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Volvo’s Hottest New Models For 2020 – V60, XC60, XC90 – What You Need To Know

The Volvo brand has been on fire lately, coming out with exciting new models as well as smashing sales goals at a time when many manufacturers sales are slowing. There is a focus for 2020 on sportier SUV variants like the XC60 Polestar Engineered and active lifestyle cars such as the V60 Cross Country. So let’s take a close look at three of Volvo’s hottest new models.

2020 XC60 Polestar Engineered

The XC60 is one of Volvo’s most popular SUVs and for good reason. It has a reasonable starting price of around $40,000 which is comparable with many midsize luxury SUVs and it offers plenty of interior space without being cumbersome to drive.

Today In: Lifestyle

For 2020 however, Volvo decided to cozy up with high-performance German rivals like the Audi SQ5 and BMW X3M, by giving the XC60 Polestar Engineered their potent T8 powertrain which is actually a plug-in hybrid, but one that generates a staggering 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque.

That’s enough power to get it from 0-60 in just 4.9 seconds, which is a hair quicker than the SQ5 rated at 5.1 seconds 0-60. It’s worth mentioning base SQ5 starts around $55,000 but with options you’re hitting the $67,000 dollar mark where as the XC60 PE is just a few thousand more and comes fully loaded with all but two options which are a 22” wheel upgrade and metallic paint, both priced at $800 or less. So when you consider pricing, the XC60 has more capabilities plus it’s faster for about the same money.

2020 V60 Cross Country

The V60 Cross Country is now in its second generation and adds more capability off the beaten path than what its sibling the V60 offers. The Cross County model gets 2.5″ more ground clearance, all-wheel drive is standard, plus there are a few added exterior design elements which make it stand out, such as rugged wheel arches and moldings. If you’re a big fan of mountain biking, hiking, camping or kayaking and need a vehicle that isn’t afraid to get a little dirty and offers plenty of cargo space, then the V60 Cross Country could be the perfect option for you.

There is only one engine option available, which is Volvo’s turbocharged T5 powertrain creating 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It feels more than adequate, with plenty of low-end torque and solid fuel economy rated at 22 city and 31 highway.

2020 XC90 Inscription

The XC90 is the most popular Volvo in the United States and while it hasn’t gotten a major redesign since it was introduced in 2015, it has gotten many small updates to keep it competitive with everything else on the road. The XC90 was such a revolutionary vehicle in terms of design and quality when it came out in 2015, there just hasn’t been a need for a full redesign and it can still keep with the best of the best in the segment today.

However, there are a few new changes for 2020 which include a new 6-passenger seating configuration, which is great for families with kids. They’ve also added a new concave front grill design, new wheel designs, high-end wool seats, and additional wood trim options.

Final Thoughts

Volvo is keeping the brand fresh with fun new models like the XC40 and XC60 Polestar Engineered while keeping their most popular XC90 updated with unique trim options and updated seating configurations. But they haven’t forgotten the adventure seeker either with the V60 Cross Country, which would also work well for people with kids who don’t want to drive an SUV. We’re excited to see what the Volvo brand has instore for us next, regardless it should be exciting.

Having been born in the Detroit area, I grew up with motor oil running through my veins. Wanting to put my passion to good use, at age sixteen I co-founded and hosted an automotive-focused YouTube channel, the Oakland Car Review, which garnered millions of views during its run. Transitioning toward written content, I was an early-stage partner in DRIVE Magazine and eventually oversaw its conversion to a fully digital platform. I now lead web operations at ThisIsDrive.com. My work extends to other outlets as well, these include some well-known names, such as Kelly Blue Book’s technology-focused Ride.Tech website. I remain up-to-date on the latest industry happenings by doing hours of research per week so that I can keep you informed. I am pleased to have been published on automotive topics for over five years and I look forward to bringing my passion for the industry and cars themselves to Forbes readers.

