Archive for the ‘Estate’ Category

Eighteen months ago the Greens declared war on the car and its first casualty was the Family.
You see, if you had more than two nippers and a dog or vise versa and couldn’t afford two cars, then a people carrier or MPV was the man for you.
It made so much sense that manufacturers worldwide invested billions, and after a couple of years, we started to warm to this new phenomena – and dare I say it, even like them.
Initially, critics and motoring hacks (myself included) dismissed them as being mini vans which drove, handled and were about as pleasant to be in as, erm, a mini van.
That mindset changed when Ford launched the C-Max in 2003 – which was basically a re-engineered Focus MK II – already a massive hit with Irish motorists catapulting the brand into the best sellers.
Fast forward to July 2008 and the tree-hugging, sandal-wearing, lentil-chomping saviours of the planet came up with a new tax regime which made all MPVs, and the family, Public Enemy Number 1.
The omissions-based VRT/road tax put buying a new MPV so expensive to buy and run that punters were looking at going back to the old two car-car scenario.
Thankfully, Ford have come to the rescue yet again … and this time they’ve brought reinforcements.
Yep, not only do we get a leaner, greener and meaner C-Max but it also get a big brother in the guise of the 7-seat Grand C-Max.
The boys over at the Blue Oval badge have left nothing to chance as the competition in this segment is savage.
They’ve learned that in these much leaner times, buyers, especially those with growing families, are the most diverse and complex.
It’s not a case of one size fits all and, just like the mums who’ll mainly drive them, it will have to be able to multi task.
This choice is not just a car or mode of transport – it’s practically a member of the family.
It will not only have to ferry the little darlings (and neighbours and pals) to school, to ballet, football, discos, it will also have to cope with baby seats, shopping/buggies, the kitchen sink etc.
The brief was simple; make it bigger, better and above all, cheaper.
The result?
Mission accomplished!
To be fair, they had a bulletproof template to build on.
The old model was a true drivers car thanks to its high driving position, great flexibility and of course, being a Focus clone, it was a rollicking good rided.
The same applies here except it’s even better.
The 5-seat C-Max handled like a dream on the winding mountain roads of Nice and she cruised like a luxury saloon on motorways.
Big brother, lost a little of the refined handling thankls to the longer chassis and even higher roof line, but what it lacked in agility it made up for in torque thanks to the 140bhp diesel engine.
But it is the simplicity of the design which will win over any doubters.
Functionality is the key word here.
Take the revamped floor plan in the 7-seater which is genius.
The 2 plus 2 plus 2 arrangement and fold away seventh seats is so much easier.
It also eradicated the old sibling squabble over who doesen’t want to sit in the middle.
Sliding doors on both sides makes parking and getting kids in and out easy peasy.
Seat belt sensors on all the rear buckles means you know all on board are safely secure.
Throw in a power operated tailgate – which at the touch of a button opens and close the boot and you’re in heaven.
One optional extra well worth checking out is the Active Park Assist.
This piece of kit (normally found on BMWs and Lexus) will scan a parking space and if large enough, will actually parallel park the car for you.
It’s a must considering it costs less than €800 and unlike other gadgets, you’ll use it more than once.
Only diesel versions will go on sale here with a 1.6L, 95bhp  proving the most popular as the C-Max in Band A and
Grand Band B. The 2.0L 140bhp are both in Band B while  a 115bhp automatic is in band C for both.
Standard spec on the Activ includes alloys heated windscreen electric windows, CD Rear parking sensors, folding mirrors and rear seatbelt minder.
Other driver assistance technologies include Blind Spot Information System, Speed Limiter and Hill Start Assist The new range will be in Irish showrooms later this month, just in time for the January rush  and Ford promise that  a full- and plug-in hybrid models will be here in 2013.
Priced at €23,600, its a bargain considering the outgoing model is the same price, but without all those goodies.

