2011 Chevrolet Volt

Sunday, February 13, 2011; 9:00 AM

Bottom line: The Volt is real. It works brilliantly. It will change our concept of the automobile.

Ride, handling, acceleration: Excellent marks in all.

Head-turning quotient: It wowed all spectators.

Power source: Lithium-ion T-shaped battery pack in tandem with 1.4-liter premium-gasoline-powered engine-generator. Why premium? Gas goes stale with storage. It's possible to drive all year without ever using gas.

Drive system: One-speed direct drive. Top estimated horsepower is 150. Top speed is 100 mph.

Charging times: There is a three-hour quick charge with appropriate, available equipment (check with dealer). Charging with regular house current takes eight to 10 hours.

Capacities: Seats four. Cargo volume is 10.6 cubic feet.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, anti-lock brake protection, and electronic stability and traction control.

Price: Prices start at $40,280. With options, price was $44,680. Estimated dealer's cost was $41,500.

© 2011 The Washington Post Company