2015 Detroit: The 2016 Chevrolet Volt gets revealed at Detroit

Chevrolet had a big spotlight recent to reveal the all-new 2016 Volt for the second generation.

The new Volt boasts greater EV range, more efficiency and better all around performance. Quite specifically, Chevrolet says the new Volt is capable of at least 50 miles on all-electric power while total driving range, even with the range-extending motor, is rated at around 400 miles.

“The 2016 Chevrolet Volt provides our owners with a no-compromise electric driving experience,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America, in the press statement. “We believe our engineering prowess combined with data from thousands of customers allows us to deliver the most capable plug-in vehicle in the industry.”

The Chevrolet Volt achieves these figures thanks to a two-motor drive system that’s more efficient and 100lbs lighter than the outgoing design. It consists of a 18.4 kWh battery that’s 20lbs lighter, mated to a 1.5L range-extending motor estimated to provide 41 mpg.

For full details, check out the press release below.


Chevrolet Introduces All-New 2016 Volt

New model features expressive, sleek design and delivers 50 miles of EV range


DETROIT – Chevrolet today unveiled the all-new 2016 Volt electric car with extended range, showcasing a sleeker, sportier design that offers 50 miles of EV range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration.

The Volt’s new, efficient propulsion system will offer a General Motors’-estimated total driving range of more than 400 miles and with regular charging, owners are expected to travel more than 1,000 miles on average between gas fill-ups.

“The 2016 Chevrolet Volt provides our owners with a no-compromise electric driving experience,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “We believe our engineering prowess combined with data from thousands of customers allows us to deliver the most capable plug-in vehicle in the industry.”

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s technology and range advancements are complemented by a design that blends sculpted, muscular proportions with aerodynamic efficiency, and an all-new interior with seating for five and improved functionality.

Everything from charging the battery and checking the charge status, to the intuitiveness of instrument panel controls were designed for easier use.

“According to independent surveyors, Volt owners are the most satisfied in the industry and they were our compass for developing the next-generation model,” said Batey.

2016 Volt highlights:

  • New two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter (45 kg) than the first-generation drive unit
  • Two-motor design enables 19 percent stronger zero-to-30 mph acceleration
  • Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 20 pounds
  • Regen on Demand™ feature enables driver control of energy regeneration via a convenient paddle on the back of the steering wheel
  • New 1.5L range extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined GM-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 mpg (EPA estimate pending)
  • Stronger body structure and quieter ride
  • New braking system with improved capability and blended Regen feel
  • New, five-passenger seating with available rear heated seats
  • Location-based charging capability
  • 120V portable cord set has a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location
  • Available illuminated charge port

The 2016 Volt goes on sale in the second half of 2015.

Sleeker, sportier design
The 2016 Volt has an all-new, muscular design that incorporates Chevrolet performance vehicle DNA inspired cues refined in the wind tunnel.

New features, including active grille shutters, help balance design with efficiency.

Volt’s flowing, dynamic shape is inspired by the toned physiques of athletes and even the natural shapes of wind-swept sands, with carved body sides and fenders that blend into the hood. The front-end appearance retains the iconic Volt identity, with bright upper and lower grille pads.

Greater attention to detail in the design cues, materials and colors also lends a more premium, contemporary aura to its appearance. It also retains the distinctive Volt signature on the upper front doors, carrying over one of the first-generation model’s identifiers.

Inside, the new Volt includes seating for five. Fresh colors exude an inviting upscale aura – complemented by blue ambient lighting – while the controls are more intuitively placed and simpler to operate.

The Volt retains its signature dual digital color displays with an eight-inch-diagonal reconfigurable screen in the instrument cluster to relay driver information. An additional eight-inch-diagonal touch screen in the center of the instrument panel controls the Chevrolet MyLink system.

Fewer icons on the center dash make it easier to operate. Separate climate control knobs and buttons below the center display offer clear, convenient operation.

New Voltec propulsion system
An all-new, second-generation Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system is the power behind the 2016 Volt’s increased all-electric driving range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. It was engineered based on the driving behaviors of first-gen Volt owners.

“Volt owners complete more than 80 percent of their trips without using a drop of gasoline and they tell us they love the electric driving experience. Putting that experience at the center of the new Voltec system’s development helped us improve range, while also making the new Volt more fun to drive,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer. “We established a precedent when the original Voltec propulsion system debuted and this newest iteration sets the EV technology bar even higher.”

