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Volvo Cars launches fully electric Volvo XC40 Recharge as part of new electrified car line
Future Volvo customers will need to answer one fundamental question: do you want a new Volvo with a cord or without one? Today, Volvo Cars introduces the XC40 Recharge, the company’s first ever fully electric car and the first model to appear in its brand-new Recharge car line concept.
The XC40 Recharge, based on the multi-award-winning and best-selling XC40 small SUV, is the first of a family of fully electric Volvos. It represents a true milestone for Volvo Cars: the company’s first electric car and the first Volvo with a brand-new infotainment system powered by Google’s Android operating system.
Over the next five years, Volvo Cars will launch a fully electric car every year, as it seeks to make all-electric cars 50 per cent of global sales by 2025, with the rest hybrids. Recharge will be the overarching name for all chargeable Volvos with a fully electric and plug-in hybrid powertrain.
From early 2020, customers entering the Volvo Cars website will first be asked whether they want a Volvo Recharge car or not. To further encourage electric driving, every Volvo Recharge plug-in hybrid model will come with free electricity for a year, provided through a refund for the average electricity cost during that period.
“We have said this several times before: for Volvo Cars, the future is electric,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Volvo Cars. “Today we take a major new step in that direction with the launch of our fully electric XC40 and the Recharge car line.”
The XC40 Recharge is everything customers expect from a Volvo, with the addition of a state-of-the-art, fully electric all-wheel-drive powertrain that offers a range of more than 400km (249 miles) on a single charge and output of 408hp. The battery charges to 80 per cent of its capacity in 40 minutes on a fast-charger system.
The Android-powered infotainment system is fully integrated with Volvo On Call, the company’s digital connected services platform. Via Volvo On Call, plug-in hybrid drivers can track how much time they spend driving on electric power.
To meet the anticipated growth in demand for its Recharge cars, Volvo Cars will triple production capacity for electrified cars and will, as of next year, prepare a Designer’s Choice selection of popular Recharge models, offering the potential for radically reduced delivery times. Volvo Cars aims for plug-in hybrid cars to make up 20 per cent of total sales in 2020.
Every Volvo model in the range includes a Recharge option, from the XC40 small SUV, via the 60 series cars to the company’s flagship, the XC90 large SUV. Volvo Cars is the only car maker to offer a plug-in variant of every model in its line-up.
The XC40 Recharge and the Recharge car line are also tangible proof points of the company’s ambitious new action plan, also launched today, which represents concrete actions in line with the Paris climate agreement and supports Volvo Cars’ ambition to become a climate-neutral company by 2040.
Double success for Volvo in the What Car? Used Car of the Year Awards
The next best thing to a brand-new Volvo has to be a pre-owned one, with the XC90 SUV proving the perfect choice according to the judges of the What Car? Used Car of the Year awards. Today, the model was crowned the Best Used Luxury SUV, while the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid version took the honour as the Best Used Hybrid.
XC90 practicality, quality and value for money
The judges were enthusiastic in their praise for the Volvo XC90. Mark Pearson, Used Car Editor, said: “A long-time What Car? favourite, the XC90 scoops up our Used Luxury SUV Award, thanks not only to its outstanding practicality and top-notch interior quality, but also to its excellent value for money when bought used. Very few seven-seat cars can offer this level of comfort, space and security in such a stylish and well-equipped package.”
T8 Twin Engine’s impressive abilities
As Best Used Hybrid, the XC90 T8 Twin Engine performance and quality were the standout factors. As the judges remarked: “It’s the XC90 T8’s breadth of abilities that really impressed us. It’s a classy and spacious SUV that’s great value for money when bought used, and it can run for up to 25 miles on electric power alone.
“It’s a real performer, too, being the quickest model in the range, with a nought to 62 mph time of just 5.6 seconds. And unlike other hybrid SUVs, you don’t lose the third row of seats, making it a supremely practical seven-seater, too.”
An ideal choice
The XC90’s qualities that make it such an appealing new car purchase are equally attractive in the used car market. Cool, Scandinavian design is combined with practicality to deliver a functional, user-friendly and comfortable seven-seat interior, finished with high-quality natural materials. And, in common with current Volvo models, on-board connectivity and multimedia provisions are simple and seamless, thanks to the Sensus nine-inch touchscreen system.
The powertrain choice includes petrol, diesel mild hybrid and the acclaimed T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid system, the latter offering the greatest power – 390hp – yet also the highest efficiency, with CO2 emissions from 52g/km.
