New Volvo XC70 D5 AWD receives top marks from Swedish police
Specially developed new chassis underpins Volvo Cars ambitions in global police car market
Following the development of a special, new chassis for police cars, Volvo Cars is now actively targeting a significant increase of its sales of police cars around the globe. The qualities of the new chassis were recently underlined when the Swedish Police designated the 2014 Volvo XC70 D5 AWD as the best car in its fleet after exhaustive tests, with an overall score of nine out of ten.
"The vehicle fleet of the Swedish police is subject to among the most stringent demands in the world and the Volvo XC70 D5 AWD is the best police car we have ever offered. We see a clear opportunity to increase our sales on a number of markets, both in markets where we previously had a presence as well as in entirely new markets," says Ulf Rydne, Business Manager Commercial Vehicles at Volvo Car Special Vehicles and Accessories, where Volvo police cars are developed.
Currently Volvo Cars sells between 500-600 police cars every year. Most of them are sold in Sweden, where Volvo Cars has close to 90 per cent of the market, but Volvo police cars can also be found in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. “With our new model year 2014 cars with the new chassis, we have an even wider product range and we believe we can double our sales numbers in the coming years. Already now, we are in discussions with at least a dozen different police forces around the globe: seven in Europe, two in the Americas and three in Asia. And we are determined to add more to that list,” says Ulf Rydne.
Volvo Cars will continue to offer fully-equipped police cars like it has done for many years. “However, with our new chassis we now also have the possibility to offer police forces a ‘base’ car with only a specially developed chassis,” explains Ulf Rydne. “Police forces can then equip their police cars according to local demands. This approach makes our police cars attractive to a much broader target group, because it allows us to compete on price as well as on quality.”
The new police car chassis has been changed in a number of aspects, including the introduction of new anti-roll bars, shock absorbers and springs. The cars are also subjected to a large number of verification drives on all types of road surface: for example, cars are taken on high-speed driving tests on the German autobahns, winter road driving in northern Sweden, as well as high-friction driving in Spain. Volvo Cars is one of few car manufacturers that have developed a special chassis for police cars.
“We have been working on the development of a new chassis for almost a year. We realised that it was necessary,” says Ulf Rydne. “The weight of police cars is increasing, which requires a stable chassis, and we were approaching the limit. Police forces need a car that performs predictably and does not offer any surprises. That is why we develop our police cars in close cooperation with the Swedish police, who are involved throughout the product development phase. That way, we get first-hand insight into the demands placed on a police car," says Ulf Rydne.
Already last year the XC70 D5 AWD was voted the most popular police car among Swedish police officers, due to its comfort, safety and flexibility. But a recent test by the National Police Board in Sweden of the XC70 D5 AWD with its newly developed chassis resulted in the highest overall grade of all six car makes used by Swedish police. The Volvo XC70 D5 AWD scored ten out of ten in emergency driving and booked an overall score of nine out of ten in the test, that also covers noise, comfort, stability, elk and braking tests and evasive manoeuvres. Driveability, engine performance as well as cornering and braking stability were some of the features highlighted in the test report.
“Unlike in many other countries, the police car is seen as a workplace in Sweden, which means it has to meet very strict demands,” says Ulf Rydne. “So when our car is seen as the best in the Swedish police fleet, it is no wonder that other police forces around the globe are also interested in our offering. Because it has been developed with Swedish standards in mind, the basic quality of the car is excellent.”
Volvo police cars are first built on the production line in the Torslanda factory, and then equipped as police cars in an integrated production process. The process of converting a car into a police car takes around 45 hours. Production for the 2014 model year with the new chassis will commence in late November, with the first new police cars being delivered at the start of next year.
Volvo Car Group releases new edition of award-winning child safety manual
Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) has released the third edition of the company’s book ‘Children & Cars – a Safety Manual’. The award-winning manual helps parents all over the world make sure that their children travel safely in the car. The new child safety manual is available at Volvo dealers globally and can also be downloaded here.
