Drive Type: 4x4
Clackamas, Oregon, United States
Ladies and gentlemen,
Chevrolet Cruze EV - Click above for high-res image gallery
The Chevrolet Volt hasn't yet gone on sale, but General Motors is looking at ways of expanding its electric vehicle lineup. Chevy, along with partner LG, is employing a group of all-electric cars in the form of the Cruze. The sedans are part of a demonstration fleet which is located in Seoul, South Korea and is being used to provide data in an electric vehicle research project. The goal is to gather information on driving patterns and charging behavior in addition to consumer acceptance.
The Cruze EVs, along with some Daewoo Lacetti Premieres EVs, are the first fleet of full-size electric vehicles and should provide invaluable information for The General. Staying full-size means not sacrificing cargo space, so the battery pack is mounted to the underbody, leaving the trunk area open for plenty recyclable, canvas grocery bags.
Chevrolet has thrown down the next hand in the pickup truck poker wars and revealed at least a couple of potential aces - depending on which numbers matter most to you. The 2014 2014 Silverado 1500 with its 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 gets 335 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, is mated to a six-speed automatic, can tow 11,500 pounds with the optional Max Trailer Package and costs the same as the outgoing Silverado, $24,585 (*including $995 destination fee). Chevy says the Silverado also stands atop the fuel economy charts when comparing any competitor with a V8 engine - and some competitors with V6 engines. The two-wheel drive model returns 16 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, 19 mpg combined in two-wheel drive guise and 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined as a four-wheel drive.
For context around those numbers, the most fuel efficient V8-powered 2013 Ford F-150 pickups lose about two mpg in every metric compared to the Silverado, the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost returning 16 city, 18 highway and 22 combined in two-wheel drive. However, that EcoBoost does have 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. You can get a Ram 1500 with a 3.6-liter V6 that gets 25 mpg highway, but it has 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The 2013 Ram with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and its 395 hp and 407 lb-ft drops one mpg in every category to the Silverado. Its tow rating is 200 pounds beyond its nearest competitor, the F-150 with the Max Trailer Tow Package.
Elsewhere, the new Silverado gets a quieter cab with a redesigned interior, a new bed with improved load-management possibilities, disc brakes all around, tweaked steering and suspension, along with free standard scheduled maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles.
Super Storm Sandy took out a lot of automobiles in its path of destruction through the Northeast last October. The number surpassed 250,000 at last count, and a few of those were owned by Chevrolet - cars either sitting on dealership lots or waiting at port to be shipped off. Rendered unsellable by the water damage inflicted by Sandy, these vehicles were facing the crusher. But Chevy didn't send them there.
Instead, Chevy had a better idea: It will be donating 300 of these vehicles damaged by Sandy to help train first responders at Guardian Centers in Perry, GA. Chevy is the official automotive partner of Guardian Centers, which is an 830-acre facility that trains first responders in disaster preparedness. Junked cars are practically a consumable commodity there, where a full-size cityscape simulator gives trainees an entire urban center in which to train for all sorts of rescue operations and disaster scenarios.
Chevy says its particular vehicles will be used "in conjunction with role players for wide area searches, traffic congestion in emergency situations, counter terrorism, public order and mass casualty exercises." While grim scenarios all, we're certainly glad there are people out there preparing for the unexpected. While a zombie apocalypse isn't officially on the list of potential disasters to prepare for, when the virus hits, we'll be hot-footing it to Perry, GA to hang with these guys and gals.