Volvo Australia reveals S60 ‘Performance Project’

July 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo is continuing its sporty aspirations with a new S60 prototype developed in collaboration with Polestar Racing and tuning company Heico. The one-off S60 is named the “Performance Project” and is based on the T6 R-Design.

Volvo’s Australian unit is responsible has built the special prototype that sees performance and cosmetic upgrades. Power has been increased to 242KW with 480Nm of torque an increase of 18kW and 40Nm of the standard vehicle. This was achieved by a revised ECU and a new exhaust system. The suspension has been reworked and lowered by 15 millimeters with monotube damping and stiffer springs. To help dress it up the go-fast Volvo is fitted with 19-inch alloys wrapped in Pirelli rubber. Continue reading “Volvo Australia reveals S60 ‘Performance Project’” »

Volvo S60 T6 2011 Review

May 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Recently, to prove Volvo is no longer a maker of safety obsessed, vanilla vehicles, pro race driver Jonny Reid lapped Hampton Downs in the new S60 T6 sedan. Big deal you might say. Well he did do it blindfolded (click here to view video).  Some may see this stunt as little more than a cheap promotional trick, but it illustrates the redefining new direction the Swedish carmaker has taken. An awareness, pride and continuation of Volvo’s safety innovations remain but the new top-spec S60 T6 has been given eye-catching, flowing design, serious power output and sporting dynamics. Car and SUV wasn’t given a blindfold, or time on a racetrack but did get a drive in the very same S60 T6 that lapped Hampton Downs. Here are the results.

Volvo’s solid and boxy design language is now almost fully extinct and the S60 shows more curves than a hip-hop video. A dipping front end with two-piece headlights and a broad signature grille give the S60 a modern and distinctive face. A steeply raked windscreen and coupe-like roofline define its low-slung profile. At the back end, wrap around taillights and a subtle boot lid spoiler are features. Contrasting hard plastic cladding is used to good effect on the S60’s lower edges, this helps give it genuine sporty appeal. It also combines with the widened rear panels and high boot deck to create an athletic stance. Like a sprinter paused in their blocks the S60 looks alert, muscular and dynamic. Other signals of go-fast intent include 7-spoke 18-inch alloys and dual, integrated exhaust tips. Any aesthetic concessions aren’t required in owning a new S60. Particularly in T6 form, it’s a sexy machine and Volvo has achieved it without resorting to more generic styling, it’s distinctive but still clear in its origins.

In the cabin, the coupe theme continues with a cosseting sports-inspired atmosphere. A high centre armrest dissects driver and shotgun passenger with all switchgear placed close to hand. The build quality has a bulletproof feel and the materials are mainly high-grade with the exception of some harder plastics. There is a luxury feel in the S60 cabin and while it can’t quite match pricier European brands it’s a step up from more direct Japanese competitors. The waterfall control stack is a highlight being finished in brushed metal and housing the majority of buttons and dials. A recessed 7-inch screen displays all main information in full colour and is positioned high for easy checking on the fly. The control system interface isn’t immediately intuitive but with regular use drivers will learn its ways. The instrumentation is Spartan but effectively designed with two large dials surrounding digital displays that offer vehicle information. Phone, cruise and audio buttons are housed in a thick leather-wrapped steering wheel. Continue reading “Volvo S60 T6 2011 Review” »

2011 Volvo V60 – First Drive

March 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The all-new Volvo V60 wagon was officially released into the NZ market with a launch event held in Auckland.

Well known for its safety innovations, Volvo is set to continue that trend with the V60 but is throwing other virtues into the mix. Shapely design, sharp on-road dynamics and powerful engines are all features of the new 2011 V60 range which comes with high expectations for the team at Volvo Cars NZ.

According to General Manager, Steve Kenchington, “The all-new V60 provides a great opportunity for us.  Volvo has always been strong with wagons in New Zealand and with the striking styling, the performance and safety package we hope to attract new buyers to our sports wagon as well as retain our existing customers.”

‘This is an extremely important new car for us,’ Kenchington added. ‘With its standout style, exceptional on-road abilities, outstanding passenger comfort and the very latest Volvo safety technology it sets new standards in New Zealand’s premium mid-size segment.”

