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Archive for the ‘Volvo’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Geely Buys $3.3B Stake In Volvo’s Truck Line

Zhejiang Geely, the Chinese automaker best known in the West for its ownership of Volvo and its recent acquisition of Lotus, has just purchased an 8.2-percent stake in AB Volvo for an estimated $3.3 billion U.S. dollars. Though it appears a small stake, the 8.2-percent makes Geely the largest shareholder of AB Volvo and the second largest by voting rights, just behind the investment firm Industrivarden. This puts Geely in a power position over both Volvo cars and AB Volvo’s commercial truck and bus business. A Geely spokesperson said the company has no intention of reuniting the two Volvo divisions, which had separated in 1999. Geely purchased the stage from the investment firm Cevian Capital.

“Given our experience with Volvo Car Group, we recognize and value the proud Scandinavian history and culture, leading market positions, breakthrough technologies and environmental capabilities of AB Volvo,” Geely Holding Chairman Li Shufu told Reuters in a statement in late December 2017.

Geely’s purchase also means it now controls AB Volvo’s 45-percent stake in Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles, a large player in China’s commercial truck market. Interestingly, Geely is also working to buy a three to five percent stake in Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Smart, worth an estimated $4,7 billion. Not only does Mercedes have its massive consumer-based vehicles, but also its commercial arm that builds a wide range of light- to heavy-duty vehicles. That would put Geely in an authoritative position in the commercial trucking industry.

References


maker logos - image 749090

Read more Geely news.


maker logos - image 745634

Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon Volvo to Join the EV Hatchback Community with an Electric Volvo V40

Volvo introduced its new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform with the new XC40, and it’s already taking steps to expand, with an all-new, next-gen V40 hatchback being the next model to make use of this adjustable, electrification-ready platform. And, that is the keyword: Electrification – and that’s exactly what you can expect from the next-gen V40. And, it will be offered with at least two battery sizes too, making it more affordable in base form and more able to compete with its German rivals in higher trim levels.
Want to know more? Keep reading to find out all about it.

The V40 Will Borrow DNA from the Volvo XC40 and the 40.2 Concept


2016 Volvo Concept 40 - image 676338
“The CMA platform was designed from the very start to be plug-in capable”

So, as I mentioned before, the V40 will use the CMA architecture, but it will also adopt the XC40’s wheelbase as well as several engine options, including the D3, D4, T3, T4, and T5. More importantly, however, is the plug-in hybrid and all-electric drivetrains that will also be available, both of which (the EV at some point) will also come directly from the XC40.
So what will make the V40 unique? Well, it will have that lower and more dominating roofline. And, even though the XC40 was the first model to be produced on the CMA platform, it is also set up nicely for low, dynamic vehicles, and that’s exactly what the V40 will be – a low and dynamic hatchback.

And, the CMA platform was designed from the very start to be plug-in capable:

“In purely physical terms, we have to fit the battery in the floor,” Green said, “but CMA gives us pretty good bandwidth. Everything from the full SUV height down to fairly low cars is possible. We’ve designed CMA from the beginning to have plug-in capability.”

With that in mind, the V40 will also be its own vehicle too. Well, in a way, that is. See, the overall design, as shown by the exclusive images published by AutoExpress, will be borrowed directly from the Volvo 40.2 Concept – all of the way down to that funky front end, unique taillights, and sporty stance. This shouldn’t be a surprise, though, considering the 40.1 concept became the XC40… You did know that, right?

Looking into the Future of Volvo and the V40


2016 Volvo Concept 40 - image 676361
“The V40 will be the first all-electric vehicle to make use of the new CMA architecture.”

Under Geely ownership, Volvo has taken a turn for the better, and it’s quite amazing to see. We’re finally seeing some nice products come out of Volvo. When you take into consideration the fact that the V40 taking its DNA from it and the 40.2 concept, will have a wide range of engines, and all of that electrification goodness, the V40 is an undeniable winner. And, with it being available as a pure-electric model too, it will be able to take on models like the Volkswagen eGolf, as well as the A3 and BMW 1 Series.

Don’t get it twisted though. The V40 (nor the XC40, for that matter) will be the first all-electric vehicle to make use of the new CMA architecture. Nope – that will be the Polestar 2, a high-performance saloon that will be offered by the now stand-alone high-performance arm of Volvo and likely nothing more than a Volvo with some extras and a different badge. As for the V40, however, you’ll see a full list of options carry over from other Volvo models, including a foldable rear floor, seat drawers, Sensus nin-inch infotainment system, and a fully digital instrument cluster. And, there may be smaller vehicles in the works someday:

“You can probably do a smaller car with the CMA platform,” Green said, “but we’re not actively looking at that right now. So, one day we may have an SUV that’s even smaller than XC40, but at the moment this is the exciting size for us.”

References

Volvo V40


2017 Volvo V40 - image 667177

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo V40.


maker logos - image 745634

Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon Volvo S60 & V60 Polestar Champion Edition

Volvo took a title win in the FIA World Touring Car Championship this year thanks to the efforts of Cyan Racing and its S60 Polestar TC1 racer. Leading the charge was driver Thed Bjork, who also managed to grab the Driver’s Championship, making him the first Swede to “win a motor racing world title” according to Volvo. In recognition of that, the brand is releasing upgraded iterations of the S60 sedan and V60 wagon dubbed the Polestar Performance World Champion Edition.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar Champion Edition.

What Makes The Volvo S60 And V60 Polestar Champion Edition Special


2018 Volvo S60 & V60 Polestar Champion Edition - image 750586
“These machines come from Polestar, a dedicated tuner and performance company that specializes in making fast Volvos”

Volvo released updates for the S60 and V60 just a few years ago and recently announced the arrival of a third generation for the 2019 model year. That makes these hot-to-trot iterations well timed to take advantage of any renewed interest in the nameplates before the arrival of the all-new models sometime next year.

Luckily, these aren’t some poseur special editions with a little black trim in the cabin and an overinflated price tag. Rather, these machines come from Polestar, a dedicated tuner and performance company that specializes in making fast Volvos. Polestar announced it was becoming a dedicated electric performance car company last October, but before that happens, we’re getting these slick-and-quick four- and five-doors.


2018 Volvo S60 & V60 Polestar Champion Edition - image 750585
“Upgrades were added everywhere.”

Upgrades were added everywhere. Under the hood, Polestar optimization added newfound ponies and torque, with up to 10 extra horsepower and 50 Nm (38 pound-feet) of twist at the top of the heap. You’ll also get quicker shifts and a sharper throttle response. Hard bits include a free-flowing exhaust and sports air filter, while outside, there are new 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance tires, plus fresh styling and aero thanks to a new rear spoiler and diffuser combo. Upping the handling chops are new dampers and springs. Inside, there’s a new Polestar shifter.

“The engineers from Polestar and Cyan Racing have worked collaboratively on engineering developments for existing Polestar road cars for many years,” says Christian Samson, Product and Development head at Polestar. “It’s therefore fitting that we celebrate the remarkable achievement of securing our maiden World Championship by adding more performance to the cars that have been instrumental this season.”

The S60 and V60 Polestar Performance World Champion Editions are offered on all D4, D5, T5, and T6 trim levels, and will head to all markets globally.

References

Volvo S60


2017 Volvo S60 Edition - image 669838

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo S60.

Volvo V60


2017 Volvo V60 Edition - image 669841

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo V60.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Volvo XC40 Production Begins in Ghent

The whole world appears to be quite fond of the new 2018 Volvo XC40. People can’t wait to get their hands on one, which is why the news of the small premium crossover starting production is of great moment. The first batch of the XC40s will be ready for delivery early next year. 

Since the introduction of 2018 Volvo XC40, the Chinese-owned Swedish car maker has received more than 13,000 orders for it. It is easy to see why people like the XC40 even before they see it in the flesh. The car promises all the goodness we’ve come to known from other Volvo utility models in a small and efficient package. That’s a very appetizing recipe. The XC40 is built on the new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which will underpin all upcoming cars in the 40 series.

Production of 2018 Volvo XC40 is also an important occasion for the car maker’s Belgian plant in Ghent. They have turned this plant into a global export hub for CMA-based cars, including an 8,000 square metre addition to the body shop. The XC40 has created 363 new jobs at the plant… for robots. There is one new robot they are particularly proud of, called The Beast, which is used to lift lower car bodies to a conveyor belt close to the ceiling of the plant.



