads touch is still a cast iron ring, yet it’s bolted to a “hat” which is of a lighter weight alloy…Often a 20% savings at a cost that’s often less than double of the OEM ones…In fact, they could even DECREASE the diameter to decrease the unsprung weight but INCREASE the size of the brake pads &/or increase the number of caliper pistons…Definitely a cost increase but if you’re swapping out OEM rotors to two-piece you’re most likely talking a few hundred bucks…
3) Replace the back seat with more batteries…Engineer a secondary drop-in battery module with its own cooling independent from the primary…Some weight will be lost with the rear seats removed but I believe a 300lbs net weight increase could get the stock Volt to 75 miles of range which would gain it another ZEV credit…More money but I believe if you could increase the range by a third for say $3K it would be an extremely popular option…
4) Bolt seats…GM offered thin/lightweight seats six years ago with the CTS…Bolt seats are thin and lightweight, why not let the Volt have them? They actually might even be cheaper than the Volt stockers…
5) Lower it, especially the rear…Look to eco-modders and race cars, the lower the more efficient along with the areo improving from the reduced fender gap…Cost of lowering the front an inch, and rear 3 or 4 inches? Nothing…
6) More cost effective weight diet…New Camaro has high strength plastic anti-roll bar drop-links…I think the engineers should look into what else could be made of plastic...If they want to keep the existing shifter, make it shorter and out of mostly plastic…
7) Better areo…Kind of disappointing the Gen2’s areo didn’t improve over the Gen1…What’s really interesting is the Cruze doesn’t have hood mounted windshield sprayers but the Volt does…While minimal, surprised it wasn’t designed from the start to be integrated into the washers…Same with the shark fin, it’s big and ironically many complain about reception…You can integrate everything including GPS into the rear window; many other manufactures do…Like the washers, probably too expensive to do now but should have been designed this way from the start…Tesla is the expert in areo, despite the EV1’s areo achievement, it’s a 2 seater compact that looks “unique” Telsa designed a full sized 5 seat sedan that looks “normal”…It was leaked that Tesla wanted a single wiper that hides under the cowl and no fender gaps (yes it’s possible to tuck wheels into the fender without rubbing)...

Your thoughts?
 

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The question for ECO is, would it cost more or less than the base LT? Opinions on that would differ…Here are some ideas although some will raise the cost, some will lower the cost and would be about the same…
1) Lighter wheels and tires…For over a decade, strong and lightweight autocross rims have been available with 15” breaking in single digit pounds…If you assume these aren’t strong, remember autocross is just about the most stressful way to drive a car…15” rims will fit and it is even possible 14” rims will fit as the front rotors are 10.87” and cars have come OEM 14s in the past…Combine that with 185 tires and you’re probably around 50% less weight than the stockers, less rolling inertia and less contact patch…Probably looking at a 10 miles of range increase and probably costs around the same as the stockers…
2) Lighter brakes…Staying on the course of unsprung weight, let’s focus on brake rotors…I looked and as far as I could tell, they have standard rotors…CF will be too expensive; what racing has done for decades is a 2-piece rotor…The “disk” that the pads touch is still a cast iron ring, yet it’s bolted to a “hat” which is of a lighter weight alloy…Often a 20% savings at a cost that’s often less than double of the OEM ones…In fact, they could even DECREASE the diameter to decrease the unsprung weight but INCREASE the size of the brake pads &/or increase the number of caliper pistons…Definitely a cost increase but if you’re swapping out OEM rotors to two-piece you’re most likely talking a few hundred bucks…
3) Replace the back seat with more batteries…Engineer a secondary drop-in battery module with its own cooling independent from the primary…Some weight will be lost with the rear seats removed but I believe a 300lbs net weight increase could get the stock Volt to 75 miles of range which would gain it another ZEV credit…More money but I believe if you could increase the range by a third for say $3K it would be an extremely popular option…
4) Bolt seats…GM offered thin/lightweight seats six years ago with the CTS…Bolt seats are thin and lightweight, why not let the Volt have them? They actually might even be cheaper than the Volt stockers…
5) Lower it, especially the rear…Look to eco-modders and race cars, the lower the more efficient along with the areo improving from the reduced fender gap…Cost of lowering the front an inch, and rear 3 or 4 inches? Nothing…
6) More cost effective weight diet…New Camaro has high strength plastic anti-roll bar drop-links…I think the engineers should look into what else could be made of plastic...If they want to keep the existing shifter, make it shorter and out of mostly plastic…
7) Better areo…Kind of disappointing the Gen2’s areo didn’t improve over the Gen1…What’s really interesting is the Cruze doesn’t have hood mounted windshield sprayers but the Volt does…While minimal, surprised it wasn’t designed from the start to be integrated into the washers…Same with the shark fin, it’s big and ironically many complain about reception…You can integrate everything including GPS into the rear window; many other manufactures do…Like the washers, probably too expensive to do now but should have been designed this way from the start…Tesla is the expert in areo, despite the EV1’s areo achievement, it’s a 2 seater compact that looks “unique” Telsa designed a full sized 5 seat sedan that looks “normal”…It was leaked that Tesla wanted a single wiper that hides under the cowl and no fender gaps (yes it’s possible to tuck wheels into the fender without rubbing)...