Source: Volvo’s Hottest New Models For 2020 – V60, XC60, XC90 – What You Need To Know

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Small Luxury SUV with Scandinavian Premium Feel from Inside and Modern Robotic Look from Outside! New XC40 completes global Volvo line-up for fast-growing premium SUV segment Volvo Cars, the premium carmaker, today further expands its line-up of SUVs with the launch of its new XC40 small premium SUV in Milan, Italy. At the same time as it introduces the XC40, Volvo Cars also reinvents the traditional model of car ownership with its new ‘Care by Volvo’ subscription service. Care by Volvo, first available on the XC40 from launch, makes having a car as transparent, easy and hassle-free as having a phone. A monthly flat-fee subscription means down payments, price negotiations and local price differences belong to the past. Depending on regional availability, Care by Volvo will also include access to a range of digital concierge services such as fuelling, cleaning, service pick-up and e-commerce delivery to the car. The XC40 with Care by Volvo is available to order online from today in selected markets. XC40 drivers will also be the first Volvo customers who can share their car with friends and family via Volvo on Call with a new digital key technology. Car sharing comes as standard for Care by Volvo customers. The arrival of the XC40 means that for the first time in its history, Volvo Cars has three new, globally available SUVs in what is the fastest growing segment of the automotive market, paving the way for further growth in terms of sales and profitability. The new XC40 is the first model on Volvo Cars’ new modular vehicle architecture (CMA), which will underpin all other upcoming cars in the 40 Series including fully electrified vehicles. Co-developed within Geely, CMA provides the company with the necessary economies of scale for this segment. “The XC40 is our first entry in the small SUV segment, broadening the appeal of the Volvo brand and moving it in a new direction,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president, and chief executive. “It represents a fresh, creative and distinctive new member of the Volvo line-up. So it only feels natural to reveal the XC40 here in Milan, a buzzing European hotspot for fashion, art, design, and lifestyle.” In terms of technology, the XC40 brings the award-winning safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies known from the new 90- and 60 Series cars to the small SUV segment. Like its larger siblings, the XC40 highlights the transformational effect of these new, in-house developed technologies on brand and profitability. These technologies make the XC40 one of the best-equipped small premium SUVs on the market. Safety and driver assistance features on the XC40 include Volvo Cars’ Pilot Assist system, City Safety, Run-off-Road protection and mitigation, Cross Traffic alert with brake support and the 360° Camera that helps drivers maneuver their car into tight parking spaces. The XC40 also offers a radically new approach to storage inside the car. Ingenious interior design provides XC40 drivers with, among other things, more functional storage space in the doors and under the seats, a special space for phones including inductive charging, a fold-out hook for small bags and a removable waste bin in the tunnel console. From start of production, the XC40 will be available with a D4 diesel or a T5 petrol four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain. Further powertrain options, including a hybridized as well as a pure electric version, will be added later. The XC40 will also be the first Volvo model to be available with Volvo Cars’ new 3-cylinder engine. Production of the new XC40 starts in Volvo Cars’ plant in Ghent, Belgium in November, while order books and the Care by Volvo subscription package are open for customers now. SUBSCRIBE: https://goo.gl/pL84j2 New Car Videos: https://goo.gl/5nPYXv YouTube: https://goo.gl/eSkzhw Facebook: https://goo.gl/3AZk9U Twitter: https://goo.gl/kj00z5 Instagram: https://goo.gl/zAOTrp Google+: https://goo.gl/QWO4jX Website: http://www.alphasquadofficial.com Submit Your Video: as.official2015@gmail.com

 

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Electric Truck Unicorn Rivian, Backed By Amazon And Ford, Lands $350 Million Investment From Cox

Rivian, an innovative truck startup planning to produce all-electric pickups and SUVs that’s backed by Ford Motor Co. and Amazon, said Cox Automotive is investing $350 million and may partner with it on future business operations.

Led by 36-year-old founder and CEO RJ Scaringe, Plymouth, Michigan-based Rivian has ginned up excitement in the auto industry with its plans to launch a line of long-range, rechargeable light trucks, including the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, built off a highly functional “skateboard” platform that integrates the battery pack, drive components and suspension system. Ford invested $500 million in April and Amazon led a $700 million round in February.

Cox, which owns an extensive range of businesses related to auto sales and services, including consumer information sites Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, retailer data services Dealer.com and Dealertrack, and automotive auction business Manheim, will also explore ways to help Rivian with service operations, logistics and digital retailing.

Today In: Business

“We are building a Rivian ownership experience that matches the care and consideration that go into our vehicles,” Scaringe said in a statement. “Cox Automotive’s global footprint, service and logistics capabilities and retail technology platform make them a great partner for us.”

A Clark Kent look-alike with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT, Scaringe has refined his ideas for electric vehicles over the past decade and could prove to be a major competitor to Tesla’s Elon Musk, who has his own plans for battery-powered trucks, ranging from a pickup to 18-wheel semis.