A pathfinder for Volvo’s brand transformation
Matt Galvin, Volvo Car UK Sales Director, said: “The XC90 was the first model we launched in our complete product renewal programme and it exemplifies everything we want to achieve in terms of making cars that excel in every dimension – from styling, quality and practicality, to ground-breaking use of technology for safer driving and performance. We’re proud to have received these awards which show that the qualities we’ve designed into the XC90 make just as great a proposition as pre-owned vehicle.”
The best way to buy
The best way to purchase a pre-owned Volvo is through our Volvo Selekt approved used cars. All our Selekt cars are prepared to rigorous Volvo standards, including software upgrades to ensure optimum performance. Each car older than five years is sold with a six-moth Volvo Selekt warranty (extendable to 12 months), together with cover for its next MoT test and 12 months’ Volvo roadside assistance.
Volvo extends S60 range with new plug-in hybrid powertrain and trim levels
Volvo has extended its S60 range – the third generation of the firm's premium mid-size saloon – to incorporate further powertrain choices and equipment grades, including an all-wheel-drive petrol-electric hybrid and a trim level that focuses on luxury and craftmanship.
Electrifying hybrid powertrain
The existing T5 turbocharged 250hp petrol unit has been joined by an all-wheel-drive T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain, combining a 303hp petrol engine with an 87hp electric motor for a total output of 390hp. Performance is suitably electrifying, with 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds.
The T8 Twin Engine's 11.8kWh battery provides an electric-only range of up to 36 miles, with CO2 emissions from just 39g/km. Fuel economy (on the WLTP combined cycle) is up to 176.5mpg.
Like the T5, the T8 Twin Engine uses a Volvo Drive-E petrol engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Dynamic or new luxurious trim levels
The R-Design Edition launch trim has been replaced by R-Design Plus and is joined by the new Inscription Plus variant.
New Volvo S60
R-Design Plus is designed to provide a more focused driving experience, thanks to (on T5 versions) stiffer springs, faster-responding monotube dampers, thicker anti-roll bars and a 12mm lower ride height (petrol-electric hybrid R-Design Plus variants come with the standard suspension settings). Other R-Design Plus highlights include a head-up display, gearshift paddles, high-gloss black exterior trim elements, a choice of 18-, 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels, Metal Mesh aluminium interior inlays and part-leather sports seats.
Inscription Plus trim is for those who appreciate their high-end luxuries. The exterior features chrome trim along with a different design of alloy wheels, projecting exclusivity and refined Scandinavian style. Inside, fine Nappa full-leather upholstery and beautifully crafted details such as the Driftwood décor inlays reward the senses. Inscription Plus versions also benefit from cooled seats, on top of the heated seats of other S60s.
Suspension tailored to your preference
The S60 can now be fitted with adaptive dampers. This system allows you to select the firmness of the suspension to tailor the car's dynamics to the road surface or your personal preference. Known as Active Four-C Chassis, the adaptive dampers are optional on T5 R-Design Plus and Inscription Plus versions and are controlled via the S60's standard Drive Mode settings, which also alter the responses of the engine, automatic gearbox, steering, brakes and climate control system.
Commenting on the S60 range expansion, Matt Galvin, Sales Director of Volvo Car UK, said:
"The S60's spring launch couldn't have gone better. The high-specification R-Design Edition variants were extremely well received by both customers and retailers. Now, with R-Design Plus and Inscription Plus, we can offer the choice of a more focused driving experience or something more luxurious – qualities that resonate strongly with private owners and business users in the premium mid-size saloon market.
"Add the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid T8 Twin Engine to the mix and we're sure the extended S60 range will make a significant contribution to Volvo Car UK's continued sales success."
Volvo Cars Tech Fund invests in Israeli technology start-ups MDGo and UVeye
Volvo Cars has made investments in two promising Israeli technology start-ups through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, the company’s venture capital investment arm.
Both UVeye and MDGo have their headquarters in Tel Aviv, where Volvo Cars has been involved with DRIVE, a so-called ‘accelerator’ for young companies in the mobility sector, since 2017. UVeye and MDGo have developed their business in recent years with the help of DRIVE, offering the potential to boost quality and safety respectively. They represent the Tech Fund’s first investments outside the US and Europe.
MDGo is a company specialising in what it calls medical artificial intelligence. By using advanced machine learning technology it aims to save numerous lives by making sure that people are treated according to their specific injury following an accident with their car.
