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Volvo Claims Next XC90 Will Be “World’s Most Powerful and Cleanest SUV”

Line-up will include 400-hp plug-in and 56 mpg turbodiesel.

by on Jul.08, 2014

The new Volvo XC90 T8 will be powered by a new plug-in hybrid I-4 turning out 400-hp.

With plans to completely redefine its line-up, top to bottom, Volvo is offering up new details on the three powertrain packages it will be offering in the next-generation XC90, the Swedish maker boasting that they will make it “the world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV.”

While that claim will be open to challenge, the new XC90 will, at one extreme, offer a dual supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four making a solid 400 horsepower, while at the other extreme it promises a combined fuel economy of 56 mpg from a new turbodiesel.

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“There are no compromises when you drive an all-new XC90,” said Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Group. “In the past you could either have power or low CO2 emissions. But with the all-new XC90 you can have both.”

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Volvo May Begin Importing Cars from China in 2015

S60L would target the U.S., while XC90 would be shipped to Russia.

by on Jun.17, 2014

Volvo recently unveiled a plug-in hybrid verson of the S60L at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show.

Volvo may soon become the first major automaker to start selling Chinese-made cars in the United States.

Now owned by Chinese domestic automaker Geely, Volvo is determined to reverse several years of slumping sales, even as it ramps up production at a new factory in Geely’s home town of Chengdu. The Swedish brand is in the midst of rolling out an assortment of new products and, according to a Reuters report, could begin shipping a long-wheelbase version of its S60 sedan to the U.S. by late 2015.

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Senior Geely and Volvo officials had hinted of their interest in exporting to the U.S. during a visit by TheDetroitBureau.com to the new Volvo Chengdu plant in 2013, but at the time they had not set a hard date on such plans.

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Solar Roadway Project Sets Fundraising Record

Idaho entrepreneurs get strong backing for solar pavement concept.

by on May.30, 2014

Julie and Scott Brusaw lay down the solar pavers for the prototype driveway they've built.

Step onto the pavement on a hot day and you might get a sense of the energy that Scott and Julie Brusaw hope to tap into.

The Idaho couple hope to pave the country’s roadways with solar cells, rather than asphalt or concrete. It’s an admittedly edgy idea that the Idaho entrepreneurs nonetheless believe could replace much of the need for traditional sources of generating electricity in the U.S., including coal-fired power plants. And, apparently, a lot of folks like their idea, helping the Brusaws raise a record $1.5 million in preliminary funding through the Indiegogo.com crowdsourcing site.

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But they aren’t the only ones who believe roadways could also become energy sources. Volvo is working with the Swedish Transport Association to turn a stretch of roadway in the City of Gothenburg into a rolling battery charger that will be used by specially equipped electric buses. The concept might someday help eliminate the so-called range anxiety electric vehicle owners suffer due to the limited storage capacity of today’s batteries. (more…)

Volvo Begins Slow Tease of XC90 Reveal

Swedish maker shows off new crossover’s interior.

by on May.28, 2014

The all-new Volvo XC90 is getting a slow reveal from the Swedish maker. It's revealed the new interior in a series of photos, which will be followed by more information throughout the summer.

Swedish automaker Volvo kicked off the slow reveal of its update of its best-selling XC90 crossover by sharing photos of the interior of the car, which looked…well, Swedish thanks to tiny Swedish flags sewn into the seats.

The new interior is clean and simple. In the early photos released yesterday, the crossover will be swathed in leather and wood. It also features a prominent touch screen display in the center stack that will control a multitude of functions, including the maker’s new infotainment system. The XC90 is designed to accommodate seven passengers and it appears that it’ll do that just fine with seats that appear to recline for all passengers.

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The all-new XC90 is the first Volvo to use the company’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which allows the Swedish company to produce everything from sedans to coupes to this new crossover. This is the first vehicle created under the Geely regime, which bought Volvo from Ford a few years back. (more…)

Volvo Wants to Electrify the Road – but Idaho Entrepreneurs Want to Pave them with Solar Cells

by on May.28, 2014

Volvo's prototype city bus will recharge its batteries using an induction system while driving.

While battery cars offer the advantage of zero-emissions driving, they also suffer from a number of disadvantages, notably their limited range and long charging times. But an ambitious new project from Volvo could solve both problems by giving a vehicle a way to charge up while its actually driving.

The maker is working with the Swedish Transport Association to create short stretches of electrified roadway in Gothenberg, the Scandinavian country’s second-largest city. Using a concept called inductive charging, specially designed city buses would simply have to drive along dedicated portions of pavement to partially replenish their batteries. But because there are no exposed wires, the system would be safe for humans and animals who might inadvertently walk across the chargers.

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Volvo isn’t the only one looking for ways to use highways to provide power. An Idaho couple has launched a $1 million campaign effort through the Indiegogo crowdsourcing site, while also tapping a $750,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration, with the idea of developing solar panels that can be used as an alternative to conventional pavement.

