Jul
14

Last Volvo XC90 rolls off assembly line in Gothenburg

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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.

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Jul
08

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

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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.

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Jul
03

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

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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.

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Jul
03

LOLVO Volvo V60 video leverages the power of cats on cars

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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.

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Jun
30

Volvo fires up S60 and V60 Polestar production

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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

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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.

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Jun
18

Volvo bringing Chinese-built cars to America beginning next year

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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.

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Jun
03

Volvo offers up more details on 2015 XC90 and its new infotainment system

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2015 Volvo XC90 infotainment system

We have more details on the 2015 Volvo XC90 and the all-new, touch-heavy infotainment system that will debut with it. An expansion of the Sensus system, as we’ve shown you before, we now know the new system won’t only sport a large, vertically oriented touchscreen, but a head-up display and the ability to manage the systems via wheel-mounted buttons.

Key to the entire experience are the large, portrait-oriented touchscreen, a head-up display and the thumb controls you can see on the face of the steering wheel in the image above. Volvo is claiming that this combination will be easier to use and, fittingly for the Swedish manufacturer, safer.

“Using the screen is so logical that it will become part of your muscle memory very quickly,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Volvo’s senior vice president of research and development. “Information, navigation and media are high up and easy to check. The phone controls, application icons and climate controls are located low, comfortable to reach and touch. All of this logic is based on extensive usability and user experience research and the latest technology.”

We already know the system boasts Apple’s CarPlay system, but Volvo has revealed it will also offer up an Ericsson-based cloud system, a Bowers & Wilkins stereo, a HERE navigation system and, depending on the market, a range of connected features. Those include internet radio (apps like TuneIn Radio, Stitcher, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Rdio should all be found in some capacity) or the ability to find and pay for parking while on the go.

Take a look below for a press release on the new system, as well as a video detailing some of the new apps that will be coming. Finally, be sure to hop up top and take a peak at the range of images we’ve been given, detailing the new infotainment system’s functions.

Continue reading Volvo offers up more details on 2015 XC90 and its new infotainment system

Volvo offers up more details on 2015 XC90 and its new infotainment system originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Jun 2014 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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May
27

Volvo studying test of electric roads in Sweden

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Volvo Hyper Bus, testing the viability of electric roads.

Volvo already announced the results of a study of wireless charging using a stationary C30, and now it’s embarking on a more ambitious study of wireless charging involving moving city buses. Next year, in conjunction with the Swedish Transport Association, Volvo will build a section of electric road up to 500 meters long that would use inductive charging to refill the batteries while the bus drives over it.

Right now, the company’s Hyper Bus diesel hybrid has to stop to plug in and charge at the end of its route. The company is looking for a way to keep buses in service while being able to run on electric power for greater lengths of time. The new line used for the study will be called ElectriCity, and will come online in central Gothenburg sometime in 2015. There’s a press release below with more information.

Continue reading Volvo studying test of electric roads in Sweden

Volvo studying test of electric roads in Sweden originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 May 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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May
27

Next-generation Volvo XC90 interior revealed

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Volvo XC90

Volvo has officially kicked off the slow burn that will lead to the eventual unveiling of the next-generation XC90, in August. Its initial foray into the public eye will be with these, a series of 20 images of the new three-row SUVs interior, which is very, very Swedish (there are even the most adorable little Swedish flags on the seats).

In all, it looks like a positively sumptuous place to sit, with sharp looking woods and a crystal shifter, crafted by Orrefors Glassworks in Sweden. It’s a clean, minimalist design that we imagine will age quite nicely.

Featured quite prominently – and the main part of the cabin that doesn’t strike us as minimalist – is the very large touchscreen. Aligned in a portrait layout, which hasn’t been done by too many automakers, it will be home to a new type of infotainment system that will make its debut in Volvo’s flagship SUV. It also looks like we can expect digital gauges when the XC90 finally arrives.

Volvo has redesigned the seats with an increased eye not only on comfort, but (unsurprisingly) on safety. While we don’t have full details on the safety changes quite yet, we do have some details on the ute’s passenger-hauling abilities. The second row remains a three-abreast bench, but each seat can be individually reclined. Sounds darn handy when hauling kids, we think. As for that third row, which remains a difficult proposition in most SUVs and CUVs, Volvo is promising that passengers up to five feet, seven inches will find the back row comfortable. Ingress and egress should also be improved, as well. We’ll put those claims to the test when we shoehorn six-foot, five-inch Senior Editor Miersma in the back during our initial drive of the next-gen XC90.

Volvo is really trying to stretch this reveal out. These interior images will be followed up in a few weeks by tech, chassis and powertrain details in mid July. The veil will finally be lifted on the exterior treatment by the end of August. Take a look below for the official press release and then hop up top for our gallery of images. Finally, register your opinion on Volvo’s handiwork down in Comments.

Continue reading Next-generation Volvo XC90 interior revealed

Next-generation Volvo XC90 interior revealed originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 May 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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