Volvo Estate Concept

Volvo Estate ConceptThe Volvo Estate Concept has me worried … either that or I’m getting old … because I’m beginning to like the look of the latest vehicles coming out of Sweden.

Of course the yellow box has been gone for years (although my brother-in-law still owns one). Despite the fact that it was so last century it still lingers in the back of my mind and sends cold shivers down my spine whenever I hear the word ‘Volvo’ mentioned.

It’s hard to accept that such a sleek looking piece of the car maker’s art could possibly be related to those ugly yellow boxes … but they are and the Volvo Estate Concept is the latest offering.

But you do have to ask yourself … who would want a 2-door station wagon?

volvo-estate-concept-dashboardPerhaps the answer to that one is that this concept will probably never see the production line and it’s not the body that’s important here but the interior … and more particularly … the dashboard.

Gone are the usual buttons, switches and knobs … and that’s got to be a good thing because they become confusing … distracting … and downright dangerous.

In the last couple of years there seems to have been some sort of competition running between manufacturers to see just how many buttons they could add to the dashboard of each new car but perhaps Volvo has called a halt to all that.

In the Volvo Estate Concept almost all those buttons are gone … they’ve been replaced by one large tablet-like touchscreen in the centre console. Sadly that could be just as distracting but what can car makers do … apart from introducing voice control that’s more than just cosmetic?

The only buttons that remain on the dashboard of this concept are the volume and play/pause on the sound system (something that Volvo describes as “crucial), hazard warning lights and window heaters.

And what’s that in the back of the Volvo Estate Concept? It’s all the pieces you need to play the Swedish game called ‘Kubb” and if you don’t know the rules then you will find them printed on the transparent floor.


As I said at the start, it’s not the body … or the game of Kubb and its transparent floor that we’ll see in the near-future … it’s the dashboard and that touchscreen that we may see in Volvos on the production line.

By | February 28th, 2014|Featured, Volvo|0 Comments

The 2013 Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60Time flies and we’ve already reached the point where we are looking at the half-life upgrade for the current model Volvo XC60 and the this upgrade offers some interesting new features … most of which are either under the hood or in the interior.

The exterior
On the outside the Volvo XC60 gets a new headlight design and a free-flowing, uncluttered panel surface while the XC60 R-Design gets a redesigned nose, slightly different paint on the grill and a “refined” R-Design emblem.

All-new 20-inch Ixion II wheels are also now available on the XC60 R-Design.

The interior
The Volvo XC60 gets new upholstery colours, new wood inlays, a new headliner and silk metal frames around air vents and light controls. The option of sports seats has also been added to the new XC60 and now there are three different ways of opening the power-operated tailgate.

The XC60 R-Design comes with the new sports seats as standard. The standard upholstery is full leather or there’s a free option of cloth and perforated leather

Safety features
Corner Traction Control is now standard across the range but oddly Hill Descent Control remains as an option.

The XC60 R-Design chassis has been stiffened and the shock absorber springs and anti-roll bars have been tweaked to make them firmer and more balanced

Volvo XC60 front

The engine
There are four engine options (two petrol and two diesel) for the Volvo XC60 starting with the T6 petrol engine that delivers 224kW of power and 440Nm of torque. This is coupled to Volvo’s second-generation six-speed Adaptive Geartronic transmission.

The XC60 R-Design has the same T6 petrol engine but it has been Polestar-optimised and now has a displacement of 3.0 litres and produces an extra 20kW of power and40Nm of torque

The XC60 is also available with the 2.0-litre GTDI T5 petrol engine that produces 177kW of power and 320Nm of torque.

From there the Volvo XC60 moves into diesel propulsion with a Polestar-optimised D5 engine for the R-Design that produces 169kW of power and 470Nm of torque that drives through a six-speed Adaptive Geartronic gearbox.

The standard D5 diesel engine is used for the lesser Volvo XC60 and it delivers 158kW of power and 440Nm of torque.

There is also a five-cylinder D4 diesel engine available for the XC60 that delivers 120kW of power and 400Nm of torque at just 1500rpm.

Volvo XC60 interior

Volvo’s Adaptive Digital Display which first appeared in the new Volvo V40 now makes its appearance in the XC60. This display uses a Thin Film Transistor crystal display to give the driver personalised information and drivers have the choice of three different themes for the display.

XC60 R-Design owners have a different set of themes to what appears in the XC60.

The XC60 now comes with permanent high beam thanks to Volvo’s new Active High Beam Control. This system save the driver from having to switch from high to low beam if a car is approaching at night and it works through a projector module integrated into the headlamp.

This module assesses how much of the high beam needs to be shaded out when there is an approaching car or when the XC60 is closing on a car travelling in the same direction.

There’s also new software that extends the Volvo XC60’s ability to detect and slow the car if there is a cyclist in a dangerous area ahead of the car. The system will even bring the XC60 to a halt if a cyclist swerves in front of the car and a collision is imminent.

The same technology can also detect pedestrians who step in front of the car. If the driver does not respond by applying the brakes the system will do it for him.

Volvo’s City Safety system is also standard across the XC60 range. This system works at speeds up to 50km/h and automatically applies the brake if there is a danger of rear-ending the car in front.

