LAS VEGAS — General Motors offered a first glimpse of the next-generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, underscoring the growing convergence of the automotive and electronic worlds.
The Volt will make its official debut next week at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
But the Volt commanded attention and headlines at the critically important CES show, which is rapidly becoming one of the most important auto events in North America.
The Volt, which has undergone a complete re-engineering with an eye toward improving electric range, rolled onto the stage at CES in an appearance that lasted less than a minute. No new details about the car were provided.
The exterior changes to the Volt appear to be evolutionary, with most of the changes set for under the hood.
The next-generation Volt is expected to have a number of improvements. Current Volt owners have told GM they would like better fuel economy from the car's supplemental gasoline engine, as well as more power. The 2016 Volt's range and EPA rating are expected to be disclosed at the Detroit auto show.
Chevrolet earlier told Edmunds that the 2016 Volt answers buyers' concerns with an all-new 1.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine that is at once larger but more fuel-efficient than the Volt's current 1.4-liter four-cylinder. The engine now will run on regular unleaded fuel rather than the premium gasoline the Volt's current engine uses.
The EPA says the 2015 Volt has a gasoline-only rating of 37 mpg in combined city/highway driving and an electric range of 38 miles.
The 2016 Volt will have a simplified charging system, GM said earlier.
The Volt's appearance on Sunday night was a repeat of the original Volt's rollout. Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner arrived onstage in the Volt at a CES keynote address in 2008. At the time, Wagoner said the Volt symbolized GM's commitment to the future.
GM sold 17,315 Volts in the U.S. in the first 11 months of 2014, down 16.4 percent compared with the same period a year ago. In an interesting footnote, the Chevrolet Corvette outsold the Volt by a wide margin during the same period.
Edmunds says: The dramatic unveiling of the Volt sent a thunderclap through CES and shows GM's substantial commitment to making sure the next-generation car is a success.