Jul
25

These are the top luxury cars bought by people entering the segment for the first time

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , ,

Volvo C70

Let’s say you just got a big promotion at work or the kids are moving out of the house, and you finally have some extra money. You decide to blow it all at once and treat yourself by upgrading your ride. Naturally, you look to a luxury automaker. What do you choose?

Models like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class may be tailor-made to introduce buyers to the premium segment, but a new study finds that they don’t garner the highest rates of non-luxury customer conquests. It turns out that a Volvo leads among folks moving up to a premium brand, and it isn’t even one that’s made anymore, at that.

A recent study by Polk and IHS Automotive looked at what models had the highest rates of buyers upgrading from a non-luxury segment. The information comes from its new vehicle registration data through April 2014. All ten top models boasted conquest rates of over 50 percent, but the Volvo C70 led the field with 68.01 percent of its customers coming from non-premium brands.

It’s an odd winner because the C70 isn’t even available as a new model anymore, having been discontinued after the 2013 model year. It isn’t the only car no longer offered that’s on the list, either. The BMW 128i is in seventh place with 53.93 percent of conquest buyers despite leaving us in MY 2014. It seems likely that some of these vehicles are still on dealer lots, and buyers are getting good incentives to pick them up at lower prices.

According to Polk, the 10 models with the highest conquest rates from non-luxury segments are:

If you’re curious about the other side of the table, the Mercedes S-Class is the least likely vehicle for new luxury buyers to choose at 10.35 percent. Although, that’s not exactly a shock – with a starting price of nearly $100,000, it would be quite a leap up from a Camry or Accord.

These are the top luxury cars bought by people entering the segment for the first time originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Jul
24

The cars that won’t live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE]

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Acura TL

Every year in the fast-paced automotive industry brings new models, but it also spells the end for some that have been less successful. This year will be no exception.

Japan’s automakers make up the bulk of the list of discontinued models for the 2015 model year: Acura is replacing the TL and TSX with the new TLX sedan, Honda is bidding farewell to the Fit EV as the new Fit hatchback takes its place, and Nissan is saying goodbye to both the Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet. Both the Nissan Maxima and Mazda2 exit stage left before their upcoming replacements arrive, while Toyota is terminating the RAV4 EV and FJ Cruiser as well as the Scion xD, and Lexus IS C and IS F that are being effectively replaced by the new RC.

From our own domestic automakers, Cadillac discontinues the CTS-V sedan and wagon as the new CTS rolls in, Chevy is canceling the mild-hybrid Eco versions of the Malibu and Impala sedans, and Chrysler is killing off the 200 convertible as the new 200 sedan arrives.

German automakers are also well represented on the list, with BMW splitting the 1 Series coupe and convertible into the new 2 Series line, Mercedes reintegrates the CL-Class coupe into the S-Class family, and Volkswagen is finally killing off the Chrysler-made Routan. Elsewhere in Europe, the long-serving Gallardo is being replaced by the Hurac

Jul
23

The cars that won’t live to see 2015 [w/video]

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Acura TL

Every year in the fast-paced automotive industry brings new models, but it also spells the end for some that have been less successful. This year will be no exception.

Japan’s automakers make up the bulk of the list of discontinued models for the 2015 model year: Acura is replacing the TL and TSX with the new TLX sedan, Honda is bidding farewell to the Fit EV as the new Fit hatchback takes its place, and Nissan is saying goodbye to both the Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet. Both the Nissan Maxima and Mazda2 exit stage left before their upcoming replacements arrive, while Toyota is terminating the RAV4 EV and FJ Cruiser as well as the Scion xD, and Lexus IS C and IS F that are being effectively replaced by the new RC. Meanwhile Infiniti is finally discontinuing the G37 that was already replaced by the newer Q50.

From our own domestic automakers, Cadillac discontinues the CTS-V sedan and wagon as the new CTS rolls in, Chevy is canceling the mild-hybrid Eco versions of the Malibu and Impala sedans, and Chrysler is killing off the 200 convertible as the new 200 sedan arrives.

German automakers are also well represented on the list, with BMW splitting the 1 Series coupe and convertible into the new 2 Series line, Mercedes reintegrates the CL-Class coupe into the S-Class family, and Volkswagen is finally killing off the Chrysler-made Routan. Elsewhere in Europe, the long-serving Gallardo is being replaced by the Hurac

Jul
14

Last Volvo XC90 rolls off assembly line in Gothenburg

Filed under: , , ,

Volvo XC90 production in Gothenburg

It was back in 1998 when Volvo set about developing its first SUV. The brief was to build a seven-seater that wasn’t “too large”, and several design proposals were considered. Three and a half years later Volvo revealed the XC90 at the 2002 Detroit Auto Show and the rest, as they say, is history.

