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Tomorrowland Ad for 2016 Volt Features Chevy Concepts throughout History

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2016 Chevy Volt Tomorrowland ad

The 2016 Chevy Volt is making its big-screen debut on May 22nd with a cameo role in the Disney adventure Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson. So in the spirit of cross-promotional synergy and whatnot, General Motors just released a Tomorrowland-themed commercial for the new Volt, which plays upon the automaker’s history of innovation.

Take a look:

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The ad features animations of five different five different concept vehicles—the Firebird III, the Firebird IV, the Astro II, the Astro II, and the Express—based on scans of concepts from the GM Heritage Center. All of the concept sketches are shown “evolving” into the current (and comparatively dull-looking) 2016 Volt.

“The Chevrolet archives are full of innovation in the form of sketches, specs and renderings for ‘the car of tomorrow,’” said Paul Edwards, US vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “This animation reveals how the freedom of imagination helps find new roads in present day as demonstrated in the next-generation Chevrolet Volt – the car of tomorrow, today.”

GM was kind enough to provide a little information (and some great photos) of each model:

  • Firebird III, which debuted at the 1959 Motorama. It was an extravagant prototype with a fiberglass exterior, seven short wings and tail fins. This vehicle, like both generations of the Volt, allowed drivers to pre-condition the interior temperature before entering the vehicle.
Firebird III concept

1959 Firebird III concept

  • Firebird IV was an experimental car created to highlight what could be possible on automatic highways, including the latest infotainment at the time – in-vehicle television. The vehicle was built for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, which plays a key part in the plot of “Tomorrowland.”
Firebird IV concept

1964 Firebird IV concept

  • Aerodynamics, also key to the design of the Volt, heavily influenced the design of the Astro II prototype. The vehicle was revealed at the 1968 New York Auto Show and at the time had speculators wondering if it was the next generation of the Corvette.

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Astro II

1968 Astro II prototype

  • The 1969 Astro III was a sleek, two-passenger experimental car resembling an executive jet aircraft, even down to its low center of gravity tricycle-type wheel arrangement. The Chevrolet Volt’s battery lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity, enhancing stability and handling in inclement weather.
1969 Astro III

1969 Astro III

  • Chevrolet built the Express concept in 1987 as part of a project consulting with the federal government about building high-speed, limited access commuter roads open to specialized vehicles. The concept is described as “whisper-quiet” much like the Volt when operating in electric mode.
1987 Express II

1987 Express II

“The spot is a reminder that the Volt realizes a long-held aspiration to make a beautiful, efficient, quiet electric vehicle that is attainable,” Edwards said.

Simultaneously, it’s a reminder that Tomorrowland comes out on Friday, May 22nd—buy your tickets now!