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Posts Tagged ‘Volvo XC90’

In a Class By Itself: 2017 Volvo XC90 E-AWD

Plug-in hybrid puts the emphasis on performance.

by on Mar.17, 2017

The design of the Volvo XC90 balances ruggedness with a modern, wind-swept appearance.

Say the word, “hybrid,” and you’re likely to think of a small, quirky little sedan or hatchback that trades performance for mileage. That might fit traditional gas-electric models like the Toyota Prius, but if you’re talking about the 2017 Volvo XC90 T8 E-AWD you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

Sure, this plug-in hybrid gets some great mileage numbers, at 54 MPGe. But the T8 version of Volvo’s flagship SUV also happens to be its most powerful, delivering performance that matches up to what key competitors are delivering with far less efficiency.

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The Volvo XC90 T8 anchors the unique strategy that Volvo outlined a few years back and which it is now rolling into place with the completion of the 90-Series and the debut of the new XC60 at the Geneva Motor Show this month. Unlike competitors who largely rely on V-6s and 8s, especially in their bigger models, Volvo has an all-four strategy. And, as we learned during our time behind the wheel of this SUV plug-in, small really can be beautiful.

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SUVs Rule at the NY Auto Show

Utes of every size and price range roll into the Big Apple.

by on Mar.28, 2016

Acura unveiled the latest update of its best-selling model, the 2017 MDX, in New York.

When Mazda pulled the wraps off the new MX-5 Miata RF, a new version of its 2-seat roadster, on Thursday, it was one of the rare exceptions at a New York International Auto Show marked by the debut of a score of new sport- and crossover-utility vehicles.

In a variety of shapes and sizes – as well as a broad range of prices — they can be found in every corner of the Jacob Javits Convention Center. And, if anything, industry officials made it clear they’ll have still more utes to unveil in the near future.

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“It appears there is no end in sight to the remarkable growth of the crossover market, here and around the world,” said Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, as he opened up the auto show’s annual media preview with a keynote speech.

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Volvo Targeting 800,000 in Global Sales by 2020

Kerssemakers says new small cars are next growth area.

by on Feb.12, 2016

Volvo CEO Lex Kerssemakers outlined the maker's plans to develop a family of small cars it will share with Geely Motors.

Volvo is pushing ahead with the development of a new family of small cars that it will share with its Chinese parent, Geely Motors.

The work on new architecture will is being completed at Volvo’s Technical Center in Gothenburg, Sweden, Lex Kerssemakers, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars USA, said after a luncheon speech to the Economic Club of Chicago.

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“We had the expertise in Gothenburg, but the modular architecture, which will support several different models in the future, will be shared with other Geely’s growing automotive empire,” said Kerssemakers, who headed up Volvo’s product planning staff at one point during his long career with Volvo. (more…)

Volvo Hopes to Build on Big Win by its New XC90

Safety only part of its message going forward.

by on Jan.12, 2016

Volvo new S90 flagship is part of the maker's plans to build a portfolio of vehicles using four-cylinder engines.

There’ve been plenty of folks ready to write off Volvo since it was sold off by Ford Motor Co. to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group for $1.8 billion six years ago.

But you’d be hard-pressed to find evidence of the Swedish brand’s imminent demise at this year’s North American Auto Show. Quite the contrary, Volvo launching the annual event by nabbing the sought-after honor of North American Truck/Utility of the Year for its new XC90 sport-utility vehicle.

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“There couldn’t be a better way to pave the way for the new S90,” Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s top U.S. executive said later in the day, as the carmaker revealed the next major product in its rapidly expanding portfolio, a new flagship sedan. (more…)

North American Car, Truck of Year Finalists Announced

Big Three only gets one nominee this year.

by on Dec.08, 2015

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD will come in five grades, including this Pro 4X version. It's also a finalist for North American Truck of the Year.

Three cars and three trucks have been named finalists in the North American Car and Truck of the Year competition, which will culminate in an announcement of the winners in both categories at the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The finalists for the car of the year are the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Honda Civic, while the list of truck and utility vehicles nominees include the Volvo XC90, Nissan Titan XD and Honda Pilot.

