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Volt Outsells 'Vette

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Volt vs. 'Vette?

On the surface it’s an odd matchup, but Chevy’s plug-in car of the future and its classic V8-powered high performance sports car have something in common beyond the bowties on their grilles: they’re both niche vehicles.

Catering to vastly different, but very specific segments of the car buying population, neither is destined to be one of GM’s best sellers anytime soon, but each plays a role as a halo car for the brand, trying to impress would-be customers on very different levels.

Still, marketing value aside, the most successful cars pay their own fare. So which one sells best?

The Volt came out on top in May, selling 1,680 cars to the Corvette’s 1,219. For the first five months of this year the tallies stand at 7,057 and 5,547. That puts the Volt on track to more than double 2011’s total of 7,761, but still far short of its original goal of 45,000 for 2012, a number that Chevy has backed away from in recent months.

Perhaps more to the point, the hybrid Volt is far outpacing its top all-electric competitor, the Nissan Leaf, which has only sold 2,613 cars this year after trouncing the Chevy with 9,674 sales in 2011.

Nevertheless, the Corvette may have the last laugh in this very odd sales race as the old warhorse is set to be replaced by an all-new, faster and more fuel efficient model next year.

Who says you can’t have it all?