Details are starting to emerge about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt which is due in the next 12 months with a refreshed exterior and numerous enhancements designed to make the Volt more efficient, fun to drive and affordable. It appears as though GM has talked specifically to Volt owners to determine what they wanted to see improved upon for the next generation.

What we do know is that the new battery pack will be able to store more energy, while being smaller and lighter. Rough numbers show a 20% improvement in storage. This will translate into a greater electric range for the Volt and more savings for drivers. Another improvement is to the range extending generator which will now be a 1.5L 4 cylinder gas engine (and no longer require premium fuel).

Along with efficiency, improved driving characteristics will benefit the new Volt, specifically improved acceleration numbers. A new two motor drive unit will help to power the vehicle on electric power making it accelerate and perform better. The new drive unit is also lighter and more efficient than the current unit.

Some of the details that we are still eagerly awaiting relate to design, size and price. The previous generation has been criticized for being a bit too small inside and having a sticker price that is too high. GM has promised to address both. The challenge for GM will be creating a Volt that is more spacious inside, without increasing weight and compromising its aerodynamic shape. Price on the other hand is something you can be assured will be lower and help to make the Volt more competitive.

Regardless of whether you purchase a 2014 Volt or wait for the refreshed version, the vehicle still offers the best electric platform of any hybrid or electric vehicle. If you compare the range and ability of many other vehicles, the Volt beats them all, with a range far greater than vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf. It also beats hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius or Lexus CT 200h which run on both gas and electric components, thus requiring more fuel than the Chevrolet Volt.

The new Volt is expected to make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January and we are all excited to see how it will look and drive!