Volvo XC60 rear

The bottom line
The entry level Volvo XC60 starts at $58,990 and you can add another $2,000 for the entry level diesel while the top of the range petrol XC60 starts at $61,990 and you can add another $8,000 for the diesel version.

The Volvo XC60 R-Design diesel version will set you back $73,990 and you can add another $5,000 for the petrol version. While Volvo’s press release did not mention dealer and government charges I believe that the above price points do not include these charges.

By | November 4th, 2013|Featured, Volvo|0 Comments

The Volvo Concept Coupe

volvo concept coupeDo you remember the Volvo P1800 coupe from the 1960s? Obviously these days that original P1800 design looks very dated but back in the days when it first hit the streets it looked almost futuristic and it certainly stood out in a time when car design was not all that exciting.

Well if you remember that original P1800 then Volvo has a treat for you … the latest Volvo Concept Coupe. Volvo says that you can think of this Concept Coupe as the next generation P1800 and I would suggest that we’re going to see this Concept Coupe go into production in the near or two.

Unlike most concept cars that are designed to really push design and technology limits the Volvo Concept Coupe seems to rely a lot on current technology while looking at the possibilities of Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture.

Volvo also says that their Concept Coupe is just the first of three concept cars that will explore Scalable Product Architecture.

volvo concept coupe dashboardVisual impact
What we see in the Volvo Concept Coupe is a change in proportion. The distance between the axle and the dashboard has been extended and the cabin has been moved slightly further back.

The bonnet and the cabin roof have been lowered and the Concept Coupe rides on 21-inch wheels and if you really want to get into the designers’ headspace as this car came together it might help to think of a lion … even at rest it’s obvious what a lion is capable of doing.

The grille is quite different to what you might expect in a Volvo but it still carries the unmistakable Volvo emblem and the headlights are certainly moving away from what we expect headlights to look like.

If the Volvo Concept Coupe is to make it into product it’s unlikely that we will see some of the same design elements in the production model. While a leather instrument panel and some high quality carpet could be carried into production I doubt that we will see the inlays of naturally aged wood or the handcrafted crystal gear-lever.

The portrait aspect of the touch screen in the centre console it certainly a step away from current thinking in just about every make and model of car where landscape or square screens are the norm.

In the Volvo Concept Coupe the touch screen interacts with the adaptive digital display and HUD in front of the driver.

The engine
As you would expect in a concept vehicle like this one the Concept Coupe is powered by something more advanced than just a normal petrol engine.

The Volvo Concept Coupe is powered by a petrol plug-in hybrid with supercharger and turbo and this is teamed with an electric motor mounted on the rear axle. With this combination the Concept Coupe has a combined output of around 400bhp and over 600Nm or torque.

This combination is a test of Volvo’s plans to use electrification to create the most powerful versions in the new 4-cylinder Drive-E group of engines. Volvo suggests that these engines will “take power figures up into V8 territory.”

Now if only the original P1800 had that sort of power to play with.



By | September 2nd, 2013|Featured, Volvo|0 Comments

Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid

While some automotive experts suggest that hybrids and electric power are not much more than a diversion in the search for alternative power sources for motor vehicles it seems that most car makers don’t believe that and so we’re seeing a steady stream of hybrid vehicles appearing on the scene.

The latest to hybrid to appear made its debut at the North American Motor Show in Detroit last week when Volvo unveiled their new XC60 plug-in hybrid. This is an SUV that can give the driver a range of 45km on straight electric power or deliver an amazing 2.3L/100km when run as a true hybrid.

The engine
Being a hybrid the XC60 plug-in concept has two engines … a 51kW electric engine and a 206kW four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. Volvo have combined these engines with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

The petrol engine is a completely new engine that Volvo says will deliver performance levels similar to today’s clutch of six-cylinder engines but deliver all the fuel economy people expect from a four-cylinder. And obviously with fuel consumption figures of 2.3L/100km in the XC60 hybrid concept they’re not kidding.

It’s also interesting to note that obviously Volvo considers that the combination of the electric and four-cylinder engines in this hybrid deliver enough power to come close to what their eight-cylinder engines deliver because they given the vehicle a classification that, in the past, has been used for vehicles fitted with eight-cylinder engines.

Driving modes
The driver can choose one of three settings while driving the Volvo XC60 hybrid.

In what Volvo calls ‘Pure’ mode the XC60 runs on the electric motor. In Hybrid mode the electric motor and petrol engine combine as they do in most production hybrids and the vehicle has a total operating range of 960km.

In Power mode the electric motor and petrol engine are combined in a way that delivers the maximum possible power and the electric motor’s ability to deliver instant torque enables this Volvo XC60 to hit 100km/h in jus 6.1 seconds.

The battery
The boot seems to be a popular choice for car makers when it comes to finding somewhere to put the battery and Volvo have put the battery for the XC60 hybrid under the luggage space at the rear.
The battery itself is a 12 KWh lithium-ion battery and charging times at home vary from 3.5 to 7.5 hours depending on the voltage available.

You do have to wonder just how many people will use the plug-in option to charge the battery. Obviously if you are travelling short distances each day then you may be able to run totally in electric mode but how many people do drive that short a distance?

It may be a while before we see a production model of the XC60 plug-in hybrid but the technology that has been included in this car will be hitting the production line later this year when a diesel powered V60 plug-in hybrid goes on sale in Europe.

