TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- The design team for General Motors Volt plug-in hybrid car has added six to seven miles to the cars electricity-only range by improving the cars aerodynamics.
Air does not like to go around sharp corners. It creates turbulence and drag, Bob Boniface, GMs director of design for the Chevrolet Volt and E-Flex studio, said on Thursday, Aug. 14, at the Management Briefing Seminars.
Boniface therefore made numerous changes to the original concepts design. The changes were conceived in order to support the Volts goal of having a 40 mile range purely from the cars electric charge. More than 70 percent of U.S. commutes are less than 40 miles, GM says.
Boniface explained a number of those changes.
The concept originally had a blunt front end with a sharp crease on the corner. The production version now has a very rounded look.
The production cars grill texture is largely sealed up. The design now sends the air down the side of the car and not through the engine compartment.
A curving crease down the back corner of the concept has been smoothed. Both there and on the spoiler, Boniface said, You want an aerodynamic trip device so air leaves the car very quickly and cleanly. For the spoiler, GM added a 5 millimeter trip device, he said.