Aussie car manufacturer Holden is set bring about a new change with its eco-friendly green car, the Holden Volt. Current models of the Volt run on a 1.4 litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with no turbo, producing approximately 55kw of power.
It has been rumoured from a General Motors insider, that the Volt will be updated for a 2014 release to house an engine that could produce three times the power of the previous model. The newer 2.0 litre, four-cylinder turbo has been reported to produce around 160 to 200kw.
It has also been mentioned that the current engine was never really intended for the Volt, but due to General Motors’ financial difficulties in 2009, the 1.4 was subbed in for the first generation.
The Volt’s petrol engine is designed solely to power the batteries that the car runs on. With a newer engine and a possibly updated drive-train, the range is expected to increase greatly over the current model. It’s a familiar trend that has been seen in rival manufacturer’s eco cars as the demand for further distance per charge increases. Toyota’s Prius, for example, made the jump from a 1.5 litre engine, to a 1.8 litre in 2009 which boasted an impressive 30 percent increase in power.
Holden have always had a strong history in development of eco-friendly cars. Looking back to the year 2000, the ECOmmodore was unveiled as a concept vehicle that used 50 percent less fuel than the average saloon, with significantly reduced exhaust emissions. The ECOmmodore used parallel hybrid technology, with a 50kw electric motor to share the load of the drive with the petrol engine. By comparison, the Volt is a stepping-stone to a full electric car. The Volt’s current engine will run on electricity for around 90km on one charge. If it runs out, the petrol engine acts as a generator to recharge the system so you can continue the journey up to 500km.
The technology seen in the Volt is also expected to be seen in the new and boldly designed Cadillac ELR. The Volt’s American cousin will be Cadillac’s first plug-in production car. Not surprisingly, both models will share the same assembly line in Detroit.