Volvo celebrates 90th birthday with production of first new XC60

Volvo celebrates 90th birthday with production of first new XC60

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, will this month start production of its new XC60 mid-size SUV in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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The new XC60 will leave the factory 90 years to the month after the first-ever Volvo, the ÖV4, saw the light of day on 14th April 1927.

This first Volvo sold a total of 275 vehicles in its lifetime, which was modest even in those days. The new XC60 replaces one of the best-selling models in Volvo's 90-year history.

The new XC60 replaces the old

Volvo's original XC60 became a phenomenon, with climbing sales every year since it was introduced in 2008. Seven years after it was revealed, it became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe, and in its ninth year it is still the best seller.

The current XC60 today represents around 30 per cent of Volvo's total global sales, and this month the number of original XC60s produced will surpass 1,000,000.

"Volvo is very proud of its history. The past 90 years have been exciting, but the 10 years left until the 100-year anniversary may come to be more exciting as industry focus shifts to autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity," says Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars. "The new XC60 is in many ways the embodiment of these trends."

The new XC60 is one of the safest cars ever made and offers the latest in safety technology, including the new Oncoming Lane Mitigation system, which uses Steer Assist to help mitigate head-on collisions.

Volvo's semi-autonomous driver-assistance system, Pilot Assist, which takes care of the steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h, is available in the new XC60 as an option.

With the new XC60 now on the market and gradually becoming available for order on markets across the globe, Volvo is set for another record year of sales in 2017.

90-year anniversary

Volvo's founder, Assar Gabrielsson, saw an opportunity for car manufacturing in Sweden after having observed the growing auto industries in the US and Europe from his position within sales at the Swedish ball bearing maker SKF, a supplier to the car industry.

Pointing towards Sweden's readily accessible steel, cheap labour and skilled engineers, he managed to convince SKF to invest in a spin-off car business called AB Volvo.

The first mass-produced Swedish car was quite a conventional vehicle, with elements of American car design, a wooden frame made of ash tree and beech, a 1.9-litre side-valve engine and artillery wheels with wooden spokes.

Only one colour combination was available: dark blue with black fenders.

Despite all these changes over the past 90 years, one thing has remained the same: the company's commitment to making the world's safest cars.

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class packed with even more autonomous technology

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class packed with even more autonomous technology

Intelligent Drive takes another step towards autonomous driving.

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Several new engines are planned for the new S-Class: in-line six cylinders as diesel and petrol engines as well as a new V-8 biturbo petrol engine. In addition, Mercedes-Benz plans a plug-in hybrid with an electric range of about 50 kilometres. At the same time, ground-breaking technologies such as the 48‑volt Integrated Starter Alternator and the electric booster compressor) celebrate their world première.

The top-of-the-range model of Mercedes-Benz takes another big step towards autonomous driving and elevates Intelligent Drive to the next level. DISTRONIC Active Proximity Control and Active Steer Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of curves or junctions. MULTIBEAM LED headlamps and ULTRA RANGE High Beam turn night into day.

"The development of the new S-Class was extremely extensive. With a whole series of new features and functions the S-Class remains the technological pioneer," said Ola Källenius, responsible on the Board of Daimler AG for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

The flagship from Mercedes-Benz was the best-selling luxury saloon in the world in 2016. Since 2013, the company sold well over 300,000 saloons. Today there are six different S-Class body variants.

Intelligent Drive: the next step in driving assistance systems

The new S-Class takes another major step towards autonomous driving, elevating Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level. DISTRONIC Active Proximity Control and Active Steer Assist now provide even more comfortable support for the driver to keep a safe distance and steer. The speed is now adjusted automatically ahead of curves or junctions. This is complemented by a considerably improved Active Lane Change Assist and additional functions of the Active Emergency Stop Assist.

Thanks to enhanced camera and radar systems, the new S-Class has an even better view of the surrounding traffic: In addition, for the first time it makes use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behaviour.

This means that DISTRONIC Active Proximity Assist is able to assist the driver in many situations based on the route, and conveniently adjust the vehicle speed.