Rivian aims to begin production and sales of its first two models from late 2020, building them at the former Mitsubishi Motors Corp. assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, that it purchased in 2017 and is renovating. The company already has more than 1,000 employees and wants to begin selling its electric vehicles internationally from 2021.

Both the R1T and R1S are to have electric range of up to 400 miles per charge–well more than any of Tesla’s current EVs–and they are priced from $68,000 and $72,500, respectively.

Rivian’s fundraising in the past year has been prodigious and totals at least $2 billion with Cox’s investment. Still, it declined to provide an estimate valuation or confirm what stake is owned by Scaringe. In addition to the funding from Ford and Amazon, it raised $450 million in an earlier round that included Saudi Arabia-based investment group Abdul Latif Jameel, Su­mi­tomo Corp. of Japan and London’s Standard Chartered Bank.

“We are excited by Rivian’s unique approach to building an electrified future and to be part of the positive impact its products will bring to our roads and the world around us,” said Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Automotive. “This investment complements Cox Automotive’s own commitment to environmental change through our Cox Conserves efforts.”

Along with its equity stake and potential business operations, Cox Automotive will have a seat on Rivian’s board.

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From Los Angeles, the U.S. capital of cars and congestion, I try to make sense of technology-driven changes reshaping transportation, cities and how we get around. I’ve tracked global automakers, advanced vehicle tech and environmental policy for more than two decades, including 15 years at Bloomberg, and squeezed in stints in the financial and corporate worlds. What’s your story?

Source: Electric Truck Unicorn Rivian, Backed By Amazon And Ford, Lands $350 Million Investment From Cox

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Why A BMW Painted With ‘The World’s Blackest Black’ Is Unlikely To Hit The Road

Topline: BMW rolled out its first vehicle painted with “vantablack”, known as the world’s blackest black⁠—and although the company claims it would like to see the car on the road, it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.

  • The BMW X6 was selected as the first vehicle to receive the inky-black paint job and will debut in September’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
  • Vantablack in its purest form absorbs all light, without reflecting any back.
  • To make sure the X6 didn’t appear completely two-dimensional, the vantablack paint used on it reflects back 1% of light.
  • Although X6 designer Hussein Al Attar said he “absolutely” could see vantablack joining BMW’s lineup of color options for car buyers, the automaker has no immediate plans.
  • According to Ben Jensen, CTO of vantablack developer Surrey Nanosystems, “The limitations of vantablack in respect of direct impact or abrasion would make this an impractical proposition for most people. It would also be incredibly expensive.”

Chief critic: Auto enthusiasts. They question why a car needs to be painted with vantablack, especially since it won’t be for sale anytime soon. And safety studies show that regular black cars are already more dangerous to drive over lighter-colored cars⁠—chances of crashing a black car at dawn and dusk are 47% higher than that of a non-black car.

Key background: Developed by Surrey Nanosystems in 2014, the pigment in vantablack is made from tiny bits of carbon. Originally designed to be used in outer space, vantablack can be applied at temperatures hundreds of degrees below freezing. It has also been used in space cameras to block out light from the sun, letting the devices take clearer photos of distant stars and galaxies.

Surprising fact: The “vanta” in vantablack stands for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array.

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I’m a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose, and xoJane.

Source: Why A BMW Painted With ‘The World’s Blackest Black’ Is Unlikely To Hit The Road

Another Alfa Romeo Comeback Story May Be Ending

After a brief surge, Alfa Romeo's comeback plan looks to have stalled, outsold in Europe by Lancia.

Has yet another Alfa Romeo comeback story fizzled out before it ever really got going?

It’s hard to see it any other way, with the fabled Italian sports and premium brand outsold in Europe for the first half of the year by its ignored, underfunded Fiat Chrysler Automobiles stablemate, Lancia.

Alfa Romeo has five models on its books, including the 4C sports car, the dated MiTo three-door hatch, the just-facelifted Giulietta five-door hatch and the expensively developed Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover.

Lancia, on the other hand, sells just one car – the eight-year-old Ypsilon five-door hatch. It might be a legendary name, with some of the most desirable cars ever built on its books and with multiple World Rally Championships to its name, but its reputation for quality is so bad in Europe that it has retreated to just one market: Italy.

FCA analyst Fiat Group World pointed out that Alfa Romeo sales fell to 29,187 in the first half of 2019, while the Ypsilon, based on the budget Fiat Panda, managed 34,691 sales in Italy alone.

