Showing posts with label Volvo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Volvo. Show all posts

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Volvo V60 and S60 R-Design models look a good bit naughtier


2011 Volvo V60 and S60 R-Design


We recently drove the 2011 Volvo S60 in the wilds of Oregon and came away rather impressed with both its performance and in-person aesthetics. That said, we generally don't begrudge a bit more visual aggression, and to that end, Volvo has obliged with a pair of new R-Design models here at the Paris Motor Show that includes the S60 sedan and its not-for-North-America V60, a wagon so attractive that we couldn't help but lead off our live coverage with it.

In either case, the well-integrated R-Design package consists of a distinct front fascia, rear bumper cutout with diffuser and bespoke 18-inch alloys in a fetching smoked finish. While there isn't any more power under the hood, the 300-horsepower 3.0-liter inline turbo six should fit the bill rather nicely, especially with its generous 325 pound-feet of torque. No word on any shift-map changes for the six-speed automatic gearbox, but what we'd really like to see for this sportier S60 is a set of paddle shifters.

That aside, R-Design models ought to handle a bit better than their more common brethren, as they hug the ground a bit more closely thanks to shorter, stiffer coils and monotube shocks. The rest of the suspension gets beefed up, too, with firmer bushings and a front strut-tower brace.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Report: Volvo to launch new performance line with production C30 PCP

Volvo C30 PCP


If you ever looked at those old Volvo ads that suggested their station wagons were the next logical step up from a Lotus, well, you can stop snickering. Sure, it may still be a long shot, but Volvo appears to be getting serious about offering performance-oriented automobiles.

A couple of weeks ago, we brought you a report that indicated Volvo was forging a closer relationship with Polestar, the racing outfit that fields the company's entries in the Scandinavian and World Touring Car Championships. Volvo, it seemed, had already turned to Polestar to squeeze a bit of extra juice from its S60 and XC60 R-Design models, and according to the report, was prepared to utilize Polestar's talents even more in the future.

A clearer picture of that that partnership is now emerging, and so far, it looks promising. Their first collaborative project is tipped to be a production version of the baby-blue, 400-horsepower, all-wheel drive C30 hatchback unveiled last year. If given the go-ahead, we could be looking at a limited run of 500 cars priced around £50,000 in the UK – about the same as a BMW M3.

Like the concept, the production Volvo/Polestar C30 would be the first to carry the PCP badge – referring not to the chemical narcotic, but standing, somewhat repetitively, for Performance Concept Prototype. Similar high-performance versions of Volvo's other products would follow and wear the same nameplate, creating a subdivision for Volvo that would be equivalent to what Mercedes-Benz has in AMG and what BMW does with its M division.
[Source: What Car?]

Monday, 18 April 2011

Report: Volvo and Pininfarina end C70 joint venture

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Volvo has announced it will take sole ownership of its joint manufacturing facility with Pininfarina. The Pininfarinia Sverige AB plant in Uddevalla, Sweden, only builds the Volvo C70 convertible. According to Volvo, the changeover will take place in 2013, and the automaker will continue to build C70s at the plant.

Volvo and Pininfarina have been bedfellows at the plant since Volvo began building C70s in 2003. The car moved just over 4,000 units in 2010, down nearly two percent from the 2009 total.

[Source: Autoweek]

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Volvo Ocean Race limited edition models get nautical by nature

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Volvo is celebrating the start of its fourth Ocean Race by releasing special edition models of its V60, XC60 and XC70 in the UK. The cars will be available to order starting in April, with the first deliveries expected to take place in July.

Engine options are yet to be determined, but the cars will have special interiors in sail-reminiscent off-black or beige, and the seatbacks come embossed with the Volvo Ocean Race logo. There will also be two special exterior colors available, dubbed “Volvo Ocean Blue II” and “Electric Silver.”

Along with the seats, the door panels and cargo covers get the Ocean Race treatment, with special script and stitching. If that isn’t enough Nautical madness for you, you can rest your Sperrys on a set of textile sail-inspired floor mats to cap it all off.

Volvo is expecting to move about 7,500 of the special editions per year, targeting England, Germany and Italy in particular. No word yet on pricing or whether the cars come with a stuffed parrot for full-on pirate effect.