Your thoughts?
How many do you think you'll sell? That's the real question...

So you're spending all this engineering and changes to end up making a car that weighs less, so you can eliminate the rear seating in favor of adding two passengers' weight in batteries (that's probably another $1200 in cost to build), to achieve another 25-30 miles of range, so that it can have 40% of the range of a BEV instead of 25%? What's your actual goal? It sounds like you want to save a half-gallon of fuel on days that people are already over the average daily drive of about 36 miles. But since there's essentially only a top end of like 1000 miles on a "per day drive" there's a LOT MORE person-days under that 36-mile average than over it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Of the 7 offered, you picked only one, the bigger battery...So to answer your question, with no other changes other than removing the seat and adding battery, very little would buy it yet there may be some...Yet bundle it with one or more of the other six I mentioned which would make it more cost effective...

But overall, if GM asked you what a Volt ECO means to you, how would you answer?

To me, it should get 75 miles of range; who knows, maybe all it takes is 2 piece rotors, 15" 9lb rims wrapped in 185mm tires, lowered, some more light-weighting with the Bolts thin seats is all it needs...
 

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Volt Chief Engineer Andrew Farah would say that the Gen 2 Volt comes STANDARD with ECO Trim. The engineering improvements made to improve drive train efficiency, AER, acceleration AND reduce weight, cost, and reliance on rare-earth magnetic material were phenomenal technical efforts. The Gen 2 Volt even comes standard with an "ECO" on-board charger module - the most efficient charger on the market and one of the lightest. The achievements were deemed worthy enough to be featured as technical presentations and papers at the 2015 and 2016 SAE World Congress.

Next Generation Voltec Drive train SAE technical paper
Voltec OBCM technical paper

The Gen 2 Volt has an unassuming look and many conventional accessories, but under the skin it is leading-edge ECO-tech through and through.
 

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Hope you don't feel like everyone is picking on you here, but I have to correct a couple of other things you suggested changing on the Volt:

Brakes: The gen1 Volt has one of the best braking systems in the industry. EX: The 2011 Corvette 60-0 mph braking distance was about 98 feet, and the 2011 Volt was at 112 feet. Hardly any other cars in the US even matched that, and considering the significantly higher weight of the Volt over the Corvette, that is impressive. I would never want to diminish that performance level on my Volt, so let's not talk of cheapening the brakes.

And speaking of the brakes, there is only 7/8" clearance from the front calipers to the inside of the stock rims, so you would be very unlikely to find any 15" wheels that clear them. There are a few 16" rims that fit, which is what some have used for winter tires, but there are very few tires made for 16" wheels, especially if you are looking for "performance" tires for autocrossing. And, skinnier tires will not have as high a load rating for a car as heavy as a Volt, which would result in premature wear and unhappy customers. The Prius is a far lighter car, and can get away with skinnier tires.

