My wife thinks the XC60 is “cute,” actually she likes it a lot but she is still hard pressed to give up her S60 T5. The first time I drove XC60, it was hard to believe how nimble it handled. We were driving on mountain roads, way north of San Francisco working with journalists. You know how a car, on winding roads, sets up a pattern of left/right/left/right? It just felt good. No, not over the top Porsche feel, but one of confidence in what was being presented, that XC60 was just right at home handling that road. Down in flatland area, it was just a pleasure to drive. I guess it’s like a car that isn’t demanding but can take what you want to put into it. Throw in our Technology Package and you will have one Swede ride. (sorry, couldn’t resist)
SheKnows 2012 Parenting Awards
SheKnows.com, the web’s largest site for women, publicly announced today this year’s winners of the 2012 SheKnows Parenting Awards. The active community of SheKnows readers voted for select finalists, recognizing outstanding products and services in the parenting industry, based on functionality, quality, safety, convenience and best bang for the consumer’s buck.
Among more than a thousand submissions, the SheKnows team reviewed and tested products to narrow the list down 300 products spread across 75 categories. From there, the voting process was opened to the public online as SheKnows readers carefully voted and ultimately selected 75 winners.
In the Mom Cars category, the Volvo XC60 won the popular vote and the Editors’ Choice award!
Second and third place in our category went to the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, respectively.
For more information, click here: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/awards/parenting-awards-2012/category/just-for-mom
danPosted in Awards, XC60 | 1 Comment »
This just in: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/5/prweb8419083.htm . It ranks our XC90 as the least expensive car to insure. I’d have to say when this car was designed, more than 11 years ago, the intention was and continues to be about accident avoidance and occupant protection.
With the worlds first Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS), we developed a whole new way to help avoid a roll-over accident. With ROPS gyro based technology, it could sense when an XC90 was getting close to rolling over. ROPS applied the brakes to one or more wheels to modulate rolling action. Sure, there are times when rolling is unavoidable, like hitting a curb sideways, or driving into a ditch, but that’s where XC90′s Ultra-High Strength Steel (UHSS) reinforcements in the hood help protect occupants, along with inflatable side curtains.
When we launched XC90, one journalist took to heart our ROPS system. Without our knowledge, he hired a couple of professional drivers, rented an unused parking area and tried to roll over his loaner car. He wrote:
Author(s): Royal Ford Date: October 12, 2002 Page: D1 Section: Automotive
“We put the XC90 through a tight slalom course that in the past, even moving as “slowly” as 40 miles per hour, has lifted a rear wheel or put other SUVs over on two wheels in tilts that only trained drivers could fix. The everyday motorist would have rolled in these situations. The XC90 would not even go up onto two wheels, and the everyday motorist could have been doing what we were doing.”
“We put the XC90 through an emergency lane change (picture traveling at 60-plus miles per hour and suddenly spotting a dead tanker truck 55 feet ahead of you). Slam the ABS brakes, steer around the obstacle, and move back in front of it after passing it. Not easy for an SUV to handle. The XC90 did it with ease.”
“Flat out, this is a car that will save lives.”
The proof is in the pudding.
danPosted in Awards, safety, XC90 | Comments Off
Around 1995, in our Rockleigh office, we had drawings of concepts that VCC was working on. One was an SUV. Then one day the drawing was gone. No one fessed up to taking it, it was just ‘gone’. Rolling forward to 2000 when we showed XC90, I’ll be darned if that wasn’t it..I mean the one on that poster that no one knows where it went…it’s here.
Looking back, and in a sense forward, and listening to Peter Horbury, our design chief, talk about how he, and other designers strive for timeless design, XC90 seems to be heading in that direction. The car has such nice lines, it’s hard to imagine it being penned over 11 years ago, that today it has that strong Swedishness of Volvo. It’s a design that doesn’t ask you to define what the designer was thinking, it’s just one comfortable looking piece of steel.
Considering the technology we introduced with XC90 dates back to 2001, in my opinion, it is still one of, if not the safest SUV being offered. Before the car was launched we pow wow’d how to differentiate our SUV from all others, considering we were about the last to market with one, someone said ‘roll it over’ – so we did. I watched one test, at 35 mph it rolled 3.25 times, what noise.
Amazing how much noise it made, kind of gave everyone goose bumps watching it roll.
Only had one glass crack and aside from being really beat up, the doors remained closed and we could open them up. Actually the only real damage was when the fork lift tried to roll it back on all tires, it punched holes in the doors. So where am I going with this?
