- Automobili Lamborghini Celebrates 50 Years of Legends with the Exclusive Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario
In celebration of its 50th birthday and against the backdrop of the Shanghai Auto Show, Automobili Lamborghini is presenting a very special super sports car with exclusive equipment and technology. The Lamborghini Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario is a limited and numbered series of 100 units worldwide. Each unit has a Forged Composite® badge with the 50° logo and a serial number. With its output increased to 720 hp, its new performance-oriented front and rear design, the special paintwork and unique interior trim, this Aventador is one of the most exclusive models ever produced in the history of Lamborghini.At the Shanghai Motor Show 2013 Lamborghini is also presenting the Gallardo LP 560-2 50° Anniversario. It is painted in Bianco Opalis, a shimmering white, and boasts exclusive features like the carbon-fiber rear wing from the Gallardo Superleggera and the transparent engine cover. Furthermore appearing in Shanghai are an Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster in Bianco Isis and a Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder in Grigio Telesto.
All Lamborghini models built in the 2013 anniversary year feature the 50th anniversary emblem in the cockpit. Like every Lamborghini, it is made using a combination of hi-tech and artisanal craftsmanship – the emblem is produced in Forged Composite, a carbon-fiber material patented by Lamborghini. The glazed “50th” logo is then applied by hand by experienced specialists.
- Something is not right in the House of Honda… Shanghai Concepts
I can no longer deny that it hurts me to see Honda struggle so much in the design area, an area where Honda used to lead the market, where it used to be head above shoulders over the rest. Seeing the attached images just make me cringe. I realize that there is a different flavor for the Asian market, but that could only be used for an excuse if this was not representative of what we have seen come out from Honda over the past years. The cars are either really boring, or horrific. There seems to be nothing left of the passion and creativity that used to be synonymous for Honda. They need to be saved, urgently!!!
Honda exhibited the world premiere of the Concept M, a concept model of a mass-production vehicle to go on sale next year in China, at Auto Shanghai 2013.
The Honda Concept M is a concept vehicle for the MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) segment developed mainly for Chinese market. Currently, commercial vehicles account for the majority of the MPV market in China. Honda will introduce a new-value vehicle to the segment that offers the attributes of a passenger car with a comfortable and spacious cabin that is also fun to drive. The Concept M was designed by the design studio at the Automobile R&D Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. in Japan. Honda is making progress in the development of a mass-production vehicle based on this concept model aiming for market introduction next year.
The Honda CRIDER is a mass-production vehicle based on the Concept C (a concept model for a middle-class sedan developed for the Chinese market), which was introduced at the Beijing Motor Show last year. Developed under a design concept based on an image of a dragon, the CRIDER features top-class vehicle size, an energetic exterior design and dynamic performance that exceeds other vehicles in its class. The CRIDER is a mid-size sedan developed for Chinese customers mainly by Honda’s Chinese associates.The vehicle is scheduled to go on sale from Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. in June of this year.
The Honda JADE (Chinese name: 傑徳) is a mass-production vehicle based on the Concept S (a global concept model for a new-value passenger mover developed primarily for the Chinese market to go on sale first in China), which was also introduced at the Beijing Motor Show last year. Featuring an innovative design developed based on an image of jade stone with a beautiful exterior look and noble sense of quality within, the JADE will satisfy diverse customer needs from everyday use to holiday driving. The JADE was designed to match the tastes of Chinese customers born in 1980s who are energetic and known for pursuing their dreams.The JADE is scheduled to go on sale from Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. in September of this year.
- 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
Photos by Cor Steenstra
The latest Beetle has been an instant success for Volkswagen since it went on sale in September 2011 as a 2012 model. And that success will continue with the introduction of the Beetle Convertible, the sportiest and most dynamic version of the iconic softtop seen so far.
Ever since the type 15 Convertible from 1949, the Beetle has been one of the most popular open-top cars built. More than 330,000 examples of the first Beetle Convertible were manufactured over a 32-year span, while another 234,619 New Beetle Convertibles were produced in an eight-year period.
The New Beetle Convertible was not a straight copy of the original, but a reinterpretation and development of it. And that’s the case with the third-generation Beetle Convertible. Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer, Volkswagen Brand says: “Retro is not our thing: we are always looking forward. Volkswagen has reinterpreted the Beetle Convertible’s timeless design with a sportier and more dynamic silhouette, just as it did with the Beetle Coupe. The car is substantially wider, has a longer hood, and has a more upright windshield that sits further back than before. The standard rear spoiler reinforces the car’s sporty look.”