Renault are working very hard at the moment, and it’s not just the designers, every segment of the company are pulling out all the stops to push the brand forward. This “work hard” attitude is something I admire in any business. I work hard, there have been nights when I’m still working on something at one or two AM, that’s because I love what I do. The same must apply somewhere in Renault, someone near or at the top has surrounded themselves with people who love their jobs.
The new model Megane is the result of that love of the job, I remember the concept pictures of the Megane somewhere back in 2008, they looked fantastic. Obviously the car I’m driving looks nothing like the concept but ce la ve.
The current model comes in a variety of body styles from coupe to estate (called grand)and it’s the estate version that I’m driving at the moment.
When you think estate most of you will think of big agriculture type cars, well it’s not that kind of car, it’s far cooler than that. It looks like the designers were let loose and they came up with madness, then the Euro laws got involved and out of the two a very handsome sporty estate was born.
The long bonnet reminds me somehow of my Fathers Renault 12 TL, it looks nothing like it, it just reminds me of it. Sweeping down the sides there are some interesting quirks in the creases just before you reach the most interesting wrap around rear end on any car in it’s class. The boot lid looks one piece with the rear panels, it’s not, it splits to reveal a 486 ltr boot, more about the boot goodies later.

The back seat is big and comfy, there’s loads of head and leg room. If you don’t fancy carrying three people in the back then you can always drop the centre armrest which has some nifty cup holders build in.
From the drivers seat the car feels low and sporty but very comfortable. The steering wheel is weighted nicely to top dead centre, there is only one problem in here and it’s the gear shift, it feels too clicky. The gear stick feels like it’s attached to the gearbox with some plastic left over from the dashboard. It’s only a five speed box too, and that’s a shame, the gearbox in the Fluence felt fine I don’t know why they put a different box in the Megane. Other than the shift there’s nothing wrong in the cabin, everything is where you’d expect it to be in a Renault. This being a Tom Tom edition you get lots of toys, sat nav, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth and mp3 connection are all standard. Shame there’s no USB connection in mine but I’m sure it’s an option.

Out on the road the ride is firm but responsive, for an estate there’s no sign of a bouncy rear end that you get in most of the competition. The handling is very good too, even when you push it the Megane just keeps on holding the road. The 1.5dci 86bhp engine is solid and in the Megane it seems very quiet, at motorway speeds the lack of a sixth gear starts to show through, the rev’s sit at 2800rpm at 120kph, while that’s not bad it would be a better, more economical cruiser if there was another cog to get too.
Now we have to go onto a topic that will bore some of you, the boot. For those of you who are already yawning at the thought of me talking about boot space here’s a brief version, it’s big.
For those that are still reading let me explain, you buy an estate car to gain room over the hatchback version, so the boot space is very important. Even though the rear of the car is rounded on the outside, the boot opening is square and flat floored. There’s tonnes of space for any shape item to fit in there, there are some features in the boot too. There’s a flap near the opening that you can pin up allowing the whole boot to become a sort of bin, under that flap there’s more storage for drop in items, there are shopping hooks in the back too, they are set a bit too far back but nonetheless they are useful to have in the big flat boot. With all the seats dropped it’s 1600ltrs which is a decent size for any estate.
The Grand Megane is a very capable car, it’s adaptable, spacious and very stylish, the only flaw that I can find is the gearbox, it’s just too plastic feeling and it could do with another gear, if Renault would take the gearbox from the Fluence into the Megane be as near perfect as any car can be, in fact it’s so good my other half wants one.
If you’re interested in trying a Megane for yourself then log onto to find your local dealer.

Prices look like this, you should get the 106bhp Tom Tom with a 6 speed box it’s worth it.

RRP Trade-in allowance Renault scrappage for cars +8years old Government scrappage for cars +10years old Version from
1.6 16V 110 ETH ROYALE ECO 170 g/km €19,690 €3,300 €1,500 €0 €14,890
1.5 dCi 86 ROYALE 118 g/km €21,100 €3,300 €1,500 €1,500 €14,800
1.5 dCi 86 DYNAMIQUE 118 g/km €22,500 €3,300 €1,500 €1,500 €16,200
1.5 dCi 86 TOMTOM ED 118 g/km €23,600 €3,300 €1,500 €1,500 €17,300
1.5 dCi 106 TOMTOM ED 120 g/km €24,700 €3,300 €1,500 €1,500 €18,400

Let me know what you think, don’t be afraid; comment below.

Megan Fox.

Image via Wikipedia

Picture the most beautiful woman on the planet.

Take Megan Fox, Penelope Cruz or Eva Mendes …. now try to improve upon them.