James just came back from Mudfest. Held annually up in Seattle, Washington by the Northwestern Automotive Press Association, this event determines who has what it takes to tackle…you guessed it MUD. This year, lots of mud was on hand. Anyway, James called from the SFO airport, waiting for his connection flight home. I could tell he was bummed out, “It’s an old SUV, still looks good but there was so many more newer designed models…we’ll never win.” Told him to go buy a loaf of sourdough bread and get on his flight home. We know technically it’s built tough, it’ll go just about anywhere, it’s all about Volvoness, but knowing journalists, they like the ‘whats new SUV’ factor and, well XC90 is not whats new.
James wrote this press release:
Volvo XC90 still impressive after all these years
2011 XC90 takes top honors in its class at annual NWAPA Mudfest
Irvine, CA (April 4, 2011)- The Volvo XC90 has been awarded yet another accolade at the annual Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) Mudfest. Already a two-time defending SUV of the Year champion (2002 and 2003), the Volvo XC90 was named best Luxury SUV by the group at its recently held 2011 event.
Up against stiff competition from BMW (X3), Infiniti (QX56), Mercedes-Benz (R350 BlueTEC 4 MATIC), and Land Rover (Range Rover Sport), the XC90 3.2 AWD R-Design impressed the Mudfest jurors with its tremendous value, sporty good looks and seating for seven.
“It’s great to see such a grizzled veteran of the Mudfest competition still considered relevant today,” said Doug Speck, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. “To go up against competitors, some of which weren’t around when the XC90 went on sale in 2002, and still walk away with a category win illustrates why the XC90 remains one of our top sellers. I couldn’t be happier.”
This year, Mudfest was held at the DirtFish Rally School in Snoqualmie, Washington. Twenty six of the leading automotive journalists from the Northwest drove and evaluated 20 different 2011 SUVs and crossovers during the competition.
The Pacific Northwest is true SUV territory and remains one of the nation’s top sales markets for the entire line of Volvo’s XC vehicles. During the one-day event, the XC90 was tested vigorously both on- and off-road. Pavement tests allowed the jurors to once again experience Roll Stability Control, the world-first anti-rollover safety system introduced in the XC90. Today, such systems are mandated by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) for SUVs and similar vehicles. Off-road, the XC90 shined with its advanced Instant Traction all-wheel-drive system, which places power to the wheel with the most traction.
I’d say it’s a timeless design.
Have a great week.
danPosted in Awards, news, safety, Volvo History, XC90 | 1 Comment »
So you could say, “how sweet” and “nice children” but what have the rest of us done for reducing our oil consumption? The point that is staggering is that they accomplished their goal. Just look at the numbers below – amazing. Remember, “Think globally, act locally”? I’m certain none of these children thought of this project from that point of view but clearly they succeeded. They will be heading to Sweden this June, which is a great time of year to visit Sweden.
Job well done!
A team of 13-year-old students from Westerly Middle School in Westerly, R.I., will be representing the United States at the Volvo Adventure International Final in Gothenburg this June.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Volvo Adventure, an environmental competition for young students (13-16 years old). The top 10 projects from around the world are selected for a trip to Sweden where they will compete for
The U.S. winners decided to tackle global warming by creating a sustainable project to collect the town’s waste cooking oil, refine it into biofuel and then distribute it. The students, part of team “T.G.I.F. – Turn Grease Into Fuel,” convinced their town to place a grease receptacle at the town’s transfer station to collect waste cooking oil from residents. The group also persuaded 90 local restaurants to donate their waste cooking oil. The students then collaborated with a company to collect the oil and bring it to a waste refiner. The proceeds from the refiner were used to purchase Bioheat from a local distributor to distribute to local charities.
The project has collected over 36,000 gallons of waste oil and produced 30,000 gallons of biofuel a year, which eliminated 600,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. Additionally, 40 families have been helped directly from the team’s purchase of Bioheat.Posted in Awards, General | 1 Comment »
Ok, a little chest pounding and few Viking high fives are going around our office today. Interesting about roof strength standard and IIHS results.
March 24, 2011
Volvo S60 earns Top Safety Pick award
The 2012 Volvo S60 earns the Institute’s Top Safety Pick award for good performance for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, plus standard electronic stability control (ESC).
The previous generation of the S60 earned good ratings in the Institute’s front and rear evaluations, but for 2005-09 it was rated acceptable in the side impact test. The previous model wasn’t evaluated for roof strength in rollover crashes. The new model improves to good in the side impact test, and earns a good rating in the roof strength test. The roof of the S60 withstood a force equal to 4.95 times the car’s weight. By comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight. Institute research demonstrates that occupants of vehicles with strong roofs are much less likely to sustain serious injuries in rollover crashes.
In addition to good crash test ratings, winners must have ESC, an important crash-avoidance feature, which is standard on the S60.