“This is a proud day for Ghent, the company and all our employees here,” Volvo Cars Chief Executive and President Håkan SamuelssonSamuelsson said. “Our people have put in long days and many hours to prepare the plant for the start of XC40 production and they have done a great job. The XC40 represents a bright future for Ghent and for Volvo Cars.”

The post 2018 Volvo XC40 Production Begins in Ghent appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Uber Bites Into Volvo Big Time; Orders 24,000 Models

Volvo and Uber aren’t messing around with their partnership. The two companies initially signed a strategic agreement in 2016 that included Volvo supplying Uber with a fleet of XC90 SUVs. Now, Uber’s taking it to a whole new level by ordering 24,000 units from the Swedish automaker between 2019 and 2021. No mention was made on which Volvo models Uber is getting, but all units will come with autonomous driving technology.

A sign of things to come?


2016 Volvo XC90 - image 699030
“It really isn’t so much about the Volvo-Uber partnership itself; it’s about the sheer size of the reported order”

It’s impossible to understate the significance of this development in the Volvo-Uber partnership. This is big news if it does happen because it could set a precedent for tech companies who are looking to gain entry into the world of autonomous driving.

It really isn’t so much about the Volvo-Uber partnership itself; it’s about the sheer size of the reported order. If that 24,000-unit number reported by Reuters is accurate, it would be the largest order of its kind from a tech company. The order is large enough that if it decides to take that direction, Uber would have access to a large enough fleet that will allow it to get its commercial autonomous ride sharing program off the ground. That’s always been one of the end goals for tech firms like Uber who are investing millions upon millions of dollars on a business that has the potential to reinvent the whole public transportation sphere.

There’s been no confirmation on either Volvo or Uber’s side on what kind of models are included in the order. The Swedish automaker did say that every one of them will be based on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, essentially narrowing the field down to the S90 sedan, V90 wagon, and XC60, XC90 SUVs.

The time is now for Uber and Volvo


2016 Volvo XC90 - image 565997
“Uber’s massive order of Volvo vehicles is just one example of how competitive this business has become”

Take a look at the budding landscape of the autonomous driving segment. Automakers and tech companies from all over the world are doing something related to this promising field. It would take time to list down all the automakers that are currently developing autonomous driving tech, but it says a lot for the field’s potential that tech giants like Apple and Google, as well as ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, all have made huge investments in this space.

Uber’s massive order of Volvo vehicles is just one example of how competitive this business has become.
It’s even turned messy on some fronts. Uber itself is embroiled in a legal battle with Waymo, the old Google self-driving car project that’s been spun off Google parent firm Alphabet Inc. to become its own autonomous car development company. Even in its own sphere, Uber is facing stiffer competition from Lyft, which has its own partnership with Waymo.

If this massive order of Volvo vehicles does come to fruition, expect more deals of its kind to happen in the future, especially when it comes to tech firms who aren’t keen on dealing with the heavy costs that come with developing their own vehicles. These companies are focused on developing the technology. Once that tech is up-and-running, the easiest route to use it is to rely on existing automakers that already have fleets of vehicles that are ready to act as hosts for the technology. That’s what this Volvo – Uber partnership is all about, and if it comes to a point where autonomous driving technology becomes a real and sustainable system, more partnerships of this kind will come to life.

References

Volvo XC90


2016 Volvo XC90 - image 565988

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo XC90.



Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon This is Why Volvo Is Famous For Its Safety

If you have a weak stomach, you might want to take a deep breath first before proceeding. The video you’re about to see is pretty brutal, not because of something that happened, but because of something that could have happened had it not been for a driver’s alertness and an automaker’s state-of-the-art technology. In so many words, a distracted child crossed a street without looking, only to find himself in the crosshairs of an oncoming Volvo semi-truck. The scene was playing out like a house of horrors, until salvation stepped in in the form of Volvo’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system.

In a split second before what would’ve been a nightmarish collision, the truck driver managed to slam the brakes hard enough to trigger the AEB system, sending the truck screeching to a dramatic halt. The intensive braking was strong enough to create g-forces that literally pushed the nose of the truck forward with the lower end of the front bumper barely scraping the road. Fortunately, the erring child had enough wits about himself to also run away from the truck, preventing what would’ve otherwise been a heartbreaking end to the young boy’s life.

There really is something to be said for all the advancements in automotive technology to see it work in front of your eyes. I personally don’t know if the driver or the AEB system deserves a bigger share of the credit, but I’ll settle for equal-billing. Let it be said though that Volvo’s new braking system played a huge role in saving a young boy’s life. More than any award or positive review, seeing it function the way it’s supposed to be in a literal time of distress is the ultimate vindication for an automaker’s constant pursuit of advanced safety technologies.

References



Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Volvo XC60 Safety Rated “Xceedingly Good” by EuroNCAP

You know a car’s safety is top-notch when it brings out the sense of humor in EuroNCAP people. these are safety-obsessed, very particular guys who test the safety of new models. So when they must be very happy with the 2018 Volvo XC60 to say it is “the best all-round performer of 2017.”

Now that is some praise. The XC90, the big brother to this model, was also awarded with similar words when it was tested in 2015. But what makes it more impressive in the case of the 2018 Volvo XC60 is that it’s considerably smaller than the 90. That car can rely on its size alone to ace many of the crash tests, whereas the 60 needed more clever engineering. The crossover scored an almost-perfect 98 percent in adult occupant protection and performed above the average of this class in child safety and other categories.

Besides good design and engineering, 2018 Volvo XC60 boasts a long list of active and passive safety systems. The main highlights include Steer Assist, which automatically provides steering input in an emergency to help avoid potential collisions. Steer Assist acts alongside Volvo’s City Safety suite of safety aids. It uses radar and a forward-facing camera to detect and identify objects in the path of the car. You also get Oncoming Lane Mitigation, Blind Spot Information, advanced safety equipment from Volvo’s larger 90 series cars, including Pedestrian, Cyclist and Large Animal Detection with fully automatic emergency braking, and Road Edge Detection and Run-off Road Protection.

The post 2018 Volvo XC60 Safety Rated “Xceedingly Good” by EuroNCAP appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Official: 2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country Volvo Ocean Race

The name might be a mouthful, but then Volvo V90 Cross Country Volvo Ocean Race is many cars in one. It’s a utility vehicle, a sedan, a comfy family bus, a camping mate, and it’s also an homage. The car celebrates the start of the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race.

Volvo Ocean Race is an extremely cool program in which Volvo equips racing boats with a variety of sensors that will capture data from some of the remotest parts of the world’s oceans. So not only the provide good business and entertainment, they also help understand the health of oceans. What is more, Volvo will donate EUR 100 for each of the first 3,000 V90 Cross Country Volvo Ocean Race cars it plans to build. So this big all-road car is actually greener than all the Teslas and Prius’ combined.

The environmental theme continues with the Volvo V90 Cross Country Volvo Ocean Race itself. The car features, for example, floor mats made from Econyl, a fabric made from 100% recycled nylon, including abandoned fishing nets reclaimed from the seabed. Other special highlights include matt grey and bright orange details, Crystal White exterior colour and special wheels and stitching. Of course, all the standard Cross Country equipment are present, including all-wheel-drive.

“We’re proud to support the Volvo Ocean Race’s Science Programme, which will help improve our understanding of the health of the oceans – our greatest natural resource,” said Stuart Templar, Director of Sustainability at Volvo Cars. “As a company, we work to minimise our impact on the world around us, so this project’s innovative approach to tackling a major environmental problem was a great fit for us – not least as we head towards an electric future.”









The post Official: 2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country Volvo Ocean Race appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Volvo Shamelessly Reheated an Old Concept to Revive Polestar

As much as I’m in love with the 1950s and 1960s when it comes to car designs, the automotive industry is living a golden era as we speak. The variety is incredible, there are plenty of attractive offers at dealerships, and nearly every car, no matter how affordable, packs a ton of tech that makes life behind the steering wheel easier. But this golden era also comes with a lot of bullshit, ranging from fancy and unnecessary PR talk to bragging about performance figures that aren’t that great. And of course, trying to justify overpriced special-edition model with extra features that are either barely noticeable or useless. Which brings me to the latest car that’s getting everyone excited: the Polestar 1.

