All to play for
ABU DHABI, December 15 – One design racing has so far served up just the outcome Volvo Ocean Race fans, sailors and organisers alike had hoped for with the introduction of the new identical Volvo Ocean 65s – incredibly close-fought racing and thrilling finishes.
After Leg 2 was brought to a close when Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) sailed in to Abu Dhabi in the dead of night in sixth place, the standings showed three boats locked together on four points at the top.
Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED), winners on Saturday of the latest stage of the race between Cape Town and Abu Dhabi, are ranked highest on the scoreboard as victors of the most recent leg.
But Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), who claimed the first leg between Alicante and Cape Town, and Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA), who finished as close runners-up in the opening two stages, are also on four points and equally ideally placed.
The three joint leaders are clearly the form horses in a fleet that has been, for the moment, reduced to six following the grounding of Team Vestas Wind’s (Chris Nicholson/AUS) boat on a reef near St. Brandon in the middle of Indian Ocean.
But fourth-placed MAPFRE (Iker Martínez/ESP), Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA) and Team SCA all have grounds for optimism despite finishing in the Leg 2 pacesetters’ wake on Sunday and Monday.
The Spanish boat, MAPFRE, enjoyed a beautiful Emirati sunrise before easing into Abu Dhabi in fourth place after 24 days 11 hours and 18 minutes at sea on Sunday morning.
They finished just off the podium, but there were plenty of smiles on board Martínez’s boat following their considerable improvement on Leg 1, when they finished seventh and last of the fleet.
“We’re very happy, the improvement since Leg 1 is huge and I’m proud of everyone doing a good job,” said Martínez. But he couldn’t help thinking about what might have been, adding ruefully: “We were leading at one stage.”
Team Alvimedica’s young crew could also congratulate themselves on the many positives of their leg that took a detour on November 29 when they sailed to the assistance of the stricken Team Vestas Wind.
They still have the option of a claim for redress for their actions to be heard by an independent, ISAF-appointed, international jury.
For now, though, Enright wants to reflect quietly on the performance and pinpoint where improvements can be made.
“Part of us wants to start Leg 3 tomorrow, but it will be good to have some time to rest and reflect,” said the 30-year-old skipper. “We’re excited about where we are. It’s just a matter of refining some small things.”
Team SCA, who came home at 2223 UTC late on Sunday, were frustrated at finishing sixth, but bursting with determination to put it right on the next stage.
“We are determined to grow from our mistakes and take the time in the next two and a half weeks to really fix them,” said the team’s Onboard Reporter, Corinna Halloran.
“The debrief might possibly be the most important debrief to date, as we now fully understand the complexities of the race and the other teams. We will analyse, in detail, our strengths and weakness in order to capitalise oxn our strengths and remedy our weaknesses.”
The crews will now take a breather over Christmas while the shore crews check out the boats for the next three weeks. The Abu Dhabi in-port race will be held on January 2, before the fleet sets sail again for the open seas for the 4,670-nautical mile Leg 3 to Sanya in China the following day.
Volvo Cars Drive-E T5 wins Ward’s 10 Best Engines of 2015 award
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Dec. 11, 2014) -- Volvo Cars has received yet another award for its highly successful Drive-E powertrain family. The prize, announced on December 10th at WardsAuto Outlook Conference in Southfield, Michigan, marks further recognition of Volvo’s highly successful Drive-E powertrain technology.
“The Drive-E powertrain family represents one of the jewels in the Volvo Cars crown. With the development of our 4-cylinder engine architecture we have delivered a broad offering of both gasoline and diesel powered engine variants that are also designed for hybrid applications, as can be seen in our new XC90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid. We have concentrated on finding the sweet-spot where performance meets efficiency, and we believe that this award once again reflects our success in this endeavor,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.
A jury of eight WardsAuto editors tested 38 competing engines throughout October and November this year during their daily commutes in and around Detroit. The tested engines were awarded points based on horsepower, torque, drivability, noise mitigation, flexibility, observed fuel economy and on-board technology.
The Drive-E T5, a turbocharged 4-cylinder, combines Brake Energy Regeneration, Start/Stop, ECO+ Technology and a smooth eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission to great effect on this front-wheel drive model, returning 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway.
“We are very pleased to receive this award for our 4-cylinder Drive-E engine. It is further proof, if required, that 4-cylinder turbocharged engines are the perfect solution for the majority of today’s driving needs. We have worked hard to deliver the perfect balance between performance and efficiency, whilst ensuring a dynamic, yet comfortable ride,” said Michael Fleiss, Vice President, Powertrain at Volvo Car Group.
The award comes hot on the heels of the formal announcement by Volvo Cars that they are also developing a 3-cylinder gasoline engine for their future small and medium car models.
Among the 2.0L turbocharged engines tested by the WardsAuto jury were:
Volvo S60 / 2.0L T5 turbo 4-cyl.
Volvo S60 / 2.0L T6 turbo and supercharged 4-cyl.
Subaru WRX / 2.0L FA 4-cyl. boxer turbo
Mini Cooper S Hardtop / 2.0L turbo 4-cyl.
Lexus NX 200t / 2.0L turbo 4-cyl.
Hyundai Sonata / 2.0L turbo 4-cyl.
Chevrolet Cruze / 2.0L turbodiesel 4-cyl.
Audi S3/VW GTI / 2.0L EA888 turbo 4-cyl.
Acura TLX / 2.4L 4-cyl.
Volvo Car Group already testing its new three-cylinder engine
- New 3-cylinder engine developed by Volvo Cars in Sweden
- Volvo’s next step in its impressive Drive-E powertrain program
- Broad range of performance levels up to around 180 hp
Volvo Cars today confirms its production program to develop a lightweight 3-cylinder petrol engine. The engine, wholly developed in Sweden, will join the class-leading 4-cylinder Drive-E engines in displaying Volvo’s engineering prowess and commitment to efficient power.
“We have come a long way in the last few years at Volvo. Investments from our parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, have enabled us to recapture our position as a leader in the field of powertrain engineering. The development program for the new 3-cylinder engine is very advanced and we have already begun prototype testing of the unit,” says Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.
Volvo has a long history of developing its own unique 6, 5 and 4-cylinder engines and in-house expertise. The move to include a 3-cylinder in Volvo’s engine program is a natural next step in Volvo’s strategy of downsizing. The application of class-leading technology and analysis techniques enables more power and better fuel economy from smaller displacement internal combustion engines than ever before.
“We have learned a lot from the development of our 4-cylinder Drive-E engines and translated this into a highly responsive, compact and powerful premium-quality 3-cylinder engine. The engine is being developed primarily with our new CMA architecture in mind but will also provide power for our 60 Series cars thanks to Volvo’s advanced turbo technologies, while also meeting Euro 7 emission targets,” says Michael Fleiss, Vice President Powertrain at Volvo Car Group.
Built with a keen eye on the future, the new Drive-E 3-cylinder engine is designed to support several different applications, in-line with the growing demand for a real-world blend of performance and efficiency.
“The beauty of the new 3-cylinder engine we are developing is that it can be built on the same production lines as our 4-cylinder engine, offering flexible production potential which can be adapted to suit business needs as we grow. This marks an important step forward for Volvo Cars. In terms of our power and efficiency, Volvo’s engineering excellence will shine through with the Drive-E 3-cylinder engine,” concludes Dr. Mertens.