Luxury-oriented Volvo XC90 Excellence arrives in Australia from $174,200 plus ORCs
2 Aug 2018
VOLVO Car Australia has added a new top-spec variant to its XC90 large SUV range in the form of the T8 Excellence that eschews the traditional five-seat...Read more
15 Jun 2018
VOLVO has continued to tease the third-generation S60 ahead of its reveal on June 20, with the sedan confirmed to usher in a performance-focused Polestar Engineered flagship grade for all mid-size 60-series models, including the XC60 SUV and V60 wagon.
The new addition to the incoming S60 range is significant considering the Polestar sub-brand has been spun off by Volvo as a standalone electrified performance brand, but their affiliation – most notably seen on the current-generation S60/V60 Polestar – will carry on.
According to Volvo Cars president and chief executive officer Hakan Samuelsson, Polestar Engineered is just one of the first steps in the new relationship between Volvo and Polestar.
“Electric cars are our future,” he said. “Today starts a new era of Volvo electrified models enhanced by Polestar’s performance engineering prowess. This strategy is firmly grounded in our shared belief in an electric future for the car industry.”
Based on the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, Polestar Engineered features an uprated petrol-electric powertrain that produces a BMW M3-rivalling 309kW of power and 670Nm of torque, up 11kW and 30Nm. Conversely, the S60/V60 Polestar develops 270kW and 470Nm in its most potent form.
In order to achieve Polestar Engineered’s increased outputs, the Swedish car-maker has retuned the set-up’s Engine Control Unit (ECU) and eight-speed torque-convertor automatic transmission. Improved fuel consumption and emissions-neutral performance is also promised.
Polestar Engineered is visually distinguished by its Y-spoke alloy wheel design, gold-painted Brembo mono-bloc callipers, slotted discs, black-chrome exhaust pipes, gold seatbelts and Polestar badging.
The multi-link front and rear suspension adds adjustable Ohlins shock absorbers “with a dual-flow valve that allows stiffening in the springs and dampeners while retaining comfort”, according to Volvo. The designs of the strut bar and shock absorber are shared with the Polestar 1 sportscar.
Volvo Cars senior vice-president of research and development Henrik Green added that Polestar Engineered delivers on its performance brief.
“The new S60 T8 Polestar Engineered is an electrified car that does what you want it to,” he said. “All components have been fine-tuned to work together, delivering a responsive and exciting driver’s car.”
Given it is the first Volvo model to be manufactured in the United States, the S60 will be revealed at the inauguration of the marque’s plant in Charleston, South Carolina, while its mechanically related V60 counterpart broke cover at the Geneva motor show in March this year.
The S60 – including Polestar Engineered – will officially enter production in the third quarter this year, while Polestar Engineered versions of the XC60 and V60 will start being built in 2019.
As previously reported, the S60 will be the first Volvo model to not be developed with a diesel powerplant, marking the company’s first step towards phasing out internal-combustion engines.
However, the model’s future in Australia remains undecided, with Volvo Cars Australia managing director Nick Connor telling GoAuto last month that the suitability of the S60 and V60 continues to be reviewed due to the increasing popularity of SUVs, such as the XC60.
Sales of the S60 have taken a significant hit this year during its run-out, with 29 examples sold to the end of May, representing a 65.5 per cent decrease over the 84 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.
15 Jun 2018
VOLVO has continued to tease the third-generation S60 ahead of its reveal on June 20, with the sedan confirmed to usher in a performance-focused Polestar Engineered flagship grade for all mid-size 60-series models, including the XC60 SUV and V60...Read more
7 May 2018
By TERRY MARTIN
THE fully electric version of Volvo’s new XC40 small SUV due late next year or early in 2020 will be the Swedish brand’s first foray into zero-emissions motoring in Australia, bolstering a burgeoning range of electrified vehicles that will include all-electric and plug-in hybrid variants in every model line.
The XC40 range launched last week will expand in late 2019 with the car-maker’s first three-cylinder engine – an economical 115kW/265Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol T3 unit that will also be combined with an electric motor to produce the T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid variant that is expected to launch alongside the full-electric version around the same time.
Volvo Car Australia’s new managing director Nick Connor confirmed the model rollout to GoAuto – noting that the launch of the electrified versions could push into early 2020 – and reaffirmed its commitment to the global strategy that will see all new models released from 2019 available as either a mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid or battery-electric vehicle.
Mr Connor said Volvo Car Australia had an obligation and responsibility to offer electrified vehicles wherever possible, despite the segment only accounting for a fraction of total new-vehicle sales.
He did emphasise, however, that the Australian subsidiary’s ability to achieve Volvo Cars’ just-announced new target of 50 per cent of global sales coming from fully electric cars by 2025 would depend on broader issues such as consumer attitudes and the rollout of recharging infrastructure.
“We have to be mindful of what consumers actually want,” he said. “We can make these bold statements, but ultimately consumers get to decide, and that’s the way it should be.
“Honestly, I think it’s a bold ambition, I think that in some markets it’s almost certainly achievable, and you can see what happens in markets like Norway where there’s big incentives for electric cars, the take-up is phenomenal.
“I don’t think it’s impossible, but what percentage we do in a particular market is going to be determined by the infrastructure, it’s going to be determined by tax incentives, those things are out of Volvo’s control.
“Ultimately, we’ll follow the market, we’ll have the electrified product offers here if consumers want it, but with the best will in the world, we’re not going to drive people into electrified cars if there isn’t an appropriate infrastructure or incentive for them.
“We’re committed to hybrids and fully electric cars (in Australia). My personal view is that if we’ve got a full plug-in electric vehicle, we should offer it, even if the numbers initially are quite small.
“We’re going into a new part of the market and I think we should lead. We have a responsibility to lead if we’ve got the products available. What volume we ultimately do by 2025 is not entirely up to us but I think we should put the offer out there, we’ll promote it, and promote its benefits.
“It’s not going to suit everybody and we have to accept that, but those it does suit I think we’ve got an obligation to try and persuade them.”
7 May 2018
By TERRY MARTIN
THE fully electric version of Volvo’s new XC40 small SUV due late next year or early in 2020 will be the Swedish brand’s first foray into zero-emissions motoring in Australia, bolstering a burgeoning range of electrified vehicles that will include all-electric and plug-in hybrid variants in every model...Read more
Volvo XC60 wins World Car of the Year, beating Mazda CX-5 and Range Rover Velar
29 Mar 2018
A JURY of motoring journalists from around the world has crowned Volvo’s XC60 luxury medium SUV the 2018 World Car of the Year. Announced at the New York motor show overnight, the award whittled down an initial list of 34 vehicles to a shortlist of three – the XC60, Mazda CX-5 and Range Rover Velar – before a final vote gave the Swedish SUV the nod. The trophy – the 12th in the annual awards announced in New York each year – was handed to Volvo Cars president and CEO Hakan Samuelsson who commented: “I am pleased to see our company’s product investments paying off.” The XC60, which also won Wheels magazine’s Car of the Year award for 2017 in Australia, is the second in a string of three all-new SUVs from Volvo, sandwiched between the large XC90 and small XC40. While the XC60 got the top gong, other cars picked up prizes. Nissan’s new second-generation all-electric Leaf – which Nissan had hoped would become the first car to win WCOTY twice – had to settle for World Green Car, while the Audi A8 was dubbed World Luxury Car. The Range Rover Velar picked up a consolation award by winning World Car Design of the Year. BMW’s M5 was named World Performance Car, while Volkswagen’s Polo was crowned World Urban Car. Last year’s WCOTY was won by the Jaguar F-Pace, while the 2016 award went to Mazda’s MX-5.