Volvo S60 receives top score in new IIHS rating
New crash test aims to drive improvements in frontal collisions.
The 2012 Volvo S60 is one of only three mid-size luxury and near-luxury cars out of the 11 evaluated to earn good or acceptable ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new small overlap frontal crash test. Wholly supported by auto insurers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an independent, non-profit, scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries and property damage from automotive collisions.
The Volvo S60 and the Acura TL earned good ratings, while the Infiniti G only earned an acceptable score. The Acura TSX, BMW 3 series, Lincoln MKZ and Volkswagen CC scored even lower, receiving marginal ratings and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS 250/350, Audi A4 and Lexus ES 350 earned the ranking of ‘poor.' All cars tested were 2012 models.
In the test, 25 percent of a car's front end on the driver side strikes a 1.5m tall rigid barrier at 64 km/h. The test is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. "Nearly every new car performs well in other frontal crash tests conducted by the Institute and the federal government, but we still see more than 10,000 deaths in frontal crashes each year," Institute President Adrian Lund says. "Small overlap crashes are a major source of these fatalities. This new test program is based on years of analyzing real-world frontal crashes and then replicating them in our crash test facility to determine how people are being seriously injured and how cars can be designed to protect them better. We think this is the next step in improving frontal crash protection."
Most modern cars have safety cages built to withstand head-on collisions and moderate overlap frontal crashes with little deformation. At the same time, crush zones help manage crash energy to reduce forces on the occupant compartment. The main crush-zone structures are concentrated in the middle 50 percent of the front end. When a crash involves these structures, the occupant compartment is protected from intrusion, and front airbags and safety belts can effectively restrain and protect occupants. Small overlap crashes are a different story. These crashes primarily affect a car's outer edges, which aren't well protected by the crush-zone structures. Crash forces go directly into the front wheel, suspension system and firewall. It is not uncommon for the wheel to be forced rearward into the footwell, contributing to even more intrusion in the occupant compartment and resulting in serious leg and foot injuries. To provide effective protection in small overlap crashes, the safety cage needs to resist crash forces that aren't tempered by crush-zone structures.
Structurally, the Volvo S60 was best. With only a few inches of intrusion, the occupant compartment looked much the same as it did in a moderate overlap test. Reinforcement of the S60's upper rails and a steel cross member below the instrument panel helped to keep the safety cage intact. Volvo has performed similar small overlap tests as part of its vehicle safety development process since the late 1980s, taking the results into account when designing new models. "These are severe crashes, and our new test reflects that," Lund says. "Most automakers design their vehicles to ace our moderate overlap frontal test and NHTSA's full-width frontal test, but the problem of small overlap crashes hasn't been addressed. We hope our new rating program will change that."
(VCOA Commentary: Watch the Audi, Lexus, Lincoln and Volkswagen overlap tests as well. Pay particular attention to the Airbag shots at about 25 seconds.)
The Institute's TOP SAFETY PICK award recognizes passenger vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover and rear crashes based on ratings in Institute evaluations. The front rating is based on the moderate overlap test. The Institute plans to make the top award criteria more stringent by adding the small overlap frontal test to its battery of evaluations.
"We won't have evaluated many vehicles in the small overlap test in time for the 2013 award," Lund explains. "Models meeting the current award criteria still offer outstanding protection in most crashes, and they will continue to earn TOP SAFETY PICK in 2013. However, those vehicles that also do well in the new test will get to claim a higher award level that will be announced later this year."
Volvo C30 Electric awarded "Green Car of the Year" in China
More E-cars delivered to SIAC as Volvo Drive-E Action carries on
While the Shanghai International Automotive City Group (SIAC) marked its first anniversary of the electric vehicle (EV) campaign on July 20, 2012, Volvo Car Corporation delivered 15 Volvo C30 Electric cars to the City for pioneering open road test-drive project - EV100 Days. Meanwhile, Volvo C30 Electric was also awarded "Green Car of the Year" in China at the 4th China New Energy Mobility Summit in recognition of its world-leading safety and superb performance on the same day.
According to Freeman Shen, Senior Vice President of Volvo Car Corporation and Chairman of China Operations, delivering Volvo C30 Electric to SIAC and launching of public road test drives represents a solid step of Volvo Car Corporation in the process of promoting new energy vehicles in China, and as a result of Volvo's Drive-E corporate strategy which covers optimization of traditional combustion engines, and development of plug-in hybrids and electric ones.