A while back Volvo decided that Polestar should also make its own cars besides tuning what’s already available in dealerships. Polestar delivered and announced the 1. I mean the Polestar 1, because the “1” nameplate doesn’t make much sense by itself. Everyone got excited! Oh my God, pretty coupe, powerful hybrid drivetrain, shut up and take my money! Well no, the Polestar 1 doesn’t deserve all the attention. And it doesn’t deserve your hard-earned money. Let me explain.

Continue reading for the full story.

Can You Handle the Truth?


2013 Volvo Concept Coupe - image 520429
“It's just a mildly revised and renamed version of a concept car that Volvo unveiled in 2013”

Because it’s a reheated concept car from 2013!

There you go.

Now you know.

My mission here is done.

Have a nice weekend!

Damn it, I can’t do this. I can’t stop writing unless I rant for a while, so you’re getting the long version.

I’m not trying to say that you’ve been living under a rock or anything, but if you’re among those that got really excited about the Polestar 1, you probably are! Because the Polestar 1 is anything but new. It’s just a mildly revised and renamed version of a concept car that Volvo unveiled in 2013. It’s called the Concept Coupe and even though it had only two doors, it was used to preview the S90 sedan and the company’s current design language. And yes, people got excited and began wondering whether Volvo will actually make a coupe version of the then-upcoming sedan. It didn’t happen, but Volvo obviously had a plan to give Polestar more autonomy and a lineup of its own.

Good idea? Definitely! But everything died when the Polestar 1 was unveiled. Because it’s a Concept Coupe with a new grille, reshaped front bumper, new wheels, and larger side mirrors. Or should I say a Volvo with a Polestar badge and grille?


2018 Polestar 1 - image 739271
“Give me some carbon-fiber, some unique trim, and we can talk expensive price tags”

And you know what else is wrong with it? The cabin is identical to the S90. There’s nothing wrong with that, because the S90 has a gorgeous interior, but it doesn’t even qualify as a luxury or performance upgrade over the sedan. I mean come on, the idea is to give customers a higher performance version of the S90, but in a two-door format, right? Something to rival offerings from Mercedes-AMG and BMW M. Well, replacing the badge on the steering wheel and removing the wood veneer from the dashboard and door panels ain’t gonna cut the mustard. Give me some carbon-fiber, some unique trim, and we can talk expensive price tags.

Yes, expensive. This thing is gonna cost a lot of dough. Volvos are already pretty expensive compared to their German counterparts and the Polestar will add even more premium to that price tag. It will probably cost as much as the AMGs and the Ms, if not more, and at this point I think they will be too expensive for what they offer. Then there’s the fact that you won’t be able to buy it as a regular car, but only through the company’s subscription program. But it’s not the program itself that bugs me, but the fact that customers might not be ready to purchase cars this way. It seems that Volvo just wants to make things a bit complicated for the sake of being different. And I like a different approach, but not this time around.


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738878

Look Volvo, I understand what you’re trying to do here. You want to be like everyone else and have a superior line with added performance. And you want a different badge for that, because that’s what’s cool nowadays. And fortunately you have Polestar for that. But this isn’t the way to go. Make something entirely new, innovate. Or at least don’t act like the Concept Coupe never existed.

Tesla Is a Whiny Old Man


2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 727971
“Tesla is in fact a whiny old man that can't handle a bit of criticism”

Tesla may be an electric car manufacturer based on the products it sells, but it’s in fact a whiny old man that can’t handle a bit of criticism. It’s been like that ever since the Model S came out, but things got worse when Consumer Reports revoked the maximum rating it gave the all-electric sedan. It’s when Tesla began accusing the publication of singling out its cars for being unsafe and unreliable. Butthurt much? Now, Tesla got upset when Consumer Reports’ reliability scores for the year gave the new Model 3 an “average” score.

Granted, I understand Tesla’s rant over Consumer Reports giving scores for a car its has yet to test (the Model 3 is not yet available), but the outlet has been doing the same with other nameplates too. The Kia Stinger, for instance, received the same “average” score, and I haven’t seen the Korean brand release angry statements so far. And I don’t see why Tesla makes such a big deal out of this. It’s not like customers will cancel preorders based on a statistic made by Consumer Reports. Based on consumers’ experiences with other vehicles from the company, in this case the Model S. After all, it’s true that the Model 3 is using many of the same components as the Model S, so it’s not that outrageous to consider the issues of the latter.


2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 727972
“Less complaining on the Internet, more working on improving your products”

I truly believe that Tesla customers are smarter than that and CR’s new report won’t affect Model 3 sales in any way. What’s more, once Consumer Reports gets its hands on the new sedan, which will happen once it becomes available, a more accurate report will be released. Tesla is acting rather silly here and coming up with all sorts of conspiracy scenarios is childish and makes Elon Musk’s company sound whiny as hell. And I don’t want that from a brand that’s supposed to innovate and change the way we view electric cars. Build quality issues are real. When pointed out, you must fix them. Less complaining on the Internet, more working on improving your products. Is it that hard?

References

Polestar 1


2018 Polestar 1 - image 739271

Read our full review on the 2018 Polestar 1.

Volvo S90 Sedan


2017 Volvo S90 - image 658241

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo S90.


2013 Volvo Concept Coupe - image 520468

Read our full review on the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe.

Tesla Model 3


2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 725394

Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

PostHeaderIcon The Polestar 1: A Repurposed Volvo Concept from 2013

It hasn’t been a month since Polestar quit being a performance tuner for Volvo and branched off as its own “performance car company.” Now, this is good news for a number of reasons, with the most important being that the company can make its own cars, completely independent of anything Volvo is offering. But, that’s also where the problem arises, as the companies first stand-alone car is expensive and lazy, at best. Word that Polestar was on its own filled me joy. Just thinking about what Polestar, without limitations, could do with its new-found independence was enough to give any self-respecting man a stiffy. Yet, three weeks later and Polestar gives us the biggest disappointment since Michael Jordan’s second comeback.

Of course, auto show season is on the horizon, so I can understand the want to rush the first model out the door in time for SEMA or even the L.A. Auto Show, but this thing is pretty much a two-door Volvo S90. In fact, it’s almost like Volvo was planning a two-door S90, decided to scrap the idea, and the polestar engineer in the next studio over dug through the trash and found the disc with the AutoCAD file on it. Oh, wait… they did…..Volvo called it the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe…

So, what did Polestar do to make this car their own? Well, let’s go take a look.

The Old Switcheroo

left
right
“This is a Volvo S90 with the rear doors cut off and excessive fender gaps.”

The other night I was sitting around looking at the Polestar and thought to myself, “This is a Volvo S90 with the rear doors cut off and excessive fender gaps. I mean, after all, it really does look like that right? Take a look:

Well, then I started browsing our Volvo page here on TopSpeed.com and as I was scrolling what did I find? The freaking Polestar 1 with a Volvo grille on it. Wait.. did I really just see that? Well, yes I did – I even asked my wife to make sure she didn’t try to kill me by poisoning dinner (it was really good, by the way) and she verified that I wasn’t hallucinating. So, let me point out to all of you just how lazy the Polestar 1 really is – you’ve seen it before, and it hasn’t changed the slightest bit:

left
right
“The disappointment is unbearable, and you can bet that Volvo and Polestar were both hoping that we would all forget about the concept from four years ago”

The disappointment is unbearable, and you can bet that Volvo and Polestar were both hoping that we would all forget about the concept from four years ago. Well, sorry guys, but the cat is out of the bag. You seriously took a four-year-old concept, slapped a new grille on it and called it the Polestar 1. That’s lazier than BMW and Audi are every time they “facelift” one of their vehicles. Maybe the interior offers something different?

Original is Not the Word You’re Looking for


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738877

2017 Volvo S90 - image 658267
“It’s an S90 interior with a Polestar logo on the steering wheel hub and a chrome shifter handle”

Ok, so now that I’ve called Polestar out for the exterior, I thought maybe the interior would look different. Well, no – it really doesn’t. It’s an S90 interior with a Polestar logo on the steering wheel hub and a chrome shifter handle. The rest of the interior is identical to the S90, all the way down to the infotainment display, dash design, center console, and even the HVAC controls. And, keep in mind, the Concept from 2013 sported a similar cabin and was the basis for the design used on the S90. It’s like they just walked into the office, dropped a bunch of concept blueprints into a bin and picked one to go with for Polestar’s first car. Note: the S90 has wood trim, the Polestar 1 has carbon fiber

Under the Hood


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738876
“Polestar 1 will hit 93 mph on electric power.”

