General Motors have said that the 1.4 litre petrol engine in the 2011 Chevrolet Volt will require premium fuel.
The Volt hybrid uses an 111kW electric motor as its primary driving force. When the lithium-ion battery pack is used up after 40 miles (65km), the 80bhp petrol engine comes to life to recharge the motor and battery pack, extending the vehicle's range to 300 (547km) miles plus. Combined engine and electric power comes to 150bhp and 370Nm (273lb-ft) of torque.
Chevy’s 2011 Online Order/Reference Guide for dealers, an entry under the reference code LUU states: "Engine, Range Extender, 1.4L Internal Combustion Engine (estimated: 80bhp [60 kW]), requires premium fuel."
A GM spokesman Adam Denison confirmed: "The Volt's unique architecture causes the onboard engine to act more like a generator. As such, premium fuel is required to maximise fuel efficiency. The use of premium fuel in the Volt increases fuel efficiency by 5 percent or greater over the use of regular fuel. Simply put, premium fuel optimizes this engine's characteristics. Basically, with reduced fuel consumption a key objective, premium fuel is the right solution for the Volt."
Although fuel economy is yet to be announced, GM stresses that the Volt can return 230mpg combined on the U.S cycle. That translates to around 1l/100km.
The 2011 Volt receives an 8 year, 100,000 (160,000km) mile battery warranty. Prices start at $41,000, $33,500 after the $7,500 tax credit. If you fancy leasing, put down a $2,500 security deposit and you can lease the all-new Volt for $350/mth for 36 months. The first 4,400 owners will get a 120v charging cord and a 240v charging station with home installation. A 5 year OnStar 'Directions and Connections' service (which includes Automatic Crash Response, stolen vehicle assistance and connected navigation), 8 airbags (x2 front, side, curtain and knee), ESP w/ traction control will come as standard. On the warranty front, a 3 year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5 year/100,000 mile road assistance, courtesy transportation and petrol engine warranty, 6 year/100,000 mile corrosion protection coverage, and an 8 year/100,000 mile battery warranty will be available.
Currently available for pre-order at select dealerships (in California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and Washington D.C), the first Volts will be delivered late this year. Those who are curious about the Volt can ring 1-888-VOLT-4-YOU (1-888-865-8496) to get any questions answered. Impatient customers can order their new Volt on http://www.getmyvolt.com/.