"We feel honor yet responsibility to share our world-class know-how in new energy vehicles with China, our second home market, in joint efforts from regulators, suppliers and customers. We're confident to take a prominent role in China's safe and sustainable electrification development, making cars for a better life," said Freeman.
A fleet of 15 Volvo C30 Electrics to join SIAC's EV100 real road test-driving
As a substantial step forward since Volvo Car Corporation signed the MoU with SIAC last November on new energy vehicle demonstration and data collection, Volvo delivered 15 electric cars for public testing during the first anniversary of SIAC's EV campaign. A recruitment call was made for open road test-drive projects - EV100, a period of some three months in which qualified volunteer drivers can own and drive a Volvo C30 Electric.
The first group of pilot users include Ms Charlotta Holm Vestberg, Consular of the Swedish Consulate in Shanghai, and Mr Gao Yuan and Ms Ji Xueping, famous local TV anchors with Dragon TV.
"The handover and kick-off of public involvement is a milestone for Volvo Car Corporation's new energy vehicle move in China. We are really proud to introduce this great car to ordinary Chinese car users," said Freeman Shen.
By starting this project Volvo Car Corporation will be able to collect more data about the C30 Electric's performance on Chinese roads as well as the driving habits of Chinese consumers, by monitoring and analyzing operation of these cars. The company will in turn be able to translate the knowledge acquired during the project into future product development. The study will also provide a reference for mass promotion of electric vehicles in China and the development of next-generation electric vehicles.
During the project, Volvo Car Corporation will support local government's efforts in industrialization of new energy vehicles, providing technical supports, building infrastructures, promoting EV and used EV sales, car insurance, annual checkups, as well we road traffic management. Volvo Car Corporation will share with local government its experience in business operations and management of the new energy vehicle industry accumulated overseas.
C30 Electric carries on Volvo's Safety legend
In the second half of Volvo Cars China operations' Drive-E experience day, the 4th China New Energy Mobility Summit was held at SIAC. Influential speakers and nationwide press gathered to share insights into "Action towards a safe electrification". The occasion comes right after a recent launch of China National Energy Saving & New Energy Automotive Development Plan, and therefore drew wide attention.
Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development, Volvo Car Corporation delivered a keynote speech on Volvo's electrification strategy and technology roadmap, featuring Volvo's safe green cars with no compromise of performance, functionality and appearance, from normal Drive-E versions, V60 plug-in hybrids to C30 electric. "We are focusing on future development. China is crucial, so we're open and committed to develop green solutions with local partners here and around the world." Peter Mertens stated.
The summit awarded Volvo C30 Electric "Green Car of the Year" in China to recognize its uncompromising performance and world leading Safety.
Volvo awarded Vincentric 2012 Best Fleet Value in Canada
TORONTO, ON (July 11, 2012) - The first annual Vincentric Best Fleet Value in CanadaTM awards were announced today, with Volvo receiving three nods in the premium wagon and crossover segments. To determine the 2012 Vincentric Best Fleet Value in Canada awards, Vincentric analyzed over 1,700 vehicle configurations in 24 different lifecycle cost scenarios, using eight cost factors including depreciation, fees and taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost, and repairs. The lifecycle costs were measured in all ten provinces, with the resulting 3,000,000+ lifecycle cost measurements then reviewed to determine the winning vehicles.
"We are very pleased to receive these three awards from Vincentric," says Brad Painter, national marketing manager for Volvo Cars of Canada, "These accolades reinforce the fact that in addition to offering luxury and versatility, Volvo's XC range offers tremendous value."
Awarded for offering a cost efficient fleet line-up, each model in Volvo's XC range was honoured:
- Volvo XC60 3.2 FWD: Crossover, Compact, Premium
- Volvo XC70 3.2 AWD: Wagon, Premium
- Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD: Crossover, Mid-Size, Premium
"With the continued globalization of the automotive industry, we felt it was essential to analyze total cost of ownership of fleet vehicles in Canada", stated David Wurster, President of Vincentric. "We are excited to help Canadian fleet organizations better understand and evaluate Canada specific lifecycle costs to help make informed vehicle selections," he added.
Further information regarding all of the winners of the Vincentric Best Fleet Value in Canada awards for the 2012 model year and the Vincentric methodology is available at http://cts.vresp.com/c/?Vincentric/8b27370815/194f8b1771/e0037dbc1b.
Volvo Cars of Canada Corp. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Gothenburg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 41 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. Volvo lead the list of luxury car brands in the 2012 Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with winners including the Volvo C30, S60, S80, XC60 and XC90.