General Motors will unveil the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, but will there be a surprise behind the curtain with it when it does?
This past August, the automaker applied for a trademark on the name Crossvolt, which was published for opposition on Dec 23rd. The filing offers no details as to what GM’s intention for the name is, other than “automobiles.” General Motors would not comment on the application.
However, in 2010 Chevrolet took the wraps off of a concept called the Volt MPV5, which was a compact crossover fitted with the Volt’s drivetrain. That car never went into production, but last year a prototype vehicle very similar to it was spotted being test alongside a fleet of Volts and fitted with what appeared to be hybrid equipment.
This isn’t the first time GM has tried to protect the Crossvolt name. It originally submitted an application in 2011, which was abandoned in November of this year. The new filing is essentially identical to the original.
Details on the new Volt are still scarce, but Chevrolet executives have suggested that it will be more efficient, and have a longer range than the current car, which is praised by its owners, but has never lived up to its original sales expectations, in part because of its small, four-passenger accommodations. The addition of a popular crossover-style model could broaden its appeal and help it compete better against the likes of the Ford C-Max Energi, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive and Kia Soul EV in the green car segment.
The 2016 Volt, or perhaps Volts, will debut in Detroit on January 12th.
Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor.