During a conference call with journalists earlier today, Larry Nitz, General Motors’ director of hybrid electric power engineering, said that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt will have a “mountain mode” as a standard feature. The new feature will come in addition to the normal and sport mode.
Nitz said that the new mode will allow Volt drivers to set a larger reserve capacity in the battery in terrain that would require the vehicle to use extra power.
Nitz agreed that the mountain model will indeed reduce the Volt’s zero-emissions range. “If you”re going up the hill, you want that engine to come on sooner,” for the sake of efficiency and optimal driving experience.
Refresher: The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is powered by 16-kWh, “T”-shaped lithium-ion battery that powers the electric drive unit, which allows it to drive 40 miles on battery power alone. According to GM”s preliminary specs, the system puts out 150-hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb-ft, allowing the Volt to go from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 100 mph. The battery can be re-charged by plugging into a household outlet and takes less than 3 hours to recharge on 240 volts, and about 8 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. The Chevrolet Volt also carries a 1.4 4-clyinder engine that allows the five-door, FWD sedan to travel additional miles while averaging a fuel-economy of 50 mpg. A fully charged battery and full tank of gas will allow the Volt to travel 300 miles.
First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Volt:
– By: Kap Shah