Chevrolet Volt MPV5 Crossover Revealed in Beijing

Staff - CAP staff
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It's taken Toyota a dozen plus years before mere rumblings of an expanded Prius "range" started hitting the news, but Chevrolet appears ready to capitalize on its Volt nameplate before the first car hits the road. 

The sedan is forthcoming as a 2011 model, but Chevy shows that it doesn't want to stop there.  Revealed in Beijing, the five-door Volt MPV5 concept rides on the same Voltec architecture as the four-door Volt. 

The Volt MPV5 concept is just that, a concept, but the fact that Chevrolet is showing it verifies that it has plans to expand on the a name that's almost become as well known as Prius.  The Voltec architecture, however, is far more advanced than the Prius, being an extended range EV that sources drive power from electric motors and uses a small gasoline engine as a generator to restore battery power; the Prius, like other hybrids, uses electric motors to support a conventional internal combustion engine.

The Volt MPV5's powertrain is the same as the Volt sedan, rated at 150 horsepower and powered by a 16 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.  The Volt MPV5 should be capable of similar performance as the four-door model, but greater drag from its increased frontal area means its electric range is reduced to 51 km (32 miles) from the Volt sedan's 64 km (40 miles). 

It doesn't take an eye for detail to see the similarities between the Volt sedan and MPV5, the new crossover sporting the same grille design, basically the same headlamp cluster shape, like taillights, while the overall body style mimics the upcoming Orlando crossover. 

Inside, the MPV5's dash and instrument cluster looks near identical to the Volt sedan, and doesn't seat any more people either.  The new crossover would likely be more comfortable thanks to its upright stature, mind you, and as far as cargo space is concerned, the concept is much more accommodating than the real thing at 864 litres (30.5 cubic feet) compared to 301 litres (10.6 cu ft) for the sedan. 

So, will this concept become the real thing?  A production Volt MPV5 is more than likely for myriad reasons, the first being almost certain success.  Another bonus is reduced CAFE ratings for GM's light truck lineup on the whole. 

China may be the locale of introduction, but the stylish crossover would likely be sold in North America as well due to strong name recognition and our penchant for all things hybrid-electric.

Could a two-door coupe like the original Volt concept be next? 

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Hybrid, HEV, EV, Chevrolet, 2010, Volt MPV5 Concept,

Geographic location: Beijing

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