AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Once upon a time the automotive market was radically different. Just a few decades ago things were much simpler for consumers than they are today. Unless they’re shopping for a new Tesla, buyers face a borderline-absurd number of choices when they walk into a typical dealer showroom. This is why we’re here. Ask AutoGuide’s expertly trained, nationally certified Oracles are ready, willing and usually able to help new-car shoppers in distress. Think of them as caped crusaders fighting for what’s right… as long as they don’t have to get up from their desks or change out of their Velcro Hush Puppies.
The Volvo XC60 crossover is getting a boost in luxurious interior styling with the all new Inscription edition model.
The Inscription edition doesn’t influence the cars performance or ride, it is simply a package for the consumer who wants that added feel of a luxury automobile.
The seats and door inserts are wrapped in semi-aniline quality leather and available in four different color packages: Marble White, Toscana Tan, Off-black and Soft Beige. Inscription also adds a little flair to the exterior of the vehicle with 20-inch wheels and special effect paint. Other added touches include embroidered front headrests, a leather wrapped center console, tread plates with the Inscription logo and electronically controlled lumbar support.
“The XC60 was our top-selling model in 2011 with almost 100,000 units delivered to customers all over the globe. The Inscription version makes our offer even stronger. The exclusive details blended with the dynamic XC capability give the XC60 a truly unique aura,” says Doug Speck, Senior VP of Marketing at Volvo.
The XC60 Inscription can be combined with any XC60 engine option, and will be available worldwide.
The XC60 Inscription will hit dealers by the end of April.
GALLERY: Volvo XC60 Inscription
Volvo has issued out a recall for 2,742 of its 2012 S60 sedan and XC60 crossover for a potential fire risk. The NHTSA recall report cites that an incorrect mixture of underbody coating could have been over applied, resulting in “rigid, icicle-like areas hanging from vehicle’s undercarriage.”
Those icicle-like areas can penetrate the fuel lines causing leaks, increasing the likelihood of a vehicle fire. The recall will begin on April 13th and dealerships will inspect the underbody to remove any excess coating and ensure that the fuel lines have not been damaged. If the fuel lines are damaged, the dealerships will replace them free of charge.
Luckily no crashes on injuries related to the issue have been reported.
The Volvo XC60 is getting a makeover for 2012, but not in the looks department. Aesthetically it will remain the same, but the power plant in the Volvo is getting quite an upgrade.
There are many ways that Volvo is trying to improve fuel economy with this new hybrid system. The XC60 will be run by a four cylinder 280hp turbocharged gasoline engine as well as a 70hp all electric engine which combines to give the XC60 a total of 350hp. There are three power delivery options that you can choose from while driving the XC60; The all electric or ‘pure’ mode that operates the vehicle on just the electric motor and has range of 35 miles, the standard hybrid mode which is a mix of both the electric and gasoline engines and according to the U.S. certification standards gets 50MPG, and the ‘power’ mode which uses both engines to deliver the maximum amount of power and and torque for the vehicle.
The new AWD system on the XC60 will split the gasoline power to the front axle and the electric power to the rear for use in fast accelleration scenarios and getting started in thick road conditions such as snow or mud. The hybrid system will be mated with an eighth-speed automatic transmission which will also help to improve low end torque and fuel consumption.
Volvo claims that on a standard 110V power outlet the cars lithium-ion battery pack will fully charge in 7.5 hours.
In terms of technology, the Volvo is not being left behind. There is an app which has been created so that the driver can check the amount of charge in the car’s batteries. The app will also make it possible to change the climate control settings and see what the status of an ongoing charge is.
The XC60 plug in hybrid has a lot of tricks up its sleeve to save consumers some money on fuel, but we will have to wait and see how this intricately designed system is priced.
Check out the styling on the XC60 in the video after the break.
GALLERY: Volvo XC60 Plug-In Hybrid
GALLERY: Volvo XC60 Plug-In Hybrid
We’ve already been given the scoop on Volvo‘s upcoming V60 Plug-in Hybrid, however, given the nature of that vehicle, it was hardly surprising that Europe was most definitely its target audience.
Considering that North American (and Chinese) buyers clearly have a strong preference for gasoline engined vehicles over diesels, as well as SUVs over wagons, Volvo has now announced that it will build an XC60 Plug-in Hybrid with a petrol engine for these markets, which will make its world debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit .
The news is particularly welcomed by US dealers, providing a much needed boost in the shape of a green “halo” vehicle, at a time when much of Volvo’s vehicle lineup is essentially marking time and (apart from volume sellers like the XC60 and S60) significantly new models are still a ways off.