Here’s where the Polestar 1 does differ from anything that Volvo has, and that’s because it has 600 horsepower under the hood. It also claims that it can deliver as much as 738 pound-feet of torque. How it does so is still under wraps, but it’s safe to assume that Polestar went with the T9 Plug-in hybrid setup from Volvo. It probably tuned the 2.0-liter to deliver as much horsepower and torque as reliably possible while dumping in a bigger battery pack and some high-performance motors. No performance numbers are available to go by, but we do know the Polestar 1 will hit 93 mph on electric power. But, it’s the price point and acquisition process that really gets me…

Bend Over and Take it Up the Tailpipe


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738881
“On this side of the pond, that converts to between $154,000 and $178,000”

Okay, so Polestar takes an old concept, rebrands it, and calls it the “1,” so, how much are you expected to pay for this “new” sports coupe? Well, nobody knows for sure outside of Polestar, yet. But, word has it that the price will be around €130,000 to €150,000. On this side of the pond, that converts to between $154,000 and $178,000 – Ouch. So, we can’t really compare that cost the Concept that was displayed in 2013 by Volvo, but we can compare it to the S90 sedan – you know; since it is pretty much an S90 with a section cut out of the middle.

So, the Volvo S90 starts out at $48,100 and while the Inscription trim comes in at $58,600. So, we’re talking about a difference of $100,000. When you consider the S90 with the T8 – likely what you’ll find in the Polestar 1 with high-performance motors – comes with 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, the Polestar one delivers just 200 ponies and 266 pound-feet more. That breaks down to a cost of $500 per pony. Let me say that again: $500 per pony! and to top that off, you get less interior room and an exterior that looks almost identical to the S90.

“Polestar 1 is going to be sold under a subscription service only, which is basically Volvo’s “Care by Volvo” program”

But, that’s not all, as apparently, you may not even get to really own the Polestar 1. Word around the campfire is that the Polestar 1 is going to be sold under a subscription service only, which is basically Volvo’s “Care by Volvo” program – pretty much an extensive leasing service, if you will.
You can read all the details about it in Kirby’s news memo, but let me just point out what it really means. Basically, the Polestar 1 will be given to you on a subscription that you’ll probably have to turn back end at the end of a certain period. Polestar will cover most of the basic costs for your regular monthly payment, but the chances are that you won’t be allowed to do anything to the car as far as modification or customization. On top of that, you’re going to shell out six figures for a car you don’t even really own – and a car that is nothing more than a rebadged concept from 2013 that Volvo shit canned because it was too afraid to build and sell a true-to-life coupe.

Final Thoughts


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738872

Sorry, Volvo and Polestar. I like you both as a brand, but you have just maxed out my bullshit-o-meter and moved to the top of my lazy-bastards list. This is just uncalled for and lazy, and everyone who wears a tie while working for either of these companies should be ashamed. In fact, somebody should be fired — $100,000 price hike on a four-year-old design because it offers 2 doors and 200 extra ponies over an S90…. Oh, and because it wears a Polestar badge instead of a Volvo badge??? What did you spend on R&D? $.45 and a BIC pen? You’re officially worse than BMW overcharging the Chinese for those lazy, special edition cars that feature special paint and new wheel designs.

References

Polestar 1


2018 Polestar 1 - image 739271

Read our full review on the 2018 Polestar 1.

Volvo S90 Sedan


2017 Volvo S90 - image 658241

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo S90.


2013 Volvo Concept Coupe - image 520468

Read our full review on the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe.

PostHeaderIcon 2019 Polestar 1 Officially Unveiled with 600bhp Powertrain

You know the name Polestar from some of the most exciting Volvos of the past few years. Now the Swedish firm is a stand-alone entity, sort of, and they have come up with their first production model. The Polestar 1 is a hybrid electric coupe set to go into production in mid-2019 at Volvo’s facilities in China. 

So what we have here is a Chinese-built, Swedish-designed, electric-hybrid with old-school looks, supercar performance, and Grand Tourer comfort. It’s an amalgam, but something no one else has ever tried before. On the surface Polestar 1 looks like a slightly revised Volvo S90, which is not entirely coincidental. Polestar may have split from mother company, but they are still dependent on them for all kinds of support. And they would want the connection to that they won’t look like a start-up out there in the world exotic cars.

The performance-oriented hybrid electric powertrain in Polestar 1 churns out a very respectable 600hp and 1000Nm of torque. Though technical details of the system are yet to be revealed, they have let us know that the 1 has a range of 150kms on pure electric power alone. If this is true, and the Swedes seldom lie, this car is going to school all the giants of the hybrid segment on what’s possible in terms of performance and economy. handling-wise, Polestar has used all its motorsport know-how to ensure the car drives well. You have double electric rear axle which enables torque vectoring, Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) advanced chassis technology, and a lightweight carbon fiber body.













Besides being the halo car for the new company, Polstar 1 is going to spawn a whole range of other models with fully electric powertrains. It is also set to revolutionize the way people buy cars:

Polestar will also move away from today’s traditional ownership model. Cars will be ordered 100% online and offered on a two or three year subscription basis. The zero-deposit, all-inclusive subscription will also add features such as pick-up and delivery servicing and the ability to rent alternative vehicles within the Volvo and Polestar range, all incorporated into one monthly payment. The flat rate subscription means that having a Polestar car becomes a hassle free experience for the customer. This is facilitated by Phone-As-Key technology. It allows the owner to share a virtual key with a third party, and also enables access to a host of other on-demand features. This concierge service ensures that the customer only needs to focus on the enjoyment of driving.

The post 2019 Polestar 1 Officially Unveiled with 600bhp Powertrain appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace

Volvo has recently introduced their compact, premium SUV, the XC40, in Milan, Italy. It happens to be the third vehicle to join Volvo’s SUV lineup and has a lot of work to do in a crowded segment. The Compact SUV also happens to be Volvo’s first vehicle to be underpinned by their new modular vehicle architecture (CMA) platform. This platform will also support Volvo’s fully electric vehicles of the future as the brand continues to evolve. All told, the XC40 sits below the XC60 in the lineup and competes with some other recently unveiled smaller premium SUVs like the Jaguar E-Pace.

The E-Pace borrows some of its design formulas from the flagship F-Pace Crossover, much like the XC40 borrows some DNA from its larger brethren. Surprisingly, both of these SUV’s seem to have inherited all their technologies from the bigger SUV of their lineup. Both the Volvo XC40 and the Jaguar E-Pace will be available with a thirst for diesel or petrol at the time of launch (and, depending on the market) and can be optioned with four-wheel drive as well.

Don’t be disappointed if you cannot afford the Big Daddy

The XC40 looks sophisticated compared to the E-Pace


Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 733019

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723226

The XC40 may not be as muscular as its rival but it makes up for that elsewhere…


Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 733018

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723230

The E-Pace gets muscular styling yet manages to look sporty at the same time all thanks to its unique design


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733083

Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 723285

Both Offer Exquisite Luxury and Comfort

Premium accessories and high-end technology are the name of the game inside both models — a tough decision, indeed


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733045

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723252

With a luxurious rear, even the kids will be happy regardless of your decision


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733051

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723257

In the end, both models are a good choice, so which one calls your name? Let us know in the comments section below

References

Volvo XC40


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733077

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo XC40

Jaguar E-Pace


Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 723280

Read our full review on the 2018 Jauguar E-Pace

PostHeaderIcon Gas-Powered Volvo Trucks Promise Significantly Less CO2 Emissions

Volvo Trucks continue their environmental efforts with the introduction of new models running on LNG (liquefied natural gas) or biogas. These heavy hitters claim to deliver the same performance as a diesel truck engine but with 20 to 100 percent less CO2 emissions. The former figure is for the LNG fuel and the latter for when biogas is used.

