Weekend Roundup: Volt Production Figures, Last Viper, Tesla’s IPO

Stepped away from your Blackberry, PC, or iPad for the week? Here are a few of the top news stories for the past week, along with some auto shows to visit and racing action you may want to tune into during your weekend.

Chevrolet Announces Volt Production Numbers, Expands Launch Markets

Although we’ve heard plenty about the forthcoming 2011 Chevrolet Volt over the past year or so, General Motors finally detailed its plan for ramping up production. Between the end of this year and the end of 2011, the automaker plans on building 10,000 examples, and that figure will triple by the end of 2012.

Additionally, GM announced it had expanded the list of launch markets from four to seven. Now included in the group of “early adopters” are Texas (Austin, especially), New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Tesla Issues IPO, Reveals Updated Roadster 2.5

Some questions surrounding Tesla’s fiscal future were put at bay this week when the California-based electric car manufacture launched its initial public offering — the first American car company to do so since 1956. The automaker reportedly was able to rake in nearly $226 million from the process, which should surely help it stabilize its future product and production plans.

Shortly following the IPO, Tesla also managed to unwrap its revised Roadster, dubbed the Roadster 2.5. The new model includes minor improvements, including updated front and rear fascias, new wheels, and a revamped interior.

Hyundai Veloster to Debut at 2011 Detroit Auto Show, 2012 Elantra Spied

We first saw the Hyundai Veloster concept back in 2007, but we learned earlier this week that a production-ready version will be headed to the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. We’re not sure the name will make it into production, and rumor has it the Tiburon name could resurface on the new car.

Speaking of future Hyundais, we also managed to spot a 2012 Elantra prototype parked right beneath our office window. Although we couldn’t see the car in all its glory, it’s apparent it takes a number of its styling cues from the 2011 Sonata. We expect to see more of the new car shortly, seeing as it’s scheduled to debut around this time next year.

The End? Golden Coupe Marks End of 2010 Dodge Viper Production

We knew the end was coming — but that doesn’t mean we weren’t caught a little off guard to learn Dodge built its 500th and final 2010 Viper SRT10 this past week. The golden coupe was custom-ordered to a Viper fan’s wishes, and will join her collection of 40+ cars in Texas. Although we hear Chrysler is mulling a third-generation car, we’re not quite certain if the project is still green lighted — or if it will even be called Viper.

Weekend Racing

-NASCAR Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway Saturday July, 3 at 7:30 p.m. on TNT
-Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona 250 at Daytona International Speedway Saturday July, 3 at 1 p.m. on Speed