There’s just something about a sleek driving vehicle that saves you money at the pump that makes it difficult to look at it as just another car. The 2012 Chevy Volt is by far from, just another car. While traveling to Philadelphia, PA for the annual Blogging While Brown conference this month, I was able to get a full Chevy Volt experience from the inside out.
In general, the Volt gives you an everyday car vibe, with perks! As 2011′s North American Car of the year, the Chevy Volt triumphs in the glory of gas-less driving. You can literally plug in the vehicle, charge the battery and commute gas-free for about $1.50 of electricity per day. (That’s less than a Venti White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks!)
The driving experience while in electric mode is absolutely unmatched! When I say this vehicle is quiet… you can hear a pin drop louder than you could, starting the engine. The inside of the Chevy Volt has a style of its’ own as well, reminiscent of a sci-fi spaceship scene, the two 7-inch diagonal LCD screens offer as much information via OnStar as is does diagnostic updates for the vehicle. While it’s easy to identify how many miles you have remaining until it’s time to charge the Volt or fill up the gas tank, it wasn’t as easy to operate the button-full entertainment console. With multiple options for navigation, entertainment control and climate control – making any changes while driving was a NO NO. Many of the buttons were too close to each other, making it difficult to determine if I was turning down the air-conditioner or changing the XM station. As long as you make any necessary changes while parked, you’re good to go.
Some of the key standard tech features include:
7″ LCD touch screen and digital reconfigurable
7″ LCD instrument (entertainment) cluster
Remote car starter system
Keyless ignition/ push button start
Bose Energy Efficient sound system with six speakers & a subwoofer
Stereo with timeshift function, USB port and auxiliary input jack
30GB hard disk drive for digital music
Driving in the Chevy Volt was smooth sailing on the road. As a leader in the electric and Hybrid arena, Volt stands out among it’s competitors. The Volt unlike other electric vehicles isn’t restricted to and electric motor powered by rechargeable battery packs. Competitors like the Nissan Leaf have limitations when it comes to long range trips. The Volt has a gas-powered, range-extending generator that kicks in once your electricity has tapped out. Giving you peace of mind on the road, just in case you’re not ready to pull over and recharge just yet.
For more information on the Chevy Volt visit Chevy.com or call (888) Volt-4-You.
You’ve asked for it! A sleeker, sexier sedan to fit your stylish needs…and Ford listened! The all-new Ford Fusion was revealed earlier this week during the North American International Auto Show and its been receiving rave reviews! Featuring a sleek silhouette and fresh face, the all-new Fusion is the latest in a series of vehicles from Ford – following the 2011 Fiesta subcompact and 2012 Focus small cars – developed to satisfy customers everywhere who want leading fuel efficiency, helpful technologies and game-changing looks. But here’s where the Fuse stands out – the new Ford Fusion is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, each with expected top fuel economy, underscoring Ford’s commitment to give customers the power of choice.
The Fusion Hybrid – 2010 North American Car of the Year – continues to innovate and evolve with all-new lithium-ion batteries that save weight and generate more power than previous nickel-metal hydride batteries, while raising maximum speed under electric-only power from 47 mph to 62 mph. Fusion Hybrid also features an all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine, significantly downsized from the previous 2.5-liter unit while maintaining performance standards. This innovative powertrain is anticipated to deliver best-in-class fuel economy of 47 mpg in city driving and 44 mpg on the highway.
Fusion Hybrid fuel economy stands to outperform the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid by 4 mpg city and 5 mpg highway and the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid by 12 mpg and 4 mpg, respectively. Topping the fuel-efficiency ladder is the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, aiming to be the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world. Arriving this fall, Fusion Energi is anticipated to deliver more than 100 MPGe, a mile per gallon equivalency metric for electrified vehicles. This is 8 MPGe more than the Chevrolet Volt and 13 MPGe more than the projected efficiency of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid model.
The Fusion Merges Stylish Technology on four wheels…
The all-new Fusion offers an unprecedented portfolio of driver assistance and convenience technologies based on sensors, cameras and radar that enable the car to see and respond. Fusion can help drivers maintain proper lane position, adjust vehicle speed to changing traffic conditions, identify suitable parking spaces and help park, even aiding drivers backing out of parking space where visibility is obstructed. Specific technologies include:
- Lane Keeping System: No need to fear about “drifting” into the next lane over. With Fusion’s Lane Keeping System technology the system will alert a driver if drowsiness or erratic lane-keeping is detected. The second element warns a driver with a steering wheel vibration if the Fusion drifts too close to lane markings and even apply pressure on the steering to help bring the car back into proper lane position
- Adaptive cruise control: Using forward-looking radar, this system “looks” down the road when activated, slowing the Fusion when slower traffic is detected ahead. Adaptive cruise control enables collision warning with brake support to help slow the car if the potential of a crash is detected
- Active park assist: Using sensors, this technology can identify a suitable parallel parking space, calculate the trajectory and steer the car to properly position it within the spot. All a driver need do is operate accelerator and brake pedals. It does the parking for you!
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert: Sensors keep an eye out for your blind spots for you. BLIS technology enables cross-traffic alert, warning the driver of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space with obstructed views, such as between two large trucks or vans.
The Fusion stays in sync with the driver…
The all-new Fusion offers the latest iteration of Ford’s award-winning, industry-exclusive SYNC®communications and entertainment system, which enables voice-activated communication through a driver’s mobile phone and interaction with the car’s audio system. Fusion also offers the latest version of MyFord Touch®, allowing a driver to interact with vehicle systems through voice control, a touch screen tap or a conventional button. Both SYNC and MyFord Touch – powered by SYNC – help reduce the potential for driver distraction through voice-controlled functionality, allowing drivers to keep hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Fusion will be produced and will appear in Ford showrooms in North America and South America later this year.
If your an AT&T customer and a Ford fan, then you’re in luck! AT&T is keeping up its wheeling and dealing this week, signing an agreement with Ford to provide the built-in wireless connectivity for its upcoming Focus Electric hatchback.
The deal’s pretty simple, really. Ford has put together a comprehensive MyFord Mobile application to go with its EV, which will allow you to keep track of and schedule charging, while also serving up status notifications, range information, and nearby recharging stations’ locations, the latter facility being provided with the help of MapQuest. All that data exchange will need a nice dumb pipe to carry it between the Focus and your smartphone and AT&T is obligingly fulfilling that role — and don’t worry if your phone doesn’t support the app (works with Android, BlackBerry and iOS), Ford’s got a web interface too.
During the North American International Auto Show, I got a chance to check out some amazing cars and get the behind the scenes look at the Auto Show only the ways Divas and Dorks can…