GM has been working with great diligence to prepare their Volt concept car for its introduction into the market by 2010; or so they are letting it be known. They are letting it be known publicly that the Volt and the E-Flex power-train that motivates it are the A-1 priority of the company. So it is not just important that the engineering of the E-Flex system function perfectly, but the styling of the Volt must be appealing to the masses in-order to entice the average car buyer.
“GM is once more a design-driven company, so it’s only natural that design keep pace with the engineering development of the E-flex system,” so says GM’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz. To back-up those words GM has opened a new design studio in the Warrent Technical Center that will be headed up by Bob Boniface. Boniface is credited as the lead designer for the Concept Camaro that is soon to reach production and for Chryslers Stow-and-Go seating in their mini-van. Although GM believes that the Volt is 90 percent complete as far as the design goes, Boniface will be involved in fine-tuning the appearance of the car as certain alterations were required to conform to safety regulations.
GM is reporting that they have spent close to $100 million on the Volt thus far and as much as $4 billion on the E-Flex propulsion system. All of these announcements are aimed at squelching the claims by some critics that the Volt is nothing but a publicity stunt designed to give a green impression for GM. So it is good that they come out publicly to proclaim their commitment to both the Volt and its all important styling and functionality. However, until the Volt is unleashed on the buying public there truly is no other way to prove the sincerity of your efforts. It is nice to hear though that GM is ready to make a commitment toward impressive design again. At least there is something to look forward to.