Beijing Auto Show: Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Crossover Concept
By Chris Haak
Last week, the sleuths at GM Inside News stumbled upon a design patent drawing for a crossover that seemed to basically have the Chevrolet Volt’s face attached to a crossover body. Though the size wasn’t apparent from the fairly basic drawing, it seemed to be similar in size and shape to the forthcoming Chevrolet Orlando crossover.
Now, this Volt-looking crossover has made its official debut at the Beijing Auto Show in China, and it’s nearly exactly what the insiders at GM Inside News expected it would be. The Volt MPV5 has a wheelbase just 15 mm longer than the four-seat Volt, but its body is 181 mm longer and 182 mm taller than the Volt. The MPV5’s interior uses the Volt’s iPod-like center stack and gauge cluster, but adds five-person seating, and the second row seats fold. The Volt MPV5’s powertrain is identical to the Volt’s (16 kWh T-shaped lithium ion battery pack, 150 horsepower/273 lb-ft electric motor, 1.4 liter range-extending gasoline engine), but because of the Volt MPV5’s less-optimized aerodynamics and heavier weight relative to the Volt sedan, its electric-only driving range drops from approximately 40 miles to 32 miles.
The Volt MPV5’s design works for me; it seems to be a handsome-looking extension for the Volt brand, and proves that the Voltec architecture that underpins the Volt is flexible (after all, it also underpinned the Cadillac Converj coupe concept in 2009). In what is likely a further boost to the Volt MPV5’s production likelihood, it would most likely be classified as a light truck, and could help GM to meet increasingly-aggressive CAFE targets over the next several years. No official word on production from GM, however. Follow the jump for a photo gallery and GM’s press release.
Beijing – Chevrolet has made a major commitment to providing world-class, fuel-efficient vehicles to its customers around the world. In recent months, through GM’s Shanghai GM joint venture, Chevrolet has introduced the fuel-efficient Cruze and New Sail in China. It will introduce the Volt electric vehicle with extended range capability in 2011.
GM Unveils Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Electric Concept at Auto China 2010
Crossover with Extended Range Capability Builds on Volt’s Foundation
In preparation for the Volt’s arrival, Chevrolet is leveraging Auto China 2010, which starts today in Beijing, to introduce the Volt MPV5 electric concept. The five-passenger multi-purpose crossover concept demonstrates the potential of the Voltec propulsion system by utilizing the same foundation as the Volt, for gas- and tailpipe emissions-free electric driving.
Maximizing Efficiency and Style
The styling of the Volt MPV5 concept borrows design and aerodynamic cues from the Chevrolet Volt. The front fascia is among the most aerodynamic of any crossover thanks to its closed grille and aero-optimized lower air dam, both of which help improve fuel efficiency. A full-underbody belly pan, along with rocker claddings, creased tail lamps and specially designed blades on the rear quarter, also help the Volt MPV5 concept cut through the wind with ease. The intense focus on improved aerodynamics enables greater all-electric range.
The exterior of the Volt MPV5 concept isn’t solely about efficiency. Its Sonic Blue Metallic paint provides a contemporary appeal, while the dual skylight panels and 19-inch Volt-inspired wheels build the Volt MPV5 concept’s sporty credentials.
“The Volt MPV5 concept takes the efficient design of the Chevrolet Volt and adapts it to the family vehicle crossover segment. It’s immediately recognizable as a true member of the Chevrolet family,” said Bob Boniface, Director of GM North America Crossover Exterior Design, whose team worked in conjunction with members of GM’s design studio in Australia on the Volt MPV5 concept.
The Volt MPV5 concept’s dimensions provide added passenger comfort. While the 2,760-mm wheelbase of the Volt MPV5 concept is a mere 15 mm longer than the wheelbase of the Chevrolet Volt, its body is 181 mm longer (4,585 mm), 73 mm wider (1,871 mm) and 182 mm taller (1,612 mm) than the Volt.