In terms of performance, the Volvo Trucks getting these new engines – including FM and FH models – offer 420 and 460 horsepower which is on the par with that of a diesel unit. Volvo’s 460 hp gas engine delivers maximum torque of 2300 Nm while the 420 hp version produces 2100 Nm. Volvo has come up with a whole new trick to achieve this figures and that is utilising Diesel cycle technology instead Otto cycle which is the norm for gas motors.

Now, there is the problem of getting the fuel for these gas-burning lorries. But gas it’s a problem a lot more easily remedied than, say, getting hydrogen to the pumps. Volvo Trucks is now working together with gas suppliers and customers to develop the expansion of LNG infrastructure in Europe. Once inside the truck, the gas is stored at 4-10 bar pressure at a temperature of -140 to -125 °C. With the biggest fuel tank available now a full tank will deliver a 1,000 km range.

“Natural gas offers clear climate upsides, it is competitively priced in many countries, and there are sufficient reserves to justify large-scale use. Our focus on LNG vehicles is creating new prerequisites for our customers to run fuel- and cost-efficient operations. At the same time, we’re making it possible for heavy truck operations to considerably reduce their climate impact,” says Lars Mårtensson.






Volvo FM LNG and Volvo FH LNG Specs:

  • Available versions: Tractors (4×2, 6×2, 6×4) and rigids (4×2, 6×2, 6×4) with gross vehicle weights of up to 64 tonnes for regional and long-haul operations.
  • Engine: Volvo G13C Euro 6. In-line 6-cylinder 13-litre common rail engine, injectors nozzles for gas and diesel. Available with 420 hp/2100 Nm and 460 hp/2300 Nm.
  • Transmission: Volvo I-Shift.
  • Fuel tanks: Available with 115 kg (275 l), 155 kg (375 l) or 205 kg (495 l) LNG for up to 1000 km operating range. A small diesel tank is also fitted.
  • Exhaust after-treatment: SCR and particulate filter.
  • The Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG are Whole-Vehicle Type-approved and certified as per European standard ECE R110.

The post Gas-Powered Volvo Trucks Promise Significantly Less CO2 Emissions appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Polestar Leaves Volvo in its tracks to Ride Solo and Embark on an All-New Mission

It’s a good sign that Volvo is in good standing in the automotive industry when it’s prepared to let its performance arm Polestar go out and make a name of its own, independent from the mother company. The announcement was made a few months ago, but now it’s official. Polestar has broken off from Volvo, and the new company left nothing to the imagination when it posted on Instagram an image made up of only two words: “The End.”

For those who are wondering if this is sad news, it’s not – It’s the exact opposite, actually. Say what you will about Volvo’s image as a luxury brand, but the Swedish automaker is making an aggressive move to take a piece of the performance car industry pie. When was the last time we thought of Volvo in these terms? Decades ago? Never? But this is what Volvo has become under the ownership of Chinese auto giant Geely, and it’s a wonderful thing. And as for Polestar, the newly-minted company will now focus its time and resources on developing high-performance electrified cars. There’s no word yet on what models it plans on developing, but a previous report indicated that Polestar’s first offering would be a bespoke sports car that will feature generous amounts of carbon fiber and will have a power output of around 600 horsepower. If this model does end up getting made, it would be Polestar’s initial offering to the market. For what it’s worth, never did I imagine a company with roots to Volvo roll out a car with that much power under its hood. But that’s, apparently, what we can start expecting from Polestar, which makes this news of its official separation from Volvo all the more exciting.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

What can we expect from Polestar now that it’s going to do its own thing?


2016 Volvo V60 Polestar - image 637506

It’s fascinating to see how much progress Volvo has made ever since Geely purchased it back in 2011. Not only has the Swedish company reinvented itself as a legitimate luxury brand with a model portfolio that’s considered one of the best in the business, it’s also been able to do it on its own terms. It didn’t have to change its approach or completely alter its image. Instead, it focused on reviving its once glistening reputation as one of the best luxury car makers in the business. It’s done exactly that in a lot of ways to the point that expanding its reach has become a real thing.

“Volvo is effectively doing the same with Polestar so you can imagine the excitement of what Polestar can do now that it’s going to be charged with developing its own performance models”

For those who don’t remember, Polestar used to be the performance division of Volvo, similar to how AMG used to be the same thing for Mercedes-Benz. The growth of the performance car industry spurred Mercedes to split off AMG and turn it into its own brand, hence the birth of Mercedes-AMG. Volvo is effectively doing the same with Polestar so you can imagine the excitement of what Polestar can do now that it’s going to be charged with developing its own performance models with the backing of Volvo and parent firm Geely.

“Think of Polestar in the same vein as Hyundai’s N division”

Expectations are definitely high at this point, but let’s be real about it too. I don’t expect Polestar to reach the levels of Mercedes-AMG or even BMW M overnight. It’s going to have to prove itself first before we can put it up on a pedestal. Think of Polestar in the same vein as Hyundai’s N division. Both are embarking on roads that they’ve never had to go through before, although Hyundai N has managed to impress us with its recent offerings, namely the i30 N. Now it’s Polestar’s turn to make a name for itself and word of its plan to develop a 600-horsepower bespoke sports coupe as a first offering got a lot of people’s attention. Now it’s time to see if the new performance brand can more than live up to the hype.

References

Volvo V60 Polestar


2016 Volvo V60 Polestar - image 637506

Read our full review on the Volvo V60 Polestar.

PostHeaderIcon Buying and Owning a Car Is Now Hassle-Free Thanks to Volvo

The brand-new Volvo XC40 broke cover yesterday and got me all excited. As I mentioned in the past, I’m not a big fan of SUVs. I’d rather have a wagon. I may have to do with my European ancestry, but I also need to point that I’ve never felt really comfortable behind the steering wheel of a crossover until now. Anyway, the XC40 is small enough for me to enjoy (I think), but I also dig its exterior, which is based on the XC90, but not as boxy as its bigger brother. But there’s another reason why the XC40 just skyrocketed at the top of my “cool vehicles” list – the new “Care by Volvo” program.

It includes a range of services and subscriptions that will make the ownership experience as hassle-free as having a mobile phone. In short, your purchase will come with a pre-negotiated monthly fee, the possibility of driving away in your new cars without having to worry about service fees and third-party insurance, as well as an array of digital concierge services. The only downside at this point is that “Care by Volvo” is only available in eight countries, but other markets will be included later on. So how does it work? Find out below.

Continue reading for the full story.

How Does it Work?


Buying and Owning a Car Is Now Hassle-Free Thanks to Volvo - image 733425
“Buying the car is much simpler, as you only have to pay a flat fee and drive away”

In simple terms, the “Care by Volvo” subscription service works like a new kind of leasing, but with different, simplified terms. Buying the car is much simpler, as you only have to pay a flat fee and drive away, leaving Volvo to handle everything from insurance and taxes to maintenance and service fees. You can also upgrade to a new car as early as 12 months, as well as borrow other Volvos when you need them. Are you going on a family trip and the XC40 is a tad small for all the stuff? All you do is go to Volvo and request an XC90. It’s that simple!

“You can also upgrade to a new car as early as 12 months, as well as borrow other Volvos when you need them”

The program also offers a range of digital concierge services, including fueling, cleaning, service pick-up, and e-commerce delivery to the car. Pretty much the kind of service you get from luxury automakers like Bentley and Rolls-Royce. There’s also an app that lets you share your Volvo with friends and family. This is done via a new car-sharing system with a “digital key” that can be passed onto the people you trust. Granted, this feature isn’t exactly new. Volkswagen has already showcased something similar, but it’s not yet available in production cars as of this writing.


Buying and Owning a Car Is Now Hassle-Free Thanks to Volvo - image 733428

Unfortunately, “Care by Volvo” won’t be available globally at first, with only customers from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway, Poland, and the United States to get it initially. But Volvo promises that markets will follow later on.

References

Volvo XC40


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733069

Read our full review on the Volvo XC40.


2018 Volvo XC60 - image 708268

Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon UK-Spec Volvo XC40 – Prices and Specs

Volvo is in a bit of a hurry to get the XC40 crossover into the market and with good reason. This is an excellent product for its class and the sooner they get it out there, the bigger their share of the pie. So they are now accepting orders for the 2018 Volvo XC40 in the UK, with prices starting from £27,905.