By | January 16th, 2012|Volvo|Comments Off on Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid

Volvo Concept You

It seems that most concept cars these days are all about minimalism … at least in the outward appearance of the car. Even Audi wants you to start thinking about driving to work in a car that looks like it’s an escapee from a Formula 1 garage.

So it’s always a little refreshing … if not politically correct … to see a concept car that’s unashamedly all about luxury and that’s what Volvo have produced in with their latest concept car … the Concept You.

Not only does the Volvo Concept You look like a luxury car from the outside it also feels like a luxury car once you see inside. In fact Volvo, in their press release, almost let the exterior of the car speak for itself … it’s the interior of the Concept You that Volvo sees as being important.

For the driver the Concept You is all about touch and keeping the driver informed without distracting him.

The control centre is divided into four main areas … a driver information monitor located on the dash behind the steering wheel, a heads-up display on the windscreen, a touch-screen in the upper part of the centre console and rear-seat passengers also have a touch-screen between the individual rear seats. There are also some controls on the steering wheel.

Thanks to an infra-red camera that registers the driver’s eye movements the touch-screen in the centre console remains blank until the driver actually looks at it. Other sensors register hand movements and trigger the infotainment system’s controls while yet more sensors monitor the front-seat passenger.

Some of the information displayed on the centre consol screen can be moved to the heads-up display and can even move some of that data to the display between the rear seats.

For passengers the Concept You is all about cultivated comfort.

The four individual seats for driver and passengers feature suede and leather upholstery that gradually changes from dark to light as your eye moves towards the rear of the cabin. The front seats feature suede in the centre to provide extra grip and suede on the sides while the rear seats are reversed with leather in the centre for extra comfort.

And while most of us think that any sort of carpet on the floors of our cars is pretty good the Volvo Concept You is a luxury car so just any old carpet just won’t do. That’s why the carpet in the Concept You is hand-tufted wool that’s graded from firm at the front to soft for the rear seat passengers.

The exterior … for those of you who do want to know something about the outside of the car I can tell you that the Concept You rides on 21-inch polished aluminium wheels. The brakes are ventilated discs developed by Volvo’s racing specialists and the headlights consist of four blocks of LED lights.

Now isn’t that a concept car that’s worth drooling over … sure we need to face a future where less is more but sometimes it’s fun to dream about a little luxury and finesse.

By | September 16th, 2011|Volvo|Comments Off on Volvo Concept You

The New Volvo XC90 Lineup

Volvo has announced the new line up for the XC90 for the 2012 model and there are some interesting changes in the lineup for this luxury seven-seat SUV.

For the 2012 model year The XC90 V8 has been dropped and there will be just four variants in the range, equipment levels have gone up the prices have come down … a sure sign that Volvo wants a bigger slice of the market here in Australia.

The entry level version of the XC90 is the XC90 3.2 R-Design with a starting price of $69,990 (plus dealer and government charges) – $4460 less than the previous model. The entry level model now comes with the Volvo Navigation system and a rear park camera as standard. These were previously options with a combined price tag of $9340

Other standard equipment in the 3.2 R-Design include powered driver and front passenger seats, auto dimming rear view mirror, speed sensitive power steering, rain sensor wipers, Premium sound, park assist rear, rear camera, water repellent front side glass, Active Bending Lights (ABL), silver roof rails, Bluetooth (now with audio streaming), 19-inch alloy wheels, Air Quality System, electrically retractable (and heated) mirrors with puddle lights and front and rear fog lights.

The next step up from the entry level Volvo XC90 is the 3.2 Executive with a starting price of $71,490 (plus dealer and government charges) and that includes the Volvo Navigation System, speed sensitive steering, water repellent front side windows and a rear park camera.

The Executive models also have heated seats (with massage function and ventilation) and unique 19-inch Galateia alloy wheels. Executive models have Sovereign hide upholstery, walnut inlays on the door handles and centre console, wood steering wheel and gear knob and plush carpet.

The other two variants in the new XC90 lineup are diesel versions of the 3.2 R-Design and the 3.2 Executive and prices for these have also dropped by $4,460 with the diesel version of the entry model … the D5 R-Design starting at $72,990 (plus dealer and government charges) … and the diesel version of the Executive starting at $74,490 (plus dealer and government charges).

By | August 1st, 2011|Volvo|Comments Off on The New Volvo XC90 Lineup

Volvo C30 Electric in Production

volvo-c30-electricAnother electric car has hit the production line … this time in Europe where Volvo has the C30 Electric car on the production line.

But in typical Volvo fashion they’re doing things a little differently … they’re building the basic vehicle on the general C30 production line at Ghent and even fitting a dummy engine so the vehicle will run through the production line without any hiccups.

Once the body has reached the point in the assembly process where the internal wiring has been installed the dummy engine is removed and the body is then transferred to Volvo’s Special Vehicle plant at Goteborg for the fitting of the electric motor, the batteries and the electronics that go into an electric vehicle.

A C30 Electric in the welding plant at Ghent - note the raised tunnel that will hold some of the lithium-ion batteries that power the car.

A C30 Electric in the welding plant at Ghent – note the raised tunnel that will hold some of the lithium-ion batteries that power the car.