At launch, there will be three special edition Beetle Convertibles that evoke three distinct decades in American cultural history—the 1950s, the 1960s, and the 1970s. The ‘50s Edition Beetle Convertible is classic and classy in black with a tan interior. The ‘60s Edition has groovy two-tone seats and Denim Blue paint that gives a nod to blue jeans, the most ubiquitous fashion statement of the era. And the ‘70s Edition Convertible harks back to the more sophisticated side of the decade with a Toffee Brown exterior and chrome-look disc wheels.
The Beetle Convertible retains the bold, purposeful stance of the Coupe, thanks to wider tracks and a longer wheelbase than the previous New Beetle Convertible. Compared with the 2006 version of the older car, the latest Beetle Convertible is 3.3 inches wider at 71.2 inches; 1.1 inches lower at 58.0 inches tall; and 6.0 inches longer at 168.4 inches overall.
A convertible bodyshell is less rigid than a coupe’s because the upper part of the structure is open, so the Beetle Convertible’s body needed reinforcements. This included the use of partial body reinforcements and sheetmetal with greater strength such as:
• The A-pillar’s interior bar is 0.5 mm thicker and made from ultra-high-strength hot-formed steel instead of cold-formed metal. There is also a reinforcement in the “bend area”
• The front roof crossmember has an additional central plate
• Additional tubing made of ultra-high-strength (hot formed) steel between the B-pillars as well as a stronger heel plate
• More sheetmetal in the lower body sidemembers
• An extra rear panel that integrates the Automatic Rollover Support System is made of high-strength steel
Due to the targeted use of materials and laser welding of selected parts, the body stiffness was increased by 20 percent over that of the New Beetle Convertible: the torsional rigidity is now 17.8 Hz.
Top up, the Beetle Convertible has an even lower roofline than the Coupe’s. The top lies flat when it’s lowered, giving good visibility: the flexible leatherette top boot tidies up the appearance and is also a nice retro touch. Volkswagen decided to stick with a traditional softtop because it allows for a roofline that’s more like the original 1949 type 15’s. Also, a softtop takes up less space than a folding hardtop, thus giving more trunk space. The heatable rear window is made of tempered safety glass.
The softtop’s outer shell itself is made from three layers: an outer one of polyacrylic woven fabric; a middle layer of synthetic rubber; and an inner lining of polyester. Underneath, there’s a three-layer design for the insulation, made from polyester nonwoven fabric, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) insulating fleece, and polyester spunboard. The headliner is made from foam-laminated fabric. The result is a snug top that yields remarkably low levels of wind noise.
The top is powered by two electric motors and latches and unlatches automatically at the touch of a button, which is located on the upper rail of the windshield surround. The top takes just 9.5 seconds to stow and 11.0 seconds to be raised: the difference is in the time it takes to latch the roof’s header to the windshield. The top can be raised and lowered at speeds of up to 31 mph, unusually high for a convertible.
Pressing and holding the button opens the top, while pulling and holding closes it. The side windows automatically drop when the top is opened and are raised when it closes. There is an indicator light located in the instrument panel. Trunk space remains the same whether the top is open or closed.
An integrated wind blocking system is available on the Beetle Convertible as a Volkswagen Genuine Accessory. It is housed in the trunk under the convertible top area and can be safely and neatly stowed when folded and not in use. The storage compartment for the wind blocker is designed to allow full use of the trunk area.
The Beetle Convertible’s interior styling, ergonomics and quality build off the themes that were introduced with the Coupe. Klaus Bischoff says: “The shape and use of color for the dashboard harkens back to the design of the very first Beetle models and helps to create a highly individual cabin. The simple layout and clean graphics are the same as the Beetle Coupe’s, which has been a success with consumers and critics alike.”
Three round gauges are arranged in front of the driver (tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge), providing all key information at a glance. A multifunction display is integrated in the speedometer, which is housed in the central position in the binnacle. The steering wheel is specially designed with colored accents in the spokes depending on the equipment line.
