2011 Chevrolet Volt

The revolutionary Chevrolet Volt is an exercise in function over form. It is first and foremost an electric vehicle with hybrid leanings — gas engine generator — that is designed to get the most out of an electrical charge and a gallon of premium gas.

So designers were tasked to work around the functional part of the car in creating an appealing form. That being said, the Volt, which probably won't capture any design awards, is pleasant enough to view from all angles offering a compact, planted look with a big hatchback rear end. It sports the now-standard Chevrolet split grille with wrap-around headlight enclosures.

A unique feature is the ultra-wide glossy black beltline moldings that are intended to disguise the small side windows. Enlarging the windows would have increased the load on the battery-powered AC.

The interior features four bucket seats and a rather clean-looking dashboard with two large readouts, one in front of the driver and one at the top of the center stack, that impart the car's vast technology.

Conservative styling, yes. Handsome, probably no. But styling is secondary in this technologically driven sedan.

MotorwayAmerica photos by Jim Meachen