Volvo XC90 receives the renowned Red Dot ‘Best of the Best’ Product Design Award
- Volvo XC90 impresses Red Dot jury with high quality and pioneering design
- Red Dot: Best of the Best - highest individual product design award
Volvo Cars has been awarded one of the world’s premier product design awards for its ground-breaking XC90 luxury SUV.
The Best of the Best award, based on the results of a 38-strong international jury of experts, was presented to Volvo for the XC90’s pioneering design and high level of quality. The car was chosen from almost 5,000 participating product designs across 31 product categories in the much coveted Red Dot awards.
"The new XC90 is the vanguard of Volvo’s new design direction. In our work on this car we have been very much aware of Volvo’s heritage, the value of authenticity and Scandinavian design, but we have also taken some bold and progressive steps forward, aiming for a design style and execution level that pushes our boundaries. I am very proud that our new flagship has won the prestigious Red Dot: Best of the Best award," said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars.
The XC90 represents a new beginning for Volvo in terms of design philosophy and has been credited with taking the luxury SUV to a new level. Characterized by precision design and attention to detail, the XC90 paves the way for future Volvo car designs with signature design elements. These include the new face of Volvo with a new Volvo logo and a floating grille, and the celebrated T-shaped ‘Thor’s Hammer’ daytime running lights.
The XC90 design was made possible thanks to the new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) which will underpin many of Volvo’s forthcoming models which supports the dynamic and balanced proportions of the new XC90.
Carrying the precision and pioneering exterior design inside the car, Head of Volvo Design, Thomas Ingenlath and his team have created a serene and relaxing interior combining the finest natural materials such a leather, wood and crystal with a calming and luxurious take on Scandinavian Design. This is also reflected in the way that Volvo approached the total redesign of the information displays and interaction in the car, reducing complexity and creating a uniquely intuitive interface.
"It is particularly challenging to develop a new design language which refers to well-known brand values while presenting a modern, desirable interpretation. The all-new Volvo XC90 symbolizes the cornerstone of a complete new generation of cars where our progressive design combines innovative technology with Scandinavian design virtues and stands for a new individual approach in the premium segment.”
Red Dot: Best of the Best is awarded for pioneering design and is the highest individual Red Dot award: Product Design. Only the outstanding products in a category receive this award - in 2015, only 81 products from 31 categories received the coveted seal of approval.
"For 60 years, the most respected design experts come to Essen in order to reward the best designs. This year we had just under 5,000 products a record number of entries - an extreme workload for our judges who evaluate each product, and due to the high numbers, this illustrates the special value of the awards. The winners of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015 have delivered an extremely high level of performance and have therefore been recognized by the largest design competition in the world," said Professor Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of Red Dot Awards.
The Singh brothers and their Volvo PV 544
It is 50 years this April since Joginder Singh and his brother Jaswant crossed the finish line of the Safari Rally in first place in their Volvo PV 544.
The white Volvo's victory in the world's toughest rally became news all over the world.
Volvo enjoyed worldwide success on numerous occasions in the motorsport arena in the early 1960s. Its participation in events and some victories too generated excellent publicity for Volvo, particularly in the US market. The hunchback Volvo PV544 earned a reputation for being rugged and sporty.
By 1959, Volvo had set up its own competition department and, in 1960, Gunnar Andersson won the 4620-kilometre-long endurance rally, the Gran Premio de Argentina, driving a PV544 with a B16 engine. In 1961, Gunnar Andersson was appointed Volvo's competition department manager, but he continued to compete in rallies. He signed up a number of talented drivers, including Carl-Magnus Skogh, Tom Trana and Ewy Rosqvist.
Volvo invested heavily in the 1964 Safari Rally. Its competition department sent four, white Volvo PV544s down to Kenya which was the starting point of the rally. The Safari cars were powered by a tuned-up B18 engine with 130 hp, reinforced front suspension with Bilstein twin-tube shock absorbers and front disc brakes, two fuel tanks and protective panels underneath the engine, gear box and fuel tanks. A strike led to a serious delay in the delivery of the cars and the team made it to the start of the rally at the eleventh hour without having had any time to practice. The Safari Rally is known as the toughest rally in the world and this year the conditions were harsher than ever. Of the 94 cars that set off, only 21 made it over the finish line. Carl-Magnus Skogh was the only Volvo driver to complete the five-day rally, but did not reach the finish within the time limit. This meant he was given no place in the standings.
