Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2010 04:14 PM
Typically, a new vehicle must prove itself at least to some extent before it is bestowed with the highest honors in automotive journalism — car of the year awards. But Chevrolet’s Volt, in which a regular consumer has yet to log Mile One, already is scooping up such kudos based on its promise, and its technology, alone.
Two of the more prestigious nods have just gone to Volt: Motor Trend Car of the Year, and Automobile of the Year for Automobile magazine.
To put this in perspective, Volt was first shown as a concept car in January, 2007, at the Detroit auto show and quickly became a darling of automotive green thinkers everywhere. In less than three years, General Motors not only is in the midst of a variety of pre-launch promotions for Volt but already has aired TV advertisements and will begin selling the “extended-range” hybrid to American consumers next month.
General Electric already has stepped up to announce a major purchase of Volts for its corporate uses, a huge endorsement from the commercial sector just as Volt is about to go on sale on a retail basis – and just before GM’s upcoming IPO.
“This is the most sophisticated, most important vehicle on the road today,” the editors of Automobile said in selecting Volt, “free of the limitations that accompany[y] pure electric vehicles.”
For their part, Motor Trend editors said that Volt “delivers on the promise of the vehicle concept as originally outlined by GM, combining the smooth, silent, efficient, low-emissions capability of an electric motor with the range and flexibility of an internal combustion engine.”
Seldom has a car this new and different enjoyed this kind of tailwind even before it’s officially for sale. Let’s see how consumers treat Volt once it is.