[Source: Volvo]

PRESS RELEASE:

VOLVO OCEAN RACE LIMITED EDITIONS - THREE MODELS INSPIRED BY THE WORLD’S MOST CHALLENGING SAILING RACE

The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s most grueling sailing adventure, testing the sailing prowess and human endeavour of its participants and competing in all four corners of the globe. To celebrate the start of the fourth Volvo Ocean Race, Volvo Cars have launched three limited edition models specifically designed with the sailing adventure in mind. Design details inspired by life on board a boat help distinguish these models from their standard counterparts with unique interior and exterior refinements.

Launched at the Geneva Motorshow, three of Volvo’s models will be available in the UK with this special Ocean Race inspired specification, allowing customers to own a piece of Volvo’s involvement in the world’s most challenging of sailing events.

The Volvo Ocean Race Editions will be available to order in the new Volvo V60, XC60 and XC70 from April 2011 with customer cars expected to be delivered in July 2011. Engine availability and pricing have yet to be confirmed in the UK.

Customers can choose between two luxurious exterior colours, Volvo Ocean Blue II or Electric Silver, in conjunction with the sail-inspired leather upholstery in off-black and soft beige with embossed Volvo Ocean Race Logo on the backrest of the front seats.

Other features are the uniquely designed aluminium wheels, chromed detailing and the Volvo Ocean Race emblem on the front wings.

Inside the car, the seats and door panels feature an added level of craftsmanship. The load cover displays the Volvo Ocean Race logo in print with stitching and sheet detailing, there are textile floor mats with clew-inspired (lower corner of a sail) details in aluminium and the tread plate in aluminium is embossed with the text “Volvo Ocean Race”. In addition, the Human Machine Interface start-up display shows the Volvo Ocean Race logo and text.

Volvo Cars estimates to sell about 7,500 cars globally. The four largest markets are expected to be Germany, Sweden, Great Britain and Italy. Other markets outside Europe that will be involved in the race will also sell the Ocean Race Editions.

Facts about the race:

The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s most gruelling ocean adventure. An extreme race that consists of 9 legs. The Volvo Ocean Race starts in Alicante on October 29 and finishes in Galway, Ireland, on July 7, 2012. The Volvo Ocean Race will also stop in Cape Town (South Africa,Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), ItajaĆ­ (Brazil), Miami (the USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France). The event also includes exciting inshore races in all the ports.

For more detailed information about the Volvo Ocean Race, visit http://www.volvooceanrace.com/

Friday, 8 October 2010

Paris 2010: Volvo V60 and S60 R-Design models look a good bit naughtier

2011 Volvo V60 and S60 R-Design

We recently drove the 2011 Volvo S60 in the wilds of Oregon and came away rather impressed with both its performance and in-person aesthetics. That said, we generally don't begrudge a bit more visual aggression, and to that end, Volvo has obliged with a pair of new R-Design models here at the Paris Motor Show that includes the S60 sedan and its not-for-North-America V60, a wagon so attractive that we couldn't help but lead off our live coverage with it.

In either case, the well-integrated R-Design package consists of a distinct front fascia, rear bumper cutout with diffuser and bespoke 18-inch alloys in a fetching smoked finish. While there isn't any more power under the hood, the 300-horsepower 3.0-liter inline turbo six should fit the bill rather nicely, especially with its generous 325 pound-feet of torque. No word on any shift-map changes for the six-speed automatic gearbox, but what we'd really like to see for this sportier S60 is a set of paddle shifters.

That aside, R-Design models ought to handle a bit better than their more common brethren, as they hug the ground a bit more closely thanks to shorter, stiffer coils and monotube shocks. The rest of the suspension gets beefed up, too, with firmer bushings and a front strut-tower brace.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Frankfurt 2009: Facelifted 2010 Volvo C30

Facelifted 2010 Volvo C30

When you're an auto journalist blogger, you're constantly, incessantly bombarded with a series of questions. Usually it's, "What's the best car you've ever driven?" (Personal answer: Superformance Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, followed by blank stares.) The other question we get more frequently than, "How you doing?" is, "What car should I buy?" Sorta like the initial question, we have a a few boilerplate responses. One of them just happens to be the sadly invisible but highly desirable Volvo C30. Really, if you're in the market for a small, stylish car under $30K, you can't do much better. Usually, we're totally ignored. Though one friend did heed our advice -- she also happens to own a 1972 Datsun 240Z. In other words, a woman with taste.

