IL Track Tested: 2011 Chevrolet Volt
May 24, 2011
Like it or not, the 2011 Chevy Volt is one of the most significant vehicles in recent memory. With a gasoline generator and EV propulsion, the Volt bridges the gap between past and future propulsion for a reluctant and skeptical population. And while energy efficiency is the primary goal of the Volt, building a transitional car that delivers non-standard driving dynamics (like being the slowest car we've ever tested) will surely stop this progress in its tracks.
Frequent readers will notice that this is not the first time we've tested the Chevrolet Volt. The first time we had one on our track was a short-term, early-production version that Chevy promised was close to production. Trouble is, that car had 4,000 miles on the odometer and we have no idea the life the battery/generator lived. This car, however, is our long-termer, which we bought off the lot and lovingly introduced to electricity. We know how it's been driven and how it's been charged.
So were there any differences? Follow the jump for IL's Track Tested of our Long-Term 2011 Chevy Volt.
Vehicle: 2011 Chevy Volt
Driver: Mike Monticello
Drive Type: Front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Planetary CVT
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated 1.4-liter DOHC, variable intake and exhaust, gasoline engine (premium fuel). 111-kilowatt drive motor, 54-kW generator motor
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,398/85.3
Redline (rpm): 4,800 (not indicated)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 149-horsepower Voltec electric drive, 84-hp gasoline motor @ 4,800
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): Voltec engine: 273 lb-ft
Brake Type (front): 11.8-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.5-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Steering System: Electric power steering with ZF steering gear
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson strut-type with side-loaded strut modules, specially tuned coil springs, direct-acting hollow stabilizer bar; hydraulic ride bushings
Suspension Type (rear): Torsion beam, coil springs, hydraulic bushings
Tire Size (front): 215/55R17 93H M+S
Tire Size (rear): 215/55R17 93H M+S
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Assurance
Tire Type: All-season, low rolling resistance
Wheel size: 17-by-7 inches front and rear
Wheel material (front/rear): Aluminum alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,747 (61.3% front)
0-30 (sec): 3.5
0-45 (sec): 5.7
0-60 (sec): 8.9
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 8.5
0-75 (sec): 13.1
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 16.6 @ 85.3
0-30 (sec): 3.5 (3.5 w/TC on)
0-45 (sec): 5.7 (5.8 w/TC on)
0-60 (sec): 8.9 (9.2 w/TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 8.5 (8.8 w/TC on)
0-75 (sec): 13.1 (14.1 w/TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 16.6 @ 85.3 (16.9 @ 81.8 w/TC on)
30-0 (ft): 29
60-0 (ft): 118
Slalom (mph): 61.4
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.79
Db @ Idle: 47.9 (gas) 42.9 (EV)
Db @ Full Throttle: 67.3 (gas)
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 64.5 (gas)
Acceleration Comments: Could find no discernible advantage between launching in D or L or Sport or Normal in full EV mode. Just a smooth surge of near-silent, if underwhelming, power. Of note, could register up to a 3-mile loss of range after a quarter-mile of full-throttle acceleration. The quickest run came once we squeezed the Volt out of its electric juice, bringing the gasoline engine into play for acceleration purposes.
Braking Comments: Lengthy pedal travel, but decently firm feel. Occasional significant rear lockup and lots of ABS commotion. Regenerative braking had little to no effect at shortening panic-stopping distances.
Handling Comments: Skid pad: A singing tire is a happy tire, so what's a howling tire? The ones fitted to the Volt. Massive understeer the likes of which we rarely see these days, and the chassis is not overly willing to change its attitude. ESC intervenes, but throttle correction was still needed. Slalom: Feels heavy, cause it is. Steering is slow and there's a goodly amount of ESC intervention. ESC cannot be defeated so it was important to go only as quickly as possible without invoking the system to freak out and add a buch of brake. Driving aggressively just made for slower times.