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Riding on a brand new platform, the 2016 Volt can drive on electricity alone for up to 50 miles.

Chevrolet introduced the 2016 Volt at the North American International Auto Show Monday.

The 2016 Volt rides on a brand new platform that was designed specifically to underpin hybrids and EVs. It is powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain consisting of a new 101-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a compact electric motor that gets electricity from an 18.4 kWh battery pack developed with input from LG Chem. The Volt takes 8.4 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop, a seven-percent improvement over the current model. Chevrolet estimates that it returns up to 41 mpg in a mixed cycle and drive on electricity alone for about 50 miles.

The battery pack can be topped up in 4.5 hours when plugged into a 240-volt charger or 13 hours when using a 120-volt charger. The company has streamlined the charging process, allowing owners to configure 'home' preferences to take advantage of off-peak power rates. The car uses GPS data to automatically recognize when it is connected to the home charger, adjusting the settings accordingly.

The second-gen Volt boasts a more streamlined look that was designed in a wind tunnel. The front end wears an evolutionary design with a two-part radiator grille and elongated headlights but the new model adopts an identity of its own past the B-pillar with a fastback-like silhouette, more shapely tail lamps and a sculpted trunk lid. The current Volt's practical hatch remains.

The interior offers seating for five passengers, one up from the first-gen model. The instrument cluster has been replaced by an eight-inch color screen that can be configured to provide vital information about the car such as how much juice is left in the battery. An additional eight-inch touch screen located on the center stack runs Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system and displays images sent by the standard rear-view camera. All told, the Volt features a cleaner-looking dashboard noticeably fewer buttons.

Built in Hamtramck, Michigan, the 2016 Chevrolet Volt will go on sale in the second half of this year. GM has not revealed whether or not Opel, its Germany-based division, will again gets it own market-specific version of the Volt.

Live Images by Brian Williams.