Framed by two air vents, the audio/navigation system is optimally located in the driver’s field of vision on the dashboard. Within easy reach, the climate controls are situated just below. Similar to the original Beetle, the new car has an extra glovebox integrated into the dashboard—the kaeferfach or “Beetle bin”. The lid folds upward, while the standard glovebox opens downward. Another classic feature is the auxiliary instrumentation package located above the audio/navigation system that consists of an oil temperature gauge, a sport chronometer, and a boost pressure gauge. This is standard on the Turbo and TDI Clean Diesel models.
All 2013 Beetle Convertibles are exceptionally well equipped. The base 2.5-liter model has standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; an eight-speaker sound system with aux-in; Bluetooth® technology; a Media Device Interface with iPod® cable; three-color adjustable ambient lighting; heatable front seats and exterior mirrors; cruise control; and V-Tex leatherette seating.
Available features include a multifunction leather-trimmed steering wheel, Keyless access with push-button start, leather seating, the RNS® 315 navigation system, the award-winning Fender® Premium Audio System, and Sirius XM® Satellite Radio.
Even though the latest Beetle Convertible has a sleeker and sportier roofline than the New Beetle Convertible, front and rear passenger headroom remains plentiful. The longer roof section results in 0.5 inches more rear-seat headroom. Front legroom is improved, too, by 1.6 inches, and front shoulder room grows by 2.5 inches. Overall, the interior volume has increased from 78 to 81.4 cubic feet.
The trunk is larger, offering 7.1 cubic feet of space, compared with the New Beetle’s 5.0 cubic feet. A split-folding rear seat—new on this Beetle—allows the car to carry bulkier and larger items than is normal with a convertible.
Engines and Transmissions
The 2013 Beetle Convertible offers the following powertrain combinations: the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission; the 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine with six-speed manual or six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmissions; and the 2.0-liter TDI turbocharged Clean Diesel with the same manual or DSG options.
The 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder has dual chain-driven overhead camshafts with variable timing on the intake side, four valves per cylinder, and an aluminum-alloy cylinder head. The engine makes 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimated fuel economy rating is 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
The turbocharged dual-overhead-cam, 16-valve, 2.0-liter, direct-injection, four-cylinder engine in the Turbo makes 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, delivered from just 1700 rpm. With the DSG transmission, the Turbo gets EPA-estimated fuel economy of 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway; for the Turbo with the six-speed manual, the figures are 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.
The Beetle TDI uses the company’s 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection Clean Diesel engine that makes 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The car has an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 28 mpg city and 41 mpg highway when equipped with the manual transmission, making it the most economical convertible on the highway today.
Dual-clutch transmission advantages: DSG combines the comfort and ease-of-use of an automatic with the responsiveness and economy of a manual. The six-speed, transversely-mounted DSG unit features two wet clutches with hydraulic pressure regulation. One clutch controls the “odd” gears—first, third, fifth and reverse—while the other operates the even gears. Essentially it is two gearboxes in one.
With DSG, the set-up allows the next-higher gear to be engaged but remain on standby until it is actually selected. In other words, if the Beetle is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.
Since the opening and closing actions of the two clutches overlap, a smooth gearshift results and the entire shift process is completed in less than four-hundredths of a second. In addition to its fully automatic shift mode, DSG has a Tiptronic® function to permit manual gear selection.
All Beetle Convertible models are fitted with a strut-type front suspension with lower control arms and an anti-roll bar: on the Turbo’s sport suspension, the bar’s diameter is increased from 22 mm to 23 mm. At the back, all models get a multi-link independent rear suspension with coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an 18-mm-diameter anti-roll bar.
All Beetle Convertibles have standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake pressure distribution (EBD). The Convertible and TDI Convertible have 11.3-inch-diameter vented front discs and 10.7-inch-diameter solid rear disc brakes. The Turbo has larger 12.3-inch-diameter vented front discs, with red calipers.
To help ensure that power is applied properly in challenging conditions, the Turbo model features the XDS® cross differential (limited-slip) system that electronically monitors input from various wheel sensors and, in the event of slippage, transfers extra torque to the wheel or wheels with the most traction.
Safety and Security
The starting point in the Beetle Convertible’s safety armory is a very rigid body structure that uses seamless laser welds and ultra-high-strength hot-formed steels in the crash-load paths. In a convertible, it’s important to have protection in the event of a rollover accident, which Volkswagen has addressed with a reinforced front roof crossmember, strengthened A-pillar, and the Automatic Rollover Support System. Two roll-over bars are concealed behind the rear bench seat-back, activated by the computer that deploys the airbags in the case of a crash. Along with the fixed A-pillars, they help to provide effective protection for the occupants of all four seats within milliseconds. Front and head-thorax airbags are also among the standard equipment.
