Volvo and Saab have long since been rivals in the automotive industry. Recent years have seen a decline in this competition, but the two still share much in common. After General Motors was finished running Saab into the ground by making re-branded Chevrolets with their nameplate, it was sold off. One of the most unique companies in the world, Spyker, bought Saab and has been running it since 2010.
Earlier today a Swedish newspaper has reported that Volvo in conjunction with the Swedish government were in talks about buying Saab. Volvo spokesman Per-Ake Froberg said, “No such talks have been going on and no such talks are scheduled.” The idea of this merger is rather interesting and has several implications on capital markets.
The De Telegraaf newspaper mentions that the Swedish government would like Volvo to take over Saab because that would mean a greater chance that a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) granted to Saab, which was guaranteed by Sweden, would be repaid. This type of acquisition would also help Saab deal with its cash problem. Spyker had its 2010 sales fall below forecasts and has therefore struggled to pay suppliers. Sweden has also come to the rescue here by approving financing to help get production on the move once more.
The Swedish government is not the only player in this transaction seeing as China is essentially the owner of Volvo. Geely Automotive Holdings took over the Volvo brand after its sale from Ford. This acquisition was the largest of any automaker by China. You may also remember the acquisition of the Hummer brand, but that paled in comparison to this. The Saab CEO, Victor Muller, has said, “the Swedish carmaker is negotiating with a wide range of Chinese car makers about a tie up.” It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out and whether these two monikers can rise from the ashes of their U.S. ownership and become profitable once again.
Volvo has come to the Shanghai Auto Show with an elegantly wacky concept sedan that makes us cock our head to one side and say, "Hmmm." At first glance, their new concept looks to be sleek, elegant, and modern, all of the ingredients for a phenomenal new sedan. Once you take closer look, one element of the new design stands out like a sore thumb: that crazy front grill.
The Volvo Universe Concept previews a large, luxurious sedan with "a new human-centric design language that honors the beautiful lines of classic Volvo models." We don’t know exactly where this hypnotic type grill fits in, but the idea behind the design of the Universe is to combine contemporary design elements like the coupe-like roofline and the solid rear with design cues from classic models of the past. Again, where that insane grill comes in is simply beyond our imagination.
On the interior, the new Universe concept was designed to combine a driver-oriented dashboard with comfort and luxury for the rear passengers. This was accomplished by intuitive controls and a touch-screen that actually comes forward to greet the hand of the driver as he approaches it. The rear of the Universe Concept gets ultra-comfortable seats, classic forms, materials, and textures.
"Just like fine luxury goods, this design feels handcrafted and durable enough to stand the test of time," says Peter Horbury, Vice President Design at Volvo Car Corporation. "We will compete with the best with our special kind of Scandinavian Design. It is unmatched in performance and technology, but without superficiality or complication."
Swedish automaker Volvo has never been one to promote performance over style. Actually, they have never been one for flashiness either. What the company takes seriously, though, is automotive safety. On this end, few can question their standing as one of the world’s safest cars.
But every so often, Volvo goes a different route - ’naughty’, as they once called it. This time, though, they’ve decided to give one of their models - the C30 - a more up-scale treatment.
Called the "Black Design" edition, this limited run C30 only has 600 units and is only available in Italy. It’s got enough exterior upgrades to drive up the car’s overall design, which if we’re honest, is actually one of the nicer ones in its class.
But before people start drooling over what appears to be plenty of carbon fiber used on the Black Design, you guys need to know that the material isn’t exactly carbon fiber.
What is it? Well, head over after the jump and find out.
In October 2011, four race competing teams under the Volvo flag will embark on an eight-month-long adventure traveling around the world in some of the world’s most treacherous seas. With such a dramatic event about to take place, it’s no wonder Volvo is seizing the opportunity to offer a special edition Ocean Race Edition for four of its models: V60, V70, XC60, and XC70.
According to Lennart Stegland, President of the Special Vehicles division at Volvo Cars: "The cars in the Volvo Ocean Race Edition reflect all the values that our customers look for when they choose a car: an active lifestyle, adventure and passion, without compromising safety and environmental care."
"There are many features that in a very subtle way make you think about boats and sailing. The aluminum decor is designed in such a way that the pattern looks like a yacht harbour full of sailing boat masts. The stitching on the upholstery traces its roots to sail-making. The aluminum detailing on the mats resembles clews. And the design of the unique wheels has been inspired by the movement of the ocean’s wave."
Hit the jump to read more about the Volvo Ocean Race Edition.
Volvo has officially unveiled its next hybrid vehicle for the mass market at the Geneva Motor Show. The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will introduce several new technological innovations that Volvo Car has been developing. Development of the V60 Hybrid has taken place at the same time as the full electric C30 model and with production of that ready to begin, the V60 is not far behind.
