GM has already let the world know that the 2016 Chevy Volt will be new and improved when it debuts at the North American International Auto Show in January. To build some extra hype they’ve released a series of camouflaged spy pics to start a discussion about the challenges of defeating spy photographers who want a shot of this next-gen plug-in hybrid (and have indeed snapped a few).
It is the engineers, rather than the stylists, who designed the camouflage in an effort to conceal the 2016 Volt’s new look, and still pull pertinent data out of the on-road tests meant to challenge the car’s weight and aerodynamic efficiency. GM engineers use several methods to conceal test cars, including;
- Black and white patterns – The color scheme creates a shadow that hides vehicle design elements.
- 3D – Layered camouflage throws off onlookers, but has to be applied without interrupting airflow around the car.
- Swirls – In the old days of car camouflage, the design relied mainly on a grid pattern, but over the years engineers discovered that girds are difficult to realign if a piece is removed to make a change to the car. Swirl patterns better hide such developments.
- Bubble wrap – Camouflage can be made from many different materials including plastics, vinyl and foam. Good, old bubble wrap is a lightweight, easily attachable three-dimensional material used to confuse prying eyes.
Unfortunately, the cropped photograph GM included with the story doesn’t give away much about the Volt’s new look, though when combined with the earlier teaser of the backend, one can start to form the very basic outlines of the 2016 Chevy Volt. From what I can gather, it’ll be less polarizing in its looks, but stronger too in a more conventional sense. More range and more room are two things Chevy Volt customers wanted most, and a new marketing campaign is in the works too.
With a look that better fits the rest of the corporate fleet, as well as a myriad of other improvements, can the Volt breakthrough into the mainstream?