Apart from the obvious lack of a conventional engine the Volvo C30 Electric differs from the conventional C30 in a number of ways. The fuel tank has been replaced with a compartment for the lithium-ion batteries and the central tunnel has been enlarged to hold more batteries.

The Volvo C30 Electric will have an operating range of just 150km on a full charge. Top speed is 130km/h and the C30 Electric can reach 50km/h from a standing start in just four seconds. Recharging will take around seven hours.

Fitting the dummy conventional engine that will be removed before the vehicle is sent to another plant to fit the batteries and electric motor

Fitting the dummy conventional engine that will be removed before the vehicle is sent to another plant to fit the batteries and electric motor

The Volvo C30 Electric will be made available to leasing customers throughout Europe at the beginning of Autumn in the northern hemisphere but Volvo obviously aren’t expecting the C30 Electric to be a big seller. They suggest that they will have built “about 250 cars” by the end of 2012 and “possibly more if market interest takes off.”

That strange forecast is a direct quote from the C30 Electric’s press release.

Installing the batteries and the electric motor in the Volvo C30 Electric

By | June 9th, 2011|Volvo|Comments Off on Volvo C30 Electric in Production

Volvo Concept Universe

volvo-concept-universeIn case you missed the memo let me tell you that the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show opened its doors at the start of the week and Volvo is there with a concept car that’s really quite different to what you might expect from an environmentally aware car maker like Volvo.

Right now most car makers are thinking small when they think concept cars and what might be in the future … but not Volvo. Oh no … not Volvo who are obviously thinking big and luxurious and what better place to unveil such a car but in China where even middle-income earners can afford their own chauffeur.

The Volvo Concept Universe is a large and luxurious sedan that is driver-oriented in the front and comfortably relaxed in the rear. Many of the controls that a driver might need are located on a touch-screen … but this is no ordinary touch-screen.


This touch-screen moves closer to the driver when it detects that the driver is reaching for any of the controls it contains. There’s no more leaning over to find the right button in the on a control panel that’s just out of comfortable reach in the Volvo Concept Universe.

In this vehicle you don’t have to lean anywhere … just reach out and it will come to you.

Volvo are right on the money when they describe the Concept Universe as being “exceptionally refined …” and maybe this car does have “… all the simplistic assets that make Volvo champions of the uncomplicated” but I doubt that there’s anything that’s uncomplicated about the technology that would go into a car like this.


Even so what we’re looking at right now as a concept car could well be in production in just a few years time.

By | April 19th, 2011|Volvo|Comments Off on Volvo Concept Universe

Volvo V60 Sports Wagon

volvo-s60-sports-wagonLong gone are the days when Volvo was synonymous with large yellow bricks that were driven by old men in hats … or members of the blue-rinse set. These days anything that’s coming out of the Volvo factory is both exciting and loaded with interesting technology and the new Volvo V60 Sports Wagon is no exception.

Volvo sees the V60 Sports Wagon as filling a gap that currently exists between the S60 sedan and the slightly less exciting and larger V70 but at the same time offering plenty of luggage space. Basically what Volvo wanted to do was create a wagon with a coupe like styling that offered an exciting driving experience.

I guess ultimately the numbers of people who buy the V60 Sports Wagon will show whether or not Volvo have achieved their goals but at first glance it seems that Volvo may have produced something close to what they set out to achieve.

The new Volvo V60 T5 Sports Wagon

The new Volvo S60 T5 Sports Wagon

Three versions
The new Volvo V60 Sports Wagon comes in three versions. The T5 is powered by a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine that produces 177kW of power at 5,500rpm and 320Nm of torque between 1800 and 5000rpm. This engine is coupled to Volvo’s Powershift automatic transmission.

The T5 is front-wheel drive and it will take you from 0 to 100km/h in 7.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 230km/h. The combined cycle fuel consumption for the T5 is 8.7L/100km.

The D5 is powered by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbo-charged diesel engine that produces 151kW of power at 4,000rpm and 420Nm of torque between 1500 and 3250rpm.

The D5 is all-wheel drive and has a top speed of 225km/h and combined fuel cycle consumption of 7.1L/100km

The T6 is powered by an upgraded six-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine that produces 224kW of power at 5,600rpm and 440Nm of torque between 2100 and 4200rpm. The T6 is all-wheel drive. This engine is coupled to Volvo’s Geartronic automatic transmission.

The top speed for the T6 is 250km/h and it will take you from 0 to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds. The T6 version of the Volvo V60 Sports Wagon has a combined fuel cycle consumption of 10.3L/100km.

Both the T5 and the T6 versions are also available as even sportier R-Design variants that include chassis and styling modifications.


The body
While the new V60 wagon shares the same wheelbase, length and the same front end that’s where the similarities end as the S60 sedan. The sweeping roofline gives you an extra 50 litres of storage room with the rear seats in the upright position.

At the rear you will see some very distinctive design elements that give the V60 Sports Wagon a very distinctive look and a visual appeal that will certainly be noticed.

The T5 and T6 R-Design variants sit 15mm lower at both the front and the rear. Springs in both versions have been stiffened by 15 per cent and stiffer roll bars have replaced those fitted to the standard versions.

The rear twin-tube dampers have been replaced with monotube dampers while bushings have been stiffened by 20 percent.