Make them even more irresistible, hotter, sexier.

It’s not easy, is it?

That is the exact dilemma put to a group of the best automotive designers and engineers money can buy.

There was one big problem though …. these are German designers and engineers and more often than not you get a lot more than you bargained for.

The results are there for all to see in the new 5 Series, but beauty, my friends, is indeed more than skin deep.

You see, in the case of the fickle world of show business, a plastic surgeon may make you look younger and more vibrant, but he won’t make you a better actress.

Now, if the old 5 were a fairytale it could only be the ugly duckling …. which blossomed into a beautiful swan and there the romance began, well for me, anyway.

The E60, made between 2003 and 2010, had what a very dear friend calls the ”sexy/ugly thing going on” which is based on the philosophy that not all beautiful women are sexy …. and not all sexy women are beautiful.

It was a curious looking creature, not very inviting, but when you climbed into the cockpit and fired her up ….. hmmm sheer driving pleasure.

It was that perfect balance of fine handling unstoppable power, torque and unrivalled drive which won over all of its critics, with some conceding that the look will even grow on you.

The exact same applies here, except in reverse.

Despite the ergonomics boffin droning on about how sexier, younger and dynamic they made it, Cupid didn’t strike and I wasn’t all woosy and faint.

In fact, I think its too conservative and they’ve played it too safe this time round.

So I may have been a tad disappointed by the look, but would the same apply in the saddle.

Absolutely not.

How could it?

Its older brother was perfection so how could they possibly improve it?

Simple really.

They just made it bigger, quicker and more economical.

Take the 530D which churns out a whopping 245bhp, has CO2 omissions of 160g/km and returns over 40mpg.

Thanks to the stop start technology (borrowed from the Mini range) the 523i has the same green credentials of 160g/km and 204bhp.

But their secret weapon is the not so humble 520D which has Irish drivers queueing around the block with the lure of 184bhp, CO2s of 132grammes (£156 road tax) and a jaw dropping 50mpg.

Couple that with their most advanced 8 speed automatic gearbox and supension technologies – taken from the 7series, throw in a few goodies like Parking Assistant which parks for you, Surround View, collision warning  (which automatically brakes in an emergency)

Lane Change Warning and Head-Up Display and the job is Oxo.

It’s not hard to fathom that this luxury saloon is the single biggest selling model in Ireland today.

Pound for pound this BMW is, if you’ll excuse the plug, the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’.

If my analogy about Chris Bangle (designer of the last E60 5 series) and the sexy ugly thing working in reverse proves correct then it is love at first sight.

If that doesn’t get the heart racing then the price tag of under €41,750 (check this) will.

Philip Hedderman

Let us know what you think of the 5 Series, please comment below.

Some of you have reported problems with viewing the video from you tube so here it is hosted on Vimeo

I have never really had a desire to own an MPV of any kind, the only one that ever tempted me into buying such a thing was an S-Max, they look cool while still being big. Other than that the rest of them could all vanish over night and I wouldn’t have noticed. So when I was offered a Renault Grand Scenic I was a little, to use internet speak, meh. But when I saw it I changed my mind somewhat, it’s still a big long car but it’s understated and dare I say it, a bit cool. The lower than usual nose and long head lights give it a puppy dog who’ll bite look, there’s a high roof line leading to boomerang shaped tail lights and a flat square tailgate, it’s a good look and it works. Speaking of things that work, the keyless entry is great, just keep the card in your pocket, when you pull any door handle the car opens, get into the drivers’ seat push the start button and off you go; you can even turn the lights on from the key card. When you get out and walk away the doors lock and the alarm is set, it’s a little strange at first because if you go back to check the doors actually locked they open again but you soon learn to trust it. The boot is perfect, at 702ltrs it’s huge. The square shape of the opening mixed with a low rear bumper means you’ll have no trouble getting anything you want in; with the 7 seats in place its 208ltr which isn’t very big but it’s enough for short journeys. Now if you really need some room you can fold all the rear seats away and get a whopping 2063ltrs of space, that’s bigger than some vans. There are also lots of cubby holes around the car, under the floor and drawers under the front seats, if you add them all together you get another 84ltrs of storage, in fact there’s so much storage it’s a bit easy to forget where you put something in the car.

