Oct
19

Polestar looking to tune Volvo CUVs

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2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design

Volvo is getting serious about emerging from the fringes and into the mainstream of the luxury automobile market. But if it’s going to challenge the Germans, it’s going to need a performance line. And that’s just what it’s developing with Polestar.

Building on the motorsport partnership that has seen Polestar represent Volvo in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, World Touring Car Championship and V8 Supercars series, Polestar has been charged with developing road-going performance Volvos as well. It currently offers comprehensively tuned versions of the S60 and V60, as well as engine upgrades for other models, but the latest word has it that Polestar will turn its attention next to tuning Volvo crossovers like the XC60 and the new XC90, pictured above in top-spec R-Design trim.

Details on how Volvo would modify those models remain to be determined, but it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to imagine the XC60 outfitted with similar enhancements to those offered on its sedan and wagon stablemates to mount a challenge to the Audi SQ5. As for the larger XC90, it seems Volvo is already squeezing as much out of its new 2.0-liter triple-charged inline-four as it can, but more aggressive handling, aero and brakes could stand to transform the flagship crossover in pursuit of performance utes like the Mercedes ML63 AMG and BMW X5 M, even if it couldn’t quite match their impressive horsepower outputs.

Polestar looking to tune Volvo CUVs originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 19 Oct 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Oct
17

Volvo to add 1,300 jobs, ramp up production in Sweden

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Volvo factory

The expansion of the factory is part of an $11-billion investment Volvo’s Chinese owners, Geely, are making.

Volvo Cars is adding 1,300 new jobs and ramping up production at its factory in Gothenburg, Sweden, in response to increased consumer demand for its vehicles.

The jobs will support a third shift at the 50-year-old plant, called Torslanda. They will come online in the first quarter of 2015 as production of the XC90 crossover begins. With the addition of a new body shop, the factory will be capable of making 300,000 vehicles per year.

The additional employees will lift the headcount at Torslanda to 4,600 people. It comes as Volvo has announced a new agreement with its workers that will allow the factory to be more flexible and support the increased output. Volvo is forecasting further increases in production at the factory next year due to high levels of demand for the upcoming XC90, which launches as a 2015 model.

The expansion of the factory is part of an $11-billion investment Volvo’s Chinese owners, Geely, are making in the 87-year old Swedish brand. Geely purchased Volvo from Ford in 2010.

Volvo expects to have its best-ever sales year in 2014 and forecasts total volume of 470,000 vehicles.

For more details, scroll through Volvo’s announcement.

Continue reading Volvo to add 1,300 jobs, ramp up production in Sweden

Volvo to add 1,300 jobs, ramp up production in Sweden originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Oct 2014 09:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Oct
07

Top torque-to-weight ratios under $100k, $50k and $25k [UPDATE]

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2015 Dodge Viper SRT; Willow Springs Raceway, Rosamond, California; November 2013 (Richard Prince/SRT Photo)

Horsepower may steal a lot of headlines, but the always-more-complex torque figure is often a critical one for both the workingman and the motoring playboy. The measure of rotational force is a function of horsepower and engine rpm, and it’s also the twist that can liquefy one’s tires or haul one’s horse trailer. Good stuff

It follows then, that as with the horsepower-to-weight list that we assembled for you a few months ago, a list of cars that offer the most pound-feet with the fewest pounds to carry, is an interesting one to break down. Sure, there’s a big difference in how the torque is applied from a turbocharged six-cylinder in a Swedish luxury sedan and a massive heavy-duty truck’s turbo-diesel. But being the car/stat geeks that we are, we think it’s kinda neat that those two vehicles rank near each other where torque and weight intersect.

As with the horsepower list, we’ve given you figures as pounds per every one pound-foot. Again broken down into broad price categories, we’ve got a mixed bag of 2014 and 2015 models here, too. Every effort has been made to select the most up-to-date prices and specs, and we’ve also to omitted some ’14 cars that won’t be re-upped after the ongoing yearly changeover.