Tom Trana's car was left in Kenya with the importer Amazon Motors. Joginder Singh, the seasoned driver from Kenya who had competed several times in the Safari Rally, became interested in Volvo. He borrowed a PV544 from Amazon Motors in 1964 to take part in smaller rallies in Africa. Using his knowledge of engineering, Singh modified and improved the PV after each rally to make it even more suitable for the African conditions.
Five months before the thirteenth Safari Rally in April 1965, Joginder Singh entered into a hire purchase agreement with Amazon Motors to buy the PV544 that Tom Trana had driven the previous year. The crashed car that had already completed two seasons was repaired and then carefully tested by Joginder and his co-driver brother Jaswant.
Although the Singh brothers had enjoyed success in the Safari Rally on previous occasions when driving other makes of car, no one thought the Sikh brothers in their turbans had much of a chance this time. It had been a flop for Volvo the year before and there was stiff competition from several major car stables.
Joginder and Jaswant drew number one for the starting position. In the past, this had been considered an unlucky number in the Safari Rally. It was, without a doubt, a lucky number this year, however. The first stage of the rally was dry and, as the leading car, Singh had good visibility with no one churning up the dust in front of him. The second stage was wet and muddy and the roads quickly became slippery and rutted. But the Volvo was still in the lead and the brothers had a special technique for getting out of the mud. There were two handles fitted to the rear of the car. As Joginder sat at the steering wheel endeavoring to get the narrow rear tires to grip, Jaswant would stand on the rear bumper rocking the car to put more pressure on the drive wheels. It was a human traction control system!
The crowd went wild when the Singh brothers crossed the finish line in Nairobi on the fifth day of the Safari Rally. They also won by the largest margin ever in the rally's history. Second place was taken by Ian Jaffray who drove up to the finish line one hour and 40 minutes later. Joginder has been popularly known as "The Flying Sikh" since then.
Amazon Motors annulled the hire-purchase contract after the race and gave Joginder Singh the car. The winning car, still belonging to the Singh family, has been restored and is on display today at the Volvo Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Joginder Singh continued his rally career, driving various models of Volvo cars for several years. He won the Safari Rally two more times and also competed in the Swedish Rally, although not with the same success. When interviewed, he always maintained that the Volvo PV was his favorite model. Joginder Singh passed away in London in 2013 at the age of 81.
Volvo S80 - model year 2016
A number of exterior design cues reinforce the sophisticated contemporary presence of the Volvo S80. The flagship sedan radiates elegant design and attention to detail. The S80 is available with two four-cylinder engines from the Drive-E engine family: the turbo diesel D4 and the petrol turbo T5. Fuel consumption is down to 3.9 l/100 km (102 g CO2 per km) in the D4 version.
Wider and Lower
The front and rear bumpers create a ‘stretched' effect to make the S80 look wide and low. The rectangular Daytime Running Lights at the front give the nose a contemporary look, while the rounded off classic Volvo lights at the rear visually pull the car down to the ground. The S80 can be fitted with expressive 19-inch wheels without loss of comfort. Model year 2016 news include new wheels (17”, 18” and 19”).
It is the attention to detail that gives the S80 its enhanced sophistication, with interior detailing including jewellery knobs and a frameless rear-view mirror.
Luxury interior package
The Inscription Package features a complete luxury upgrade of the interior. This includes Inscription Soft Leather upholstery, leather instrument panel, soft leather on the Inscription embroidered head rests, soft leather center arm rest, unique floor mats and tread plates with Inscription logo.
There is also a selection of single Inscription features, such as a Dark Walnut deco inlay and 19-inch, ten-spoke Bor wheels.
CHASSIS & POWER TRAINS
Choice of three chassis
The S80 buyer can choose from three chassis types - Comfort, Lowered Sport Chassis and Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept).