The three model V60 range goes on sale this month to complement the similar engined S60 sedan which arrived just before Christmas. After a media presentation Car and SUV was given some seat time with each of the three models in the new line up.

The range consists of the entry-spec V60 T5 (four cylinder turbocharged petrol engined) priced at $67,990, with the mid-range V60 D5 AWD (Turbo diesel All Wheel Drive) at $75,990 and the flagship V60 T6 AWD (Turbo petrol All Wheel Drive) at $83,990. Continue reading “2011 Volvo V60 – First Drive” »

Being safe just got sexy – Volvo S60 sedan launched in NZ

December 16th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The all-new Volvo S60 has been officially launched into the New Zealand market at a special press event held in Auckland yesterday. Volvo’s sleek sedan was put through its paces during some road testing and a series of safety drills, but it’s already clear the S60 has much more to offer than ground-breaking safety features.

The new S60 is looking to raise the stakes in New Zealand’s mid-size premium car market with its coupe-style looks, sharp on-road dynamics and of course, world-first safety innovations.

The first cars are being delivered to customers before the summer holiday period, with the S60 D5 AWD (Turbo diesel All Wheel Drive) priced at $71,990 and the S60 T6 AWD (Turbo petrol All Wheel Drive) at $79,990. A front wheel drive S60 T5 will be added to the range early next year at $63,990.

For those who like to get some speed up the top-spec S60 T6 is a true sports sedan using a turbocharged six-cylinder 3.0-litre petrol engine that pumps out 224kW of power, 440Nm of torque and will do the sprint to 100kph in just 6.1 seconds. Mated up to a six-speed auto transmission it’s a potent performer. The S60 D5 uses a five-cylinder diesel mill with twin-turbocharging that produces a solid 151kW of power and 420Nm of twist, the D5 takes 8.1 seconds to 100kph and returns 6.8l/100km combined fuel economy.

For safety enthusiasts there is plenty to like about the S60 with new primary and secondary safety innovations, the all-new S60 sedan is the most high-tech Volvo yet seen. World-leading dynamic safety technology, including extended functionality to its Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system to include Advanced Stability Control (ASC) – a first for this segment – is complemented by two pioneering safety innovations: Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, and Volvo’s City Safety, which was first seen on the Volvo XC60.

In terms of exterior design the S60 has been styled to attract. Its coupe-like profile incorporates a steeply raked windscreen and a roofline that flows in one smooth sweep into the taillights. Volvo design director Peter Horbury says ‘You are almost surprised to see that it has rear doors.’

On the road, the S60 is the sportiest Volvo sedan yet made. ‘The ride is firmer and yet it is much better controlled. I would say comfort has actually been increased,’ says Egbert Bakker, technical expert responsible for vehicle dynamics at Volvo.

The all-new Volvo S60 has one of the most advanced stability control systems – part of Volvo’s high-tech Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) – reducing the likelihood of wheel spin or skidding. Corner Traction Control increases on-road agility by automatically braking the inner driven wheel as extra power is applied to the outer wheel. This ‘torque vectoring’ improves turn-in, thus reducing understeer.

Continue reading “Being safe just got sexy – Volvo S60 sedan launched in NZ” »

Volvo NZ announces pricing and specs for S60 sedan range

November 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo Car New Zealand has announced pricing for its all-new S60 sedan range, which is the latest entry into the medium luxury segment for the Swedish automaker. Kiwi buyers will start to take deliveries of the all-new S60 from mid-December.

Volvo is claiming that the S60 is its most dynamic model yet with higher levels of handling and road holding combined with the marque’s unique Scandinavian design and quality.

It will be available in three models: the 224kW 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo-charged petrol T6, Volvo’s recently updated 151kW 2.4-litre five-cylinder twin-turbo diesel D5 and the new two litre, four cylinder GTDi (direct injection turbocharged petrol) with 177 kWs.

The S60 AWD D5 will be priced at $71,990 and the S60 AWD T6 will be $79,990. The base model S60 GTDi will be $63,990.