Alfa’s sales fell 42 percent year-on-year in Europe, while Lancia’s rose 29 percent with an ancient product that wasn’t terribly good to begin with.

It has been an across-the-board pummeling for Alfa, with its business sales dropping from 33,400 last year to 19,200 this year, while its private sales fell 40 percent.

It was hammered in France, where its sales fell 61 percent, but the biggest concern will be its collapse in its home market of Italy, where it dropped 47 percent to only 14,700 registrations.

The clunky, one-market Ypsilon is single-handedly embarrassing Alfa Romeo.

The clunky, one-market Ypsilon is single-handedly embarrassing Alfa Romeo.

In a frightening buyer revolt, only 5000 Alfas were privately registered in Italy in the first half of the year.

Even the newest Alfa model, the Stelvio, saw its European sales drop by 18 percent this year to just 13,800 registrations as it was overtaken by updates to rivals like the BMW X4.

The heavily publicized Giulia sedan, which shares its expensively developed rear-drive architecture with the Stelvio, saw its sales fall 44 percent to 5767 registrations across Europe.

There was more bad news in the US, where it sold 9037 cars in the first half; down on the 12,265 it sold in 2018.

Alfa is twinned with Maserati within the company and the Modena-based brand at least has plans to pull its product lineup into the next decade with a range of plug-in hybrids, a Porsche Macan-testing crossover and an all-electric sports car.

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I have been testing cars and writing about the car business for more than 25 years. My career began in daily newspapers and developed into editorship of two automotive magazines. I’ve been based in Italy as a freelancer for more than a decade, covering the European car business, with a focus on product testing and product development for readers around the world.

 

Source: Another Alfa Romeo Comeback Story May Be Ending

Why An In-Car PC Is An Essential Tool For Your Business Success

Image result for Why An In-Car PC Is An Essential Tool For Your Business Success

While vehicle-based electronic devices are hardly a new concept, only an in-car PC can match the function and performance of a full-fledge computer. You can easily browse the web, receive e-mail while on the go, and have real-time access to data and programs stored on your work PC.

You can also run any programs that run on the Windows platform. If you are looking for the perfect mobile IT solution, these are some reasons why getting car computers should be on top of your list.

Secure

You may be wondering about how secure is to have car computer installed on your vehicle. Fact of the matter is, the PC, where the data will reside, will be completely out of sight. Rest assured that onlookers will not be able to spot a huge desktop-like computer inside the vehicle. For added security, however, it can be bolted to the chassis of the vehicle using anti-theft bolts. This gives ample protection for both the hardware and the data. As for the screen, it will be heavily integrated to the interior – making it look like part of the vehicle. The screen, of course, can be easily removed when leaving the vehicle.

Robust

The PC part of car computer will not be handled directly by the user. This significantly reduces the risk of accidental damage. The only parts that the users will use are the screen and wireless keyboard. If somehow these fail to work, which is very unlikely, replacements will be provided swiftly.

Screen size

There are a wide range of display sizes to choose from. You can get the screen from 6.5-inches to 15-inches – and even beyond. It is recommended to get the screens that are designed specifically for the car computer, such that allows to be used even under sunlight. There are plenty of models to choose from and the screens can be easily upgraded as your company grows.

Screen Placement

As for the placement of the touch screens, they can actually be mounted anywhere within the vehicle. It is, however, recommended to get the in-dash model, which can be neatly integrated into the dashboard. This means you are not required to remove the screen while leaving the car for safety purposes. Some screen models can also be integrated to the sun-visor, the headrest or roof mounted. Whichever placement you choose for the screen, rest assured that it will be done to look as professional as possible, while taking into consideration the practicality.

Data Input and communication

The in-car PC can handle a range of data input methods depending on your need or circumstance. These include wireless QWERTY keyboards, touch screens and voice input and recognition systems. Data can also be communicated to the PC via Bluetooth or using a 3G modem which will allow internet connectivity.

Performance and customisation

You can expect top notch performance from the in-car computer. The standard specs include the use of Intel Core 2 Duo and hard drives with storage of up to 500 GB. If you need more power and storage, it is possible to build a more powerful system from scratch to meet your company’s needs.

Professional Installation

If required the in-car pc can be professionally installed thus proving you with a a full service from manufacture to end use.

By getting an in-car computer, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your staff, especially those who must spend a good amount of their time being on the road.

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