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Volvo Creates Inflatable Child Safety Seat

Maker creates safer, easier-to-transport seat.

by on Apr.25, 2014

Volvo Inflatable Child Seat Concept: Three stages: inflated, being deflated and deflated in case without text. The Inflatable Child Seat Concept inflates in less than 40 seconds and deflates with an integrated pump.

Volvo is further growing its reputation as a safety leader by introducing a new inflatable car seat aimed at giving traveling families a lighter, easier-to-use alternative.

The seat is covered in drop-stitched fabric and inflates in about 40 seconds using an electric motor in the seat. It weighs about 11 pounds, which makes it relatively easy to pack in a carry on bag when flying.

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“For me child safety is always the number one priority and when we lived abroad with two toddlers we had to haul bulky child seats through airports and then into taxis,” said Lawrence Abele, design manager at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles. He designed the seat with his two children in mind. “For many, travelling with young children is a challenge; any assistance to simplify the parents’ life with young children is a great thing.” (more…)

Volvo Bringing Innovative S60L PPHEV to Beijing

Swedish hybrid uses three driving modes for performance.

by on Apr.18, 2014

Volvo's S60L PPHEV concept will be unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show.

Volvo plans to unveil its latest green car at the Beijing Auto Show next week: the S60L PPHEV. The plug-in hybrid not only gets up and goes, but it gives drivers the option of how they want to drive.

The PPHEV, which is short for petrol plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, provides motorists with three driving modes: pure, hybrid or power.

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In Pure mode, the S60L will travel in pure electric mode for more than 30 miles. In the default hybrid mode, the carbon dioxide emissions are about 50 g/km. This corresponds to fuel consumption of just two liters per 100 km. It will travel approximately 600 miles in hybrid mode. (more…)

Volvo Reveals Concept Estate Ahead of Geneva Debut

Completes concept trilogy.

by on Feb.27, 2014

Volvo debuts the third in its trilogy of concept vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show: the Volvo Concept Estate.

There are plenty of big changes coming at Volvo, the Swedish maker planning a major shift in its powertrain strategy, opening a pair of factories in China – and adopting a new, and much more expressive design language.

We’ve been getting hints of where the styling side of that equation will head as Volvo has rolled out a trio of concept vehicles over the last three months covering three of its primary body styles.

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It began with the Frankfurt Motor Show reveal of the Volvo Concept Coupe, continued at Detroit North American International Auto Show with the unveiling of the Concept XC Coupe – and will wrap up at next week’s Geneva Motor Show with the debut of the Volvo Concept Estate. (more…)

Volvo Introduces “All Weather, All Season” Polestar Performance Cars

Limited edition S60, V60 variants reach showrooms by summer.

by on Feb.07, 2014

Volvo's new S60 and V60 Polestar models debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.

Following in the footsteps of luxury rivals such as Mercedes-Benz with its AMG line and BMW with its M-Series, Volvo is rolling out the quickest factory Volvos ever. But the Swedish says it is taking a different approach with the V60 and S60 Polestar models, describing them as “all weather, all seasons” performance cars.

Production of the unique Polestar cars will be limited. Only 120 of the V60 sportswagon and S60 sedan will be available in the U.S., according to representatives from Volvo and Polestar.

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While Polestar has been transforming Volvo products into track models since 1996 and producing performance parts for various models over the years, this will be the first time specific models will carry the Polestar designation, Tony Nicolosi, Volvo USA chief executive officer, said after the Volvo press conference at the Chicago Auto Show.

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Volvo’s Radical New Powertrain Line-up Debuts

Maker dropping old Ford engines by 2015.

by on Jan.24, 2014

The 2015 Volvo V60 will debut the new Drive-E engines, as will the new S60 and XC60 models.

Hoping to establish itself as a significant player in the global luxury car market, Volvo is making an $11 billion investment in new products and the plants to build them – an aggressive and much-needed plan that puts a particular premium on an all-new line-up of advanced powertrains that Volvo promises will deliver both segment-leading mileage and world-class performance.

The first of the maker’s models equipped with the new Drive-E engine family are just beginning to roll into U.S. showrooms this month – and they mark the beginning of the end of the relationship between the Swedish-based company and Ford Motor Co. that began when the Detroit maker purchased Volvo Cars in 1999.

The Last Word!

But the powertrain program isn’t without its risks, Volvo officials acknowledge. Among other things, it will mean convincing upscale buyers who traditional equate displacement with desirability that a high-tech 4-cylinder engine can be as good, or better, than the six- and eight-cylinder powertrains that traditionally dominate the luxury market.

The goal is to create a family of “smaller, more intelligent engines that will turn the V -8 engine into a dinosaur,” proclaims Derek Crabb Volvo’s vice president of powertrain engineering.

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