After billions of dollars in losses, numerous production problems with the upcoming Chevrolet Volt PHEV, and the recent announcement that GM's director of global battery systems engineering is leaving, GM could stand to catch a break. That break is, of course, the Volt—a lithium-ion powered hybrid electric car that will cost somewhere around $32,500. And even though the Volt has yet to hit showroom floors (it is scheduled to arrive in November 2010), GM is already working on a next-generation Volt minivan.
Autocar UK reports that a Volt-based MPV will be unveiled at next week's Beijing auto show. Details are scant, but we do know that the minivan will use the Volt's Voltec powertrain, which features a 53 kW direct engine-mounted generator and a non-turbo four-cylinder 1.4-liter engine that runs on gasoline when electric battery power isn't available.
No word on a potential release date for the minivan, but we're guessing that any plans for the MPV will hinge on the success—or failure—of the Volt.