Bob Lutz Deflects Criticism of Volts Design

Bob Lutz wants you to know that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt has a great personality.

“I submit that while it’s typically design that makes an emotional connection with buyers, in this case, the Volt is going to be bought for emotional reasons, but it will be for the emotion tied to the technology contained therein,” Lutz wrote yesterday in GM’s Fastlane blog.

The automaker’s product chief was responding to criticism of the production Volt’s appearance that followed both last week’s leaked images and yesterday’s official unveiling. Some have complained the car is derivative and bland, particularly compared to the aggressive concept. But Lutz said form had to follow function in the production model, and that designers came up with the “most beautiful design possible, around those aerodynamic dictates.”

Separately, Volt designers told the Detroit News that they had aimed to make the production car warmer and more inviting than the bold concept.

“This is not a conservative design, but it is familiar enough. People have to be able to see themselves driving it,” said head designer Bob Boniface.