Now, 28 grand might seem like a lot of money for a crossover this size, especially when you look at the new Mitsu Eclipse Cross which starts at 21 grand. But you have to take into account with the Volvo XC40 you are getting a product of altogether higher class. The simple and elegant Scandinavian design of the XC40 is backed up by a range of good engines, superb practicality, second-to-none safety, and generous features.

Available engines for the 2018 Volvo XC40 at launch include 156 hp T3, 190 hp T4 and 247 hp T5 petrols, and 150 hp D3 and 190 hp D4 diesels. All of them are 2.0 liter units and they can ordered in combination with front- or all-wheel drive, and with manual and automatic gearboxes. Also notable is that even with the base model you get styling elements such as textile and vinyl interior upholstery and the option of a contrast-coloured white roof and door mirrors, along with white and black alloy wheels.

As for the standard kit, the list is really long. The main highlights include Sensus 9″ touch screen with voice-activated control featuring sat-nav, which includes real-time traffic information and lifetime map updates, and three USB sockets, Volvo On Call smartphone app and emergency assistance package, ED headlights, dual-zone climate control with Volvo’s sophisticated ‘CleanZone’ air-filtration system, a 12.3″ active TFT configurable driver’s information display and rear parking sensors. City Safety, Volvo’s automatic emergency braking system also comes as standard on all models.









2018 Volvo XC40 UK Pricing and Trims:

T3 FWD Momentum manual – £27,905
T4 AWD Momentum automatic – £32,055
D3 FWD Momentum manual – £28,965
D3 FWD Momentum automatic – £30,555
D3 AWD Momentum manual – £30,405
D3 AWD Momentum automatic – £31,955
T3 FWD Momentum Pro manual – £29,455
T4 AWD Momentum Pro automatic – £33,605
D3 FWD Momentum Pro manual – £30,515
D3 FWD Momentum Pro automatic – £32,105
D3 AWD Momentum Pro manual – £31,955
D3 AWD Momentum Pro automatic – £33,505
T3 FWD R-Design manual – £29,755
T4 AWD R-Design automatic – £33,905
T5 AWD R-Design automatic – £35,705
D3 FWD R-Design manual – £30,815
D3 FWD R-Design automatic – £32,405
D3 AWD R-Design manual – £32,255
D3 AWD R-Design automatic – £33,805
D4 AWD R-Design automatic – £34,655
T3 FWD R-Design Pro manual – £31,655
T4 AWD R-Design Pro automatic – £35,805
T5 AWD R-Design Pro automatic – £37,605
D3 FWD R-Design Pro manual – £32,715
D3 FWD R-Design Pro automatic – £34,305
D3 AWD R-Design Pro manual – £34,155
D3 AWD R-Design Pro automatic – £35,705
D4 AWD R-Design Pro automatic – £36,555
T3 FWD Inscription manual – £30,405
T4 AWD Inscription automatic – £34,555
T5 AWD Inscription automatic – £36,355
D3 FWD Inscription manual – £31,465
D3 FWD Inscription automatic – £33,055
D3 AWD Inscription manual – £32,905
D3 AWD Inscription automatic – £34,455
D4 AWD Inscription automatic – £35,305
T3 FWD Inscription Pro manual – £31,955
T4 AWD Inscription Pro automatic – £36,105
T5 AWD Inscription Pro automatic – £37,905
D3 FWD Inscription Pro manual – £33,015
D3 FWD Inscription Pro automatic – £34,605
D3 AWD Inscription Pro manual – £34,455
D3 AWD Inscription Pro automatic – £36,005
D4 AWD Inscription Pro automatic – £36,855
T5 AWD First Edition automatic – £40,355
D4 AWD First Edition automatic – £39,305

The post UK-Spec Volvo XC40 – Prices and Specs appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Volvo XC40 Proves D-Pillars Are Getting Thicker

Volvo has just pulled the covers off its all-new, 2018 XC40 crossover, and boy, Volvo clearly knows how to design a compact crossover with style and class. But one design feature strikes my eye as oddly satisfying – the massively thick D-pillars. Positioned over the rear wheels, the wide sheet metal connects the roof to the body, but is far beefier (visually, at least) than it needs to be in order to maintain the roof’s structural integrity. Clearly, it’s a stylistic piece.

In my view, the thick D-pillar helps give visual weight to the XC40’s rear, helping offset the perceived weight under that long, flat hood. Admittedly, I’m liking the XC40’s rear pillar best when split between the white body and black roof. But that doesn’t discount what’s got to be a hampered rear view. It’s a great thing the XC40 comes standard with Blind Spot Monitoring or else lane changes would be a nightmare. Of course, Volvo isn’t the only automaker putting form over function with its pillar thickness. I’ve compiled a list of SUVs and crossovers that feature incredibly thick D-pillars.

Continue reading for more.

D-Pillars Gone Mad!

Lexus RX


2016 Lexus RX - image 624725

Wow, just look at that thing – that D-pillar is so thick it nearly engulfs the C-pillar into a single piece. There is a tiny window between the rear doors and the tailgate, meaning the RX has a large blind spot should the driver try looking over his right shoulder. Yet, Lexus designers attempt to make the window larger from the outside with a piece of piano black plastic and chrome trim to give the RX a floating roof design. In practice, it’s sort of a neat look and is something not seen before the last decade.

Read our full review on the Lexus RX.

2017 Jeep Compass


2017 Jeep Compass - image 696044

Jeep’s newest two-row crossover, the 2017 Compass, uses a thick D-pillar, as well. Like the Lexus RX, the Jeep Compass utilizes black and chrome trim work to accent the sheet metal covering the back quarters of the greenhouse. While this blends the roof into the lower body rather well, the result is a large hunk of non-transparent material that obstructs good rearward visibility. Aside from the inherent visibility downfall, the thick D-pillar certainly marks a vehicle as being a part of the modern age. It’s doubtful this style will remain vogue within a few decades, though.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Compass.

Nissan Murano

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Nissan is a big purveyor of fat D-pillars. Many of its vehicles share this trendy design style, including the Maxima sedan and this, the Murano. Competing in the mid-size, two-row crossover category, the Murano is a surprisingly loveable machine that far exceeded my expectations when I spent a week behind the wheel. Aesthetically, the Murano’s curvy fenders and falling roofline are juxtaposed to the handful of sharp angles strategically placed around the exterior design. Of course, the Murano’s designers gave it the thick D-pillar treatment, discreetly hiding a window within the streak of black that runs from the rear windows and wraps around the tailgate. Like the others, chrome trim is used to separate the body’s bright paint form the dark accent splitting the roof from the body.

Read our full review on the Nissan Murano.

GMC Terrain


2016 GMC Terrain - image 624353

Here’s a bit of back-story: the 2018 Volvo XC40’s D-pillar design seemed so straingly familiar the instant I saw it. Then it hit me – it looks very similar to that of the 2018 GMC Terrain. While not a dead match, the pairing served as the inspiration to explore this D-pillar topic.

Comparisons aside, the new Terrain looks mostly appealing, especially in GMC’s range-topping Denali form. Yet, regardless of the trim level, the Terrain features that kinked beltline and sloping roof. Like the Nissan Murano, the GMC Terrain comes with a tiny window above the rear tires. They serve no function other than to let in a marginal amount of light and hold embedded antennas for the AM/FM radio. That’s those squiggly black lines seen from the inside on the driver-side window.

Read our full review on the GMC Terrain.

2006-2016 Jeep Compass


2014 Jeep Compass - image 520821

Yet another Jeep Compass makes the list, but this time it’s the first-generation version and its mid-cycle refresh that came in 2011. Both first-gen body styles used the thick D-pillar styling. In fact, placed side-by-side, the 2018 Volvo XC40 seems like its D-pillar design most closely resembles this almost unlovable series of Jeeps. The first-gen Compass even used the oddly placed C-pillar door handle for the rear doors – a consequence of the flared haunches over the rear tires. The overall aesthetic of these Compass models, especially from the rear three-quarter view, is that of squared-off angles that are just curved enough to seem droopy and just straight enough to seem uninspired. Perhaps it’s clear I consider the 2006-2010 Jeep Compass to be one of the most hideous crossovers to have ever rolled down America’s streets – and the D-pillar is only a small part of its problem.

