Super Street Network

 |   |  The Battery Can Only Go So Far - Editorialism
Subscribe to the Free

The Battery Can Only Go So Far - Editorialism

A Sneak Peek At Excerpts From This Issue

Peter Tarach
Mar 11, 2011

Thanks to GM, I had the opportunity to spend a day driving what many are calling the Car of the Future the vehicle that will change General Motors the Chevy Volt. It’s a car that many car enthusiasts don’t necessarily think highly of. I’ll also admit I’m a bit nervous about what the future holds for our hobby when all of the major automotive manufacturers are working on or have an electric car in their fleet.

Modp 1104 01 o+peter tarach+profile Photo 2/4   |   The Battery Can Only Go So Far - Editorialism

Could the days of modifying combustion engines be over soon? I’m not sure I have an answer for that, but after seeing what the Chevy Volt is and isn’t capable of, I’m confident that we’ll still have the ability and choice to modify and drive combustion engine vehicles for decades to come.

The Chevy Volt is a leap forward in electric car technology, and it’s amongst the very few cars on the market that has a viable consumer-based alternative to combustion engine vehicles (even though it still has its own combustion engine). But the reason why it won’t affect the tuning crowd very much is because it’s engineered to be driven conservatively to maximize its potential. Drive the Volt hard, like you would a GT-R or 370Z, and you’ll be penalized with anemic gas mileage. The problem with electric cars as a whole is that their range is extremely limited on just their batteries. After 35 miles of driving purely off the battery, the Volt switched over to its combustion engine for the remainder of my drive. And while I was extremely impressed with the 70+ mpg it achieved over the span of the day, it made me realize that we’re still a long way from a fully electric sports cars that will be practical.

Modp 1104 02 o+chevy volt+front view Photo 3/4   |   The Battery Can Only Go So Far - Editorialism

I realize Tesla is working on an electric sports car, and I’m sure it will deliver great performance numbers, but the likelihood of it lasting a full lapping day at a racetrack is very slim. Who knows, maybe the day will come when batteries will replace jugs of gasoline in the pit area, but the reality is that until auto manufacturers can figure out how to not only increase power longevity in batteries but also charge them quickly, then folks like you and me those who want to drive performance sports cars 200 miles to and from a racetrack will still have our combustion engines to play with.

With all that being said, I still think there’s a future in electric cars. Seeing the immense technology and engineering brilliance that went into the Chevy Volt, I don’t have a doubt in my mind that when there comes a real need for electric sports cars, we’ll have them. Even so, I know I’ll be leaving at least one spot in my garage for a gasoline-engine vehicle. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m getting old, but there’s something special about the sound of burnt exhaust gases exiting a 3-inch muffler that can’t be replaced.

Modp 1104 03 o+chevy volt+display Photo 4/4   |   The Battery Can Only Go So Far - Editorialism

A Sneak Peek At Excerpts From This Issue

Drive it like a normal human being, and the little 1.5-liter will reward you with 29 mpg in the city and 35 mpg highway.

Add it all up and you’ve got a S2000 that generates enough grip around a racetrack to rival a full-blown race car.

Polyurethane is about 2530 percent stiffer than rubber, and therefore reduces any improper movement in the suspension, which is great for the track, where you want as little deflection from the suspension as possible.

Send your feedback to

By Peter Tarach
352 Articles



Toyota has revealed TRD versions of the 2020 Camry and Avalon sedans
Kelly PleskotNov 16, 2018
Preview the Super Street January 2019 edition - the Red Issue - with the perfect MR2, K24 DC2, custom widebody FD3S, 500hp+ Evo IX, RB25 S14, 355 Berlinetta, and more!
Bob HernandezNov 16, 2018
After taking some time off from the Honda game Robert Tellez is back with a build that has plenty of options for progression
RodrezNov 16, 2018
The new BMW Z4 only exists because Toyota wanted a new Supra.
ManufacturerNov 15, 2018
The Subaru WRX STI Diamond Edition features a yellow body kit - complete with front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser - and 349 ponies under the hood
Kelly PleskotNov 14, 2018
Sponsored Links