Lowering: The Volt already has the lowest front air dam in the US, so the engineers have already exceeded your goal there. And I don't believe lowering the back improves aero much, if any, only stopping the air from going under the car at the front does that.

The Volt was designed throughout to be a "premium" car, and does end up being a little on the expensive side, probably because they figured the type of buyer that would buy an EREV vehicle would want quite a few "premium" features. I know that is why I am so pleased with it.

Maybe, once the Voltec drivetrain becomes more competitive pricewise to conventional ICE vehicles, and they are selling 100,000 a year instead of 20,000, GM will be more open to making lower trim levels, or "ECO" versions, but there is not enough profit in any of the Electric drive systems to justify spending that much on making other variants yet. But, we are starting to see signs of the "Electric revolution".
 

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I don't know how much more they could gain in rolling wheel and brake mass, weight reductions per dollar spent, but it seems to me an ECO version would see the most gains in lowering the performance and the traction motors to draw less current.

The larger battery option is not something to be touted as an ECO only feature- that could be offered on all Volts. Come to think of it, with a smaller electric motor set, the ECO version could make do with a smaller battery. I think what people want is the same performance with more range, but at some point the electrical power needed to charge up a larger EV could get expensive and eat up whatever surplus generation or baseline allowance you get from your utility. The ECO version would have a weaker motor set. maybe even a 3 cyl ICE...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My thoughts are that you went through a lot of work just to be negative. Your other posts have made it clear where you stand.
My thoughts are that you went through a lot of work just to be negative. Your other posts have made it clear where you stand.
Where I stand is that I am not a Volt yes-man fanboi...I love Tesla, I like the Volt, but believe it has a lot of mindless omissions...My "a lot of work" should prove I offer constructive criticism which I believe would sell more Volts...If you don't like my criticizing Volt posts, simply block me so you don't have to see them...You wouldn't be the first to...

Hope you don't feel like everyone is picking on you here
They're welcome to :) [/QUOTE]

Hope you don't feel like everyone is picking on you here, but I have to correct a couple of other things you suggested changing on the Volt:

Brakes: The gen1 Volt has one of the best braking systems in the industry. EX: The 2011 Corvette 60-0 mph braking distance was about 98 feet, and the 2011 Volt was at 112 feet. Hardly any other cars in the US even matched that, and considering the significantly higher weight of the Volt over the Corvette, that is impressive. I would never want to diminish that performance level on my Volt, so let's not talk of cheapening the brakes.

And speaking of the brakes, there is only 7/8" clearance from the front calipers to the inside of the stock rims, so you would be very unlikely to find any 15" wheels that clear them. There are a few 16" rims that fit, which is what some have used for winter tires, but there are very few tires made for 16" wheels, especially if you are looking for "performance" tires for autocrossing. And, skinnier tires will not have as high a load rating for a car as heavy as a Volt, which would result in premature wear and unhappy customers. The Prius is a far lighter car, and can get away with skinnier tires.

Lowering: The Volt already has the lowest front air dam in the US, so the engineers have already exceeded your goal there. And I don't believe lowering the back improves aero much, if any, only stopping the air from going under the car at the front does that.

The Volt was designed throughout to be a "premium" car, and does end up being a little on the expensive side, probably because they figured the type of buyer that would buy an EREV vehicle would want quite a few "premium" features. I know that is why I am so pleased with it.