This new model will be capable of driving 32 miles on full electric power and produce only 49g/km of carbon dioxide emissions. This car features a unique system of a diesel engine powering the car in some situations and the electric motor kicking in for others. Multiple driving modes can be selected by the driver depending of he would rather use full electric power or the two in conjunction – this differs from many hybrids because the car will usually make the decision when to use electric power. In order to develop these technologies quickly and efficiently Volvo formed a partnership with the Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall in 2007 and has been working on plug in technology ever since.
"In order to get true car enthusiasts to think green, you have to offer them the opportunity to drive with low carbon dioxide emissions without taking away the adrenaline rush that promotes genuine driving pleasure. The V60 Plug-inHybrid has all the traditional properties of a genuine sports wagon. What we’ve done is to spice it up with spearhead technology," says Stefan Jacoby.
Hit the jump to read more about the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid.
Fresh off of the 2011 North American International Auto Show, the next major auto event is ready to kick off in a little over a week’s time at the Windy City in Chicago. From February 9th-20th, the Chicago Auto Show will be the center of the automotive universe - in the US, at least - and is expected to draw a sizable number of manufacturers from all over the world.
Here at Topspeed, we make sure that you’re on top of everything as it pertains to these type of shows and just like Detroit, we’re here to give you a low-down on what cars to expect at the Chicago Auto Show.
We’ve compiled a list of cars that are scheduled to make their production debuts in Chicago, and to give you a better idea of what models to expect, we have the full low-down on all attending brands and the respective models that they’re expected to unveil next week.
Volvo is offering its American customers a cheaper entry level model for the S60 line-up. It’s called the T5 and is priced at only $30,795, which is $450 less than the previous base model and $7,000 more affordable compared to the initial top version.
This new version will be powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 250HP and 266 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a six speed automatic transmission. It comes equipped with memory, power folding rear head restraints, front and rear sport seats, a leather steering wheel with metal inlays, dual-zone air conditioning, an infotainment and 8-speaker sound system, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, T-Tec textile upholstery, and 17-inch alloys.
Who would’ve thought that the auto manufacturer that is widely considered to be the safest in the world is now coming under siege with numerous recalls, threatening to put a black eye on what is supposed to be a spotless safety reputation.
It was only a month ago when it was reported that Volvo issued a safety recall of a number of their models over what appeared to be problems directly attributed to improperly manufactured airbags.
As it turns out, that may not be the only problem the Swedish brand is facing these days.
The automaker has issued another safety recall of 7,420 cars with a defective front passenger seat power system. According to federal officials, the problem lies in the front seat rail’s detection system, which, apparently, was manufactured improperly, causing it to move the seat further that intended thereby increasing the risk of injury in the event a crash occurs.
The Volvo models affected from the recall includes 2009-2010MY units of the S40 sedan, V50, and S60, as well as 2010-2011MY units of the XC60 crossover. Volvo has likewise issued a statement saying that their dealers will inspect the problem and fix whatever needs fixing at no cost the customer.
For more information on this latest Volvo recall, you contact the automaker at 1-800-458-1552.
About a month ago, we reported on a safety recall being done by Volvo over an improperly manufactured airbag system covering a certain number of Volvo models, including the 2010-2011 models of the S80 and XC70 as well as 2011 models of the V70 and the XC60.
Unfortunately for Volvo, another model seems to be experiencing the same problem after the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration reported that 58 units of the 2010 Volvo XC60 are all suffering from the same problem.
Just to remind you, the recall is being done due to a problem with the driver’s airbag “clock spring wiring connector for the supplemental restraint system”. The problem causes the airbag to improperly deploy should a crash occur, risking more injury to driver’s involved in the crash.
So if any of you are driving a 2010 Volvo XC60, it’s highly advisable that you contact your local dealers and have them inspect the car for the potentially dangerous problem. In the event that it needs to get them fixed, you should have your dealers fix it as soon as possible.
Despite our fascination for fast cars and exotics, one thing still holds true for us: safety always comes first.
Volvo has entered the Los Angeles Design Challenge with the Air Motion design concept, except it’s only a scale model that will probably never see the light of production’s day. We’d give Volvo a hard time, but Maybach seemed to only bring sketches of their eRikscha so we’ll let Volvo slide.
The Volvo Air Motion’s shape is designed like a clamshell made out of ultra light carbon fiber. The goal for this vehicle is minimizing weight and complexity, while maximizing driving enjoyment. Fit under the inner workings of the car are compressed air motors that replace a heavy internal combustion engine and cool down under load instead of heating up. The lack of need for a heavy cooling system adds to the lightness of this concept, as do modifications to the chassis, interior, and suspension.
The Volvo Air Motion concept is powered by air turbines that float 1,000ft in the air and harness the power of the wind to convert it to electricity. This electricity provides the compression.
All in all, however, this is just another beautiful and unique concept that will never see the light of day. We hope all of the automakers that have presented the unique concepts have very deep filing cabinets that will keep these concepts safe until they are ready to flow on our streets.