The "Assistance Graphics" menu of the instrument panel shows the driver at one glance which assistance functions have been selected and to what situations the systems are currently responding. Unmistakable icons provide the driver with information on the screen as well in the head-up display. All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel. The new Driving Assistance package includes but is not limited to the following functions:

  • DISTRONIC Active Proximity Assist uses substantially more map and navigation data, can support the driver based on the route, and conveniently adjusts the vehicle speed.
  • Active Steer Assist has been noticeably improved across its entire performance range, resulting in markedly enhanced customer benefits.
  • Active Lane Change Assist has been considerably upgraded. Now tapping the indicator stalk is all it takes to initiate a lane change. This lane change is executed within the next ten seconds and indicated in the instrument cluster with the appropriate visual display, if the vehicle sensor system does not detect any vehicles in the relevant safety zone the driver might have missed.
  • Active Emergency Stop Assist brakes the vehicle to a stop when Active Steer Assist is engaged and the system recognises that the driver is not intervening in the driving process on a sustained basis.
  • Following vehicles in a tailback: In stop & go traffic on motorways and similar roads, stops of up to 30 seconds are now possible, during which time the S-Class starts moving again automatically and follows the traffic ahead (in conjunction Active Parking Assist).
  • Traffic Sign Assist: Posted speed limits and any potential no-overtaking signs are displayed for the current section of the route through image recognition and information from the digital road map of the navigation system. The vehicle speed is compared with the speed limit. When the driver selects the appropriate settings, a visual/visual-audible warning signal is issued any time the speed limit is exceeded. No-entry restrictions are also recognised. Furthermore, the system warns of detected persons in the area of pedestrian crossings.

Depending on the respective applicable national road traffic regulations, Remote Parking Assist enables the driver to manoeuvre the vehicle into tight parking spaces or garages by smartphone, so as to facilitate getting in and out. The vehicle can be manoeuvred into parallel and end-on parking spaces in both forward and reverse directions. Manoeuvring out of end-on parking spaces is also possible, e.g. if the driver returns to their vehicle to find that it has been blocked in. In Explore mode, the vehicle can be manoeuvred forward and back for up to 15 metres and can avoid detected obstacles with small steering corrections in the process.

UD Trucks launches the new Quon

UD Trucks launches the new Quon

UD Trucks, one of Volvo Group brands, has launched the all-new Quon, representing a full model change for UD Trucks’ heavy-duty flagship.

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The all-new Quon with associated services now moves UD Trucks into a stronger position in the truck industry.

Combining industry-leading fuel efficiency with dynamism and drivability, the all-new Quon offers an unparalleled driveline that delivers a smooth, stress-free and comfortable ride. Quon is equipped with advanced safety features protects the driver and cargo, but also cares for the safety of the vehicle's surroundings.

"The all-new Quon of course complies with the new and stricter emission regulations in Japan. In addition though, it also delivers better performance across the board. Equipped with the ESCOT-VI, the electronically controlled automatic transmission that is the industry benchmark, our heavy-duty flagship truly feels like a passenger car to drive. It offers a complete solution that meets customers' needs and is sure to earn their satisfaction. Simply put, Quon now better than ever and it embodies UD Trucks promise of Going the Extra Mile for our customers" said Yoshihiro Murakami, President of UD Trucks.

The all-new Quon has multiple unique features that combined takes trucking in Japan to an unprecedented performance level.

Drivability-to support the driver

The cockpit has been redesigned around the way it feels to use it, with operability and visibility ergonomically reengineered from the ground up. The new ESCOT-VI electronically controlled automatic transmission adopts a simple, easy-to-use straight shift pattern, further advancing the Quon's unrivaled operability.

Fuel efficiency

The fuel-efficient, powerful and clean 11-liter GH11 engine complies with Japanese 2016 exhaust gas regulations, and all models achieves +5% over the 2015 fuel economy standards for heavy vehicles in Japan.

Safety

The all-new Quon amongst others features the UD Trucks Traffic Eye Brake system (collision mitigation braking), which uses high-precision radar and a cabin-mounted camera for dual-monitoring of the road ahead, as well as advanced driver assistance systems including Driver Alert Support. Our new flagship is also fitted with disc brakes featuring excellent heat-release properties for superb and industry benchmark anti-fade performance.

Productivity

Every component has been refined to realize an overall lighter vehicle, while achieving gains in load-carrying capacity of up to 200kg depending on the model.

Uptime

The all-new Quon represents a further upgrade in vehicle reliability and durability. It is easier to maintain, with a reduced number of parts requiring regular replacement and longer service intervals on genuine parts.

Ford Ranger coming to China in 2018

Ford Ranger coming to China in 2018

Ford is introducing its best-selling Built Ford Tough truck franchise in China to pursue growth opportunities in the country’s pickup market.

