Here Is What Chevy’s Volt Plug-in Hybrid Replacement Should Look Like
Lately, I find myself wondering about what will come after the Chevy Volt has been discontinued and replaced by a crossover (as Chevy has made noises may happen). So, just for fun, what should the Chevy Volt replacement look like?
I think that the CrossVolt should be a compact SUV, built on the same platform as the Equinox due to two big reasons: the Volt’s power and the potential competition.
First, the power offered by the Volt is similar to the Equinox already. The Chevrolet Volt, as it is, makes 149 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque. This actually puts the Volt’s power on a similar footing to the Equinox’s—the SUV’s base 1.5-liter engine makes 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque, and its available 1.6-liter turbo-diesel makes 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque.
In this hypothetical CrossVolt, then, the Equinox engine would be replaced with the Voltec drivetrain’s 1.5-liter four-cylinder, and the other various gas powertrain components would be replaced by the Voltec drive motor and battery.
This would be even better if the Volt used a second drive motor, à la the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, to give the CrossVolt all-wheel drive capability.
Of course, mounting the Voltec on a larger vehicle would affect the range if we used the same 18.4-kWh T-shaped battery from the Volt, so I would suggest Chevy use a half-size version of the Bolt EV’s 60-kWh underfloor pack. The extra power (particularly with the second drive motor) could make up for mileage lost.
Making an Equinox-based CrossVolt would put the plug-in hybrid right into the hottest segment of crossovers, the compact, rather than relegating the technology to the fringe groups of small crossover and compact hatchback. That would put it in direct competition with the Outlander PHEV and Kia Niro, which would be the only two non-luxury plug-in hybrid vehicles of the same size.
Even if the CrossVolt uses the same battery as is in the Volt, by the way, it would still have more range than either the Niro or the Outlander, the former of which has an 8.9-kWh battery for 26 miles and the latter of which has a 12-kWh battery for 22 miles.
More Electron Power: Check out the Chevy Volt while it’s still here