Volvo initially had an eye towards selling 50,000 units per year. It achieved that and then some, selling around 85,000 examples per year between 2004 and 2007. Now, after 12 years and 636,143 examples made – still over that initial target on average despite its lingering age that see it selling just 11,000 units these past few years – the last Volvo XC90 rolled off the assembly line in Gothenburg.

That final example is heading straight to the Volvo Museum adjacent to the factory. But it won’t, strictly speaking, be the last XC90. It is the last of that model to be built in Sweden, but a new model is on its way. And the current model will continue to be built in Daqing, China, to be sold locally as the Volvo XC Classic. So if you want to get your hands on a seven-seat Volvo crossover, you’ll have to move there. Otherwise you can wait until the end of January 2015 for the new model to begin production.

Continue reading Last Volvo XC90 rolls off assembly line in Gothenburg

Last Volvo XC90 rolls off assembly line in Gothenburg originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Jul
08

Volvo reveals 400-hp twin-charged PHEV power for new XC90 [UPDATE]

Filed under: , ,

2015 Volvo XC90 T8 chassis

UPDATE: An earlier version of this post indicated that the larger of the conventional diesel engines was a five-cylinder. However all three powertrains announced for the upcoming new XC90 are actually four-cylinder engines. The text has been updated accordingly.

Volvo rolled in to new territory when it introduced the original XC90 back in 2002, creating its first SUV and one of its top-selling models. But that was 12 years ago. In the meantime it’s followed up with the smaller XC60, but what the brand faithful and the industry at large have been looking forward to most is the arrival of the new XC90.

Previewed by the Concept XC Coupe at the Detroit Auto Show, the new XC90 is set to arrive later this year, but to keep us on our toes, the Swedish automaker has been steadily trickling out a stream of information and photos. Two months ago it gave us a glimpse inside the cabin, and last month it revealed its new infotainment system, but now Volvo has released details on the upcoming new XC90′s powertrain.

While the previous XC90 was available with a V8 engine furnished by Yamaha, the new model won’t be available with eight cylinders. Not even six. No, what Volvo has announced for its new flagship SUV is a highly potent four-cylinder engine that uses every trick in the book to optimize both fuel efficiency and performance.

The top-of-the-line XC90 T8 will employ a 2.0-liter four with both supercharger and turbocharger and mated to a plug-in hybrid assist to deliver a whopping 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. The dual-charged Drive-E engine optimizes power delivery across the range and drives the front wheels, while the rear wheels are driven by an 80-hp electric motor for a purely electric range of 25 miles or through-the-road all-wheel drive capabilities.

The XC90 will also be offered with less advanced and less potent engines, at least overseas, including a four-cylinder turbodiesel with 190 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and a five-cylinder turbodiesel with 225 hp and 347 lb-ft. Scope out all the details in the press release below.

Continue reading Volvo reveals 400-hp twin-charged PHEV power for new XC90 [UPDATE]

Volvo reveals 400-hp twin-charged PHEV power for new XC90 [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Jul
03

Volvo still undecided on offering plug-in hybrid versions of all models

Filed under: , , ,

Volvo Concept XC Coupe

The automotive world is only a few months away from getting its first real glimpse at Volvo’s big gamble with the unveiling of the next-generation XC90 (pictured above as the Concept XC Coupe). We’re already getting a preview of the revolutionary upgrades with the introduction of the Swede’s Volvo Engine Architecture family into some of its 2015 models, like the recently driven S60. These changes are just the start, though. The real magic could be in the powertrains.

Dean Shaw, Volvo Cars North America vice president of corporate communications hinted to Autoblog a few months ago that every model sold in the US could come in a plug-in hybrid variant, starting with the new XC90. Despite confirmation rumors that this has now come to pass, Shaw told AutoblogGreen that the only thing Volvo is confirming right now is that the platform is capable of that. “We haven’t confirmed that all US Volvos would be available with PHEV,” he said.

Shaw did confirm that that XC90 will come with a gas and plug-in hybrid powertrain that offers “around 400 horsepower.” According to Plugin Cars, the new XC90 will be unveiled in August and will make its public debut at an as-yet-unnamed auto show in the fall. Also, sometime during the 2016 model year, a plug-in hybrid variant will be added to its lineup.

Shaw previously told us that the new crossover will go on sale in the US in the first quarter of 2015, as the first vehicle on Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture modular platform. Eventually that chassis will underpin most of the company’s models.