For 2010 Volvo has updated the C30. The biggest change is that the small hatch's snout is now up to snuff with its rear. We especially dig the new grill (also seen on the 2010 C70). Kinda looks like an upside down Aston Martin front end, no? The long, arching headlights are major improvement, too. We even like the the mirrors. Inside, the song remains very much the same -- think icy, Scando fortress of solitude. And of course, the rear end is as killer looking as ever. Sure it harkens back to the P1800's stern, but the C30's isn't slavishly derivative. In fact, the 2010 model's reworked bumper makes it look even better. Long story short, as long as Volvo's around, we'll keep recommending the C30. Especially since it's as close to we can get to a shooting-brake.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Frankfurt 2009: 2010 Volvo C70

2010 Volvo C70

There are some good points, like those aforementioned headlamps. And we really dig the new grill. The mirrors, wheels and rear end treatment (check those LED lights) all pass the smell test, too. But what's up with those cheapo fog light surrounds? And you simply have to check out the thick rubber antennae to understand how awkwardly it's placed. And again, speaking of awkward, with the top up the C70's proportions are bizarre. We're talking Volkswagen Eos bizzare. Make of it what you will, but we're left with the impression that Volvo took a styling step backwards this time out.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Review: 2010 Volvo XC60

2010 Volvo XC60

Volvo has seen better days. Just a few short years ago, the Swedish automaker was the lone bright spot in Ford's European luxury operation, boasting impressive sales and actual profits. Fast-forward to 2009, and the situation couldn't be more different. Sales are downright depressing, revenues are worse, and the automaker has a "For Sale" sign on the front lawn, yet nobody has bothered to show up for the open house. For Volvo to have a legitimate chance of survival, all future products have to be home runs, beginning with the XC60 crossover.

The XC60 slots below the XC70 wagon and the XC90 crossover, finally giving Volvo a player in the lucrative entry-level luxury crossover realm. The stalwarts of the segment – the Lexus RX and Acura MDX – play to consumer's needs and desires, offering superior reliability, inoffensive looks, maxed out interiors, and top-notch tech options. Looking at the XC60 from afar, the newest Volvo passes the appearance and interior test, but does it have enough to get customers back into Volvo showrooms?

Our XC60 tester was an all-wheel drive T6 model with a price tag of $42,250, which includes Volvo's $2,700 multimedia package with a high-end Dolby Surround Sound system, navigation, and a backup camera, as well as a $1,000 climate package bringing with it heated seats and washer fluid, rain sensing wipers and an air quality system. The panoramic moonroof on our tester normally carries a price tag of $1,200, but it is currently being added to all XC60s free of charge.



From the outside, the XC60 is all Volvo, with an XC90-like nose and clean, uncluttered lines accentuated by broad shoulders. Though the XC60 shares plenty of design cues with its larger sibling, the smaller crossover pulls off the corporate Volvo look more gracefully and easily competes with its segment-mates where inoffensiveness tends to trump dynamic styling.

With a six-speed automatic transmission handling shifting duties and delivering the 3.0-liter inline-six's 281 horsepower and 295 lb-ft to all four wheels, the XC60 feels a bit heavy off the line, but there's plenty of pop available once you get all 4,174 pounds moving forward. Although topping the two-ton mark hardly makes the XC60 a bantamweight, it's the lightest crossover among its competitors, and when you slip the transmission into manual mode, the XC60 delivers even more punch from a standstill, though we'd still recommend shying away from stoplight drags. On the fuel economy front, we averaged 18.2 mpg in mixed driving, which puts the XC60 in the middle-of-the-pack for AWD crossovers of this size.



The platform underpinning XC60 is shared with several vehicles, including the Land Rover LR2 and the Ford Mondeo. While notably more edgy than the larger XC90, this smaller Volvo still errs more on the side of cruiser than corner cutter. However, Volvo didn't engineer a wallowing pig. The XC60's AWD system and sturdy suspension still manage to keep the CUV's motions in check, with confidence-inspiring grip and minimal roll. More importantly, the XC60 can be driven long distances in comfort, though its overall ride quality is stiffer than some of its competitors – a compromise we're willing to take if it means we're not scraping the side mirrors through the bends.

And since the XC60 carries the Volvo name, it comes equipped with just about every safety feature available on a production vehicle. Our tester came without adaptive cruise control or a heads-up warning display, but the standard equipment alone was plenty impressive, with the XC60 arriving with an armada of airbags, seatbelt pretensioners front and rear, and so on.