Good weekend to you all. For us on the East side of America, some of our Spring Flowers are starting to show. Nice time of year.
danPosted in Awards, S60, safety | 2 Comments »
Ward’s Auto World, one of our leading automotive industry magazines, does an annual Top 10 engines awards. I asked one of their staffers how they judge what’s best. Basically, 70% of their scoring is based on real-world daily commute driving. How does the throttle response feel? Does it exceed expectations? Is noise/vibration/harshness an issue? The other 30% is about technology. Does it use new, innovative technology? Is torque and horsepower matched?
Here’s more information about this important acknowledgment of Swedish engineering:
Volvo’s Powerful T6 Engine Wins Prestigious Ward’s 10 Best Engines Award
Rockleigh, N.J. (December 7, 2010) – Volvo’s hot new S60 sport sedan continues to impress the pundits with the announcement of its powerful T6 engine being lauded as one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 2011. With a blistering 300 horsepower, 325 lb.-ft. of torque at a low 2,100 rpm and combined fuel economy of 21 mpg, it’s easy to see why.
This year marks a first for Volvo to win the annual award bestowed by the editors of Ward’s. In all, 38 vehicles with new or significantly improved engines were tested and evaluated. “Volvo clearly benchmarked BMW in developing the supremely smooth T6 engine, based on its delicious mid-range power band and paucity of turbo lag,” noted Tom Murphy, Executive Editor of Ward’s AutoWorld in his December 7 article highlighting the awards. “This engine is perfectly suited for the all-new S60 and powers it into contention against bigger, better-established luxury entries.”
The T6 engine, internally known as the B6304T, matches the torque of Volvo’s V8, but makes its power far lower in the rev range: 2,100 rpm compared to 3,950 rpm. While boasting 300 horsepower, fuel economy figures for the T6 of 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway make it one of Volvo’s most fuel efficient engines offered in the U.S. In fact, the T6 engine is 17 percent more fuel efficient than the V8. Aside from the S60 sport sedan, the turbocharged T6 engine is also available in the 2011 S80, XC60 and XC70.
“The S60′s T6 engine is simply the best engine Volvo’s ever produced,” noted Doug Speck, President and CEO, Volvo Cars of North America, LLC. “It’s powerful, smooth, and gets great fuel economy. We’re honored that Ward’s is recognizing the T6 engine as one of its 10 Best for 2011.”
Essentially a heavily modified version of the T6 originally introduced in the 2009 XC60 premium crossover, the goal for the 2011 iteration was to perfectly balance performance with fuel economy and maintain a low environmental impact. Volvo engineers focused their efforts on reducing internal friction, increasing power output and improving fuel economy.
The B6304T T6 benefits from improved valve tappets, which feature Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating. The carbon structure is extremely hard and has self-lubricating properties. The DLC surface reduces camshaft friction, enabling lower fuel consumption and extending service life. Additionally, a new type of Denso Super Ignition Spark Plug results in increased power output, improved fuel economy, better cold starting performance and longer service life. Highly polished cam shafts also result in reduced friction which helps contribute to the T6′s excellent fuel economy and performance.
Volvo also developed new engine management software optimized for fuel economy. The six-speed “Geartronic” transmission received revised mapping software that allowed for a new “Sport” mode. In “Sport” mode, the transmission remaps the shift points, holding the shifts higher in the rev band for improved performance. Other enhancements include revised frame bearings within the crankshaft, a low-friction accessory drive belt tensioner and aluminum water pump housing, all designed with improved engine efficiency in mind.
Volvo will be honored at the upcoming Ward’s 10 Best Engines banquet on January 12, 2011 at the Renaissance Center Marriott in Detroit, MI.Posted in Awards, news, S60, Technology | 2 Comments »
Alex and her lemonade stands first caught the attention of Volvo in 2002 when she received an inaugural Volvo for life Award nomination. The awards program honored hometown heroes doing extraordinary things in their communities. Alex’s determination and unwavering support for pediatric cancer research earned her a Volvo for life Award at the 2003 ceremony in New York City. Despite her deteriorating health, Alex continued to raise money through her stands.
In 2004, Alex set a remarkable goal: call upon the nation to raise $1 million to fight pediatric cancer before the year’s end. Sadly, Alex died Aug. 1 at the age of 8, having raised an amazing $700,000, but with the knowledge that Volvo would help her reach her $1 million goal. The company’s employees and retailers did so in October of that year by selling lemonade.
By the end of 2004, one little girl had made a world of difference, raising $1.5 million. Since then, Volvo has shown unwavering support of ALSF, helping to keep the inspiration and legacy of Alex alive. To date, ALSF has raised more than $35 million.
I had the honor of meeting Alex years ago.
When Alex received her Volvo for Life Award, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Amazing how little children, with their very clear understanding of right and wrong, sense an ability to do something that benefits others.
Please, visit www.lemonadestandforlife.com and buy a few cups of promise for a child in need this holiday season.