Both VEA and SPA were designed from the beginning to support hybridization. The platform even has a specific area near the transmission tunnel to store batteries. According to the report the plug-ins will offer best-in-segment fuel economy for each model, even the seven-seater XC90.

Volvo is definitely making some serious green promises about its future, but the company is investing over $11 billion to engineer SPA and VEA.

Volvo still undecided on offering plug-in hybrid versions of all models originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Jul 2014 15:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Jul
03

LOLVO Volvo V60 video leverages the power of cats on cars

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Volvo V60 R-Design

You know what we haven’t posted in a long time? A very weird, car-related video. It’s high time we address this failing.

As strange videos go, this one is truly bizarre. The two-minute clip focuses on the Volvo V60 R-Design, although you’re not going to be learning anything about the car. Instead, you’re going to be focused on the weird narrator (and the cat decals on the windows).

It’s like someone taught the Swedish Chef to speak English, but with a ridiculous accent and a script that’s been fed through Google Translate. The result is a weirdly cerebral voice speaking in a manner that borders on gibberish mixed with information about the car. We’re particularly fond of, “In accordance with Volvo tradition… the car… is… of course… furnished, with an inside.” “Floor bibs,” in reference to the floor mats, was an office favorite, as well.

Scroll down for the video, and then head into Comments and let us know what you think.

Continue reading LOLVO Volvo V60 video leverages the power of cats on cars

LOLVO Volvo V60 video leverages the power of cats on cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Jul 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Jun
30

Volvo fires up S60 and V60 Polestar production

Filed under: , , , , ,

Volvo Polestar Production

We were pretty smitten with the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar models during our First Drive in Sweden a few months ago. We especially loved the way that its

Jun
19

Turn up your speakers for this Shelby-powered Sunbeam Tiger and friends

Filed under: , , , , ,

Petrolicious '60s trio

Most of us are never going to be like Jay Leno and drive a new car every day. However, it’s possibly affordable to collect a handful of vintage rides, especially if you look a touch off the beaten path. In recent video, Petrolicious highlights Hans Abrahams, who is doing just that. He has three 1960s, European classics that love to be driven.

The absolute star of the trio is a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger. In the cabin, it has the meaty growl of a muscle car, but outside it has a little of the raspiness of period European cars. Abrahams says its mostly original except for its Ford 289-cubic-inch (4.7-liter) V8 with Shelby parts, producing around 273 horsepower. He says it’s a bit difficult to maintain and hard to keep cool, but when you hear it, you know the trouble is worth it.

Next up, is Abrahams’ 1965 MGB that is a bit of a monster in its own right. It lacks the Tiger’s oomph under the hood, but it’s loud enough to blow out Petrolicious‘ microphone. It’s still a very cool little roadster.

Finally, there is a 1967 Volvo Amazon 123GT, Abrahams’ daily driver, that might secretly be the best of the lot. While it probably wouldn’t win a race with its two siblings in Abrahams’ garage, it’s the most livable and still sounds absolutely amazing. At full chat, it’s like a hive of angry hornets live under the hood.

Scroll down and turn up the speakers to listen to this European power trio.

Continue reading Turn up your speakers for this Shelby-powered Sunbeam Tiger and friends

Turn up your speakers for this Shelby-powered Sunbeam Tiger and friends originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Jun
18

Volvo bringing Chinese-built cars to America beginning next year

Filed under: , , ,

Volvo S60L

Just because the penetration of the American automotive market by Chinese brands hasn’t quite happened yet doesn’t mean that Chinese-built cars are far off. According to a new report, we could very soon see long-wheelbase Volvo S60s that were assembled in the People’s Republic arriving on US shores.

The report comes from Automotive News China, which cites an anonymous Volvo exec. An official Volvo spokesperson later corroborated ANC’s report, although where the original source claimed that we could see the Chinese-built S60L in US dealers at some point in 2015, the company line was that a timeline hadn’t been established to begin exports from the world’s most populous nation.

According to Volvo, the benefit to exporting from China to the United States rather than from Sweden is the relationship between the US dollar and the Chinese yuan. Overall, it’s a less tumultuous issue than the dollar-to-euro situation. By moving vehicles from China to the US, the Chinese-owned company is limiting the degree of risk it’s taking with sudden currency swings.

Volvo is currently looking at other markets for export, as well, which could include moving Chinese-built XC90s to Russia.

Volvo bringing Chinese-built cars to America beginning next year originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Older posts «

Tweeter button Facebook button