Volvo Cars presented its first rear-facing child seat concept already back in 1967 – and the pioneering work to protect the youngest and most vulnerable occupants in the car has evolved ever since.
The target group for child safety information is growing continuously. Every minute, somewhere in the world, there are new parents putting their precious newborn child in the car for the first time.
“Actually, a child makes its first car trip long before it is born. So our child safety manual describes how pregnant women as well as children of all ages can travel as safely as possible,” says Prof. Lotta Jakobsson, Senior Technical Specialist Safety at Volvo Cars Safety Centre. She adds: “Giving parents easy access to useful information about child safety is a natural part of Volvo Cars’ human-centric approach. Tragedies involving children in cars are often due to lack of knowledge.”
The importance of spreading the word has been acknowledged by customers and society over the years. Volvo Cars’ child safety manual has been awarded several prizes, including the Swedish Publishing Award in 2007.
Rear-facing position safest
Urging parents to have small children travelling in a rear-facing seat remains a core principle also in the latest edition of ‘Children & Cars – a Safety Manual’.
“A child's head is big and heavy relative to its body. Since the vertebrae and muscles of the neck are not fully developed, the consequences can be severe for a young child facing forward in a frontal collision,” explains Lotta Jakobsson. “That is why we advise parents to position the child rear-facing until at least three years of age,” she adds.
Integrated booster cushions
The forward-facing child should still use a child restraint system developed for its age. A belt-positioning booster accommodates these needs. This helps positioning the lap belt over the thighs, not against the child’s belly, in order to help provide safe travelling also for the child. Ingenious, integrated two-stage child booster cushions are available for several new Volvo models.
“Promoting child safety is an important part of our safety work. We keep moving towards our aim that by 2020 no one should be injured or killed in a new Volvo. Our long-term vision is that cars should not crash,” says Lotta Jakobsson.
2014 Volvo XC90 Earns TOP SAFETY PICK+ in IIHS Crash Tests
Luxury SUV embodies real-life crashworthiness and Volvo’s longtime commitment to safety
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Nov. 6, 2013) – In a testament to Volvo’s longtime commitment to passenger protection, the 2014 Volvo XC90 luxury SUV earned a TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Institute’s top safety award.
To earn TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must pass a series of crashworthiness evaluations, including the small overlap front test — a real-life scenario that replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object.
“Small overlap collisions at high speeds are often very severe,” noted Adam Kopstein, safety and compliance manager for Volvo Cars of North America. “For decades, Volvo's research testing has addressed these crash scenarios because our commitment to safety is at the core of our values.”
In its evaluation of the XC90’s performance, IIHS noted:
- Good structural performance in the small overlap front test
- Low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of high severity
- Side torso and side curtain airbags both deployed.
“The XC90’s structural performance was good in the small overlap front test, and the driver’s space was maintained well,” said IIHS in a released statement. “While many vehicles have had to undergo significant structural changes to earn good ratings in the small overlap test, the XC90 has had the same basic platform since 2003.”
Since its launch, Volvo’s XC90 luxury SUV has won acclaim from legions of satisfied customers while receiving many awards internationally. The XC90 upholds a legacy of safety, such as its pioneering introduction of the world’s first Roll Stability Control.
An all-new XC90 will debut at the end of 2014 and go on sale in early 2015. It will feature Volvo’s next-generation safety and driver-support technologies, including Pedestrian Detection in Darkness and Road Edge and Barrier Detection with Steer Assist.
“In a competitive marketplace where every brand tries to stake its own claim to safety, Volvo continues to affirm our leadership,” said Volvo Cars of North America President and CEO Tony Nicolosi. “We very much appreciate the attention IIHS gives to real-life scenarios such as small overlap collisions and are proud of the XC90’s performance.”
The XC90 is the third Volvo model to earn the TOP SAFETY PICK+ accolade since the Institute began testing for small overlap protection in 2012. The 2013 Volvo S60 luxury sedan and 2013 XC60 crossover each earned the prestigious honor during earlier tests.