The Voltec system includes the battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics.

GM’s industry-leading battery technology has been reengineered for the next-generation Volt. The 2016 Volt will use an 18.4 kWh battery system featuring revised cell chemistry developed in conjunction with LG Chem. While overall system storage capacity has increased, the number of cells have decreased from 288 to 192 as the result of a revised chemistry. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for an improved (lower) center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack is 21 pounds (9.8 kg) lighter.

Like the battery system, the next-generation Volt’s two-motor drive unit delivers increased efficiency and performance along with reduced noise and vibration. The drive unit operates up to 12 percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current system.

Both motors operate together in more driving scenarios, in both EV and extended-range operation. The ability to use both motors helps deliver a 19 percent   improvement in electric acceleration from zero to 30 mph (2.6 seconds) and a 7 percent improvement from zero to 60 mph (8.4 seconds).  GM engineers designed the Voltec electric motors to use significantly less rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare earth-type magnets.

More convenient location-based charging
Using real-world experiences of today’s Volt owners, Chevrolet made the charging system in the next-generation Volt more convenient for customers to recharge the battery – and to check the charge status.

The new and enhanced features include:

GPS location-based charging
“Owners will now be able to set their charging preferences exclusively for “home” charging and the vehicle will automatically adjust to that setting when it is at “home” based on GPS data,” said Farah, the chief engineer. “The new Volt will give owners greater flexibility for charging on their terms and make public charging easier.”

This will allow owners to pre-set their 120V charging level (eight amps or 12 amps) and whether they wish to charge immediately, set a departure time for each day of the week, or set a departure time and a utility rate schedule to charge only at off-peak rates. These setting will only have to be programmed once and the Volt will default to them when the vehicle return to its home location.

New, more intuitive charge status indicators
The next-generation Volt makes it easier for owners to confirm their Volt is charging and gauge charge status. The new status system features a specially designed tone that indicates when charging has begun, with additional tones for delayed charging. It will even indicate if the charge port door was left open after unplugging but before entering the vehicle.

With a glance through the windshield, an updated charge status indicator light on the on the top of the instrument panel will show the approximate charge level through a series of flashes. An available illuminated charge port makes it easier to plug in after dark.

Portable cord set enhancements
A new 120V portable cord set has a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location. The storage bin for the cord is now located on the left side of the Volt’s rear cargo area, above the load floor, for improved accessibility.

Safety features
The new Chevrolet Volt offers new standard and available safety features that work with an all-new body structure to provide crash-avoidance and passenger protection capability. Highlights include:

  • Standard rear-vision camera
  • Ten standard air bags, including driver and front-passenger knee air bags
  • Available active safety features offering lane keep assist with lane departure warning, side blind zone alert with lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert with following distance indicator, front automatic braking, and advanced park assist with front and rear park assist (semi-automatic parallel parking)
  • Expanded use of high-strength steel throughout the body structure improves strength and reduces weight
  • More effective structural load paths in the frame, along with reinforced rocker panel structures and side structure reinforcements

The new, active safety technologies and structural enhancements build on the Volt’s legacy of top safety performance, which include a 5-Star overall New Car Assessment Program rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the current model.

GM is investing $435 million in the production of three products, including the next-generation Chevrolet Volt, at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and future battery technologies at the Brownstown, (Mich.) Battery Assembly Plant, where the Volt’s lithium-ion battery pack is produced.

The new drive unit will be manufactured at GM’s Powertrain plant in Warren, Mich., and the 1.5L engine will be manufactured at GM’s Toluca, Mexico engine plant for the first year of production, then shift to the Flint, Mich. engine plant.

Since its introduction in late 2010, the Volt has established southeast Michigan as the hub of vehicle electrification development and manufacturing. The next-generation Volt will feature approximately 70 percent U.S. and Canadian components within its first year of production, a nearly 20-percent increase from the first generation.


Model: Chevrolet Volt
Body style / driveline: front-wheel-drive, five-door/five-passenger hatchback extended-range electric vehicle
Construction: single body-frame-integral (unibody) with front and rear crumple zones; galvanized steel front fenders; hood, roof, door panels; one-piece bodyside outer panel; thermal plastic olefin (TPO) bumper fascias
EPA vehicle class: compact car
Key competitors: Toyota Prius Plug-in, Ford C-Max energi, diesel and mid-luxury sport sedans
Vehicle manufacturing location: Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Hamtramck, Mich.
Battery manufacturing location: Brownstown Township, Mich.

