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Posts Tagged ‘Volvo S80’

Volvo Turns Batteries into Body Panels

New approach could solve problem of where to put battery packs.

by on Oct.18, 2013

A Volvo S80 prototype embeds its nano batteries and ultra-capacitors inside carbon fiber body panels.

Battery cars have a number of potential advantages – including the ability to move the motor out from under the hood, something that could translate into a lot more space for passengers. On the downside, manufacturers struggle to find the right place to put bulky batteries that can eat up cargo and passenger space and, if poorly positioned, throw a vehicle’s weight balance horribly awry.

Volvo Car Group, the Swedish-based, Chinese-owned automaker, may have come up with an interesting alternative.  The maker wants to build energy storage devices right into the body panels of vehicles like the prototype S80 shown here.

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The experimental car is the culmination of a 3.5-year research project in which, Volvo says, “The project team identified a feasible solution to the heavy weight, large size and high costs associated with the batteries seen in hybrids and electric cars today, whilst maintaining the efficient capacity of power and performance.”


First Look: Volvo Concept You

Square and boxy? Not.

by on Sep.13, 2011

Volvo's Concept You will help define the future design language for the automaker -- and should become its next flagship sedan.

Remember when Volvo had a simple design formula: make them square and boxy? Well, not anymore.  The maker has been steadily transforming its visual image as it rolls out a series of new models like the S60 R-Design and, at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the Concept You.

As the name implies, the big Volvo on display at the Frankfurt Messe is a prototype, but one that CEO Stefan Jacoby says is a “glimpse of the future of the Volvo company.”

There’s clearly been a lot going on at Volvo of late.  The maker is just celebrating its first year since being sold by Ford Motor Co. to the ambitious Chinese holding company that also produces China’s domestic Geely brand.

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With its parent’s support, Jacoby has outlined an aggressive agenda which calls for a huge growth spurt – to 800,000 vehicles annually, which would put it in the big leagues with luxury marques like Lexus, BMW or Audi. And the elegant Concept You underscores Jacoby’s desire to take Volvo up-market in the process.


First Drive: Volvo S80

Can chassis tuning stem the sales slide?

by on Apr.13, 2009

Has the unending quest to move upscale left Volvo without its core buyers?

Has an unending quest to move upscale left Volvo without its more numerous core buyers?

Earlier this year, Volvo admitted that its European model range was not green enough. But now, with the new DRIVe versions, 80% of all Volvo models offered are green by the Swedish automaker’s own self definition of lowest CO2 emissions in the segment.

This has been achieved by adding to so-called green label models, DRIVe, which were introduced last year at the Paris auto show. The series started with the compact C30 that now can pass the lowest eco tax levels in Europe. Also the S40 and V50 with the 1.6-liter diesel engine were further improved with idle stop/start and brake energy regeneration.

During the Geneva auto show, four more DRIVe models were unveiled: the V70, S80, XC60 and XC70. They all have the 1.6-liter diesel motor with improved fuel efficiency and decreased CO2 emissions, so this is a marketing ploy based largely on one engine in multiple applications.

I have now had a chance to drive the new S80, which besides the improved 1.6 diesel model also gets a new D5 five-cylinder, twin-turbo diesel with 205 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The S80 D5 has a fuel consumption of 6.2 liters/100 km and emits 164 g/km CO2. (more…)

First Drive: Volvo XC60

Forget the box.

by on Feb.03, 2009

2010 Volvo XC60: where's the box?

2010 Volvo XC60: where's the box?

Let’s play a game of word association. We’ll say the name of a brand, and you respond with the first word that comes into your head. Ready? Volvo…

If you said “boxy,” you’re not alone. That’s the classic shape most of us have grown up knowing. And it’s why a lot of people are likely to be confused by the pictures they’re seeing of the new Volvo XC60. It’s a sleek and sexy crossover that’s about as far as you can imagine from the staid Swedish wagons we’ve seen on the road in years past. Maybe that’s why Volvo designers decided to bolt an oversized brand badge on the grille.

Will diehards may be a bit disappointed by this dynamic new look, Volvo is betting on the XC60 to draw in a whole host of new buyers who’d normally drive past the company’s showrooms. And if our first drive of the new crossover is any indication, they just might be able to grab some of the folks who’d normally opt for more passionate brands, like BMW, with its compact X5, Audi, with the new Q5, Acura, with its RDX, or Volkswagen, with the oddly-named Tiguan.

The big grille, with that oversized Volvo logo, is flanked by a pair of upright daytime running lights, and sweeping headlamps that roll off into the fenders. The broad shoulders are familiar touches, found on a number of recent Volvo production models and concept vehicles, but the XC60 adds a cinched and sexy waistline. The roof is almost coupe-like, though it still provides a reasonable amount of headroom for rear seat passengers. The rear view might be the most familiar angle, distinctly Volvo with those broad shoulders and narrowed rear hatch.