Volvo XC90 Named Game-Changer at 2016 Autocar Awards
Seven-seat XC90 SUV praised for 'transforming Volvo's standing'
Honoured for combining cutting-edge technology with comfort, practicality and desirability
Tablet-style infotainment system and ground-breaking safety aids standard on every XC90
Priced from £46,850 and offered with diesel, petrol and innovative plug-in hybrid powertrains
The Volvo XC90 has been named an Autocar Game-Changer at the 2016 Autocar Awards.
Autocar's Game-Changers are those cars that have done the most to move the car industry, or their makers, forwards in the past year – and the XC90 has certainly done that. Built on Volvo's all-new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, the XC90 was the first evidence of the Swedish brand's global transformation. Combining Volvo's world-renowned safety, comfort and practicality credentials, it also moves the game on in terms of connectivity and its range of powerful yet efficient Drive-E powertrains.
Commenting on the award, Autocar's editorial director, Jim Holder, said: "The XC90 has transformed the standing of Volvo in the most striking fashion, combining practicality, comfort and cutting-edge technology in a hugely desirable package."
That cutting-edge technology includes the nine-inch Sensus touch screen control system. This is no ordinary touch screen, however: not only does it include pinch, zoom and swipe functionality – unlike many rival systems – it even works when you're wearing gloves. It provides access to the internet and a range of cloud-based apps and internet radio stations, too.
The Drive-E powertrains also showcase the future of Volvo's engines. The XC90's four-cylinder, 2.0-litre units use sophisticated fueling and boosting technologies to combine efficiency with power. The D5 diesel engine benefits from an innovative solution to increase responsiveness at low revs. Called PowerPulse, it uses compressed air to spool up the turbocharger when it would otherwise be inactive, which helps give the XC90 impressively strong performance from a standing start. The T8 Twin Engine petrol-electric hybrid, on the other hand, combines a total of 407 hp with CO2 emissions of just 49 g/km. It can also travel for up to 27 miles in zero-emission electric-only mode.
Naturally, safety is at the forefront of any Volvo, and the XC90 includes two world-first safety aids: automatic emergency braking at a junction, which will apply the brakes for you if you inadvertently turn into the path of an oncoming vehicle, and run-off road protection, which includes a collapsible section in the front seats to reduce the likelihood of spinal injuries if the car leaves the road.
Nick Connor, Managing Director of Volvo Car UK, said: "We're delighted that the XC90 has been recognized as such a transformative model by Autocar. We're immensely proud of the car and what it heralds for Volvo – both in terms of our new-found style and desirability, but also that it is the first in an entirely new product range due in the next few years. Volvo is on a roll at the moment, and this hon our for the XC90 is yet more proof that our transformation is well on track."
Volvo Cars Unveils 40 Series Concept Cars
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today unveiled two new concept cars that move the Swedish brand in an audacious new direction and mark the official launch of its global small car strategy.
Today’s newly-revealed 40 series concepts demonstrate for the first time how Volvo plans to expand into the large and lucrative global market for premium small cars with a range of vehicles that combine bold exterior and interior design with industry-leading connectivity, electrification and autonomous drive technologies.
The new concept cars will be the first built around Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which has been specially created for smaller cars and which has liberated the company’s designers and engineers to explore bold and daring new directions.
“Each member of our product family has its own distinct character, just like the members of a real family. CMA has helped us to capture something special, something youthful in our new concept cars. They have an energy, a disruptive and engaging urban character that makes them stand out amongst the crowd. This is the flavor of small Volvos to come,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design, at Volvo Car Group.
Volvo’s small car strategy is an essential element in its ongoing global operational and financial transformation. The Swedish company is currently implementing an ambitious revitalization plan that will reposition the brand to compete with its global premium competitors within the next four years.
Volvo’s new global small car range will include a pure battery electric vehicle as well as Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain variants, in line with the company’s commitment to the electrification of its entire portfolio. Volvo plans to have sold a total of up to 1 million electrified cars by 2025 globally.
“By taking a modular approach to both vehicle architecture and powertrain development we have succeeded in leap-frogging many of the players in the premium segment,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development. “Our new battery electric powertrain variant opens yet another exciting chapter in the unfolding Volvo story.”
On top of their daring exterior design and electrified powertrain options, the new cars will also offer a full range of innovative connectivity services, plus the world’s most advanced standard package of safety features and ground breaking Scandinavian interior design.
“The new 40 series cars have the potential to improve our market penetration in an important growing segment,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “An electric powertrain program including both a new compact Twin Engine plug-in hybrid as well as a pure electric car are central to the CMA architecture.” He added that the first new 40 series car is expected to go into production in 2017.
The announcement of Volvo’s new global small car strategy comes on the back of a strong start to the year in terms of sales and profitability.
The company announced revenues for the first three months of the year rose 24 per cent year-on-year to SEK41.7bn, generating an operating profit of SEK3.1bn and an operating profit margin of 7.5 per cent. Global sales for the first quarter of 2016 increased 11.9 per cent to 120, 591 cars. Volvo has a medium term ambition to sell 800,000 cars a year, up from 503,000 in 2015.
Volvo Cars adds comfort and convenience to safety with new generation child seats
Volvo Cars, the first car maker to actively test child seats in crash tests as far back as the early 1960s, is launching a range of three new child seats with a focus on design, comfort and convenience.
As a pioneer in child safety, Volvo Cars’ heritage of development, testing and clear installation and usage guidelines for parents is unequalled.
“We understand that many people find child safety in cars a complex and sometimes confusing subject. We have focused for many years on communicating clear guidelines around how child seats should be used and the correct way to install them,” said Lotta Jakobsson Adjunct Professor, PhD and Senior Technical Leader, Injury Prevention at Volvo Cars Safety Center
Teaching adults how to install and operate a child seat is one thing, getting the child to stay in the seat is another entirely – especially when the child gets older.
“Our focus is on ensuring that young children travel in the safest manner possible, depending upon their size and age. This means rearward-facing up to the age of at least 3 or 4 years and after that with child seats or booster cushions up to 55 inches in height. The safety benefits are unquestionable, yet many parents unwittingly allow their children to sit forward-facing too early. One of the many reasons quoted for this is comfort – the child complains that there is not enough legroom, or is too warm due to the upholstery,” said Lotta Jakobsson.
Volvo Cars’ new generation of child seats is made with a more breathable and comfortable upholstery comprised of 80% wool textile which makes the seats smoother to the touch, highly durable, and better-performing in both hot and cold climates. The seats also have a slimmer design aimed to increase legroom and overall comfort.
“We believe that children will be more comfortable in our rearward-facing new seat and that this will encourage parents to keep their children rearward-facing for longer. This will have a direct impact on overall child safety and support our Vision 2020, where no one will be killed or seriously injured in a Volvo car by the year 2020,” added Lotta Jakobsson.
The new seats are designed to suit the needs of children of different ages and sizes:
- Infant seat - rearward-facing (up to 28 lb or 9 months)
- Child seat - rearward-facing for children from 9 months up to 6 years (least 3-4 years as recommended by Volvo)
- Booster seat - forward-facing for children that have outgrown the rearward-facing seat (from 3-10 years old)
Volvo Cars continues to focus on the importance of children traveling in rearward-facing seats as long as possible.
The new seats, developed with one of the world’s leading child seat makers, Britax-Römer, and tested at Volvo Cars Safety Center in Gothenburg, Sweden, will be available from the beginning of June in selected markets.