Continue reading Top torque-to-weight ratios under $100k, $50k and $25k [UPDATE]

Top torque-to-weight ratios under $100k, $50k and $25k [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 07 Oct 2014 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Oct
07

Volvo specs new 450-hp triple-charged four-cylinder engine

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Volvo High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept

When Volvo lifted the veil on the new XC90 a little over a month ago, it announced that all versions would be powered by one engine design: a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder to be offered in various states of tune. That would range, Volvo said, all the way up to a high-output version with “around 400 horsepower,” but while it wouldn’t specify exact output, now it has.

The new High Performance Drive-E Powertrain incorporates two parallel turbochargers fed by a third electric turbo-compressor. Instead of feeding the cylinders directly, that third unit spools up the twin turbochargers, working together with a dual fuel pump pressurized to 250 bar.

The result is an output of 450 horsepower – far more than the existing 320-hp version and even more than expected. That also works out to 225 hp/liter, far more than the 177 hp/liter boasted by Mercedes-AMG’s high-output turbo four and the 139 hp/liter in the Alfa Romeo 4C. Short of a rotary engine (whose actual displacement is the subject of great debate), you’d have to go up to something like the Koenigsegg One:1 (268 hp/liter) to find a higher specific output than what Volvo’s boasting here.

Although Gothenburg is billing this engine as a “powertrain concept,” and has not commented on production applications, we’d be very surprised if this didn’t turn out to be the flagship engine we were promised for the XC90.

Continue reading Volvo specs new 450-hp triple-charged four-cylinder engine

Volvo specs new 450-hp triple-charged four-cylinder engine originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 07 Oct 2014 11:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Oct
03

2015 Volvo XC90 proves Sweden’s auto industry is alive and well [w/video]

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2015 Volvo XC90

The most important new Volvo in quite some time has made its first auto show appearance, with the second-generation XC90 debuting at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

As we discussed in both our original post and Deep Dive feature, the new XC90 remains a three-row crossover for 2015, although it ditches the first-gen model’s top-end, turbocharged six-cylinder in favor of a single twin-charged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. By pairing that with a plug-in-electric powertrain, the king of the XC90 range, the T8 TwinEngine, will offer up 400 horsepower. So yeah, performance should be brisk.

Also appearing on 2015 XC90 will be an entirely new, Apple CarPlay-compatible infotainment system with a big, vertical touchscreen display at its heart. Based on the videos we’ve seen, the new system looks responsive, feature-laden and quite attractive.

Take a look above for our live images of the new XC90 from the floor of the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and then head below for the press release from Volvo.

Continue reading 2015 Volvo XC90 proves Sweden’s auto industry is alive and well [w/video]

2015 Volvo XC90 proves Sweden’s auto industry is alive and well [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 03 Oct 2014 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sep
29

Volvo V40 Cross Country gets the all-wheel drive it deserves

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2015 Volvo V40 Cross Country

Want a rugged Volvo wagon? Gothenburg has two kinds to offer: there’s the XC crossovers on the one hand and ruggedized wagons on the other. As we reported last month from the unveiling of the new XC90 in Sweden, Volvo plans on offering more Cross Country wagons in the future. But in the meantime, it has upgraded the existing V40 Cross Country with some key enhancements – not the least of which is the long-awaited addition of all-wheel drive.

Powertrain upgrades for Volvo’s smallest soft-roader include the new T5 engine (a 1.7-liter turbo four producing 245 horsepower), an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The new powertrain is not only more capable, but also more environmentally friendly than the old T5 it replaces.

The enhanced V40 Cross Country launches in Europe mid-fall before being rolled out in other markets in the following months, but unfortunately the United States is not among them as the V40 is not offered Stateside in any configuration, which is a shame.

Continue reading Volvo V40 Cross Country gets the all-wheel drive it deserves

Volvo V40 Cross Country gets the all-wheel drive it deserves originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sep
25

Volvo pranks newest valet on the Italian Riviera

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Volvo Prank Ad

Being a valet on the Italian Riviera seems like a pretty sweet gig for a young guy. Not only do you get to watch beautiful people coming and going all day and night, but there’s the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a plethora of exotic sports cars. Of course, being responsible for those expensive vehicles has to be pretty nerve wracking to get used to on the first day.

