You might have seen the 2011 Volt from Chevrolet on the road, but in reality they were just mock ups built on the platforms of Malibu and Cruze. The real deal production prototypes cruise around the Warren Test Center of General Motors in Michigan.
The test mules are packed with lithium ion batteries, complex computer controls, a cooling system, and other necessities to make it cruise smoothly on the road. GM will be testing the configuration on 80 units until it goes to production by late 2010.
The prototypes that will eventually go into production are referred to as the integration vehicles since they combine the Volt power train and platform.
The integration achieves two goals. First, they validate the design, safety components, and performance of the car. The test runs also give GM designers and engineers an insight for their final moves before production kicks off.