Power for both the T6 and D5 models will be distributed to all four wheels by Volvo’s All Wheel Drive system and mated to Volvo’s six-speed Adaptive Geartronic transmission, offering the choice of manual gear selection or ‘Sport’ mode. This transmission also features a neutral control function, which lowers fuel consumption and reduces emissions by automatically switching from Drive to Neutral when the car comes to a complete stop.

The front wheel drive S60 GTDi will be added to the range at the end of the first quarter of next year and have a dual clutch automatic transmission.

In addition to benefiting from Volvo’s long list of standard safety features including City Safety, Advanced Stability Control (including roll over sensor and torque vectoring), Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS) and Pyrotechnical seatbelt pretensions for all passengers – the all-new Volvo S60 introduces New Zealand buyers to a world first innovation.

Continue reading “Volvo NZ announces pricing and specs for S60 sedan range” »

Volvo’s most powerful road car ever is a wagon

June 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo and tuning company Heico Sportiv have developed a high performance version of its V70 station wagon exclusively for the German market.

The turbocharged six cylinder V70 T6 AWD will have 239 kWs at its disposal, making it Volvo’s most powerful road car ever.

Limited to just 100 vehicles, it will cost about $NZ 122,000 and only be available in metallic sapphire black.

Besides its engine performance and sporty handling characteristics, the model captivates with many exclusive interior and exterior design novelties.

The new Volvo V70 T6 AWD R-Design by Heico Sportiv is based on the standard model with the adapted 224 kWs turbo straight six cylinder engine from Volvo. The vehicle’s tuning to 239 kWs and a maximum torque of 460 Nm, available from 2,100rpm to 4,200 rpm, was implemented using an enhanced engine management system.

Continue reading “Volvo’s most powerful road car ever is a wagon” »

Volvo “The Meeting” Commercial – 2008

December 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

A woman jumps to a helicopter and meets his husband using a Volvo S80 T6 for their anniversary

Volvo increase XC60 model range in NZ

November 25th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo XC60 R-Design fq

Volvo has widened its all-wheel-drive XC60 model range for 2010. The model made famous for its City Safety System is now available in four different versions with a choice of a new twin turbocharged diesel motor, a 3.2 litre petrol engine and two turbocharged petrol models.

With 151kWs and a beefy 420Nm of torque, the new D5 engine has lower fuel consumption and emissions that meet Euro 5 standards from its 2.4 litre capacity.

Developing 175kWs and 320Nm of normally aspirated power, the XC60 3.2 litre six cylinder offers more refined performance. And the turbocharged T6 with 210 kWs and 400 Nm is available in a standard specification and as an R design model. All engines are mated to a six speed adaptive Geartronic automatic transmission with All Wheel Drive.

All XC60s now come with a power-operated tailgate providing greater ease of operation and improved convenience for driver and passengers.

Other standard features include ABS brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, ready alert brakes and an electronic parking brake, front fog lights, roof rails, rear park assist, electric heated retractable door mirrors and 17 inch alloys on the diesel and 3.2 model and 18 inch alloys on the T6 versions.

Inside there is leather upholstery, an electric driver’s seat with memory, 3 way split folding rear seat, leather steering wheel and gear lever, height and reach adjustable steering column, cruise control, trip computer and electronic climate control air conditioning.

Apart from the industry leading City Safety low speed accident prevention system, all XC60s also have roll over stability control, dynamic stability and traction control, six airbags, whiplash protection, built in child booster seats and three point seat belts with pre-tensioners on all seats.

There is an alarm and engine immobiliser, remote central locking with panic button and approach lights activation.

All XC60s are Euro5 emissions compliant with three way catalytic converters and have a three year unlimited kilometres warranty with roadside assistance and seven year anti-corrosion warranty.

The two T6 models also come with bi-xenon headlights, hill descent control and rain sensing wipers. And the R design version gets unique door mirrors, wheels, instruments, centre console, sports pedals and body kit.

The XC60 model range is priced from $76,990.

To read a Car and SUV review of Volvo’s XC60, click here.

Click here to visit the Volvo NZ website and find out more.