Breakin' 2: Electric Babalu: Lutz on the Chevy Volt

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

We're not quite sure what to think of Bob Lutz anymore. He refers to fires as "thermal events." Which is somewhat akin to calling a .50 cal machine-gun round to the dome "an incident of cranial failure under high-impact stress." He puts the Chevy Volt in the same league as the Dodge Viper in terms of vehicles he's been involved with, and then goes on to say he overrode the engineers for some reason we don't entirely understand. Over the last couple of years, we feel like Maximum Bob has gotten more and more out there, and not in a George Barris-circa-1967 good way. Seriously, we think Lutz has taken David Byrne's advice a little too literally and just stopped making sense.


Q&A: Bob Lutz Charges Up on the Volt Electric Car [ForbesAutos]

Detroit Auto Show: Speeding Volt-A-Motive [Internal]

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"Maximum" Bob is completely out of his bird!

The best part is when he touts the GM 5 speed auto as the best thing since sliced bread. THAT was one of his examples of a "fuel-saving" technology? That GMs autoboxes are (now in 2007) harnessing the power of mid-'90s transmission technology?!?

Also, this: We couldn't take the risk of doing this merely as a PR exercise. Actually, you had no choice. You HAD to do it as a PR exercise. GM spent years of R&D to build more SUVs, rather than using that money and time to develop more efficient technologies. Now everyone, INCLUDING FORD is beating it to the market with hybrids/fuel efficient vehicles. Whether hybrids are as efficient as they seem or not is not relevant; HYBRID is the new automotive buzzword, like SUV was and minivan was before that. GM was forced into introing the Volt concept, lest the general public realize how old and out-of-date the company really is.