MDGo’s technology will combine real-time data from the car during an accident with medical knowledge with the aim to make automated early and immediate predictions on the type of injuries emergency personnel are likely to encounter at the scene of the accident
This data would be transmitted to trauma physicans and emergency personnel via a cloud-based platform to improve treatment of the people involved in an accident. As such, the technology has the potential to reduce the likelihood of complications and by extension serious injuries and fatalities.
“MDGo’s technology aims to do something that is close to our hearts, which is saving lives,” says Zaki Fasihuddin, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “Their mission as a company seamlessly connects with ours at Volvo Cars, so we are happy to support the continued development of MDGo.”
The Tech Fund’s other investment, UVeye, has developed advanced technology for the automatic external inspection and scanning of cars for damages, dents and scratches. Volvo Cars is not just investing in the company, but is also looking at using UVeye’s technology for conducting full exterior inspection of cars after they roll out from production lines.
Volvo Cars believes using UVeye’s technology could further improve the quality of cars leaving the factory and ensure that even tiny faults are detected. A first pilot is intended to start later this year at its manufacturing plant in Torslanda, Sweden. The technology could also be used during the various steps of the logistics flow and at dealerships.
“Premium quality standards are at the core of the Volvo brand and we are intrigued by the possibilities that UVeye’s technology offers,” Zaki Fasihuddin says. “This type of advanced scanning technology could allow us to take the next step in quality.”
The Volvo Cars Tech Fund was launched last year and invests in high-potential technology start-ups around the globe. It focuses its investments on strategic technology trends transforming the auto industry, such as artificial intelligence, electrification, autonomous driving and digital mobility services.
Since 2018 the Tech Fund has invested in a number of companies, including Luminar Technologies, a leading firm in the development of advanced sensor technology for autonomous cars; Varjo, a maker of high-end augmented reality headsets; and Zum, a ride sharing service for children. Other investments include electric car charging firm Freewire and Forciot, which develops connected, printable and stretchable electronics.
Volvo XC40 crowned New Car of the Year at Motor Trader 2019 Awards
The Volvo XC40 has claimed yet another significant honour, adding the New Car of the Year title in the Motor Trader 2019 Awards to its impressive collection. Its success confirms its status as a game-changing model in the fiercely competitive premium compact SUV market, more than a year on from its UK debut.
Motor Trader's judging panel was full of praise, saying: "The XC40 is a star turn. It shines on all the crucial fronts: convenient size, engaging driving dynamics, impeccable safety credentials and excellent build quality. These combine to make it an outstanding car."
The XC40 was admired for its restrained styling in contrast to more "pumped-up" SUVs, projecting a look that is "more mannerly and less confrontational". The judges were also impressed by the car's ride, handling, performance and refinement, which help make it an accomplished companion over long distances. Further appreciation was given to the "cool Scandinavian interior" and the impressive array of safety features fitted to every version in the range.
Kristian Elvefors, Managing Director of Volvo Car UK, said: "This latest award is a fantastic result, especially because it names the XC40 as the all-round best new car on sale. The XC40 has enjoyed an exceptional reception from the media and public alike, and we will continue to develop and improve its qualities to ensure it remains the car that sets the standard in its class."
The XC40 exemplifies Volvo's transformation of its entire model range. It's a car that addresses all the priorities of today's premium-market customers in a package that is highly desirable yet full of practical touches to make life easier. Its popularity has helped power Volvo's exceptional UK sales growth – up 27% in the first six months of 2019. In fact, more than 15,000 XC40s have been snapped up by customers since its launch in February 2018.
A large part of this appeal is down to the XC40's clean, contemporary Scandinavian styling, while its cabin is a calm, comfortable and luxuriously appointed place to be. It also delivers the latest in seamless on-board connectivity with unmatched safety technology.
The heart of the XC40's connectivity is the Volvo Sensus system, which includes a central nine-inch touchscreen and advanced voice-activated control system. This allows easy control of the car's entertainment and information technology, along with access to a range of online apps. A wireless phone charging pad is also available.
A recipient of the maximum, five-star rating from independent safety testing organisation Euro NCAP, the XC40 has excellent impact protection engineered in, while its array of advanced systems include City Safety, which alerts you to a collision risk and can automatically apply the brakes in an emergency as required.
The XC40 is available with a range of Volvo-designed-and-built engines, engineered for smooth performance with good fuel economy and low emissions across the board. Manual and automatic transmissions are available, together with front- or all-wheel drive, depending on the engine.