The Beetle Convertible includes Volkswagen’s advanced Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collision.
The Beetle Convertible is also covered under the no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. All scheduled maintenance is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Warranty—three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Additionally, all current Volkswagen vehicles use synthetic oil, which, when combined with state-of-the-art German engineering, eliminates the need for a 5000-mile oil change, and allows owners to go farther between scheduled oil changes.
The Beetle Convertible, which has a starting MSRP of $24,995, comes standard with: six-speed automatic transmission; leather-wrapped steering wheel; manual air conditioning; Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod adapter; three-color adjustable ambient lighting; Bluetooth technology; heated front seats; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; eight-speaker sound system with aux-in; cruise control; and power adjustable, heatable side mirrors. The ‘50s Edition adds leather seating surfaces, chrome exterior mirror caps, and “Heritage” wheels; it costs $26,095.
Beetle Convertible with Technology
Opening at $26,695, this trim adds the following to the Beetle Convertible’s standard equipment: a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel; Keyless access with push-button start; Premium VIII touchscreen radio; high-line trip computer; and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Beetle Convertible with Sound and Navigation
In addition to the features on the Beetle Convertible with Technology, this adds: 18-inch “Disc” aluminum-alloy wheels; the RNS 315 navigation system; and the Fender Premium Audio System. The Beetle Convertible with Sound and Navigation starts at $28,495. The ‘70s Edition adds chrome exterior mirror caps and a unique Toffee Brown metallic color, for an MSRP of $28,595.
Beetle TDI Convertible
Starting at $27,895, the TDI receives the following equipment that’s additional to the Beetle 2.5L’s: six-speed manual or six-speed DSG automatic transmission; leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel; Keyless access with push-button start; a leather-wrapped gearshift knob; Sirius XM Satellite Radio; the Premium VIII touchscreen radio; and the auxiliary instrumentation cluster. The six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission is an $1100 option.
Beetle TDI Convertible with Sound and Navigation
With a base price of $29,195, this version takes the TDI’s standard equipment and adds the RNS 315 navigation system and the Fender Premium Audio System.
Beetle Turbo Convertible
Starting at $27,795, the Turbo adds the following equipment over the 2.5L model: a six-speed manual or DSG automatic transmission; a sport suspension; 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; aluminum-alloy pedals; black-finished exterior mirror housings; front foglights; a leather-wrapped gearshift lever; and the auxiliary instrumentation cluster.
Beetle Turbo Convertible with Sound
This package adds a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel; Keyless access with push-button start; the Premium VIII touchscreen radio; the Fender Premium Audio System; a highline trip computer; and Sirius XM Satellite Radio. The base MSRP is $29,195.
Beetle Turbo Convertible with Sound and Navigation
The topline Beetle Turbo starts at $31,195 and adds: leather seating surfaces, door trims, and dashboard; sport seats; and the RNS 315 navigation system. The ‘60s Edition has two-tone leather seats and Denim Blue paint: available only with the DSG transmission, it is priced at $32,395.
Beetle, Beetle TDI: Fiat 500c, Mini Cooper Convertible
Beetle Turbo: Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang Convertible, Mini Cooper S Convertible
- 2013 Chevrolet Volt
Text and photos by Cor Steenstra
For 2013, Volt offers an e-AT-PZEV specification that earns the Volt a coveted “green sticker” for single-occupancy HOV lane access in California and New York. Volt also adds a Hold mode that allows owners to direct when the Volt uses its gas generator. This feature helps save money because owners who mix city and highway driving can save the battery charge for city travel, where the Volt’s EV mode operates most efficiently.Other updates for 2013 include a body-color roof and decklid, available lane departure warning system and forward collision alert crash-avoidance technologies, as well as GPS-enabled navigation capabilities to Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system.
A new exterior color, Silver Topaz Metallic, and new interior color, Pebble Beige, also join the Volt lineup.
The Volt is available throughout the U.S., with additional exports to Europe, China and Canada.
The Volt is built at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, home to the largest photovoltaic solar array in southeast Michigan. The facility can use the 516 kilowatts of solar energy generated by the 264,000-square-foot array (24,526 sq. m) to charge up to 150 Volts or help power the plant.