Maybe, once the Voltec drivetrain becomes more competitive pricewise to conventional ICE vehicles, and they are selling 100,000 a year instead of 20,000, GM will be more open to making lower trim levels, or "ECO" versions, but there is not enough profit in any of the Electric drive systems to justify spending that much on making other variants yet. But, we are starting to see signs of the "Electric revolution".
Yeah, I'm just thinking of easy things to do...With "cheapening the brakes" by no means was I talking about increasing the stopping distance, if that was the case I'd say put on smaller diameter rotors and even put lighter solid discs in the rear but if you offset that with bigger brakes and/or stronger calipers you'd get the same stopping distance...Again, you probably get a custom built two-piece rotor today and gain a mile or two of range...This is because the two piece will save 20% in weight, the current rotors are about 13lbs for the fronts and 12lbs for the rear so 50 total pounds would be reduced to 40lbs for a 10lbs savings of unsprung weight...This is things racers and hypermilers have known for a decade...
Good to know about the calipers not allowing for 15"s...I'd personally love to see someone try it but it's really hard to find them in the current bolt pattern...Would be far cheaper to buy used wheels with a different bolt pattern and have them re-drilled, but if it's a 15" we won't until until after you buy them and pay to drill them if they'll fit...I do feel there are 15"s that would fit, these racing wheel manufactures make these to fit as many cars as possible with many of them having larger calipers than the Volt yet someone would need to be the guinea pig...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't know how much more they could gain in rolling wheel and brake mass, weight reductions per dollar spent, but it seems to me an ECO version would see the most gains in lowering the performance and the traction motors to draw less current.

The larger battery option is not something to be touted as an ECO only feature- that could be offered on all Volts. Come to think of it, with a smaller electric motor set, the ECO version could make do with a smaller battery. I think what people want is the same performance with more range, but at some point the electrical power needed to charge up a larger EV could get expensive and eat up whatever surplus generation or baseline allowance you get from your utility. The ECO version would have a weaker motor set. maybe even a 3 cyl ICE...
If two piece rotors save 10lbs and you can save let's go with 12lbs per corner with sub ten pound rims and skinnier tires you have saved 58lbs of unsprung weight, reduced the contact patch and bought the bulk of the wheel weight closer to the inside...I would bet money that we'd gain around 10 miles of BEV range...I also believe it wouldn't cost GM anything, 2 piece rotors are more expensive yet the rims and tires would be cheaper so I'd call it a wash...
 

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1) Lighter wheels and tires…For over a decade, strong and lightweight autocross rims have been available with 15” breaking in single digit pounds…If you assume these aren’t strong, remember autocross is just about the most stressful way to drive a car…
Not to keep picking on you, but I have to disagree with this assumption. What about hitting a big pothole at 80 mph on the freeway? Backing into a curb or curbstop while parking? Misjudging a u-turn and scrapping the curb with the front wheel? These things happen all the time (not to me of course :)). And many owners already think the stock tires are too fragile.

Racing wheels only have to endure smoothly applied forces, although large ones, but not big shock loads. Imagine the uproar that would ensue if OEM wheels started failing from "normal" city driving occurrences such as the above. An OEM wheel will never be as light as an aftermarket wheel, for just this reason.
 

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I don't know how much more they could gain in rolling wheel and brake mass,
There's plenty of valid reasons to limit unsprung mass. Most especially, lighter wheel assemblies come back down onto the road after bumps much more quickly, increasing the amount of time in contact, which has a direct impact on how tightly one can take a corner. This is invaluable in rally cars.

I'm just not sure how often it's vital in a PHEV that spends most of its time on relatively good surfaced roads at speeds better oriented toward energy economy than completing 50 km stages in the shortest time possible.
 

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The volt has a HUGE amount of eco improvements left on the table, first off the Gen I's weight could easily be cut about in half while maintaining over 90% of the same ratings and characteristics and no you don't need exotic materials.

ULSB has been around decades and really was only used partially by Mitsubishi on 2 models, other auto companies say it isn't proven but they never use it so they won't ever prove it out.

Light materials can be less expensive, ULSB is less costly than traditional unibodies..

All volts should have an ECO button that would restrict certain handling parameters and run the motor in a differently tuned cycle (noisier) as this would only require software using the same car more efficiently.

Likewise a simple $5 fender skirt on the rear has a fairly significant improvement in efficiency at highway speeds, full underbelly pans make a large difference, as does a longer taper on the rearend of the car, pizza pan style hubcaps improve efficiently as well and active front fender skirts are also effective but rarely used but likewise not very expensive.
All the above changes likely would add under a $100 cost difference to the car if it was designed to use them in the first place.

But a change in how GM views materials and cars would have to occur, right now there is not the will to make composite steel structures and test them out and refine. GM like most auto companies moves at a glacial rate when it comes to construction methods.