In a new commercial, Volvo pranks a new valet at the San Remo Casino to see how he would handle a surprise showing up on the red carpet. If the look on his face in the screenshot above doesn’t show it, he’s pretty shocked by what he sees. We don’t want to spoil the reveal, so just watch the ad to find out. Afterward, if you’re interested in the details behind how Volvo made it happen, you can check out a short, making-of documentary, here.

Continue reading Volvo pranks newest valet on the Italian Riviera

Volvo pranks newest valet on the Italian Riviera originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Sep 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sep
18

Leno drives Volvo P1800 from Roger Moore’s The Saint

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Volvo P1800 from The Saint

Outside of a few notable exceptions, Volvo usually isn’t associated with making beautifully curvaceous vehicles. But in the 1960s and early ’70s the company proved with the P1800 that its cars didn’t only have to be safe but staid family transportation. Underneath that shapely styling were a lot of components from the brand’s parts bin, but that didn’t bother Roger Moore when he drove one of these in the TV series The Saint. Actually, the future James Bond actor didn’t just get behind of one of these; he owned this exact 1967 P1800 S. It’s this week’s highlight on Jay Leno’s Garage.

Moore was the car’s original owner, but it also appeared in studio scenes of The Saint. Despite its famous provenance, when owner Bill Krzastek bought the P1800 in England, it was in pretty rough shape. The Volvo underwent a nine-month restoration to get it back into shape, which included some new body panels and wheels. Krzastek claims that much of the interior is original, though.

Krzastek comes off has a little bit nerdy, but you have to give him credit. He absolutely loves his Volvo and knows something about practically every detail of his car’s history. Krzastek even refinanced his house to fund the purchase and restoration of the P1800. Although, with the right maintenance these old Swedes have been known to go millions of miles. Enjoy this look at one that was a star of the screen in the ’60s.

Continue reading Leno drives Volvo P1800 from Roger Moore’s The Saint

Leno drives Volvo P1800 from Roger Moore’s The Saint originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sep
18

Volvo XC90 R-Design adds a dash of sport

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Volvo XC90

The 2015 Volvo XC90 is a huge leap forward for the Swedish automaker as its first all-new model since leaving Ford ownership. There’s a lot riding on the crossover’s success, too, because its platform is supposed to underpin Volvo vehicles for years to come. The latest move for the new CUV is adding a little aggressiveness to the look with the R-Design trim for buyers desiring a sportier-looking Swede.

The R-Design joins the already announced Momentum and Inscription trims. Mechanically it doesn’t change anything, but ticking the box for the R-Design adds a slightly different grille with horizontal slats, a redesigned lower air dam, new window trim, matte silver side-mirror covers and rectangular exhaust nestled in an altered lower rear bumper. The sportier XC90 comes standard with 20-inch wheels, but a 22-inch design is optional, as well.

The meaner look is carried inside with sport seats covered in Nubuck and Nappa leather, a perforated leather steering wheel and R-Design trim for the gearshift, pedals, floor mats and illuminated tread plates. The touchscreen infotainment system also gets an R-Design theme.

According to Volvo, the XC90 R-Design is all about giving buyers a chance to personalize their crossover. With the Momentum as the base and the Inscription trim representing more luxury with high-end finishes, the new addition goes after one more niche. Scroll down to read the official announcement of this slightly meaner looking XC90.

Continue reading Volvo XC90 R-Design adds a dash of sport

Volvo XC90 R-Design adds a dash of sport originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sep
09

Volvo working on ultra-lux four-seat XC90 for China?

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Volvo XC90

In China, it’s all about being driven. That’s why we’ve seen so many automakers stretch their most popular models to appeal to buyers in the Chinese market. Volvo is certainly no stranger to this, and according to Autocar, the company is already working on a super-lux, four-seat version of its recently launched XC90 crossover.

Volvo won’t stretch the XC90 and just increase second-row legroom, however. Instead, the company will reportedly remove both the standard XC90’s second and third row benches, and install a duplicate set of front seats in the rear compartment, featuring the same electric adjustment features, including massage. These more luxurious thrones will be placed further back in the vehicle, allowing for “exceptional” legroom, Autocar reports, without needing to stretch the wheelbase.

Mum’s the word on when we can expect to see the high-zoot Volvo arrive, though the magazine estimates that it surface later this year.

Volvo working on ultra-lux four-seat XC90 for China? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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