While all those changes are tucked away out of sight it’s still possible to spot the difference between the standard T5 and T6 models and their R-Design variants. Body changes include a re-designed front apron that includes a glossy black grill, colour matched body components, larger intakes to the rear diffuser and twin tailpipes.

And if you miss all those the the wheels might just give you a clue … the R-Design variants ride on five-spoke, 18-inch IXION diamond cut alloy wheels.


Inside the V60 Sports Wagon
You’ll find all the creature comforts inside the Volvo V60 Sports Wagon that you would expect in a vehicle that starts at $54,490 and climbs upwards from there including dual-stage child booster seats.

In the T5 and D5 there’s electronic climate control with pollen filters, cruise control, one-touch electric windows, electrically retractable (and heated) exterior mirrors and power driver seat with memory for seat and mirrors.

Two-stage child booster seats

Two-stage child booster seats

You’ll also get leather trim, remote central locking, rain sensing windscreen wipers, rear Park Assist and Bluetooth connectivity.

The standard High Performance Sound system combines a full colour 5-inch screen, AM/FM radio, single slot MP3 compatible CD player and eight speakers and comes complete with audio controls on the steering wheel and auxiliary and USB inputs. An optional High Performance Multimedia system is also available that gains a 7-inch screen. A DVD player replaces the CD player.

The V60 T6 R-Design Sports Wagon dashboard

The S60 T6 R-Design Sports Wagon dashboard

If you opt for the T6 you’ll also get an upmarket surround sound audio system that includes the 7- inch screen, DVD player and 12 speakers, Volvo’s own navigation system, powered front passenger seat and front Park Assist

The interior of the R-Design variants includes sports seats, leather steering wheel, sports leather gearshift lever, sports pedals, special floor mats, trim inlays and watch-dial instrumentation.


Of course this is where you would expect Volvo to stand out from the crowd and the V60 Sports Wagon comes with a lot of innovative safety equipment. Standard across the range is Volvo’s City Safety system, Emergency Brake Light system, ABS, driver and passenger front and side airbags plus curtain side airbags, Whiplash Protection System, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, Advanced Stability Control and Rollover Protection System.

Safety options include Volvo’s third generation Adaptive Cruise Control that combines Collision Warning with Full Auto Braking, Queue Assist, Pedestrian Detection and distance alert as well as Lane Departure Warning.


The Adaptive Cruise Control comes with a number of advanced radar and camera-based systems to assist it in keeping you safe.

Please note that all prices quoted here do not include registration, taxes and other onroad costs; nor do they include dealer delivery charges.

T5 2.0-litre 4cyl Powershift $54,950

T5 R-Design 2.0-litre 4cyl Powershift $59,150

D5 AWD 2.4-litre 5cyl Geartronic $60,950

T6 AWD 3.0-litre 6cyl Geartronic $67,950

T6 AWD R-Design 3.0-litre 6cyl Geartronic $72,150

Volvo V60 T5 Sports Wagon

Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Sports Wagon

By | March 29th, 2011|Volvo|Comments Off on Volvo V60 Sports Wagon

250Km in an Electric Car?

c30-electricAt the moment an electric car with a range of over 250km seems like a pipe-dream doesn’t it but that’s what Volvo plans to have in full-test mode by 2012.

Volvo has a plan to use a non-polluting fuel cells !

By | October 31st, 2010|Volvo|1 Comment

New Volvo S60

volvo-s60-rVolvo, once the darling of the more mature driver, is now attracting a very different age-group and the S60 R-Design is the model Volvo thinks will do it for them. But while Volvo may be looking to attract younger drivers they haven’t forgotten their bread and butter market and the S60 sedan and wagon is sure to appeal to more mature drivers.

On the outside the cars have an imposing redesigned front with a grille and a hexagonal pattern that is repeated both front and rear. Distinctive twin exhaust tailpipes and unique five-spoke 18-inch Diamond cut wheels emphasise the sporty overall appeal.

The introductory colour is Passion Red but the Volvo S60 and V60 R-design are also available in choice of another seven colours.


Sports seats
On the inside, the driver and front passenger sit in sports seats in which the backrest from the S60 and V60 is matched by an all-new seat cushion with even closer side support than before.


The special leather/textile upholstery is available in a version trimmed in off-black and ceramic light, or in an all-black variant, both with contrasting stitching. The interior also features a special steering wheel, gear selector, sports pedals and floor-mats.

Volvo has done some work on the suspension for the new S60. A strut brace has been added under the bonnet that connects the front strut towers and gives the S60 a much stiffer body structure.


The rear dampers now respond much faster than the ones fitted to the previous model. The S60 and V60 R-Design feature monotube dampers that have compression and return damping via the same valve.

The front and rear springs have been shortened by 15 mm to give the car more attitude and increase spring stiffness by 15 percent compared to the dynamic chassis in the S60 and V60.

The bushings that connect the rear dampers to the body have also been stiffened by 20 percent compared with the dynamic chassis in the S60 and V60.


The new Volvo S60 range also comes with some new technology Volvo calls Corner Traction Control that uses torque vectoring to make for smoother cornering. The technology is a further refinement of the DSTC anti-spin system.

When taking a curve, the car’s inner wheel is braked so more power is transferred to the outer wheel. This gives the driver a tighter line in the curve, with reduced understeering tendency.

