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Friday, August 29, 2008

Chevy Volt in Transformers 2

LONG BEACH, California — Despite the buzz that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt has been unofficially unveiled, courtesy of a video from the set of Transformers 2, General Motors on Friday insisted that the car "is still a concept version."

The video shows workers taking a sheet off a vehicle wearing an oversized Volt badge and a Chevrolet bowtie. Parts of it appear to match up with the handful of official General Motors teaser shots that were released recently by the automaker.

"It's obviously different from the original (2007 Chevrolet Volt concept)," said GM spokesman Rob Peterson in a phone conversation with Inside Line Friday morning. "But this is not the final version at this stage."

He added: "What you know you're not going to get is an Aztek," a reference to the Pontiac that was widely disparaged as one of the ugliest vehicles ever built.

Peterson confirmed that the Volt is "taking part in the Transformers 2 movie." He did not know the Volt's nickname in the movie and admitted that he was "caught off guard" by the video and the ensuing buzz. Peterson said he did not know such details as the name of the color of the car, which appears to be either a deep blue or purple, although he said it may have been "Photoshopped."

"I've never seen that vehicle and I've never seen that color," he said. "You can tell it caught me off guard. I didn't even realize it (the Volt) was out of the state of Michigan."

He did admit that the vehicle in the video was "representative of the production vehicle," which he said would be "revealed fairly soon." But Peterson would not give any more specifics about when and where the Volt would debut.

Bloggers have already fired off criticism of the Volt's bulky proportions in the video, likening it to a fat Scion tC. But Peterson warned them not to think this is the final chapter in the Volt's design. "I don't want anybody to say that's the end of the design show," he said. "It's not."

If Peterson says the movie Volt is not the final production car, it's likely that he's just choosing his words very carefully. The Volt's extra-large wheels and supersized badges, enlarged to gain the attention of the final movie audience, could be the only visual details that separate the movie Volt from the production version.

And like the Camaros from the original Transformers movie that were only built to look like the 2010 Camaro, the movie car could also be wearing the Volt's final body shell, but is actually a Chevy Cobalt or Malibu underneath the skin.

Inside Line has learned the Volt was only filmed for a day or two, and that it's not going to be a Transformer. With such a short time on the set, the Volt is expected to appear in the movie very briefly, and not as a Decepticon or Autobot, so it will not have a Transformer nickname.

What this means to you: GM says what you see in the Transformers 2 video only hints at the design of the production version of the Chevrolet Volt, but the differences are likely to be negligible. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent