Chevrolet has unveiled the 2016 Volt, ahead of its debut at the North American International Auto Show later today.

Looking more stylish than its predecessor, the redesigned model has an angular front fascia with sweptback headlights and distinctive "grille pads." We can also see an upward sweeping shoulderline, black window trim and a more aerodynamic roofline. There's also a unique rear end and 17-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Energy Saver all-season tires.

The interior gains a much-need fifth seat but unfortunately loses the unique styling that helped make the car feel special. However, there's a curvaceous dashboard with metallic trim and a MyLink infotainment system. The car also has a floating center control, blue ambient lighting and simpler controls.

Motivation is provided by a new Voltec powertrain that consists of an 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery, an electric motor and a 1.5-liter four-cylinder range extending engine. Chevrolet says the new powertrain weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than its predecessor but is up to 12 percent more efficient.

Despite the improved efficiency, the model is faster as both the petrol engine and electric motor operate together in more driving scenarios. As a result, the car's 0-30 mph time is reduced to 2.6 seconds and the 0-60 mph time improves by 7 percent to 8.4 seconds.

In terms of numbers, the engine produces 101 bhp (75 kW) while the electric motor develops up to 149 bhp (111 kW) and 294 lb-ft (398 Nm) of torque. This enables the car to hit a top speed of 98 mph (157 km/h), travel up to 50 miles (80 km) on electricity alone and up to 420 miles (676 km) overall.

When the battery is depleted, it can be recharged in approximately 13 hours with a 120V outlet or 4.5 hours with a 240V outlet. It's also worth noting the model has a more convenient 120V portable cord which is now located in the rear cargo area above the load floor.

On the safety front, the 2016 Volt has ten air bags and a standard rear-view camera. The model also gains several new optional active safety features including lane keep assist with lane departure warning, side blind zone alert with lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert with following distance indicator, front automatic braking and advanced park assist with front and rear park assist (semi-automatic parallel parking).

The 2016 Volt will go on sale in the second half of the year and pricing will be announced closer to launch.

Check out the press release for additional information

Gallery: 2016 Chevrolet Volt unveiled with 50 mile electric-only range [videos]

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