The new Volvo S60 range series comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines. Diesels start with a 4 cylinder 1.6-litre engine, move on to a 5 cylinder 2.0-litre and top out with a 2.4-litre 5 cylinder engine.

Petrol engines include two 1.6-litre engines, two 2.0-litre engines and a 3.0


By | September 21st, 2010|Volvo|1 Comment

Volvo Goes To China

volvo-s60The deal between Geely and Ford is just about done and the previous declaration by Geely that Volvo production would remain as it is now is beginning to seem not quite so set in concrete as some people might have hoped.

Geely has now indicated that it intends to set up a production line for Volvos in China and extend the sale of Volvos worldwide to around a million units a year. Whether that will have any bearing on the quality of future Volvo cars is something we can only speculate about.

Even though the terms of the deal for Volvo have not yet been released informed sources suggest that the S40, S60, S80, C30, C70, XC60, XC90, V50 and V70 are all included in the deal. That’s interesting because the S40 is already being built in China under a local agreement between Ford and a local partner so it seems that there might be some way still to go before everything is settled.

By | January 12th, 2010|News, Volvo|Comments Off on Volvo Goes To China

2010 Upgrades for the Volvo S80

volvo-s80Volvo announced some wide-ranging changes today for the Volvo S80 to ensure that it remains a serious contender in the Australian luxury segment.

Not only does the S80 get a new grill but there are changes in the cabin and under the bonnet and some model rationalisation as well.

For 2010, the S80 D5 with its new 151kW twin turbo diesel engine adopts all-wheel drive as standard, while extra safety features have been added to the top of the line V8. Included in these new safety features are Lane Departure Warning with Driver Alert Control, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning and Auto Brake functionality as standard equipment.

In addition, the 2010 S80 range will now see Volvo’s R-Design pack added as a model variant as opposed to an option.

The Volvo R-Design will feature unique 18-inch wheels, lowered, sports-tuned suspension and styling embellishments including a colour-matched rear spoiler, matt silver grille and exterior mirrors, and chrome exhaust pipes.

Volvo S80 rear

The adoption of all-wheel drive for the new D5 means all S80 models – D5, T6 and V8 – now feature the advanced technology.

Volvo’s all-wheel drive system employs a Haldex clutch to distribute power between front and rear wheels according to road and driving conditions. It features Instant Traction, which sets a bias of approximately 80Nm favouring the rear wheels when starting on slippery or loose surfaces.

In terms of safety, like all Volvo models, the S80 range will come as standard with features including Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC), Volvo’s Side Impact Protection System (SIPS), Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), seat pre-tensioners in all seats, dual-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, inflatable curtain airbags and emergency flashing brake lights.

Volvo’s VNS navigation system, that is standard on V8 and optional of T6 and D5 models, gains a new black background with greater contrast in the menus and more user-friendly icons to further improve ease of operation.

Volvo S80 interior

To further enhace the S80’s interior Volvo have added deco inlays for both the new four-spoke steering wheel and the gearshift, while the floating centre console and ignition key bezel are now set off by aluminium inlays. Ergonomic window switches, new aluminium trim and Dynamic upholstery have also been added to the Volvo S80

New switches for the power windows and lighting for the interior door handles add to the quality and convenience of the interior. Chrome front, rear and side eyeliner also distinguish the 2010 Volvo S80

2010 Volvo S80 Pricing

Volvo S80 D5 – $79,950
Volvo S80 D5 R-Design – $81,450
Volvo S80 T6 – $79,950
Volvo S80 T6 R-Design – $81,450
Volvo S80 V8 – $98,950
Volvo S80 V8 R-Design – $101,450

By | January 5th, 2010|News, Volvo|1 Comment

Volvo’s C30 Electric Vehicle

c30-electricVolvo Cars has further developed its C30 battery-powered electric vehicle prototype and will launch it at the Detroit motor show in January along with plans for a test fleet.
The Volvo C30 Electric Vehicle (EV) now features a complete interior and full instrumentation, enhanced battery packaging as well as a range of 150 km on one single charge.

The test fleet of approximately 50 Volvo C30 EV models will be factory-built in 2010 and on the road from 2011. Selected users will drive the test fleet during a two-year trial period in order to provide Volvo Cars with valuable experience. Not just technical but also behavioural.

“The first prototype helped us identify the main technological challenges, such as battery packaging and safety issues. We have addressed these challenges without compromising the C30’s cool and fun-to-drive personality. I am very happy with the result. The electric C30 in Detroit is a much more complete product,” says Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.

Valuable field data
Volvo knows that a pure electric car has different characteristics compared to a car with an internal combustion engine and peopel will interact with an electric car differently and that’s important for Volvo’s engineers to understand as they move towards putting an electric vehicle into full production. When the data from the test fleet begins to roll in Volvo’s engineers will have the opportunity to study how users handle these differences.

“Our test fleet data will be valuable in Volvo Cars’ development of electric cars. It will also provide crucial input for the infrastructure planners and help define which services are needed to make rechargeable cars the most attractive choice in the future,” says Lennart Stegland.

Charging the battery in the Volvo C30 electric car

New instruments and graphics
The electric C30 looks like a regular Volvo C30 and it offers the very same safety, comfort and roominess as the standard car but of course there are differences.