Inside, the Volt MPV5 concept adopts the Volt’s center stack and gauge cluster along with its striking two-tone leather seats. Thanks to the Volt MPV5 concept’s size, passenger comfort doesn’t take a backseat. Typical for Chevrolet crossovers, the Volt MPV5 concept’s seating position allows for maximum comfort and flexibility, including improved entry and egress.
When it comes to cargo, the Volt MPV5 concept carries on the crossover tradition thanks to its flip-and-fold second row seating, which provides up to 1,764.1 liters of cargo space with the seats folded and 863.7 liters of space behind the second row.
Voltec Power Boosts Green Credentials
The Volt MPV5 concept utilizes the same Voltec propulsion system found in the Chevrolet Volt, including the added capability of an engine generator to extend the driving range and eliminate “range anxiety.” A 16-kWh T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack powers the electric drive unit.
The flexibility of the Voltec system enables the Volt MPV5 concept to meet full vehicle speed and acceleration requirements while driving the vehicle and its five occupants up to 51.5 km on pure electric propulsion. This is double what the average urban commuter in China travels each day. When the battery is depleted, a 1.4-liter engine generator sustains the battery charge and provides up to 482 km of electric propulsion.
“The Volt MPV5 concept demonstrates the flexibility of the Voltec propulsion system, which can produce enough electric power to propel a range of vehicles. from a compact sedan like the Volt to a crossover like the Volt MPV5 concept,” said Doug Parks, Global Vehicle Line Executive and Global Vehicle Chief Engineer for Electric Vehicles at GM.
“Rapidly growing demand for personal transportation across China is creating new environmental and energy security challenges,” said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. “GM is committed to finding and adopting solutions, which include the electrification of the automobile. The world premiere of the Volt MPV5 concept in Beijing demonstrates GM’s desire to make China a global focus of its advanced technology strategy.”
GM continues to advance electrification in China through research and development. It has launched the China Automotive Energy Research Center (CAERC) in Beijing. The venture with SAIC and Tsinghua University is developing a comprehensive automotive energy strategy for China. The GM China Science Lab, which opened last November, is carrying out advanced automotive-related research, including battery development. In March, GM introduced the EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) concepts in Shanghai. A centerpiece of the SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai, EN-V embodies GM’s vision for personal urban mobility in 2030. In addition, GM is supporting its Shanghai GM joint venture’s “Drive to Green” strategy, which is focused on developing green products, supporting green manufacturing and undertaking a green responsibility.
General Motors, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 204,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM is the joint global automobile partner of World Expo 2010 Shanghai along with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC). More information on the new General Motors can be found at HYPERLINK “http://www.gm.com” \t “_blank”www.gm.com.
Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Concept
Model: Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Concept
Body style / driveline: five-door, front-wheel-drive crossover
Description: electric vehicle with extended-range capability
Top speed (kph): 160 (100 mph)
EV range (city in km): up to 51.5 (32 mi) based on EPA city cycle
actual mileage may vary depending on driving habits/conditions, weather and battery age
Extended range: 482 km (300 mi) on a full tank of gasoline
Energy: 16 kWh
Electric drive unit
Power (kW / hp): 111 / 150
Torque (lb-ft / Nm): 273 / 370
120 V: over 8 hours (actual charge times may vary)
240 V: about 4 hours (actual charge times may vary)
Type: four-wheel disc, fully regenerative to maximize energy capture
Wheel size and type: 17-inch forged aluminum
Tires: specially developed low rolling-resistance
Wheelbase (in / mm): 108.7 / 2,760
Length (in / mm): 180.5 / 4,585
Width (in / mm): 73.7/ 1,871
Height (in / mm): 63.5 / 1,612
Seating capacity (front / rear): 5
Cargo volume (cu ft): 62.3 cu-ft with rear seats folded, 30.5 cu-ft behind second row
Fuel tank (gal / L): TBD