2016 Chevrolet Volt Propulsion System Detailed

2016 Chevrolet Volt Voltec Propulsion System Components 6 photos
Photo: Chevrolet
2016 Chevrolet Volt Voltec Propulsion System Components2016 Chevrolet Volt Battery Pack2016 Chevrolet Volt Voltec Drive Unit2016 Chevrolet Volt Drive Unit and Range Extender2016 Chevrolet Volt Electric Motor
In advance of its 2015 Detroit Auto Show official debut, the golden bowtie manufacturer informs that the second-generation Volt will have "an increased EV range" and many other eco-friendly goodies.
Boasting with a newly-developed Voltec extended range vehicle propulsion system, the 2016 Chevy Volt is going to offer greater range compared to the first generation of the breed. So what exactly did engineers do to enhance the model's capability?

Though GM still keeps the complete details under lock, we can point out a revised cell chemistry that was co-developed with LG Chem. Thanks to it, the storage capacity of the battery pack increased 20 percent on a volume basis, while the number of battery cells has decreased from 288 to 192 units.

Furthermore, those cells are positioned lower in the pack for a lower center of gravity, while the overall mass of the battery pack decreased by almost 30 pounds (13 kilograms) according to General Motors.

On a full charge, the second-generation Chevrolet Volt is expected to surpass the 40-mile mark when driven in pure electric mode, which is pretty big news for a big volume plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

As before, the drive unit has two electric motors

Don't even think about comparing this layout to the dual-engined, all-wheel drive Tesla Model S P85D. In the 2016 Chevrolet Volt's case, the drive unit has been reengineered for better efficiency, packaging and performance characteristics. The two-motor drive unit is approximately 5 to 12 percent more efficient and weighs 100 pounds (45 kilograms) less than the current unit according to General Motors.

Of course, the two-motor drive unit sends power to the front axle only. As for what GM calls the Traction Power Inverter Module, the part that's managing the power flow between the battery and the electric drive motors, it has been directly built into the drive unit to reduce mass, size and build complexity.

If you're interested more in the performance boost, that comes from both motors operating together in more driving scenarios, in both EV and extended-range operation. By using both electric motors in more driving scenarios, that helps with delivering more than 20 percent improvement in acceleration.

New 1.5-liter range extender replaces old 1.4L

In terms of internal combustion, the 2016 Chevrolet Volt is equipped with a newly-developed engine. This 1.5-liter gasoline-fed mill employs direct injection, cooled exhaust gas recirculation, a variable displacement oil pump and a high-compression ratio of 12.5:1.

It's mum's guess how much horsepower and torque the new, more efficient powerhouse packs, but it's a sure thing production will be handled by the Toluca, Mexico engine plant for the first year of production, then it will shift to the Flint, Michigan engine plant.

"When it launches in the second half of 2015, it will represent a significant leap forward in technology, design and overall refinement. It will store more energy in its battery pack with fewer cells, yet go further on a charge. It will accelerate faster. And the car's gas generator will come from an all-new GM engine family and use even less fuel." declared the automaker's chief executive officer, Mary Barra.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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