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Motor Trend's Car of the Year: Chevy Volt

2:54 PM, Nov 16, 2010 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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The automobile magazine Motor Trend has awarded the Obama-approved, government-subsidized Chevrolet Volt its annual "Car of the Year" appellation, reports MSNBC:

Motor Trend says the Volt has some of the most advanced engineering ever seen in an American car. The Volt can run up to 50 miles in pure electric mode before a backup gas engine kicks in to give it more range.

Motor Trend also said Tuesday that the car is a great value. It costs $33,500 with a federal tax credit, but will likely be cheaper to run than a traditional hybrid. The Volt goes on sale next month.

The award was good news for General Motors as it prepares an initial public offering of stock on Thursday.

Jonathan V. Last pointed out last month in an issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the Volt isn't a bargain and its efficiency claims are dubious at best:

General Motors markets the Volt as an EV that can go 40 miles on a single charge, but also has a “range extending” gas engine that kicks in to power the motor if you run out of juice. With the gas engine engaged, GM claims the Volt gets 50 mpg on the highway. Its sticker price is $41,000....

Popular Mechanics has tested the Volt’s mileage claims and found that it gets 33 miles on its electric charge (not 40) and that its miles-per-gallon performance is 31.67 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway (not 50). Edward Niedermeyer, editor of the website The Truth About Cars, writes that it’s “a vehicle that costs $41,000 but offers the performance and interior space of a $15,000 economy car.” The Volt’s 2011 production run was originally slated to be 60,000 units; it’s been cut to 10,000.

Read the whole thing.

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