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The 2011 Best Engineered Vehicle award highlights the innovative engineering that resulted in the production of the world's first electric vehicle with extended range capability. With a full charge, Volt drivers are able to go up to 40 miles completely emissions-and gasoline-free, and then continue for several hundred more miles.
Complementing its propulsion system, the Volt offers an equally revolutionary design that emphasizes a wheels-out, body-in stance to make a dynamic and sleek statement. Further, the aerodynamicists in GM's wind tunnel worked with the design and engineering teams to develop the most aerodynamic vehicle in Chevrolet's history. By reducing the energy needed to overcome air resistance, the vehicle's sleek design contributes an estimated eight miles of electric range and up to 40 miles of extended range.
SAE International membership chose from a list of candidates selected by the AEI's editorial team based around the world. The list of candidates included the Nissan Leaf, BMW 5 Series, Kia Optima and Volkswagen Jetta, among others. SAE membership selected the Best Engineered Vehicle based on the same criteria typically used in vehicle development programs: commonality, flexibility, cost, innovation, package efficiency, powertrain performance, chassis systems, interior accommodations, occupant safety and engineering benchmark.
This is the eleventh year of the AEI Best Engineered Vehicle award.