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Good read. I'm hoping they can crack the 40miles EPA estimated range and get the mpg to 40+. Low bar probably, but the reality is GM needs to prepare for the future and get their costs down as well as the MSRP down.

Best speculative point in that article was the author's speculation that the ICE engine should be MUCH better than the off the shelf 1.4 they are currently using. We already anticipate the battery to be superior but I have not thought too much on what kind of gains might be gotten on the ICE-side.
 

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Just noticed there was no speculation on curb weight. I wonder if they'll try to make the next Volt lighter, or just use any weight savings in one area to offest the new ICE engine and/or battery pack?
 

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The Street talks about the E-Caddy copying the Volt but states GM may improve the engine and battery.

I don't think GM would risk the Cadilliac's reputation on drop in Chevy components. They learned their lesson years ago when they dropped Chevy engines into the Cadilliac many years back. The customers were irate!.

GM may source Enerdel for a longer range battery pack hung below the floor.

or perhaps

Shape Memory Alloys (SMA). The idea is for a prototype to use SMA tech to capture heat energy from engine exhaust gasses via an electric generator and transfer that energy to recharge batteries for hybrids or electric vehicles.
 

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There really doesn't seem to be any hard information on a 2014 Volt. This article refers to Volt 2.0 development starting in 2010, but the only known (mules photographed, marketing underway) Voltec product for 2014 is the ELR. Sightings and GM released data on the Volt 2.0 are thin on the ground.

At the same time we learn the Spark may be priced around $32,000 which is getting close to the actual selling price of heavily discounted base Volts. From a buyers perspective going with the Volt is a no brainer. From GM's perspective, selling Sparks as Chevy's urban EV at good margins and the Voltec at good margins as the ELR and the Ampera seems prudent.

The obvious hole in the lineup is a roomier family car such as the Mpv5 at say 49,995 base based on the Delta 2 platform which may have a 1.4 litre turbo. A Voltec mule in a dd2 crossover might escape attention.
 

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I agree with most of the article. I think the new Volt will have a new larger engine that has better efficiency and less weight. Hopefully it will improve the gas milage a bit.
 

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I would be surprised if, at least, the ELR doesn't receive some suspension upgrades, such as a rear multi-link suspension in place of the Delta platform's standard torsion beam system. Unlike others, I'm not expecting an upgraded charger, although a self-closing charge port door would be in the realm of possibility.

But I agree that the cited article is pretty reasonable. I think it's likely that GM will continue to make the car a technology halo car in some respects, with a parade of small gadget upgrades, such as a Qi wireless charging pad and improved phone integration.
 

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I know I certainly wouldn't consider buying unless a higher-voltage charge option were available. But then, my horizon is 4+ years at least, so by then I'd like to see Envia batteries with at least 80mi Sport-mode range in production along with a more powerful motor (150kW, >400ftlb torque) and high voltage charging (6.6-7.2kW AC, rapid-charge DC) as well. I'd like to be able to do a day trip from Austin to San Antonio and back on all electric, and with Envia's tech that's entirely doable within current weight and size constraints, and for less battery cost.
 

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I found some huge issues with the article.

The 2014 Volt will see a powertrain update but it will certainly be no Volt 2.0. This will be a Volt 1.5. The industry calls this an MCE (mid cycle enhancement).

GM has already confirmed that Volt 2.0 will ride on the new D2 platform. The first car on this new platform will be the next Chevy Cruze in late 2014 as a 2015 MY. According to GM the Volt 2.0 will be sometime shortly thereafter (my guess is mid 2015 as a 2016MY just in time for the next CAFE phase).

http://gmauthority.com/blog/2012/08/gms-next-gen-d2-platform-to-support-at-least-12-nameplates/
 

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I predict that with how well the Volt's batteries are holding up compared to the competition :):cough:: Nissan) the engineers might open up the usable capacity a little more. Right now nearly 1/3 of the capacity is off-limits to protect battery health. Another 0.5-1.0 kWh of usability in the same pack should push the EPA range up and over 40 miles. Certainly GM has had time to do further testing on different chemistry as well. Ditching the relatively ancient iron-block 1.4 for any of the lighter and more efficient ICEs in GM's arsenal will surely push combined MPG to 40 or beyond.

The car this article is talking about here sounds like Volt 1.5 to me, and we should get a good sneak peak at what the ICE and general drivetrain changes and refinements will be when the ELR is shown at the Detroit auto show in January in six weeks.

The real Volt 2.0 will be D2 based, lighter, have better visibility, will probably break up the battery pack (like the Focus) so that the rear footwell can accommodate three passengers' feet in the gap, etc. It'll be an example of everything GM has learned about EREV since 2007, which I presume is substantial.

-Drew
 

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I am so excited about Volt 2.0 - I already claim it as the one I will own. As long as they don't make any major body and design changes, that'll be the one sitting in my garage!
 

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Well, since every one is making predictions, here are mine:
  • Increased fuel economy - I suspect GM would really like to get a combined rating closer to the Prius. With a different engine and some other refinements, I suspect they can accomplish this. Even an extra 5 MPG would put it on par with most other hybrids. While I'll admit the extra 5 MPG doesn't make all that much difference to a Volt driver, it certainly sounds better to the general public.
  • unleaded gasoline - Another common complaint about the Volt that should be fixed with a different engine.
  • 40 miles or more EPA range - 40 was always their goal. I suspect they'll make whatever changes are needed to get that extra little bit. Anything with a 4 in front of it sounds better than 38 to the general public.

Now here are some things I'd like to see, and I suppose there is a slim chance, but I doubt it:
  • An option to use the Volt as a power generator directly from the HV system.
  • Quick-charge capability. I'm sure if they did it would be the "frankenplug" but that is better than nothing.
  • Power Sport Mode - or something to that affect. In this mode they would use power from the I.C.E. and the battery simultaneously to give the car some real performance. I'm sure this would require a beefier inverter.
  • An option for different "skins" for the dash display where people can customize how they want the speedometer and other instruments arranged, maybe even an option for a virtual analog speedo and tachometer.
  • Separate controls for the NAV, A/C, and Stereo system so I can use the A/C or NAV without having the stereo turned on.
 

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I think that if they made the ICE into a turbo diesel, they would probably get 50-60 MPG. Think about it, 500 miles per tank with only 10 gallons of diesel.
 

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Are there people out there who still take "Bear Stearns is not in trouble" Cramer seriously?

 

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I think that if they made the ICE into a turbo diesel, they would probably get 50-60 MPG. Think about it, 500 miles per tank with only 10 gallons of diesel.
A diesel isn't the best for a generator in a plug-in because of the usage pattern. It'd add to costs and be a problem for maintenance and emissions.

In addition, a large-battery, large-motor PHEV like the Volt has a lot of freedom because the motor's powerful enough that all the car needs is sufficient electrical input instead so it doesn't need a normal engine and that should allow for a high-efficiency gasoline generator, wiping out most or all of the usual diesel advantage. If GM commits and expects high volume from the Volt they'd be able to produce a dedicated generator.

Anyway, my predictions for the 1.5 basically agree with adric in that the emphasis will be replacing the engine with a newer, higher-displacement one for higher efficiency without the need for premium, and if they can do it they'll tweak to increase CD range to 40 miles, hopefully with efficiency gains through weight reduction. I don't expect anything too radical until they switch to the Delta-IIX platform for Volt 2.0.
 

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In addition, a large-battery, large-motor PHEV like the Volt has a lot of freedom because the motor's powerful enough that all the car needs is sufficient electrical input instead so it doesn't need a normal engine and that should allow for a high-efficiency gasoline generator, wiping out most or all of the usual diesel advantage. If GM commits and expects high volume from the Volt they'd be able to produce a dedicated generator.
And I'm willing to bet you'll never see a diesel in the Volt simply for the obvious fact that the gasoline is supposed to be the secondary power source, or backup if you will. It makes sense that the backup should be the most common type of fuel available.

Of course, if it were up to me, I'd have the Volt run on propane or CNG. But that is even less likely than the diesel option.
 

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GM announced the spark ev will have fast charge capabilities to charge its battery to %80 in 20 minutes. I would expect all other GM ev's after it to have the same technology. Does the volt or elr need it? No, but it would be really nice to have.
 
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