The XC60 gas/electric Plug-in Hybrid will sport an electric motor producing 70 hp, along with a four-cylinder gasoline engine, resulting in a total power output of 350 hp. According to Volvo, this version will be able to travel a distance of up to 35 miles on electricity alone as well as delivering some 50 miles per gallon in Hybrid mode.
It also uses an innovative electric AWD system, with the gasoline engine powering the front wheels, while electric power can be fed to the rear wheels when accelerating or in low grip situations.
“A plug-in hybrid is the ideal eco-car for today’s conditions,” declared Volvo President and CEO Stefan Jacoby. “It gives a large proportion of motorists sufficient range on electricity for their daily commute. More than half of U.S. drivers cover less than 30 miles a day. With its three driving modes, the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept also offers the owner a conventional model’s interior space, safety, performance and long range. It gives the driver uncompromising flexibility to cover every type of motoring need.”
Although deliveries of the European diesel/electric V60 Plug-In Hybrid are scheduled to begin late this year, so far there’s been no word on US availability of the XC60 Plug-In Hybrid, though it’s likely cars will be on dealer lots sometime during 2013.
GALLERY: Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid
Volvo is living up to its reputation for being a leader in safety, with a new report shedding light on exactly how big an impact the brand’s new City Safety collision avoidance system is having.
According to a study published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), Volvo’s XC60 model, which comes standard with the City Safety system, is involved in significantly fewer crashes than comparable vehicles. And that’s not all. Studying insurance claims data, not only does the XC60 get into 2 percent fewer accidents, but property damage claims are down 27 percent, while claims for personal injuries have been cut in half.
“It is great to see validation from HLDI and IIHS of the safety systems that we at Volvo are continually developing,” said Thomas Broberg, Volvo Car Corp.’s senior safety expert. “This is another step towards achieving our Vision 2020 of eliminating serious injuries and fatalities by the year 2020, and an even larger step towards a crash-free future.”
Along with preventing accidents and saving lives, the City Safety system is also benefiting the insurance companies, with property damage payouts down 20 percent, and overall collision payouts down 31 percent.
Volvo’s City Safety system works by using a laser sensor in the front of the vehicle that scans the road ahead, applying the brakes automatically at speeds between 2 and 19 mph if the driver does not react. At speeds below 9 mph the system can bring the car to a complete stop, while at speeds between 9 and 19 mph it can engage the brakes and reduce the speed at impact by half. Originally a technology only for the XC60 luxury crossover, it is now standard on all 2012 S60, S80 and XC70 models.
“This is our first real-world look at an advanced crash avoidance technology, and the findings are encouraging,” said Adrian Lund, president of HLDI and IIHS. “City Safety is helping XC60 drivers avoid the kinds of front-to-rear low speed crashes that frequently happen on congested roads.”
So could buying a Volvo cut your insurance costs? In the future, perhaps. “The lower claim frequencies found by HLDI prove that City Safety is preventing crashes and thus reducing insurance costs,” said John Maloney, VCNA’s vice president of marketing and product planning. “There’s an opportunity here for insurance companies to begin offering a discount on vehicles equipped with City Safety or similar crash-avoidance technologies.”
As part of their partnership with Volvo, Legoland in California features a pair of Volvo Driving Schools (for different age ranges) that are meant to teach youngsters your basic driving skills and techniques. Of course each Lego-built vehicle at these driving schools resemble Volvos and are Volvo-branded, so it was only a matter of time until employees found a Volvo driver within their ranks to play a prank on.
After finding the perfect target, the employees setup their own General Manager of Legoland California, Peter Ronchetti. As he was leaving for lunch one day, he was treated to a surprise when he realized his Volvo XC60 had been replaced with a life-sized Lego Volvo XC90. The Lego-built Volvo XC90 is a very impressive creation, built from 201,076 Lego blocks and requires a forklift to move around weighing in at 2,934-lbs.
It’s a pretty clever and cute little prank to play on their General Manager. Here’s to hoping he returned the favor to his employees with Lego-built paychecks.
Check out the video after the break.
Like the waistline of its parent country’s bikini models, Volvo is considering trimming down—cutting its product line in half, including its legendary wagons.
Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby believes that in America, its core products are the S60, the XC60 and XC90 SUVs. That means no more S40, no goofy-but-unloved C30 hatchback, and perhaps most egregious of all: no more V50 and V70 wagons. What is Volvo without its longroofs? Who knows, but there will likely be some members of Ithaca, New York’s Free Tibet chapter who will be sorely disappointed.