The most obvious difference inside the car is the new instruments facing the driver. The gauges and graphics are somewhat different to those in a conventional Volvo. The cool and user-friendly combined instrument shows in principle only road speed and energy consumption. However, it also integrates a number of new symbols such as a gauge for battery charge status and other relevant information for this type of vehicle.

A dash display from the Volvo C30 electric car

The driving experience is also different to that in a conventional car. The electric C30 has no gears and the motor’s power is delivered seamlessly, with full power available immediately.

A dash display from the Volvo C30 electric car

“Sailing along virtually without a sound is a very special experience. The power is there instantaneously. We need to spend a lot of time verifying a transmission system that is both comfortable and safe for the driver to handle and at the same time utilizes the battery’s capacity optimally at different speeds,” says Lennart Stegland.

Like a regular C30 but with no emissions
An electric motor uses about one-fourth as much energy as an engine running on fossil fuels. This superior energy efficiency suggests that interest in electric cars will increase as fuel prices rise and demands for low CO2 emissions become increasingly stringent.

The Volvo C30 shown in Detroit is powered by Lithium-Ion batteries that can be recharged via either a regular household power socket or special roadside charging stations. Charging the battery fully takes about eight hours and there may be a real problem for people driving the test vehicles. It appears that there will be no long trips and quick recharges with the test fleet

Top speed with a fully charged battery pack is about 130 km/h. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes less than 11 seconds. The car’s range is up to 150 km.

Safety is still a feature
The electric motor is fitted under the bonnet while the batteries (24 kWh) are installed in the propeller shaft tunnel and in the space normally occupied by the fuel tank, outside the passenger compartment and away from the deformations zones.

“What is more, they are well encapsulated and the structure around them has been reinforced. Electric cars represent yet another interesting challenge in our dedication to building the world’s safest cars. An electrically powered Volvo must be as safe as all other new Volvos. And the very same standards also apply to ownership, driving and protection in the event of an accident,” says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Cars.

Volvo’s view of the market for electric vehicles
When it comes to electric-only cars, there are several factors that determine their appeal in the future.

“The consumers must feel that this type of car is attractive both to drive and own. That is why electric cars have to be as comfortable and safe and offer the same sort of performance as cars with other power sources,” says Paul Gustavsson, Director of Electrification Strategy at Volvo Cars.

He continues: “We believe in this technology and our field test aims to demonstrate that electric cars have considerable market potential. However, offering an attractive car is not enough. What is also needed initially is a system of subsidies to make the electric car’s expensive battery technology financially viable for the car buyers. We hope that the authorities and the rest of the society will follow Volvo Cars in our “Drive Towards Zero” – Volvo Cars’ journey towards zero emissions.”

By | December 18th, 2009|Electric Vehicles, News, Volvo|2 Comments

Volvo XC60 Wins an Award as a Truck

xc60I guess we’re talking about what the Americans call ‘trucks’ here … bit still it does sound odd referring to a luxury vehicle like the Volvo XC60 as a ‘truck’.

The Volvo XC60 was named 2010 International Truck of the Year by the International Car of the Year (ICOTY) jury on December 2. The award was given to Doug Speck, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, LLC at the Volvo display at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The XC60 was chosen over 10 new crossovers, SUVs and trucks by a distinguished panel of top automotive journalists.

“This ties a very pretty bow around what’s been a truly amazing year for Volvo,” commented Speck. “The XC60 has not only been recognized by the media but it’s been extremely well received by our customers.”

The 2010 XC60 has helped VCNA earn six consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases since June.

The XC60 was chosen the winner from a panel of 19 automotive media from around the U.S. and Canada representing top newspapers, magazines and websites. The jurors must consider the ICOTY mission of “honoring vehicles that reflect an emotional connection between car and consumer lifestyles” when making their nominations.

“The ICOTY awards are not centered on power and performance,” said Courtney Caldwell, ICOTY’s creator and executive producer. “It’s about how cars reflect our personalities, lifestyles and self image, an attitude most consumers identify with.”

“This is one of the most prestigious car awards in the world and we feel very proud to receive it for our best-selling XC60”, said Stephen Odell, President and CEO Volvo Car Corporation.

Once approved by the ICOTY nominating committee, the awards jury then bases their decision on a number of important criteria: The vehicle must be new or substantially revised, it must be offered for sale to the general public by the judging deadline of November 16, 2009, and may not have been previously considered for the ICOTY Awards.

The International Truck of the Year award marks the 20th accolade the Volvo XC60 has received since sales began in Europe in late 2008. The XC60 is the first vehicle to offer City Safety as standard equipment.

This unique Volvo technology can help the driver avoid frontal collisions at low speed. If the driver is about to drive into the rear of a vehicle and does not react in time, the XC60 will apply the brakes by itself.

By | December 3rd, 2009|News, Volvo|Comments Off on Volvo XC60 Wins an Award as a Truck

Would You Buy a Volvo Made in China?

If Ford does sell Volvo to the Chinese manufacturer Geely will Geely move production from Europe to China?

Geely says that they’ll keep the production of Volvo’s in Europe but how long will it be before labour costs and bean counters make them change their minds? And is a Volvo made in China still really a Volvo?