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Lindsay Brooke, one of the 53 NACTOY jurors who presented the nominees during a luncheon hosted by the Detroit’s Automotive Press Association, said the challenge for this year’s jurors was the large number of new vehicles that debuted during 2016. Forty-nine new vehicles made their debut during the year. (more…)

Volvo Lifts the Covers off New Flagship S90

New flagship sedan should help Volvo gain traction in premium market.

by on Dec.02, 2015

The new Volvo S90 shares the same underlying platform as the XC90 SUV.

Ask anyone in the theater and they’ll tell you the critical importance of a good second act. Volvo apparently has taken that advice to heart and is following up the recent launch of the critically well-received XC90 SUV with the unveiling of its new flagship sedan, the S90.

Sharing the same underpinnings as the big SUV, the Volvo S90 will take aim at some of the toughest competition in the auto industry, models like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and newly redesigned BMW 7-Series. And while it’s not likely to generate massive sales, it will serve as a critical halo car for the Swedish brand.

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As with the XC90, Volvo isn’t going the me-too route. Among other things, the new S90 will pick up on the company’s new powertrain strategy – which means all four-cylinder drivetrains, the performance version of the new sedan opting for the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid system.

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Volvo Adding Plug-ins Across Entire Range

And an all-electric model to come by 2019.

by on Oct.15, 2015

The Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine charging.

Volvo is clearly getting charged up over battery power. The Swedish maker, which only recently added its first plug-in hybrid model, plans to add PHEV versions of its entire line-up, and will also introduce its first pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, by 2019.

Unlike some competitors, Volvo put an emphasis on performance with its first plug-in, the so-called “Twin Engine” drivetrain introduced on the 2016 Volvo XC90. It is expected to follow a similar strategy with future plug-based models.

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“We believe that the time has come for electrified cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream,” Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars, said in a statement.

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Volvo Bets Big on Performance with Polestar Acquisition

Move creates rival to BMW M and Mercedes-AMG.

by on Jul.14, 2015

A line-up of Volvo Polestar models.

It may have a reputation for focusing on safety but Volvo has been putting an increasing emphasis on performance, as well, something further signaled by its move to acquire Polestar, a Swedish tuner that has, in recent years, turned out high-power versions of several Volvo models.

The move will create a sub-brand similar to Daimler’s Mercedes-AMG and BMW’s M, a statement from Volvo noting Polestar will be used as a model name for future high-performance models. These apparently will include versions of the so-called “Twin Engine” plug-hybrid technology first introduced on the new Volvo XC90.

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“Driving a Volvo Polestar is a special experience. We have decided to bring this experience to more Volvo drivers, placing the full resources of Volvo behind the development of Polestar as the model name for our high performance cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

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Volvo Will Build Top-Range S90 Sedan in China

Swedish automaker turning to China as export manufacturing base.

by on Nov.14, 2014

A current Volvo XC90 rolls down the assembly line at the maker's plant in Daqing, China.

The millennium had barely turned before the first Chinese automaker showed up at the Detroit Auto Show promising to begin exports to the U.S. “in a couple years.” A decade later, however, and American motorists are still waiting.

Ironically, it could take a Swedish automaker to finally make that vision come true. Well, make that a Swedish carmaker with a Chinese parent.

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Volvo has already indicated it may import a small number of stretched S60 sedans from its Guangzhou plant to the U.S. Now, however, the maker has confirmed that its planned flagship sedan will be produced at another facility in Daqing for export around the world.

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Volvo Planning at Least 9 New Models

Coupe, convertible offerings on hold - for now.

by on Aug.27, 2014

The new 2016 XC90 is the lead-off for a broad product assault planned by Volvo through 2019.

It’s been 13 years since Volvo last updated its big XC90 SUV, an interminable wait in an industry where customers are demanding faster and faster product updates.

The maker this week finally rolled out a new version of the XC90, which will reach showrooms around the world next April. The big ute is the first all-new model developed under the ownership of Zhejiang Geely Holdings, the Chinese carmaker that purchased Volvo from Ford Motor Co. in 2010 – but it won’t be the last.

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Volvo is planning to introduce at least nine all-new models between now and 2019, company officials announced during interviews that followed this week’s preview of the XC90. The focus will be on the XC family of utility vehicles, more traditional wagons, and sedans, those officials stressed. But they also hinted that more products, targeting specialty niches, could follow. (more…)