Volvo taking V60 plug-in hybrid to Geneva Show

February 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo is well known for it’s progressive stance on safety but soon it may become known for it’s fuel economy. To prove it Volvo is preparing to unveil a V60 Plug-in Diesel Hybrid – a virtually production-ready car with carbon dioxide emissions below 50 g/km and a fuel consumption of 1.9 l/100 km, at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.

By next year Volvo Cars will be the first manufacturer on the market with this new breed of hybrid – which is the result of close cooperation with the Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall.

The first of the new V60 sports wagon which will be conventionally powered diesel and petrol models will arrive in New Zealand in April this year.

The V60 Plug-in Hybrid features some new tricks including being able to drive up to 50 kilometres on pure electricity alone.

“This second-generation hybrid is the perfect choice for the uncompromising buyer who wants a superbly carbon dioxide-lean car packed with driving pleasure,” says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Cars.

The front wheels of the V60 Plug-in Diesel Hybrid will be driven by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre D5 turbo diesel, which produces 215 horsepower and maximum torque of 440 Nm.  The rear axle features ERAD (Electric Rear Axle Drive) in the form of an electric motor producing 70 horsepower, which receives its power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The car features a six-speed automatic transmission. Continue reading “Volvo taking V60 plug-in hybrid to Geneva Show” »

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” »

Jonny Reid hot laps Hampton Downs in Volvo S60 – blindfolded! (+video)

December 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

So you thought it was pretty hardcore that time you drove at night without your lights turned on just to freak-out you’re mates – well that’s nothing compared to this.

Former NZ A1GP driver Jonny Reid has recently put a brand spankers 2011 Volvo S60 through its paces at full speed around Hampton Downs Raceway. While this usually wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary for the 27-year-old pro driver, he did it at full pace and totally blindfolded. That’s right, he couldn’t see a thing. Hey, we were suspicious at first too, but after seeing the videos below it all appears fully legit.

According to the promotional event’s organisers, it took Reid a few attempts, but in the end, he not only didn’t smash up Volvo’s latest machine, but also achieved a lap time of 1:28 with a top speed of 193km/h.

A Volvo spokesman said, “He was guided only by the feel of the car, his knowledge of the track, and co-driver Earl Bamber’s voice.” Full credit to Jonny Reid, while it’s a fairly gimmicky promotion it must take some bottle to drive full speed blindfolded. Earl Bamber’s co-driver role takes some serious kahunas as well.

The new 2011 Volvo S60 looks sharp in the clips to find out more about the car click here to visit the Volvo NZ website and check back for more news when it’s officially launched later this month.

Check out the videos below, they’re well worth it. Continue reading “Jonny Reid hot laps Hampton Downs in Volvo S60 – blindfolded! (+video)” »

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 receives ‘Euro NCAP Advance’ all new safety rating

October 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo’s City Safety system has received Euro NCAP Advance, an assessment rating for new safety technology that was awarded for the first time ever at the Paris Motor Show.

“Highly gratifying. We have worked long and hard for active safety systems to be included in Euro NCAP’s assessment criteria,” says Thomas Broberg, Senior safety advisor at Volvo Cars.

At the Paris Motor Show, the Euro NCAP Advance rating was awarded for the very first time. This is a complement to Euro NCAP’s current assessment system in which car models are tested in a variety of situations and then rated for safety with up to five stars.

“It’s great our XC60 SUV has received an advanced rating to go with the five star crash test rating it already has from Euro NCAP,” said Stephen Kenchington, the General Manager of Volvo Cars in New Zealand.

“Volvo continues to remain at the fore front of safety technology in its cars and the XC60 and the forth coming S60 sedan and V60 wagon which also have City Safety as standard are stylish and sporty vehicles,” said Mr Kenchington.

“The award also enhances our Volvo for life strategy with its innovative technology.”

The method used for assessment in Euro NCAP Advance is based on scientific data provided by the car manufacturers which are then analysed by a panel of experts appointed by Euro NCAP. Only safety systems available on car models that have already undergone the original test are eligible for the award.

Volvo Cars has previously lobbied for Euro NCAP to take account of active safety systems in its overall assessment of car models.

Volvo City Safety was presented in 2008 as standard on the Volvo XC60. At speeds below 30 km/h, this system automatically brakes the car if the driver is distracted and fails to react when the vehicle in front suddenly stops or slows down. Low-speed rear-end impacts account for more than 50 percent of all collisions.

Volvo to bring sportier R-Design vehicles to NZ

September 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo is introducing R-Design versions of its new S60 sedan and V60 wagon.

With more aggressive front styling and other body enhancement, the R-Design models also incorporate a specially developed sports chassis so the driving experience can match up with the sportier looks.

The S60 will be launched in New Zealand at the start of 2011 and the V60 will follow in the second quarter. R-Design versions of both cars will be available as part of the model range.

The R-Design range offers more dynamic and sporting models in the Volvo range, while retaining the marque’s legendary safe and sophisticated core values.

Volvo Cars’ chassis experts have taken the next step on the road to a more exciting and rewarding driving experience. “In the R-Design chassis we’ve sharpened the steering, the agility and the solid overall impression still further compared with the dynamic chassis in the all-new S60 and V60,” says Stefan Sällqvist, manager of vehicle dynamics at Volvo Cars.

The all-new Volvo S60 and V60 R-Design come with a range of upgraded design details both inside and out.

The exteriors have been re-designed with various features combining to present a more imposing presence. Glossy, piano black grille, colour-coded body components, matt black details and a hexagonal pattern front and rear combine with twin exhaust pipes and bespoke 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels to emphasise the overall sporty appearance. The R-design models will be available in a choice of eight colours.

Continue reading “Volvo to bring sportier R-Design vehicles to NZ” »

2011 Volvo V60 promotional video

August 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

2011 Volvo V60 promotional video with hard rock soundtrack

It’s official: Volvo sold to Geely for $1.8b USD

August 4th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

After months of lengthy negotiations, Ford has officially sold Volvo to Geely for $1.8 billion USD.

The Chinese automaker originally included a $200 million note and the balance in cash, and yesterday, it paid the remaining $1.3 billion to wrap up the sale, although the final sale price won’t be released until later this year and could mean even more cash for Ford.

Under the conditions of the sale, Ford will keep supplying Volvo with almost everything from powertrains to stamping systems and other vehicle components for various periods of time. Ford and Geely have also come to an agreement on tricky intellectual property usage, with Volvo being allowed to grant sub-licenses to specific systems to third parties, including Geely.

Stefan Jacoby — formerly of Volkswagen — will become the new President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars, and the automaker will continue to keep its headquarters and manufacturing centers in Sweden and Belgium.