The designers of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt wanted to appease customer requests in making the car more sporty and aggressive looking, however they also had to work within certain aerodynamic boundaries in order to maximize efficiency and reach the estimated 50-mile all-electric range.
Chevrolet says the exterior of the Volt was “inspired by endurance athletes.” The new face is meaner-looking, however the grille retains the wave-pattern elements seen on the previous-generation Volt. The grille opening is flanked by sharp, set back headlamps that flow into the front fenders and blend into the hood.
The Volt has also retained its hatchback layout, but GM designers devised a rear end design that incorporates “aero-optimized side panels” allowing air to smoothly contour around the more rounded rear section. Additionally, new sculpted tail lamps, shaped in GM’s wind tunnel, minimize airflow disruption, further adding to the EV’s slipperiness.
In addition to the carefully designed, aerodynamically optimized rear-end, Volt designers also incorporated a new grille shutter system in order to manage airflow into the engine compartment. The shutters will close during highway driving when less engine cooling is needed, which in turn reduces drag and enhances efficiency.
“The new Volt’s design is all about windswept surfaces so everything flows together,” said John Cafaro, Chevrolet executive director for global design. “It’s a theme captured from the flowing lines of the fenders into the hood, to the carved body sides which are aerodynamically tuned and aligned with Chevrolet performance DNA.”