Volt propulsion system
The heart of the Chevrolet Volt is its Voltec propulsion system, which combines pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending engine, giving the Volt up to 382 total miles (615 km) of range.
The Volt’s long-life battery consists of a 5.5-foot (1.6 m), 435-pound (198.1 kg) T-shaped, 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It supplies energy to an advanced, 111-kW (149-hp) electric drive unit to propel the vehicle. Using only the energy stored in the battery, the Volt delivers an EPA-estimated 38 miles (61 km) of fuel- and tailpipe emissions-free electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature.
The Volt battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty. When the battery energy is depleted, the Volt seamlessly transitions to extended-range mode. Power is inverted from a technically advanced, 1.4L 84-hp (63-kW) gasoline-powered onboard engine to the electric drive unit to provide up to 344 (553 km) additional miles of range.
Charging the Volt’s battery is simple and intuitive, and can be done with a 120V conventional household electrical outlet, or a dedicated 240V charging station. The vehicle is completely rechargeable in about four hours using a 240V outlet and 10 to 16 hours in a 120V outlet (depending on charging level and outside temperature).
Once the vehicle is plugged in, owners can schedule either immediate or delayed charges, even coordinating charging according to departure time or when electricity rates are lower. Owners also can manage and monitor the Volt remotely via computer on MyVolt.com; or via a smartphone through RemoteLink, an exclusive smartphone application powered by OnStar.
Volt design and exterior features
Working closely with aerodynamicists in GM’s wind tunnel to shape the Volt, design and engineering teams developed the most aerodynamic vehicle in Chevrolet’s history. By reducing the energy needed to overcome air resistance, Volt aerodynamicists contributed an estimated eight miles (13 km) of electric range, and 50 miles (80 km) of extended range.
The Volt’s rounded and flush front fascia, tapered corners and grille enable air to move easily around the car to reduce drag. In the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler control air flow. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass also help reduce turbulence and drag.
Additional exterior features include:
- Body-color roof and liftgate
- Daytime running lamps with LED illumination
- LED center high-mounted stop lamp
- Heated and power-adjustable mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators
- Seventeen-inch five-spoke painted aluminum wheels are standard
- Seventeen-inch five-spoke forged, polished aluminum wheels and 17-inch sport alloy wheels with black inserts are available
- Pedestrian-friendly alert, featuring a driver-activated horn chirp
- Exterior color choices: Silver Ice Metallic, Summit White, Black, Crystal Red Tintcoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Viridian Joule, Cyber Gray Metallic, Blue Topaz Metallic and (new) Silver Topaz Metallic.
Inside, the Volt offers the space, comfort, convenience and safety features customers expect in a premium five-door sedan – including storage compartments and 40/40 rear-folding seats. It also delivers them in a variety of interior color, lighting and trim options unlike any offered before on a Chevrolet sedan.
Two seven-inch, high-resolution full-color screens are featured: One is a reconfigurable graphic cluster display and the other, in the center stack, features a touch-screen display, touch-control switches and integrated shifter.
Standard interior features include:
- Chevrolet MyLink includes Bluetooth streaming audio for music and smartphones, voice recognition for phone, music and radio, compatible with Pandora and Stitcher with Gracenote (playlist and album art) capability
- Color touch AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback, includes seven-inch-diagonal color touch-screen display
- USB audio interface port
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a three-month trial
- Bluetooth phone connectivity
- Automatic climate control
- Keyless access and ignition
- MyVolt.com vehicle connectivity
- Three auxiliary 12-volt power outlets – one in the front center console, one in the rear console and one in the upper instrument panel storage bin
- Remote vehicle starting system
- Universal Home Remote
- Premium cloth seats
- Front bucket seats with reclining seatbacks and adjustable head restraints
- Interior trim combinations include: Jet Black seat with Ceramic White accents, Jet Black seats with Dark accents, Jet Black and White seats with Ceramic White accents, Jet Black and Spice Red seats with Dark accents, and Pebble Beige seats with Dark accents.
Available interior features include:
- Audio system with navigation includes color touch AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback capability, GPS navigation, USB port, seven-inch diagonal touch screen display, Radio Data System, Chevrolet MyLink
- Bose energy-efficient, seven-speaker sound system
- Comfort Package with heated driver and front passenger cloth seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Safety Package 1 includes auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, rear vision camera and rear park assist
- Safety Package 2 is available when Safety Package 1 is ordered, and includes front park assist, forward collision alert and lane-departure warning to help drivers avoid potential collisions
- Premium Trim Package with leather-appointed seat trim, heated driver and passenger front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, removable rear seat armrests and premium door trim.
