As the 2011 Chevrolet Volt inches ever closer towards its launch date in November 2010, engineers have shifted their attention to tuning and tweaking the vehicle. Among the most important aspects of the Volt that the engineers will have to perfect are the sound and feel of the powertrain — a characteristic that could alienate some drivers.
Andrew Farah, chief engineer for the Volt program, revealed a few tidbits about the Volt's current driving experience. According to Farah, the engineering team has instilled the Volt with "the feel of a sports car."
"The engine, not being directly connected to the [accelerator], is one of the things we continue to tune. We don't want it to be discomforting to people. There is an expectation of what happens when you put your accelerator to the floor in the way the car sounds and feels.
"We've got the feel," Farah says. "The sound part and the way the engine plays into that perception is one of the areas we have to work on."
The team is also working on reducing wind and road noise. With a completely silent powertrain, it's important for the Volt to be devoid of wind noise and road noise. Farah says GM doesn't want the Volt to be "Cadillac quiet" because it might be "disconcerting," but the team is working on reducing cabin noise.
Most importantly, Farah says the team is just beginning the final tuning of the Volt.
"We are at the 50 percent point. Fundamentally, we've got everything directionally correct, but now we've got all the tuning yet to do."
With only a year left to complete the tuning process before Volt production is scheduled to begin, we hope Farah and his engineers have enough time to finish the other 50 percent.
Source: Automotive News