All set for the big adventure!
- In-port race gives fleet a chance to test sea legs
- Follow all the action on the big day here
- Sign up for our fantastic new Volvo Ocean Race Game here
ALICANTE, Spain, October 2 – It’s been two long years of waiting but the Volvo Ocean Race returns to action in the opening Alicante in-port race on Saturday with anticipation rising thanks to a new one-design boat which promises the closest competition in the event's 41-year history.
The in-shore showdown marks the first competitive action since Franck Cammas’ French crew on Groupama lifted offshore’s most prestigious trophy back in June 2012.
This time, the seven-strong fleet will be competing for a second competition – the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series – in Saturday’s race rather than points which count towards the overall prize.
Only if teams finish exactly equal on points in the offshore legs at the conclusion of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 in June next year will the in-port positions count as a tie-breaker.
The one-hour race around the southern Spanish port city’s harbour will give crews, media and fans alike the chance to see the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65 boats in serious action.
Whether the event will be a reliable form guide for the race proper is unlikely – in 2011, Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing boat won the in-port race in Alicante and then suffered a broken mast within hours of starting Leg 1 a week later.
But all crews are taking it very seriously with Leg 1 to Cape Town starting exactly a week after the Alicante in-port race on October 11.
“We always look forward to lining up against the other teams,” Walker said. “With the leg start just a week away it’s important that we protect the boat and the sails, but we will be gunning for a good result to kick off the campaign in style and give the fans back in Abu Dhabi something to cheer about.
“All the teams are very competitive and will also be out to win, so I’m sure the race will be an exciting spectacle,” he added.
The crew will welcome Britain’s Olympic medal-winning triathlon brothers Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee as guests on board, two men who know all about sport at its toughest.
The all-women’s crew of Team SCA, the first in the event since the 2001-02 race, were admitting some understandable apprehension mid-week about starting well.
“Although the in-port race doesn’t count towards the final result, we feel like we can still do a good performance and psychologically it’d be good to get a strong start to race properly,” said skipper Sam Davies. “We know that it’s not our strength, we’ve got to work hard.”
The action begins at 1400 local time (1200 GMT). The action will be shown live on www.volvooceanrace.com from 1350.
The teams are Team SCA (Sweden), Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team Brunel (The Netherlands), Dongfeng Race Team (China), Team Alvimedica (Turkey/U.S.), MAPFRE (Spain), Team Vestas Wind (Denmark).
Volvo Cars introduces All Wheel Drive powertrain upgrade for V40 Cross Country
- All-Wheel Drive (AWD) rugged all-road capability
- Reduced emissions and improved fuel economy
- Powertrain upgrade completes a series of enhancements
The successful Drive-E powertrain with a 245 hp petrol turbo T5 engine that was made available earlier this year for the V40 is now being introduced for the V40 Cross Country – with the added capability of AWD.
“Volvo Cars is continuing to evolve the V40 Cross Country with this powertrain upgrade. The combination of the Drive-E T5 engine with AWD will give adventurous customers the power to explore, and all the control they need to be confident in all road conditions,” says Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
With 245 hp and 350 Nm of torque, the V40 Cross Country delivers all the power that drivers have come to expect from a Volvo. Adding to the refinement and fuel-efficient driveability is the 8-speed automatic gearbox with paddles on the steering wheel for manual gear shifting. The upgrade will be available starting mid-fall in Europe, with a global roll-out over the following months.
Impressive CO2 reductions
Since they were introduced last year, Volvo Cars’ ground-breaking four-cylinder Drive-E engines have been widely hailed for their unique ability to combine power and efficiency with a small footprint. Compared to the V40 Cross Country’s previous T5 engine, the new powertrain reduces emissions to an impressive 149 g/km – a level unmatched by the Audi Q3 TFSI Quattro (179 g/km), the BMW X1 BMW X1 xDrive20i xLine auto (170 g/km) or the Mercedez-Benz B-class (SUV) 220 Sport 4MATIC DCT (156 g/km).
This powertrain upgrade continues the series of enhancements that have been made to the V40 Cross Country this year. Other new additions have been a 19” Damara alloy wheel with grey diamond-cut rims, delivering not only extra comfort and off-road capability, but also less noise and added rim protection; plus a new exterior colour, Power Blue, as well as the updated on-board infotainment and navigation system, Sensus Connect, providing customers with a fully connected car.
Volvo Cars reveals the all-new Volvo XC90 R-Design
Volvo Cars has released the first images of the R-Design version of the all-new XC90, aimed at buyers looking for a head-turner that radiates a truly sporty and dynamic look.
“R-Design is created for people with a passion for things that add spice to life,” said Alain Visser, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service of Volvo Car Group. “It appeals to customers that love active driving and a personal, expressive design. Every single R-Design detail is designed to contribute to the individualistic and refined expression these customers desire.”
The visual promise of a dynamic ride is confirmed by the driver-centric interior featuring R-Design sports seats in a Nubuck and fine Nappa leather. A choice of Drive-E powertrains offering up to 400 hp and the completely new XC90 chassis ensure an agile driving experience.
The release of the R-Design follows Volvo’s release of 1,927 individually numbered black First Edition XC90’s which were offered for sale exclusively online and sold out in 47 hours.
Distinctive R-Design detailing
The R-Design exterior includes a number of distinguishing details, such as grille, lower front spoiler, window in silk metal, and a R-Design dual tailpipe surround, integrated bright roof rails and mirror covers in matte silver. 20-inch or optional 22-inch R-Design alloy wheels complete the stylish, dynamic look.
Inside, the sports seats and perforated leather steering wheel are accompanied by special R-Design details, such as gearshift knob, pedals, floor mats and illuminated thread plates. The driver also gets an exclusive R-Design leather key remote control.
Tablet-like touch screen
The tablet-like touch screen in the center console and a 12.3-inch fully graphical driver display are of course included in the R-Design. The driver display also features a unique R-Design theme. The heart of the all-new in-car control is virtually button free and represents an entirely new way for drivers to operate their car and access a range of Internet and cloud based products and services.
New trim level strategy
R-Design is one of three choices in Volvo Cars’ reinvented trim level strategy available in the U.S. The very competitive Momentum trim level is a well-contented vehicle designed to meet the needs of consumers. The Inscription trim level is designed for customers that have a focus on craftsmanship, increased comfort and exclusive features not found on Momentum or R-Design. R-Design’s focus is on a sporty and dynamic aura.
“In principle, we have replaced the previous top level with the Inscription and R-Design versions. Both of them feature an elevated content, carefully chosen to emphasize each of their distinctive individual personalities,” said Alain Visser.