Much of what people believe about these issues fall into the same failed logic that because we didn't make it that way before, its impossible, sort of like Thorium molten salt reactors are impossible because we never made them before and the unrelated breeder reactors are unsafe therefor Thorium would also be unsafe. Even though MSR reactors had a very safe and efficient 20 year track record ending in the 1970s due to our governments desire to make nuclear weapons which the Thorium cycle can't support, and Thorium reactors make up to 99% less nuclear waste.

Many elements of design are constricted to doing what we did before but very slightly differently.

I drive a 2001 Honda Insight, using 16 year old technology (actually older still) it can get over 80mpg on the highway and over 100mpg in town.
The prius which is dimensionally similar to a Volt gets around 50mpg.

You don't need to make the volt look like an Insight or a Prius but aero improvements and weight improvements can easily move the same platform up massively in efficiency and if looks change offer the eco option as a body package so not everyone gets the full aero treatment.

I would have paid to have factory belly pan, fender skirts and the ability to enter an ECO mode on the car, I doubt i am the only one.

Cheers
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not to keep picking on you, but I have to disagree with this assumption. What about hitting a big pothole at 80 mph on the freeway? Backing into a curb or curbstop while parking? Misjudging a u-turn and scrapping the curb with the front wheel? These things happen all the time (not to me of course :)). And many owners already think the stock tires are too fragile.

Racing wheels only have to endure smoothly applied forces, although large ones, but not big shock loads. Imagine the uproar that would ensue if OEM wheels started failing from "normal" city driving occurrences such as the above. An OEM wheel will never be as light as an aftermarket wheel, for just this reason.
I see your point with dragracing or roadracing but autocross is often on abandon parking lots, old military posts or airports...I autoX myself and have yet to see a perfect road surface yet will agree that they are in better shape than a real road...But if we're downsizing, we have more tire to absorb the shock...But that is a good question, are autoX rims breaking when driving them over potholes?
 

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Two piece rotors would be an interesting mod.

But how about this for an ECO version. Do an i3 Rex-like version. Replace the 9 gallon gas tank with a 2 gallon one. Then add a supplemental battery pack in the saved space to get the AER up over 75-80 miles. Would get GM a bunch more ZEV credits. They could pass some of the savings back in lower MSRP.

Looking back on my six months of Volt ownership, the one use case I would like to handle is the SFO airport run. Seems that I do it often enough that it is worth thinking about. It is about 35 miles each way. So at highway speeds, the car is about 15-20 miles short of doing it all-electric. To date, I have either planned some public charging mid-way, or take one of my other cars. Faster than 3.6kw charging would also be a help when using the public charging option - making it more viable more of the time. Driving surface streets (e.g., the El Camino Real option) the whole way is an idea I am still experimenting with... (Takes longer, but less public charging needed). It is an entertaining game.
 

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I don't get the point of this thread. Engineering is the art of compromise. Compromise in one area and it hits in another. Making an ECO version of an already ECO car makes no sense to me. Volt easily beats Cruise and Prius in normal driving. Yes, there are always end-of-bell-curve scenarios, but, the fat part of the curve is owned by Volt.
 

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I don't get the point of this thread. Engineering is the art of compromise. Compromise in one area and it hits in another. Making an ECO version of an already ECO car makes no sense to me. Volt easily beats Cruise and Prius in normal driving. Yes, there are always end-of-bell-curve scenarios, but, the fat part of the curve is owned by Volt.
The volt is a large luxury car by weight and eco because of its drivetrain.

If the volt were truly an eco car along the veins of the EV1 it would weight 600-1000lbs less, be roughly the same exterior dimensions but drive twice as far on a KWHR of electricity as it does today.

I rather see a car go further because of efficiency rather than because of using more materials.
 

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If the volt were truly an eco car along the veins of the EV1 it would weight 600-1000lbs less, be roughly the same exterior dimensions but drive twice as far on a KWHR of electricity as it does today.
The EV1 only seated two and used conventional (and very heavy) batteries that had some pretty serious longevity issues. If you really want to push the "eco" idea in that direction then you might end up with a bicycle.

