$1B Buys Quiet, 'Potent' Ride

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2009 11:49 AM CDT
A cross section of General Motors' Chevy Volt is seen on display during opening day of the North American International Auto Show on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009 in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)
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(Newser) – To allay skepticism about progress on the development of the much-ballyhooed Chevrolet Volt, GM let Chuck Squatriglia of Wired take an engineering prototype for a spin. The vehicle—a Chevy Cruze with a Volt drivetrain—didn’t look like much, and not all of the features worked, but the ride "was remarkably smooth," and "out on the road, the covert Volt was potent."

The Volt’s line director assured Squatriglia the prototype was “80-plus percent of what you’ll see in the production Volt,” but some key features were missing—like the suspension, the handling and, more important, the charge-sustaining engine. But GM insists the car is on schedule, and that the company is pouring more money and staff into it. “We think electric vehicles are the future,” the line director said. “This is our long-term view.”