It was one of the biggest differences between the super-luxury Cadillac ELR range-extended coupe and the Chevrolet Volt on which it was based: user-adjustable, on-demand regenerative braking.
And with the official 2015 North American International Auto Show debut of the next-generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt just three weeks away, General Motors has revealed that the next-gen Volt will come with the ELR’s user-adjustable regenerative braking as standard.
It did so by releasing a YouTube video yesterday that shows GM’s product chief Mark Reuss and Volt team leader Andrew Farah putting the new Volt through its paces. Shot from the inside of the car — with the majority of the gauges and dials obscured by the obligatory camouflage sheets — Reuss chats about the refinements to the Voltec drivetrain, specifically the regenerative braking.
“One of the great things that I really learned to use was the regeneration,” said Reuss of the Cadillac ELR’s on-demand regenerative braking.
Like the ELR, the new Volt will allow customers to tweak the amount of regenerative braking applied on accelerator lift-off using two steering-wheel mounted paddles. Ranging from what we assume will be a ‘coast’ mode — something many owners asked for on the original Volt but didn’t get — to a more severe retardation, this should make it possible to drive the 2016 Chevrolet Volt in most situations using just the accelerator and reserving brake pedal use for emergency or low-speed manoeuvres.
“Really, its an opportunity for the people who like to finesse their eco driving a little bit,” explains Farah in the video. “[So they can] go ahead and be able to control the regen directly, not just through the blended brake pedal.”
“I can tell you that it is even more refined than the ELR,” Reuss adds. “We’re going to get customers that we’ve never got before here with a car that really is something special.”
Sadly, we can’t tell you much more about the interior of the new Volt, although we note from the few interior shots there are that the Volt prototype being driven seems to have a revised centre console stack, a smaller, more conventional automatic gear shiftier in the traditional position, and perhaps a revised dashboard too.
It’s worth noting however from the big red stop button on the top of the dashboard that this particular video was filmed in a 2016 Volt pre-production test vehicle, so the details you can — or can’t — see may be subtly different to the final production model.
But when you combine this latest information with the new, sleeker, Corvette-influenced styling, the longer electric-only range and promise of a far improved overall fuel economy, we think the three-week wait before the official 2016 Chevrolet Volt reveal will be well worth it.
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