The technology is evolving but it simply isn't where you're asking it to be yet.
 

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If two piece rotors save 10lbs and you can save let's go with 12lbs per corner ...
Have you seen how small the oem volt rotors are? Even on the mitsubishi EVO (which has large rotors about like a vette), the aluminum hat center rotor and the special BBS wheel package only saves 1.5 lbs per corner compared to the standard model. There's hardly anything to shave off the cruze/volt platform except for maybe some trick wheels that would bend easily on real world crap roads.

Has any body noticed how clever they were with the suspension arms? those things are made out of some thin 14 ga steel, but welded and folded in ways to make them structurally strong while being mostly hollow. Even lighter than aluminum cast control arms I might venture to guess.

They could go to exotic body materials like aluminum or sheet molded composite, or even carbon fiber, but then the car would not be $30,000 anymore. I stand by my original proposal that the best way to get more miles/kWh is to reduce the motor output a little bit or current limit it. They seemed to have done this to the Spark EV with a gear ratio change.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't get the point of this thread. Engineering is the art of compromise. Compromise in one area and it hits in another. Making an ECO version of an already ECO car makes no sense to me. Volt easily beats Cruise and Prius in normal driving. Yes, there are always end-of-bell-curve scenarios, but, the fat part of the curve is owned by Volt.
The Prius, and GM's own Cruze have a trim level named ECO; should the Volt follow suit? Totally understand compromise...Some things make zero sense such as not offering a garage door opener...

The EV1 only seated two and used conventional (and very heavy) batteries that had some pretty serious longevity issues. If you really want to push the "eco" idea in that direction then you might end up with a bicycle.

The technology is evolving but it simply isn't where you're asking it to be yet.
The EV1 had a .19 Cd, used lightweight plastic panels and was designed two decades ago...The Gen2 Volt's Cd is .28 which is zero improvement over the Gen1...The Sonic hatchback which the Bolt is based on, has a Cd of .34 and while I'm sure the Bolt will be better, would be shocked if it was better than the Bolt .28 Cd...

Have you seen how small the oem volt rotors are?
Yes...They're smaller than the Gen1s which I'm sure you're looking for...

Even on the mitsubishi EVO (which has large rotors about like a vette), the aluminum hat center rotor and the special BBS wheel package only saves 1.5 lbs per corner compared to the standard model.
I autoX so this package was a gift...It was in touring trim and made by Brembo but guess what? It was a LARGER rotor vs lesser trims...It was also designed as a race package with heat dissipation...Average non-RACE is a 20% weight savings...GM is already deep into the aluminum business anyways...

Bottom line, they got "clever" on hiring Clipper creek to design some award winning charger while making losers to those who can't charge at home but could destination charge...They were "clever" with the control arms but what other parts they "clever" up? Some will say CF everywhere, I think two piece rotors are a start...Make every single light duty vehicle have one of the 3 following two piece rotors which would reduce cost...Light, Heavy and Performance...You can easily increase stopping power by adding surface area to the pads or increasing the pistons...
 

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The Prius, and GM's own Cruze have a trim level named ECO; should the Volt follow suit? <SNIP>The Sonic hatchback which the Bolt is based on, has a Cd of .34 and while I'm sure the Bolt will be better, would be shocked if it was better than the Bolt .28 Cd.
<SNIP> yada yada yada
Actually since the Bolt will be the first of the all-new G2XX platform. In fact it will rest on a unique version of the platform known as G2SC.
So I would be pretty surprised if even an armchair CEO/engineer such as yourself could even speculate as to it's Cd at this point.
The Sonic hatchback you mention is based on the older out-going Gamma 2 platform and it's Cd obviously irrelevant
So stop the spread of false information on the Bolt and the continued trolling posts

In another thread fraught with your troll posts, I asked you to PM me with a list of reasons why you feel you should be allowed to continue "participating" here on gm-volt.com
I've received no response
I'll remind you that ignoring the requests of site moderators is grounds for punitive action

WopOnTour
 
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