By | November 21st, 2009|News, Volvo|Comments Off on Would You Buy a Volvo Made in China?

The New Volvo S60

Well it’s certainly nothing like the old yellow box of years gone by and we’re not yet seeing the Chinese influence that may come if Ford do sell to Geely.

Instead we’ve got a sleek vehicle that looks as though it’s taking Volvo to a whole new level.


Volvo suggests that it “… looks and drives like no other Volvo before …” and they could be right. Unfortunately we won’t see more of the Volvo S60 until March next year when it goes on show at the Geneva Motor show.

Volvo S60

By | November 11th, 2009|Volvo|Comments Off on The New Volvo S60

Volvo Takes Safety Beyond the Car

We’re often told to “think outside the box” and while the days of the boxy yellow Volvo have just about faded the engineers at Volvo are now thinking beyond the car when it comes to safety. New technology already being tested on the streets is aimed at keeping pedestrians safe … at least if it’s a Volvo that could be about to run them down.

The new technology – Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection – will be introduced together with the all-new Volvo S60 in 2010. Volvo Cars’ safety experts have been working with Pedestrian Detection technology for ten years and test cars have been rolling all over the world – most recently in the busy streets of Copenhagen.

“Factors like traffic behaviour, road conditions and climate must be taken into account in the design of the final system. All told we have collected more than 500,000 kilometres of real-life data. We can also use the information from these traffic tests to conduct advanced computer simulations,” says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Cars.

The new safety functions in Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection represent the next stage in Volvo Cars’ continuous development of technology to detect risky situations and help the driver mitigate or avoid accidents by providing support in the decision-making process.

“The previous stages were developed to help the driver avoid collisions with other vehicles.

Now we are taking a giant step forward with a function that also boosts safety for unprotected road-users. What is more, we are advancing from fifty percent to full automatic braking power. To the best of our knowledge, none of our competitors have made such progress in this area,” explains Thomas Broberg. He adds:

“This technology helps us take an important step towards our long-term vision of designing cars that do not crash. Our aim for 2020 is that no-one should be killed or seriously injured in a Volvo.”

Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Safety consists of a new dual-mode radar unit integrated into the car’s grille, a camera behind the inside rear-view mirror and a central control unit. The radar and camera continuously monitor the road in front of the car. The radar’s task is to detect objects and measure the distance to them. The camera determines what type of objects they are.

In an emergency situation, the driver is first alerted by an audible warning together with a flashing light in the windscreen’s head-up display. In order to prompt an immediate, intuitive reaction, the visual warning is designed to look like a brake light coming on. If the driver does not respond to the warning and the system assesses that a collision is imminent, the car’s brakes are applied with full braking power.

“Active brake deployment requires that the object is confirmed by both the radar and the camera. Thanks to state-of-the-art sensor technology, it is now possible to engage full braking power,” explains Thomas Broberg.

By | November 3rd, 2009|Volvo|Comments Off on Volvo Takes Safety Beyond the Car

Pssst … Wanna Buy Volvo?

Yes, you did read that correctly … we are talking about selling Volvo the company and not just a Volvo.

For some time now Ford has owned Volvo as part of the Premier Automotive Group that also included Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover but all it has left now is Volvo and Ford needs the cash.

So who might buy Volvo? Renault and Ford have been talking for a while but can’t agree on a price and now Ford is also talking to Dongfeng … China’s third largest car manufacturer.

Jaguar made by Tata and now Volvo made in China … what is the world coming to?

By | July 1st, 2008|Dong Feng, Ford USA, General, Jaguar, Tata, Volvo|Comments Off on Pssst … Wanna Buy Volvo?

What Do Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover Have in Common?

Well at the moment they’re all owned by Ford … but Ford would like to sell them … if they can find a buyer.

On paper Volvo is probably the marque that’s got the most appeal to prospective purchasers but the reality is that Volvo isn’t doing quite so well as it appears to be on paper.

And who would want to buy Land Rover and Jaguar? There are the usual bunch of private equity groups trying to grab both companies but there are also two possible contenders that come as a bit of a surprise. Industry experts suggest that two Indian car manufacturer are very interested in buying both Land Rover and Jaguar.

The two companies are Tata motors and the Mahindra group. Both are major players in the booming Indian market and both have tried to break into the Australian market … without much success..

Mahindra automotive

Mahindra is a major manufacturer of low-cost motor vehicles including a 2WD and 4WD utility similar to a Toyota Hilux. The ute was to be exhibited at the Orange National Field Days last year and Tynan Motors had been appointed as the importer and distributor.

The plan was for the first shipment of Mahindra utes to hit the showrooms around the middle of this year but that doesn’t seem to have happened and Mahindra is not listed on the Tynan Motors website.

Tata Motors

Tata Motors is also a major player in the Indian automotive scene. They produce a wide range of vehicles for the private and commercial sectors. Tata Motors first tested the Australian market four years ago and could be back in the Australian market later this year but experts are not hopeful of Tata having any more success than they did four years ago.

You can read more about Tata, Mahindra and the Australian market here

But will either company be able to make turn around the fortunes of Land Rover and Jaguar? Overseas experts describe both Ford subsidiaries as ‘basket cases’ so it will be interesting to see what lies ahead.

By | August 1st, 2007|Ford USA, General News, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo|1 Comment