Recently I traveled to GM's Milford Proving Grounds for the opportunity with many other journalists to test drive the company's entire fleet of production cars which were all laid out across a large swath of pavement called back lake.
To our surprise, in the middle of the event, suddenly Frank Weber pulled up in a pre-production Chevy Volt integration vehicle fresh off the assembly line. Presently there are about 30 of these IVers built out of a total of 89 that will be completed in roughly 6 weeks.
Though we were not permitted to drive the car, nor experience the generator mode operation, Frank did give some journalists test rides.
I was afforded the shotgun position and had two additional riders in the back seat including Sam Abuelsamid from Autoblog.
The experience of actually sitting in a bonafide running fully functional and operational Chevrolet Volt was an absolute pinnacle of the incredible long 2-1/2 year journey I've been on since this site began in January 2007.
To all those thousands of naysayers who said it couldn't or wouldn't been done, I guess you were wrong.
Below you can enjoy my high-def video of the experience.
First of all the car was sharp and sleek, and the interior was dazzling. The LCD displays were bright and high definition. There was plenty of room on the passenger side, and Frank Weber at about 6'4" seemed to fit into the driver side without difficulty. The two journalists in the back were comfortable as well. As Sam put it "The Volt is considered a compact, but in spite of the sloping roof-line, it still felt surprisingly roomy. Both leg and headroom were more than adequate for this journ's long-torsoed 5'10" frame."
Acceleration was startling. The car took off like a rocket even with all four of us in it.
Amazing as well was the absolute silence. Clearly the final design and soundproofing has had remarkable results compared to the mules. This was simply the quietest electric car I've ever been in.
It was smooth and nimble and did not feel weighted down.
It took quick turns with certainty.
Frank even said there was a bit of a delay programmed into the instant torque so that the final production cars would be even quicker, and would have better ride and handling. Hard to believe.
All I can say is no one will be disappointed with this car, destined to become, if it hasn't already, the next American icon.