Spotted: Reader Snaps 2016 Chevrolet Volt Testing at Speed on I-696 Ahead of August Production Debut

Since we first saw a sneak peek of it at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and then at its official 2015 Detroit Auto Show Debut, the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt has been getting a lot of attention.

This 2016 Chevy Volt pre-production car was spotted last night in Michigan.

This 2016 Chevy Volt pre-production car was spotted last night in Michigan.

Due to enter production this August ahead of a market debut in the U.S. shortly afterwards, the second-generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt offers a better all-electric range, higher fuel economy and more practical cabin than the outgoing first-generation Volt. As we learned last week, the leaner, meaner 2016 Chevy Volt will also get a $1,195 price cut over the outgoing model, with the entry-level 1LT trim level Volt going on sale for $33,995 before incentives.

But while we’ve seen plenty from GM’s official media channels talking about the improved handling and regeneration on demand features of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, we’ve yet to experience the car for ourselves or indeed see one testing in the wild since its Detroit unveiling in January.

That was until eagle-eyed reader Joe Willett sent us these smartphone shots taken last night of a white pre-production 2016 Chevrolet Volt speeding westbound along I-696 near to Farmington, Michigan.

“Last night my wife and I were driving west on I-696 when I noticed a white car overtaking me at my left,” Joe explained in an email. “At a glance I saw the Volt badge on the rear hatch but it was obviously not a regular Volt (I tend to compulsively count the plug-in cars I see while driving, so Volts stand out to me). After a few seconds I realized what I was looking at, but it was far ahead of me.”

Joe tells us he was able to catch up to the Volt, which he estimates was travelling at around 75 mph, but that his ageing 2005 Toyota Prius had to “work hard” to do so. Just as they drew level with the Volt to snap at the two photographs posted with this story, the car slowed to exit the expressway and they lost track of the car.

Here's an official Chevy Volt publicity shot to compare the spyshots to.

Here’s an official Chevy Volt publicity shot to compare the spyshots to.

Given the time of night — around 9:11 pm — and the fact the shots were taken by his wife on a smartphone in a moving car, the shots aren’t all that clear. But clear or not, the car is certainly a second-generation Chevrolet Volt wearing manufacturer plates.

What’s particularly exciting too is the fact that the Volt appears to be free of the the usual plethora of test-equipment that accompanies many pre-production test-run cars, indicating that perhaps this is one of the final production intent vehicles being put through its final paces ahead of production signoff in a few weeks’ time.

As a fun side, Joe tells us that during a moment “only a car geek would care about” the odometer of his Prius rolled over the 193,000 mile mark as he spotted the Volt pass beside him.

“I like to catch a glimpse of each 1,000 mile advance so it was funny to me to have one occur right as something much more interesting was in front of me,” he joked.

With the 2016 Chevrolet Volt sales launch only a few months away, we’re expecting Volt sightings to rise in the coming weeks — so if you see one on the roads near you, be sure to drop us a line.


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