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Ford plans to introduce its best-selling Built Ford Tough truck brand in China to pursue growth opportunities in the country's emerging pickup market.

The automaker outlined the strategy at a special event in Shanghai led by President and CEO Mark Fields. In addition to announcing pricing for the F-150 Raptor high performance pickup going on sale now in China, Ford announced plans to start selling the globally popular Ford Ranger mid-size pickup in the market from 2018.

"We're very excited to bring Built Ford Tough, one of the world's best loved and most successful brands, to customers in the world's largest auto market," said Mark Fields, Ford President and CEO. "We see a significant white-space opportunity with Chinese buyers increasingly looking for more capable, more refined and more stylish pickups."

While pickup trucks currently represent less than 2% of the market, China is already the fourth largest truck market in the world with 14% growth last year. Ford recently completed extensive market research to better understand Chinese attitudes, wants and needs when it comes to trucks. Those surveyed said pickups traditionally have been perceived as lacking comfort and modern features. Chinese customers, however, have had more exposure to modern trucks through TV, film and the internet and have become more interested in pickups with more SUV-level comfort and refinement to support their work needs and expanding outdoor lifestyle.

At the same time, China has been easing restrictions on pickup usage in city centres, which is another factor driving growing interest in pickups.

"We see an opportunity to satisfy unmet need in China – for world-class, stylish and refined pickups – and also to be a pioneer in this emerging segment," said Dave Schoch, President of Ford Asia Pacific and CEO, Ford China. "Built Ford Tough is a proven brand, dating back to 1976 and we believe it has the opportunity to resonate powerfully with Chinese consumers."

Ford reveals industry's first pursuit-rated hybrid police car

Ford reveals industry's first pursuit-rated hybrid police car

Ford investing $4.5 billion and introducing 13 new EVs globally in the next five years, including F-150 Hybrid, Mustang Hybrid, Transit Custom plug-in hybrid, self-driving hybrid, and fully electric small SUV.

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Ford continues its drive to be a global electric vehicle leader – revealing the second of 13 new electrified vehicles the company plans to introduce in the next five years.

The industry's first pursuit-rated hybrid police car, the all-new Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, is part of a $4.5 billion Ford investment to make electric vehicles that give customers greater capability, productivity and performance – plus better fuel economy. The plans are part of Ford's expansion to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electric and self-driving vehicles, and new mobility solutions.

"Electrifying our next generation of vehicles is core to our unwavering commitment to sustainability," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford President, The Americas. "By being a leader in electrified vehicles, we remain committed to delivering cars, trucks and SUVs that are better not only for our customers, but for the environment and society as well."

Growing global demand

As growing urban populations are overwhelming transportation systems and compromising air quality, first-time car buyers – including 50% of US millennials – say they are interested in purchasing an electric car, according to a poll conducted by the Consumer Federation of America.

Ford is at the forefront of driving electric vehicle technology and improving costs on batteries and motors for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles. As the company focuses on vehicles that deliver improved performance – such as the F-150 Hybrid with powerful towing and payload capacity plus the ability to operate as an on-board generator – Ford expects sales of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles to dramatically increase during the next decade.

In fact, Ford predicts the auto industry will offer customers more hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles than gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.

Infiniti QX80 Monograph explores upscale luxury with commanding presence

Infiniti QX80 Monograph explores upscale luxury with commanding presence

New design study signals automaker's intention to evolve its presence in the large SUV segment.

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Infiniti revealed the first look of its QX80 Monograph, a new design study exploring 'upscale luxury' and signaling the brand's intention to further develop its standing in the large SUV segment.

The new concept combines luxury with a commanding presence, and demonstrates the high levels of space and utility for which the QX80 production car is renowned. Originating at Infiniti's design studio in Atsugi, Japan, the QX80 Monograph is the ultimate expression of futuristic luxury SUV design and illustrates how the design of Infiniti's QX80 could evolve.

"The QX80 Monograph represents a detailed study into our expertise of exterior design," said Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti.

"QX80 Monograph shows our concept of luxury and style on the road, and is an exploration into how we could enhance our future Infiniti offering in the luxury SUV segment."

QX80 Monograph applies the brand's latest design language in a sculptural and artistic way. It incorporates a mix of geometric and organic shapes to combine power with elegance, creating a commanding and sophisticated presence.

Unmistakable signature design elements include the 'double-arch' grille, which for this vehicle is taller and wider, creating a powerful new 'face', while the crescent-cut D-pillar has been reshaped.

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