As Volvo aims to sell 120,000 cars annually—it is currently pushing less than half of that, at 53,948 vehicles for 2010—it is also considering its own captive finance division through its dealers. It will need to ink a deal with a major financial institution, as right now Volvo only offers financing through U.S. Bank.
[Source: AutoNews via Autoblog]
Volvo will reduce the number of models sold in the United States as part of their effort to bump up sales. While Volvo currently sells nine models in the United States, three of them are expected to be cut.
The first victim is expected to be the V50 wagon, a car well regarded by the automotive press but largely ignored by the buying public. Speaking to Automotive News, Volvo’s U.S. chief Doug Speck said that the S60 sedan and XC60 and XC90 crossovers will remain the focus of the brand. That leaves the C70 convertible, C30 small coupe, XC70 crossover, S40 compact sedan and S80 large sedan left as potential candidates for culling.
Volvo sells 50 percent fewer cars than it did at its peak in 2004. One dealer lamented the lack of green products as a major handicap, noting Volvo’s typical owner profile and their frequent association with environmental causes. “The very seriously lacking element in the United States is that we have exactly zero green products — no diesel, no hybrids, nothing,” said Kjell Bergh, a Minneapolis-area Volvo dealer.
[Source: Automotive News]
NHTSA has announced that just over 6,000 2011 Volvos will be recalled due to an issue that could see a fuel cutoff engaged due to the engine computer’s parameter being too sensitive.
Drivers could have the fuel cutoff engaged at an inappropriate time, causing the engine to stall. The defect is present in the 2011 S60, S80, XC60 and XC70 models. Volvo will update the engine computer software free of charge something around December 10th. Owners can contact Volvo at 1.800.458.1552 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volvo is recalling nearly 10,000 cars in the United States due to the possibility of air bags failing to deploy properly. The recall involves 9,746 2010-11 S80 and XC70s and 2011 XC60s and 2010 V70s.
Volvo said that the airbag issue involved “an intermittent fault in the driver’s airbag clock spring wiring connector for the supplemental restraint system.”
Volvo said it has received 142 complaints worldwide regarding the condition, calling it “potentially critical.” Volvo dealers will install a metal shim in the driver’s airbag to remedy the issue.
[Source: Detroit News]
Some rides are better suited for your dogs than others. From your dog’s point of view, all they need is an open window to stick their head out of, but the American Automobile Association (AAA) has put a bit more thought into compiling their list of the best canine-friendly vehicles.
“More than 45 million households in the U.S. have a dog, and many are taking Fido along for the ride on a regular basis,” said John Nielsen, AAA National Director of Auto Repair and Buying Services. “There several vehicles with features that can help keep pets safe, comfortable and easy to clean-up after while also addressing other driver desires such as sportiness, adventure or luxury.”
In order to put together the most through list, AAA Auto Buying’s team of experts test drove and reviewed hundreds of vehicles. The list was based on a wide variety of factors such as crash test ratings, safety features, fuel economy, ease of animal ingress and egress, cargo area size, availability of tie-down hooks and easy-to-clean interiors.
Broken down into six categories, see the winners after the jump:
China’s Geely is planning on moving 150,000 Volvos in China by 2015, a prediction that could very well come true in the world’s largest car market.
According to reports, Geely will manufacture the Volvo XC60 and S60 in China by 2011, while discontinuing production the S40 compact sedan at its Chinese factories. Geely will establish an all-new plant to help meet its sales targets, but the company has yet to announce a location for the factory. Geely purchased Volvo for $1.8 billion in March, making it the largest automotive acquisition by a Chinese company.
We still have more than half of 2009 to go and already the list of 2010 North American Car & Truck of the Year nominees have been picked. That’s because the list is essentially a list of every new model for 2010.
Nominated for car of the year are: the Audi S4, BMW Z4, BMW 335d, BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Fusion, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Mustang, For Mustang GT500, Ford Taurus, Ford Taurus SHO, Honda Insight, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Lexus HS250h, Lotus Evora, Mazda3, MazdaSpeed3, Mercedes E-Class, Nissan Cube, Nissan 370Z, Porsche Panamera, Subaru Legacy, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Golf TDI.
The 2010 North American Truck of the Year list is only slightly shorter and includes: the Acura ZDX, BMw X5 xDrive 35d, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Transit Connect, GMC Terrain, Honda Crosstour, Land Rover LR4, Lincoln MKT, Subaru Outback, Toyota 4Runner and Volvo XC60.
Many off these vehicles have yet to be officially released and some (like the Honda Crosstour) haven’t even been officially named yet.
Jurors will now begin the lengthy process of making a short list, with the final winners chosen at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Last year’s winners were the Hyundai Genesis and the Ford F-150.