Read our full review on the 2006-2016 Jeep Compass

Conclusion

So, here’s the deal: It seems the thick D-pillar trend is here to stay, at least for a little while. Sure, the whole “floating roof” style is a welcomed break from the three-box design of most traditional SUVs, but its intrusiveness to outward visibility and interior cargo storage volume are its biggest detractors. Perhaps we’ll look back someday and gawk at the style like its tall fins on a wide-body Cadillac of the 1950s. Maybe it’ll be so widespread throughout the industry that thick D-pillars become an accepted part of natural vehicle design, much like the twin-grille design has become on modern vehicles’ faces. Only time will tell. At least we can pinpoint an interesting element of design and its spread over various models and brands.

So, what do you think? Do you like the big D-pillar and floating roof stylings? Do you think it will stick around or become the modern-day equivalent to fins on a 1950s land yacht? What about any vehicles I missed? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Volvo XC40


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733087

Read our full review on the Volvo XC40.


2014 Volvo S60 Polestar - image 482912

Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon Volvo XC40

Volvo has been busy revamping its entire lineup. It has recently introduced an all-new XC60, and all-new S90, and an all-new V90. The next model on the list is the XC40 compact SUV that will reside at the bottom of Volvo’s SUV lineup and provide an entry-level and affordable option for those that don’t need the extra space afforded by the larger XC60 and XC90. The XC40 has been on the cards for a while, with spy shots surfacing as early as 2015 and Volvo has finally unveiled its competitor for the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Volvo’s first ever premium compact SUV, the new XC40 is also the company’s first model to be built on the company’s all-new CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform. Inspired by the bigger XC90 inside and out, the mini SUV features much of the advanced connectivity, entertainment, and safety technology Volvo’s latest vehicles. It is also powered by Volvo’s efficient Drive-E engines and is offered with front- or all-wheel drive. All told, it is indeed a more affordable proposition for drivers who need the higher ride of an SUV, but can do without the large exterior dimensions. Let’s see what it brings to the table in the review below

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo XC40.

Exterior

“The XC40 boasts the company's latest design language, which debuted on the XC90 SUV some years ago”

Not surprisingly, the XC40 boasts the company’s latest design language, which debuted on the XC90 SUV some years ago. The crossover’s front fascia looks a bit like a shrunken version of the XC90, mostly due to the headlamps with “Thor’s hammer” LED lights and the large grille in the middle. However, the bumper was reshaped so the XC40 gets its own unique look.

The two vehicles are further set apart on the sides. Obviously smaller, the XC40 also features less rugged looking side skirts and is a bit more stylish thanks to the big dent in the door sections. While the roof still sports that Volvo-specific, utilitarian look, the quarter windows become smaller toward the D-pillars, which give the XC40 a somewhat sportier appearance.


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733062

“Volvo designed a cleaner looking tailgate and moved the license plate recess into the bumper”

Around back, the XC40 employs the same taillight design with the upper arm climbing up the pillars toward the roof spoiler. That’s a nice touch and does a good job at integrating the XC40 in the company’s current SUV line. But similarities with the bigger XC90 end here. For this crossover, Volvo designed a cleaner looking tailgate and moved the license plate recess into the bumper. The bumper itself is almost featureless, with only the thin lip at the bottom and the red light strips disturbing the black apron.

Overall, the XC40 is quite appealing to look at. And while it’s not as muscular as the Mercedes-Benz GLA, it’s not as boring as the Audi Q3 either. I think it’s right, featuring the optimum amount of organic lines and angular shapes.


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733080
“Overall, the XC40 is quite appealing to look at”

Moving over to equipment, the base Momentum trim comes with LED headlamps and 18-inch alloy wheels in white and black. Options include white roof and mirror caps, as well as larger wheels, up to 21 inches in size. Opt for the R-Design model and you get gloss black front grille and lower bumper sections, black roof and door mirrors, dual integrated exhaust pipes, and 18-inch diamond-cut wheels. Move higher in the lineup and the Inscription trim adds chrome exterior highlights for a more luxurious look.

Finally, there’s a higher spec Pro package that adds active bending headlamps with adaptive shadow technology that blocks out part of beam to avoid dazzling vehicles in front across the board. The R-Design Pro gets 20-inch alloy wheels, while Inscription Pro gets a bespoke set of 19-inch wheels.

Interior


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733045
“The 12.3-inch, digital instrument cluster is standard”

Having seen Volvo’s latest interior designs, I was expecting the XC40 to get a pretty spectacular layout for this niche. And the Swedish carmaker didn’t disappoint. Once again, it’s based on the larger XC90, but everything is obviously smaller and there are a few unique touches.

While the dashboard isn’t as massive as the XC90’s, the center console is pretty wide and the center stack houses a big, tablet-like screen that measures nine inches. The slim, vertical A/C vents are a nice touch and go well with the center display and the trim on the passenger side dash. The 12.3-inch, digital instrument cluster is standard.

“Upgrade to the R-Design model and you get leather and nubuck upholstery”

The base Momentum model doesn’t get fancy materials — the standard upholstery is textile and vinyl — but there’s a lot of standard equipment to talk about. The infotainment system comes with voice-activated control, sat-nav, and real-time traffic information, and you also get three USB sockets and the Volvo On Call smartphone app with emergency assistance. The latter automatically alerts emergency services if your car is involved in an accident, and uses the car’s inbuilt GPS to direct them to your precise location.

Upgrade to the R-Design model and you get leather and nubuck upholstery, front seat cushions, perforated leather steering wheel and gear knob, and aluminum dashboard inlays. The Inscription trim feature full leather upholstery and adds a power-operated tailgate, front parking sensors, powered driver’s seat, and driftwood inlays. Select the automatic transmission and you also get the Orrefors crystal gear lever seen in the XC90.

“An optional Xenium package is available across the range”

Add the Pro package to the base trim and the XC40 gets a power driver seat, heated front seats, heated windscreen. The Incription Pro model receives a powered passenger seat.

An optional Xenium package is available across the range and brings a powered tilt and slide panoramic glass sunroof, a 360-degree surround view parking camera system, and Park Assist Pilot, which includes automatic parallel and 90- degree parking.

Other options include wireless mobile phone charging, Smartphone Integration -– which includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay -– and a Harman Kardon sound system that combines 13 speakers, advanced sound-processing software, and an output of 1,200 watts.

Drivetrain

“The gasoline lineup will include the T3, T4, and the T5 four-cylinder engines”

It’s no longer a mystery that Volvo is replacing every single engine with its new line of 2.0-liter, four-cylinder powerplants. Introduced in the XC90 and spread to the S90 and V90, among other offerings, the four-bangers have found their way into the XC40 as well.

Globally, the gasoline lineup will include the T3, which rated at 156 horsepower, the T4 that’s good for 190 horses, and the T5, rated at a healthy 247 horsepower. The base engine is available exclusively with front-wheel drive, while the T4 and T5 feature an AWD system and an automatic gearbox.


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733073
“Other powertrains will be offered later in the XC40's lifecycle”

Two diesel are also offered. The D3 is rated at 150 horsepower, while the D4 cranks out 190 horses. The entry-level oil burner is available with either front- or all-while drive, while the D4 is an AWD model only. Of course, the latter is also fitted with the automatic transmission as standard.

Volvo says that other powertrains will be offered later in the XC40’s lifecycle. Fingers crossed that the powerful T8 hybrid is also on the list.

Full specs aren’t yet available, but the Swedish company did say that the R-Design model features a sports suspension. In the U.S., the XC40 will debut with the T5 and AWD system only, but a T4 model with front-wheel drive will be added in the summer of 2018.

Prices


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733064

Pricing for the XC40 will start from $33,200, for which you will get the Momentum trim with the T4 drivetrain. Opt for the T5 with all-wheel drive and the sticker jumps to $35,200.

In the United Kingdom, the gasoline range begins from £27,905 for the T3 model with FWD and manual and goes up to £40,355 for the T5 AWD First Edition with the automatic gearbox. The diesel range starts from £28,965 for the D3 FWD with the manual transmission, but the range-topping, D4 AWD First Edition with the automatic will set you back £39,305 before options.