Whether you're a young family or an empty-nester, if you're shopping luxury crossovers and reading Autoblog, chances are you're looking for a rewarding driving experience and plenty of cargo space to fit your things and friends. The XC60 is five inches shorter than the Lexus RX, yet its wheelbase is over an inch longer and its track is an inch wider. Practically speaking, interior space is nearly as good, with total passenger volume within two cubic feet of the RX – the only major difference in metrics being in terms of cargo space.



Volvo took pains to ensure that its newest offering was fitted with high quality, soft touch materials that reward the road warrior behind the wheel. We applaud the use of king's thrones that double as front seats, as the leather-wrapped chairs are among the best in the business. The massive Vista moonroof, with its vast amount of glass and large opening area is a delight, and when you consider its included in the MSRP, it makes the deal that much sweeter. Buttons, knobs, and HVAC controls are also pleasantly intuitive and well within the grasp of even the shortest of arms, making the the XC60's cockpit easily one of the best in its class. But as much as we liked the execution of the XC60's interior, Volvo's navigation system is easily some of the worst mapping tech we've experienced in years.



Unlike most modern sat-nav units, the Volvo's unit isn't a touchscreen, nor doesn't benefit from a knob near the shifter or pack any buttons in the immediate area surrounding the display. Instead, nestled away in the center console, you'll find... a remote control. When that's lost forever (and it will be), you'll have to rely on an even more ill-advised joystick array mounted on the back of a steering wheel spoke. No matter the input method, neither interface is particularly intuitive and the software behind it is dreadfully antiquated. If Ford's nav system is a PhD, General Motors' an associate's degree, and BMW's iDrive a high school equivalency diploma, Volvo's system lands somewhere south of an incomplete on an elementary school geography quiz. It's that bad, and even worse considering Ford set the new standard for ease-of-use with its Sync setup.



But sat-nav issues aside, the XC60 is solid entry into the midsize luxury crossover segment. It looks good, drives well, has a warm, inviting interior and comes with Volvo's reputation for cutting-edge safety. If a good navigation system is on your must-have list, look elsewhere, but if you're ready to upsize your aging wagon or downsize from a hulking SUV, the XC60 is a clear contender – and even then, it's a Garmin or TomTom away from a strong podium finish.




Second Look: Volvo XC60 T6 AWD

Shunk couldn't be more right – the XC60's nav system is an utter disaster. As we understand it, the company was aiming for the safest possible system by setting the smallish display deep into the dashboard (ostensibly to avoid striking it during an accident), but a long reach meant that it couldn't employ touchscreen technology, and Volvo evidently declined to go with an all-in-one controller. As a result, the Swedes went with a frankly infuriating steering wheel joystick/button setup, something you'll want to ditch immediately for the generic-looking wireless remote control. If the idea was to be as safe as possible and keep the driver's hands on the wheel, Volvo has failed. And besides, since their programmers have locked out most of the more user-intensive higher functions while moving (address entry, etc.), what's the harm in giving a more intuitive solution? Perhaps they were trying to discourage GPS use altogether. If that's the case, they have succeeded handsomely.

Moving beyond mapping, this author loved the rest of the XC60's simple controls, ample size and striking two-tone leather. Admittedly, there are an abundance of textures at work inside, and although this many finishes could have looked overwhelming and/or mismatched, Volvo has pulled things off nicely. This is a rich interior that's every bit the measure of its fellow European and Japanese competitors... minus the nav and perhaps the somewhat grainy eight-bit looking stereo readout atop the instrument panel.

Performance-wise, the XC60 makes a good case for itself, as it's among the very quickest studies in its class, though nobody will call the turbocharged six-cylinder's soundtrack 'sonorous.' Better still, it corners with surprising alacrity – a performance attribute that Volvo isn't readily known for. We'd venture to say that this is one of the best handling crossovers in its segment, right up there with the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 (the latter of which endures a stiff-legged ride and a dated interior).

All-in, the XC60 offers good value for the money. It's a very clever package even without Volvo's proprietary active safety bits – lane departure warning, City Safety auto-stop, etc. – all of which featured on this author's tester (the car shown in the photos). If Volvo is trying to craft quicker, more precise-handling automobiles that are better able to avoid potential accidents in the first place, well, we're all in favor of this new "active safety" campaign.

[Source: Autoblog]