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Chevy’s restyled, re-engineered Volt gets a lower price tag to attract new buyers

Electric vehicles are not a novelty anymore, and hybrid technology has been adopted in nearly every vehicle segment. So where does the Chevy Volt and its once-novel twin-motor drivetrain fit in?

Since its inception, the Volt has attempted to bridge the gap between the benefits of an electric vehicle (fuel savings) with the benefits of a petrol engine (range security). Has it worked? In concept, yes, but when it comes to sales, the Volt has struggled to meet expectations.

To make the redesigned 2016 Volt more attractive to first-time buyers, Chevy has dropped the new Volt’s price by $1,200 compared to the current generation, while improving its technology, range, and styling.

The 2016 Volt will start at $33,995, including destination, and before the federal tax credit of up to $7,500. In California, state incentives bring the Volt’s price down to as low as $24,995, on par with a base-trim Toyota Prius. And let’s be honest, Californians could use a break right now with gas prices creeping up to four bucks a gallon.

Despite a reduced admission fee, the new Volt offers an improved package when it comes to looks, interior quality, technology, and efficiency. The most important updates center around its hardware. Using a lighter but larger battery, the 2016 Volt offers a 50-mile, all-electric range, which GM claims will be enough to handle 90 percent of owners day-to-day tasks. The gasoline engine is now a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that no longer requires premium fuel. When used in tandem, the twin motor setup achieves an EPA-estimated 41 mpg combined fuel rating and 102 mpge rating.

Related: 2016 Chevy Volt Revealed

In terms of performance, the twin motor drivetrain makes 149 horsepower and 298 pound-feet of torque. This setup gets the new Volt to 60mph in 8.3 seconds, over half a second quicker than the current model.

Inside, a rear middle seat has been added to accommodate five persons. The exterior has also been reworked significantly to create a lower, sleeker stance and improved aerodynamics. In total, the new Volt has shed 250 pounds compared to the current car.

Chevy has yet to announce an official sale date, but it is slated for production in the second half of this year.