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How cars are changing to meet the needs of the mobile generation

By Brandon Gorrell and Stephanie Georgopulos

 

We all love shiny new things, but it’s nice when something new begins to feel like it’s your own. Today’s drivers want that broken-in feeling quicker than ever. They want their preferences accessible at the click of a button. They want to connect with their friends. (“Connectivity is the new horsepower,” according to an article in The New York Times.) And they want a vehicle that’s designed with the environment in mind.

The 2014 Chevrolet Volt’s highly customizable eco-conscious driving experience is sure to get these technophiles amped. Not only is it electric when you want it, gas when you need it—but you also have a choice of four driving modes: Normal mode enables your Volt to drive like a conventional car, only more efficiently. Sport mode gives you more aggressive feedback and heightened response. Mountain mode maintains a power reserve for climbing long, steep grades. Hold mode allows you to hold your battery charge in reserve, which is ideal if you start your route on the highway and want to save your charge for when you hit stop-and-go city traffic.

On top of all this, Chevrolet offers Autonet Mobile Wi-Fi, a dealer-installed accessory that keeps you wired when you’re on the road. Whether you’re a driver who needs to pull over and answer a pressing work email or a passenger who wants to catch up on her Netflix queue, unlimited Wi-Fi access is something no driver wants to—or has to—leave home without.

But connectivity doesn’t stop there. Chevrolet MyLink* allows drivers to access their Pandora channels or create a playlist of their favorite podcasts with Stitcher SmartRadio. If your ear candy comes from another source, MyLink also streams music from most smartphones, putting an even more personal touch on drivers’ journeys.

With a battery that will get you up to 38 gas-free EPA-estimated miles when fully charged, the Volt is definitely looking out for Planet Earth.

And looking out for its driver as well: OnStar RemoteLink**, a mobile app that shows the battery level and charge mode of your Volt—120V or 240V—right on your smartphone, can also remotely verify that your Volt is plugged in, schedule a future charging time and receive charge alerts. The Volt Driver Challenge app helps you reach personal goals by tracking efficiency and challenging you to beat those goals. It also links like-minded drivers, encouraging playful competition.

Apps like these provide a way to have it all, fusing ecological standards with customization, connectivity and good ol’ fashioned fun—an element of driving that never gets old.

The trademarks mentioned in this story are held by their respective owners.

Brandon Gorrell and Stephanie Georgopulos are both editors at Thought Catalog. Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandongorrell. Follow Stephanie @omgstephlol.

*MyLink functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. MyLink on Spark and Sonic does not include functionality such as enhanced voice recognition, Gracenote and CD player.

**Download it now from the App Store or Google Play. To further connect your Volt through OnStar®, go to MyVolt.com. Requires Android, iPhone or certain Blackberry platforms and active OnStar subscription.