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Petrozero.org has just published a blockbuster revelation of comments made by Bob Lutz today. Among them, the first volt prototype is near complete and Bob Lutz will take his first ride in it in a mere 10 days from today.
 

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Now THAT would be a milestone (assuming it's the final body design complete with the full electrical drive system)! If true (or when it's ready), he should drive that Volt all over the country. After that he should drive it all over Europe. I'm looking forward to the pictures and hopefully videos. Go GM! Bring back the pide!
 

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Petrozero.org has just published a blockbuster revelation of comments made by Bob Lutz today. Among them, the first volt prototype is near complete and Bob Lutz will take his first ride in it in a mere 10 days from today.
WOW... great news!!!! I hope we finally get to see what it will look like. I can't imagine Bob not getting to show off his new toy to the world.
 

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Now THIS is news!

BEV only option a no-brainer for latest CARB updates and with the Volt there is no reason for GM to resist.
 

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Here's the link:
http://www.petrozero.org/2008/04/bob-lutz-drops-few-bombshells.html

So what do you think of the chance of an early surprise?
"And from today's revelations, it would not be a stretch to suggest that GM just might have an early launch surprise up it's sleeve to ambush the competition and establish market dominance over rival Toyota."

I would say it is pretty low, as they absolutely need to make sure the batteries can last a full ten years. I think October 2010 is the date as Bob states in the article.
 

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Be Prepared for Surprises

Here's the link:
http://www.petrozero.org/2008/04/bob-lutz-drops-few-bombshells.html

So what do you think of the chance of an early surprise?
"And from today's revelations, it would not be a stretch to suggest that GM just might have an early launch surprise up it's sleeve to ambush the competition and establish market dominance over rival Toyota."

I would say it is pretty low, as they absolutely need to make sure the batteries can last a full ten years. I think October 2010 is the date as Bob states in the article.
I think the chance for an early surprise is actually quite high.

To me, the Volt is an updated and stretched EV-1 with an ICE range extender. Both use a similar T-shaped battery pack, have electro-hydraulic brakes, composite body panels, etc.

In addition, GM has about 100 Fuel Cell Equinox vehicles on the road. These vehicles have the same basic powertrain as the Volt. And also, since fuel cells generate DC power, all systems on the FC Equinox's have to be electric (i.e. power steering, AC, coolant pumps, etc.).

Therefore, many of the components for the Volt either already exist, or are minor modifications to existing hardware.

The Volt will be built on the Delta II platform, and we know that aerodynamics are the most important feature for extended AER. But GM has a concept vehicle based on the Delta II platform that has already been under extensive design scrutiny for low drag. That concept vehicle is the Saab 9-X.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/03/03/geneva-08-previe-saab-9-x-biohybrid-concept/

See the Saab 9-X pic from the top and right hand side. Now compare this to the Volt pic from the top and right hand side. Notice that the windshield slope and shape seem almost identical.

Now look at the front of the Volt from both the clay model in Lyle's April 19th post and the teaser pic (attached). Notice the rounded shape of the front. Now look at the front of the Saab 9-X. Again, these look very similar. Note that the rear overhangs are similar as well.

Therefore, the Volt in overall shape could look similar to the 9-X from the front bumper to the top of the windshield, and from the windshield aft it could look something like the original Volt concept vehicle (only with rear fender flares more like the 9-X). I have no ability to design with Photoshop software, so I apologize for not being able to provide a good rendering.

Except for the batteries, it seems to me that GM has a good handle on the overall design of this vehicle and its components. Although they indicate that battery testing will take two years, that may be the schedule for public discussion. We have heard for over a year that the batteries would be good for a 40 mile AER and that 0-60 would be 8.5 seconds. At VoltNation, Bob Lutz announced a 50 mile AER at a battery new condition, with 40 mile AER at end of battery life. He also mentioned a 7.0 sec 0-60 time.

I believe the chances for an early release, one that may be limited to reduced quantities, is better than 50%.
 

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More Aerodynamics

I was limited to 5 attachments in my last post, so I wanted to add some further discussion.

To improve aero, another important feature is to have undisturbed flow under the vehicle. This means a smooth undercarriage or perhaps the addition of an underbody panel.

Also, most of a car's drag is created by the air disturbance as the air leaves the rear of the car. An ideal shape would be a teardrop. A large, flat rear creates a great deal of turbulence and thus drag. Therefore, it is desired to reduce drag as air flows off the rear of the vehicle.

The Volt concept has a sloping roofline, that allows air to flow more evenly at the rear. But also, to help the Aero, GM may be trying the same from the bottom of the Volt. Therefore, the air flowing under the car would slope upward as it reached the rear of the car. See the attached pic of the rear of the Saab 9-X.

Now see the rear of the Volt concept, and imagine a similar upward slope from the bottom panel.

Since we know that the fuel tank has been relocated from dual tanks inboard of the battery "T", to the rear, and if indeed GM has used an upward sloping underbody cover, then this could explain why they have restricted the volume of the gas tank, and can no longer provide the 600+ mile range once anticipated.

Just more ideas to consider.
 

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