Battery System

Type: rechargeable energy storage system comprising multiple-linked modules
Size/case: 5.5-foot-long T-shaped; steel base (tray) and glass-filled polyester structural composite cover
Mass (lb / kg): 403 / 183
Battery chemistry: lithium-ion
Thermal system: liquid active thermal control
Cells: 192 prismatic pouches
Warranty: eight years / 100,000 miles (10 years / 150,000 miles in ARB states)
Energy: 18.4 kWh


Type: 1.5L DOHC I-4
Displacement (cu in / cc): 91 / 1490
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 2.90 x 3.40 / 74 x 86.6
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: overhead camshafts; four valves per cylinder, double continuous variable cam phasing (DCVCP)
Ignition system: individual coil-on-plug
Fuel delivery: Direct fuel injection
Compression ratio: 12.5:1
Output (kW / hp @ rpm): 75/101@5600 RPM
Max engine speed (rpm): 5600
Emissions controls: Split Volume Common Can (SVCC) catalyst; fast light-off Oxygen sensor
Fuel type: regular unleaded (87 Octane)

Electric Drive

Type: electric, two-wheel, front-drive
Motors: two-motor arrangement
Transaxle: Two-motor continuously variable, integrated controls
Motoring Power
(kW / hp)
Generating Power
(kW / hp)
Torque: (lb-ft / Nm): 294/398

Charging Times

120 V: about 13 hours @ 12 amps
240 V: about 4.5 hours


Top speed (mph): 98
EV range (city): 50 miles / 80 km (estimate, combined city/highway)
EV + extended range: 420 miles / 676 km (estimate including EV on fully charged battery and full tank of fuel
Fuel Economy (mpg)
Electric Efficiency
41 mpg
102 mpg-e
Acceleration 0-60mph                 8.4sec
0-30mph                 2.6sec


Front: independent MacPherson strut-type with side-loaded strut modules, specially tuned coil springs, direct-acting hollow stabilizer bar; hydraulic ride bushings
Rear: specially adapted compound crank (torsion beam) with double-walled, U-shaped profile at the rear; specifically tuned coil springs, hydraulic bushings
Chassis control: four-channel ABS; all-speed traction control; StabiliTrak; drag control
Steering type: rack-mounted electric power steering with TRW steering gear
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 3
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m): 36.4 / 11.1
Steering ratio: 15.7


Type: power four-wheel disc with ABS; electro-hydraulic; fully regenerative to maximize energy capture; dynamic rear brake proportioning
Brake rotor diameter front  (in / mm): 26 / 276; vented, single 60-mm piston w/ steel body caliper
Brake rotor diameter rear (in / mm): 10/ 264; solid; steel body caliper with single 38-mm piston with park brake motor on caliper
Total swept area (cu cm): front: 350
rear: 277


Wheel size and type: 17″ 5-spoke painted aluminum wheels
17″ Split-Y Ultra Bright Machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets
Tires: Michelin Energy Saver A/S 215/50R17 all-season



  Wheelbase (in / mm): 106.1 / 2694
  Overall length (in / mm): 180.4 / 1481
  Overall width (in / mm): 71.2 / 1809
  Height (in / mm): 56.4 / 1432
  Track front (in / mm): 60.6 / 1540 (front)
61.8 / 1570 (rear)



Seating capacity
(front / rear):
2 / 3
Headroom (in  / mm): 37.8 / 961 (front)
35.8 / 909 (rear)
Shoulder room (in / mm): 56.5 / 1434 (front)
53.2 / 1351 (rear)
Hip room (in / mm): 53.7 / 1365 (front)
51.3 / 1304 (rear)
Legroom (in / mm): 42.1 / 1068 (front)
34.7 / 882 (rear)
Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 10.6 / 301


Curb weight (lb / kg); 3543 / 1607
Engine cooling (qt / L): 7.4 / 7.0
Battery pack cooling
(qt / L):
4.5 / 4.25
Power electronics cooling (qt / L): 5.1 / 4.8
Fuel tank (gal / L): 8.9 / 33.7
Engine oil w/ filter (qt / L): 4.2 / 4.0
Drive unit fluid (qt / L): 7.1 / 6.7 (Including cooling loop)

Note: Information shown is current at time of publication.

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive & active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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