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More Chevrolet Volt details emerge

On-demand regen braking and ice-taming traction-control for next Chevrolet Volt

23 Dec 2014

CHEVROLET is continuing the drip feed of next-gen Volt information, this time releasing video footage of the plug-in hybrid undergoing snow and ice testing, and a regenerative braking demonstration by the company’s product development chief.

The first of two short films reveals the second-generation Volt will have on-demand regenerative braking controlled through steering wheel paddles, allowing the driver to choose when power is reclaimed from the road rather than an automated system.

At its wheel, General Motors executive vice president of global product development Mark Reuss explains the new technology is more refined than the similar Cadillac ELR on which the Volt system is based, and will attract more interest to the forthcoming PHEV.

“We’re going to get customers that we never got before here with a car that is really something special,” he said.

The new model will also recover energy from the “blended brake” as the current version does, but by pulling on the steering wheel paddles, the new Volt can be slowed without touching the pedals, topping up the battery at the same time.

Little interior detail can be seen under its disguise, but the video does confirm the vehicle will have digital instruments, while hardware behind the rear-view mirror suggests forward-looking camera technology, and a mysterious overhead green light could be a new battery charge indicator.

In the second video the heavily camouflaged Volt negotiates snow and even sheet-ice covered roads with aplomb, demonstrating the vehicle's fast-acting traction-control system.

The North American car-maker has already confirmed the next Volt will use a new 1.5-litre range-extender petrol engine in conjunction with a lighter two-motor electric drive, and a capacity-boosted battery.

Until the camouflage comes off we won't be able to confirm if the new Volt's styling will meet the company's claim that it will “Turn heads everywhere it goes - from the test track to the open road.” Those head-turning looks are likely to first break cover at the Detroit motor show possibly alongside the next-gen Malibu, which is also due for a styling makeover.

Speaking to North American publication Automotive News, GM global design chief Ed Welburn said the next Malibu's design will "make a significant statement" with "a very passionate design.” At this stage neither vehicle has been confirmed for sale in Australia where the first version badged as a Holden is currently available, but a spokesperson told GoAuto the car was still under consideration.

“We've made no announcements regarding the next Volt in Australia. As with all products we're reviewing the business case for this vehicle”.

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