But by far the most interesting detail about purchasing a new XC40 is Volvo’s new “Care by Volvo” program. Described as an all-inclusive, negotiation-free option that will be offered alongside traditional purchase and lease choices, “Care by Volvo” is a new kind of leasing with a national, flat-rate monthly fee, combined with the opportunity to upgrade to a new car as early as 12 months. The program includes almost everything needed to own and operate a car such as maintenance, insurance, wear and tear items, and protection services. According to Volvo, it makes owning a car as easy as buying a mobile phone.

Safety


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733033

Volvos have always been at the forefront of their respective segments in terms of safety, and the XC40 is no exception from this rule. On top of the usual suite of airbags for front and rear passengers, it’s also equipped with City Safety, an automatic emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals, and Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which warns if you move out of your lane and provides steering assistance if you do.

The XC40 can also be equipped with Pilot Assist, Volvo’s semi-autonomous drive feature. The system assists with the steering at speeds of up to 80 mph and takes care of the acceleration and braking to keep the car within lane markings and at the desired speed or distance from any vehicle in front.

Competition

BMW X1


2016 BMW X1 - image 632474

2016 BMW X1 - image 632473

Redesigned for the 2016 model year, the X1 is one of the most popular crossovers in this niche. And that’s not surprising, as the German mini SUV combines the sporty looks of the X family with the modern looks of BMW cars and a range of powerful, yet fuel efficient drivetrains. While the European market gets a wide selection of 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines working on either gasoline or diesel, U.S. consumers are restricted to only the range-topping model. Specifically, the North American X1 comes with a twin-turbo four-banger rated at 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque under the hood, which provides a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. Pricing starts from $33,900.

Read our full review of the BMW X1.

Mercedes-Benz GLA


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA - image 700316

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA - image 700320

The GLA is the youngest nameplate in this comparison, having been launch in 2013. Essentially a perched-up A-Class, the GLA is came as Merc’s answer to the all popular X1. Much like the Bimmer, the GLA is available with a wider range of power plants in Europe, where the 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter gasoline engine are joined by 1.5-liter and 2.1-liter diesels. However, only the GLA 250 is offered in the U.S. (outside the AMG-prepped model, that is!), sporting a 2.0-liter four-banger rated at 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of twist. Both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions are available. Pricing starts from $33,400.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Audi Q3


2017 - 2018 Audi Q3 - image 688433

2017 - 2018 Audi Q3 - image 688431

The Audi Q3 is one of the company’s newest nameplates and arrives in a few flavors in the U.S., with the key competitor to the XC40 being the base model. In this trim, the Q3 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that pumps out 200 horses and 207 pound-feet of torque. This engine delivers power to the front wheels as standard, and gets the small SUV to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Upgrading to Quattro all-wheel-drive pushes the sprint time closer to eight seconds. Audi typically runs about the same pricing scheme as Volvo, which may be to the XC40’s advantage given the extra standard features. The Q3 retails from $32,900 in its base trim, while the Premium Plus model goes for $35,800.

Read our full review of the Audi Q3.

Conclusion

The compact luxury SUV realm just keeps on growing, but the addition of the XC40 seems more like hitting a key niche as opposed to making sure it keeps up with its competitors. With the XC90 the XC60 in place, a perched hatchback like the XC40 was the logical next step. And with the success of the XC90 still recent, now is the time for Volvo to strike in this segment. If sales of the XC90 are any indication, the new XC40 won’t steal many customers from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi anytime soon, but its exterior design, interior styling, and rich technology package provide a fresh proposition in a market that doesn’t offer any surprises. Now, if only Volvo would commit to creating a Polestar version to take on the RS Q3 and the GLA45 AMG.

  • Leave it
    • No Polestar model caught testing yet
    • Does the world need more lifted all-wheel-drive hatchbacks?

References

Volvo XC60


2018 Volvo XC60 - image 708301

Read our full review on the Volvo XC60.

Volvo XC90


2016 Volvo XC90 - image 565977

Read our full review on the Volvo XC90.

Update History

Updated 02/22/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming XC40 out for a new testing session, this time during cold winter conditions somewhere in Sweeden.

Updated 10/22/2015: Our spy photographers caught the first mule of the future XC40 out for a testing session. The XC40 will be among the first cars to be built on the company’s new CMA platform and comes to attack smaller SUVs from Audi and BMW.

Updated 10/14/2015: In a recent interview with Automotive News, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson confirmed that the company’s new compact SUV will be unveiled sometime in 2018. The model will be developed on the company’s new compact modular architecture (CMA) that will also be used for the next generation V40 and V40 Cross Country starting 2019.

Updated 02/23/2015: British magazine AutoCar had the chance to talk with Volvo’s CEO Hakan Samuelsson and learned a series of new details on the upcoming
XC40. Continue reading to find out when will you be able to drive the new crossover.

Spy Shots

May 23, 2017 – Volvo XC40 Caught in the Wild Yet Again

February 22, 2017 – Volvo XC40 Caught Testing Once Again

October 22, 2015 – first Volvo XC40 mule caught testing

PostHeaderIcon Side-Impact Crash Test Shows 2018 Volvo XC40 is a Winner

Volvo has a reputation to uphold – one based on keeping its passengers safe during a crash. To that point, the Swedish automaker has already published a video showing the all-new 2018 XC40 undergoing side-impact crash testing. Keep in mind this video is hitting the web the same day Volvo is debuting the luxury crossover in Milan, Italy. Needless to say, safety is taking a front seat.

The video depicts Volvo’s internally conducted crash testing. The automaker has done this for years to reassure its engineers and corporate brass that a vehicle will behave as expected when tested by independent agencies like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Not much would be worse than a botched crash test to damage Volvo’s legacy of crash survivability. Thankfully, it seems Volvo has nothing to worry about with side-impact testing; the video shows both dummies protected by side curtain airbags and adequately restrained by seat belts in this 50-kmh, 31-mph test. Intrusion into the cabin is minimal and even the glass shards are diverted away from the dummies’ faces thanks to the airbag. The driver has even more protection thanks to a torso airbag that inflates from the seat’s side bolster.

The new XC40 will see big production numbers as it’s a key player in Volvo’s plan to boost its global sales by nearly 50 percent to 800,000 by 2020. It joins the new XC60 and the two-year-old XC90 in Volvo’s SUV lineup, along with its S90 and S60 sedans and V90 Cross Country and V60 wagons. Here in the U.S., the 2018 XC40 will begin arriving in showrooms in March 2018 and ordering books are already open. Volvo has set a $33,200 starting price for its smallest crossover – not a bad deal considering the XC40’s swanky interior, long list of safety features, and its high-tech powertrains.

References

Volvo XC40


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733015

Read our full review on the Volvo XC40.


2014 Volvo S60 Polestar - image 482912

Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Volvo XC40 Urban Crossover Officially Unveiled

The kind of hype that surrounded the release of the new 2018 Volvo XC40 is rarely seen in the car world, especially for a crossover. But now that the thing is here and we get to know its details, turns out the hype was righteous! The new XC40 is a major step up for the whole compact SUV game. 

That is interesting because on the face of it there isn’t much to get excited about with the 2018 Volvo XC40. It doesn’t have any breathtaking highlight, in terms of design or otherwise. In fact, it’s pretty normal. They key to this car’s brilliance though is that it does what it’s supposed to do brilliantly rather than trying hard to introduce some new trend or experiment with some outlandish new feature.The XC40 is a great family crossover, engineered to do what these cars are designed to do the best way it can be done.

So it comes as no surprise that 2018 Volvo XC40 is one of the most ingenious cars of its class in terms of storage. It offers functional storage space in the doors and under the seats, a special space for phones (including inductive charging), a fold-out hook for small bags and a removable waste bin in the tunnel console. Being a Volvo means the car is also excellent in terms of convenience and safety – qualities guaranteed by features such as Volvo Cars’ Pilot Assist system, City Safety, Run-off Road Protection and Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, and the 360° camera that helps drivers manoeuvre their car into tight parking spaces.

Available with a D4 diesel or a T5 petrol four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain 2018 Volvo XC40 will also get a new car key systems that makes it easier to share the vehicle with your friends and family. It also benefits from ‘Care by Volvo’ subscription services that include access to a range of digital concierge services such as fuelling, cleaning, service pick-up and e-commerce delivery to the car.









The post 2018 Volvo XC40 Urban Crossover Officially Unveiled appeared first on Motorward.

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