T5 with 245 hp
The four-cylinder Drive-E engine T5 has 245 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Fuel consumption with the 8-speed automatic is 6,4 l/100 km (149 g/km) in the S80.
D4 at 102 g/km
The D4 Drive-E engine comes with 181 hp and 400 Nm of torque. The engine features world-first i-ART technology that helps to cut fuel consumption. With pressure feedback from each fuel injector instead of using a traditional single pressure sensor in the common rail, i-ART makes it possible to continuously monitor and adapt fuel injection per combustion in each of the four cylinders. Fuel consumption in an S80 D4 with manual gearbox is down to 3.9 l/100 km, translating into CO2 emissions at 102 g/km. Fuel consumption with the 8-speed automatic is 4,3 l/100 km (113 g/km) in the S80.
Adaptive Digital Display
The Adaptive Digital Display uses an active TFT (Thin Film Transistor) crystal display to bring the driver personalized information. There are three themes to choose from: Elegance, Eco and Performance.
The Digital Display theme colors are also echoed in the connected infotainment system Sensus Connect. It features a refreshed user interface with a number of innovative functions offering customers a fully connected experience.
The cloud-based services allow the driver to find and pay for parking from the car, discover new restaurants at the destination, stream favorite music seamlessly and much more. The driver can also have text messages read out aloud without taking hands off the wheel.
The brand new app Connected Service Booking is only the first step in making the dealer workshop fully integrated into the digital eco-system. The car will not only tell the driver when it’s time for service but also suggest an appointment at the Volvo dealership.
The Bluetooth mobile phone service allows hands-free phone conversations as well as music streaming from a preferred Bluetooth enabled portable music player.
Sensus - always on call
One of the most widely appreciated features related to the Sensus offer, Volvo On Call, allows Volvo drivers to communicate directly with their car via a smartphone application to lock, unlock, check fuel levels, pre-heat, pre-cool, locate and check mileage on the car.
For 2015 Volvo On Call will be updated, adding a completely new graphical user interface, enhanced send to car capabilities, diagnostics views and smartwatch support for Android Wear, Apple Watch, iPad support and also voice control via Cortana for Windows Phone.
Premium Sound system
The Sensus family also includes a top-of-the-line Premium Sound system with a 5x130W amplifier with the next-generation sound enhancement software Dirac Live and up to 12 loudspeakers, including a long-throw woofer for enhanced bass, soft dome tweeters for soft highs and large mid-range center and door speakers.
With the Premium Sound system by Harman Kardon the driver can enjoy an immersive sound stage with improved bass performance, while being able to turn up the volume with full audio clarity.
Heated steering wheel and paddle shifters
To give drivers in cold climate extra comfort, three-spoke steering wheels can be specified with electric heating. Cars with automatic transmission can get paddle shifters that give the driver the opportunity to shift gear manually with both hands on the wheel. Cars equipped with a rain sensor can now also get an electrically heated windscreen for rapid de-icing on cold winter days.
SAFETY AND SUPPORT
IntelliSafe, Volvo's blanket name for all active safety systems, is an important part of the driver-centric approach in the S80.
Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology
New advanced software, including more rapid vision processing made it possible to extend Volvo Cars' detection and auto brake technology to cover certain cyclist situations as well.
The Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake is equipped with an advanced sensor system that scans the area ahead. If a cyclist heading in the same direction as the car suddenly swerves out in front of the car as it approaches from behind and collision is imminent, there is an instant warning and full braking power is applied. The technology also detects if a pedestrian steps out into the road in front of the car. If the driver does not respond in time, the car can warn and automatically activate the brakes.
City Safety - active up to 50 km/h
The S80 features a City Safety system that is active at speeds up to 50 km/h. The car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops - or if the car is approaching a stationary vehicle too fast.
Active High Beam Control - more relaxed driving in the dark
The Active High Beam Control helps the driver use high beam more efficiently. It offers automatic switching between high and low beam at the right moment.
Road Sign Information - an extra "eye" on the traffic environment
Road Sign Information supports the driver by displaying road signs in the instrument display. Road Sign Information can be combined with the Speed Alert function, which provides the driver with a visual warning in the speedometer if the speed limit is exceeded.