Volt chassis and suspension
The Volt’s MacPherson strut-type front suspension, sophisticated compound crank rear axle and quick-reacting, rack-mounted electric power steering system with ZF steering gear have been tuned to deliver a smooth, refined ride with responsive handling and a solid, on-center feel.
A low center of gravity combines with the wide track and long wheelbase for balanced performance. Front and rear hydraulic ride bushings help eliminate road harshness.
An electro-hydraulic regenerative brake system captures energy up to 0.2g for transfer back to the battery. The friction braking system features large rotors with a special finishing process that protects against corrosion and promotes longer life.
The Volt rides on lightweight aluminum wheels that weigh only 17.8 pounds (8.1 kg) each, compared to 24.2 pounds (11 kg) for typical 17-inch wheels. They’re wrapped in Goodyear Fuel Max all-season, low-rolling resistance tires optimized for electric vehicle range, noise, feel and performance.
Volt safety and crash-avoidance features
The Volt helps protect occupants before, during and after a crash. C rash-avoidance features include standard anti-lock brakes with traction control, StabiliTrak electronic stability control and advanced, LED daytime running lamps that make the Volt more visible to other motorists and pedestrians.
Occupant protection continues with a strong structure, and the Chevrolet Volt’s body-frame-integral structure strategically blends advanced steels to help ensure crashworthiness and stiffness. Nearly 80 percent of the Volt’s overall structure consists of high-strength, advanced high-strength or ultra high-strength steel.
Because the Volt operates so quietly in all-electric mode, a driver-activated feature sounds a noise to alert pedestrians, particularly those with visual impairments, in an intersection. The alert was developed in conjunction with the American Federation of the Blind.
Additional safety features include:
- Eight standard air bags, including dual-stage driver and passenger air bags; front driver and passenger knee air bags to help mitigate lower leg injuries; roof rail side-curtain air bags that extend over both seating rows for side-impact and rollover protection; and seat-mounted thorax and pelvic side air bags
- Available forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems warn drivers of a potential crash
- Available front and rear park assist
- Available rear vision camera
- Automatic occupant sensing system detects the presence of a child or smaller adult in the front passenger seat and suppresses the air bag to help avoid an injury
- Rollover sensing and protection system
- Collapsible pedal assembly to protect against lower leg injuries
- Safety belt retractor and lap belt pretensioners in the driver and front passenger positions
- LATCH child seat installation system in rear seating positions
- Anti-lock brakes, traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability enhancement
- Tire pressure monitoring system.
After a crash, the Chevrolet Volt offers the security of OnStar, which uses built-in vehicle sensors to automatically alert an OnStar advisor in certain types of collisions. The advisor is immediately connected to the vehicle and can request that emergency help be sent to its location.
- When Accidents Happen
Sadly, yes, accidents do happen. Like this very morning to me. I was on the 5 freeway driving North under the 133 overpass near Irvine. It was heavy traffic, very heavy, so we were doing a snails pace, about 5-10 mph at max, but probably less.
The Jeep behind me was suddenly hit with a lot of force by a Black Chevy Tahoe, older model, probably late 90′s. the sheer force of the impact slammed the Jeep into the back of my 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, which Toyota had kindly provided for evaluation.
The Chevy Tahoe had such speed that it nearly side swiped me too, but barely avoided it, only to drive on.. Did see, as it flew by, that it had sustained substantial front end damage, even the hood was clearly bent up, but apparently not enough for this driver to face up his responsibilities. He fled the scene.
The Jeep and I, both in the Number 1 lane, moved to safety on the side of the car pool lane, and contacted 911. I took the attached photos while waiting for CHP. As you can see, substantial damage, enough to have the car towed away.
Other than pain in my neck, obviously from this impact, I don’t have anything, and neither does the female military officer driving the Jeep. Lucky us.
So what do I learn from this? I was thankful that I kept enough distance from the people in front of this slow moving traffic, to myself not slam into them. I also learned that an accident can happen quickly, and from anywhere. So I want to make sure I don’t postpone doing what I feel I have to do. And honestly, the most important part, if you cause an accident, it is an accident. Face up to it. Shit happens.. Don’t hide from it.