From all your friends at Volvo.
danPosted in Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Awards | Comments Off
On July 14, 2010, our simple life saving device, the three-point seat belt, will forever be a part of American history. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History will officially accept Volvo’s three-point seat belt into their collection. On that day, with a press event for media, business, government and Smithsonian officials, a little bit of Volvo will forever be a part of Washington, DC.
About 18 months ago we called the Smithsonian to ask if they were interested in acquiring our three-point seat belt for their collection. After all, 2009 would mark the 50th anniversary of this invention. Calling them was kind of like rolling dice and hoping you connect all the dots in one easy phone call. I should know that by now, nothing is ever easy. As luck would have it, the Museum was working on a collection of automotive safety “firsts” and our seatbelt would be a key acquisition for the collection. However, first we had to document and they had to verify that we were first. Then we had to prove it was fitted as described, and that it was standard in our cars. What we finally agreed upon was that after 1961 all our cars were fitted with that seat belt.
Originally we were just going to give them a seat belt but since the process took so long, we finally had a belt mounted to a mock-up PV 544 driver side seat with floor pan, seat attachments and ‘B’ pillar for auto shows. We couldn’t authenticate the seat or belt came from a 1961, which is what the Smithsonian needed, so we bought a ’61, took out the original equipment and mounted it on a display stand. The Smithsonian then back-tracked the original car to its previous owner, authenticated that it rolled out of the factory with standard-fitted three-point belts, and I thought we were good to go. I felt like I was watching CSI, they were so thorough in their background searching. Thanks to a long time friend and Volvo restorer, Alan Prosser (www.alanauto.com) who tracked down what we needed, got it packed and sent it down to our Rockleigh headquarters. It turned out that finding a good, original seat that’s 50-years old was a tougher task than I could have ever imagined.
For over a year, our display sat, packed, ready to ship, on our loading dock, right next to our trash compactor. Yeah, can you feel the fear I had, almost daily, that someone would consider it trash and we’d be back to first base. I thank the Swedish Viking gods for protecting it from our compactor.
Finally late last month we got the call to ship. The display was repacked, shrink wrapped and sent on its way with kisses from all of us.
I doubt that Nils Bolin would have ever thought his invention would save more than 1 million people’s lives and that it would become standard in all cars, mandated by law in 1972. Through the years, Nils has received many awards and accolades, but I think this one simple donation would stand out as his crowning achievement, aside from personal thanks from people whose lives were saved by his invention.
Today we like to say there is a little bit of Volvo in all cars.
This July, we will be heading to Washington to present our three-point seat belt to the Smithsonian, a very good day for Volvo.
Below is our two-point seat belt. I think we sold it just for couple of years. When I had my first Volvo, ’58 444, there were mounting holes for seat belts, sold as an accessory. I bought a set, installed them and my father refused to use it, and I refused to drive him anywhere.
Good video of our seat belt’s history: http://www.youtube.com/volvocarsnews#p/u/53/xQFrBX84RVYPosted in Awards, customer care, distracted driving, news, pedestrian safety, Quality of Life, safety, seat belt, Volvo History | 2 Comments »
Working here, there is an underlying feeling that what we do helps people. We support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (https://www.alexslemonade.org/), and have since almost day one. Many of our dealerships support local organizations helping to spread the Volvo feeling into other parts of people’s lives.
Teachers are special people. I think they chose their career because it is their way of helping people, they certainly didn’t chose teaching to get rich. We all have one special teacher that changed something in us, turned on a switch into something wonderful, and hopefully helped us in our life journey.
Congratulations to Volvo of Charleston for recognizing just such a person. Here is her story:
Volvo of Charleston is maximizing a way to acknowledge outstanding citizens in its community – and is doing so in a manner consistent with Volvo’s commitment to caring, conscience and character.
For nine years, Volvo of Charleston has donated a one-year lease to the Charleston County School District Teacher of the Year. For 2010, a C30 will be driven to school each day by Maisha Rounds, a teacher who also happened to grow up in the school district.
Rounds was inspired to teach after her high school Teacher Cadet class visited students with profound mental disabilities. She earned a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in community counseling from Winthrop College. Her classroom lessons are arts-infused and multi-sensory. She is often found engaging her students by playing her keyboard to teach new skills and concepts while her students dance and create art. She has coauthored several books, addressing issues that come with special needs, abuse and illiteracy, and she strives to improve the teaching profession by serving as a mentor and professional development trainer for teachers and administrators in the district.
“We got involved several years ago as a way to serve our community and reward our teachers for all that they do,” said Sheila Sines Thomasson, who oversees marketing and business development at Volvo of Charleston. “We also host a get-together for the finalists each year at Volvo of Charleston and we attend the awards banquet.”
It’s evident that Volvo of Charleston understands how civic involvement can have long-term rewards for its community and its business.