It’s in the cabin where this car comes into it’s own, there’s plenty of light and space, in 5 seat mode there’s tonnes of room in the back for 3 adults, the three individual seats means you can even put two big child seats and adult in the back. Each of the seats move forward, flipped up, turned into a table or removed altogether. Also in the back you get two airline type tables that flip up from the back of the front seats, there’s a hole in each for a cup but I couldn’t find a cup that would fit into them, also on the rear of the front seats there’s pockets galore, two at the top and a bigger one down low. The drivers’ seat is a very comfortable place, all the useful controls are at hand, and the big TFT screen is bright and easy to read, it tells you all the things you need to know without being over complicated. The Tomtom sat nav sits right next to it, the controls for the sat nav are on the arm rest in the middle of the car and if I’m honest the control unit feels clumsy, the control wheel in the middle (which does most of the work) seems to lag behind the screen a bit meaning it’s hard to spell out the place you want to go. Once it’s set its great, lane warnings and an ability to fix mistakes in the maps means you won’t get lost. The sound from the stereo is exceptional, but the interface is difficult to use, scanning for a channel seems to take a couple of key presses and using an iPod with it needs a degree in engineering.

The biggest problem was turning the radio off, you see there’s a button to do it but that same button turns off the sat nav and Bluetooth hands free, fine you say just turn it down then, but that means turning down the sat nav voice too. It would have been much easier to put in a button for the radio separate from everything else. The fit and finish along with exceptional materials used gives a feeling of luxury, the whole car seems really well put together.
The 1.5dci engine struggles to give low down power, it’s 106bhp but all of that is at the top end of the rev range, but once you get it up to speed it’s very quiet and composed on the motorway. Speaking of motorways, I took the family down to Galway in the Scenic along the M6, my god what a boring drive that is, never in all my life have I wanted to have auto pilot on a car as when I drove down that road. Not only does nothing happen but there’s nothing to look at, still the car was great, I kept myself occupied with looking at the points of interest on the sat nav; there were none, even the kids fell asleep. I pulled over for a rest and a coffee, that’s when I found the drivers’ cup-holder, it’s on the floor of the car, it’s awkward to get at and if you slide the armrest forward it becomes impossible.
Around the town the car feels big and the rear suspension is bouncy over speed bumps. If you get onto the back roads the rear of the car wallows around a bit, that said there’s no sign of under steer, as big as the Scenic is the turn in is fine.
The Grand Scenic is a fantastically practical car that can be put to any use, it’s just not desirable but none of the MPV type cars are. The key factor of this car is price, with all the best equipment in the Tomtom edition the retail price is €30190 plus €450 for metallic paint, but with discounts and the scrappage scheme taken into account you could have this car for €26,140, that’s cheaper than some hatchbacks on the market! It’s even in tax band B, €156 a year tax. So if you need a huge 5 seat car or a decent size 7 seat then look no further. Contact your local Renault dealer for more details or you can see the car I drove on
Just incase you missed it, I did a video review of the Scenic, you can find it here.

Welcome to a brave new venture in Smokerspack Towers, we are now doing video reviews of your cars. This is a huge step up on the web site and if it’s successful we hope to bring you more and better reviews like this one.

What do you think of it? Please leave your comments or email

Kia Cee’d 1.6d Estate 2010

Posted: July 31, 2010 by smokerspack in Estate, Family car, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Ever since I heard about Lewis Opel closing its doors in Portlaoise I’ve been thinking about why there are car dealers still going out of business when there’s a supposed upturn in the car industry. When a car dealer sells a new car, even with the scrappage scheme, the dealership makes very little money, sometimes only a couple of hundred euro. The real money comes from the trade in, but in the case of a scrappage scheme there is no trade in. So with all these new cars being sold there’s no second hand cars for the dealers to make a bit of money out of. A big main dealer can’t run on new cars alone, and with no second hand cars in stock they quickly run out of options.

There’s another side that’s been pointed out to me by Shane Teskey of Motorcheck, with the huge drop in people trading in a car for resale there’s going to be a shortage of decent used cars on the dealers’ forecourts, the car industry might not be far out of the woods just yet.

Onto today’s car, the Kia Cee’d, not just any Cee’d, the estate one. The Korean car company Kia was at one point a bit of a joke within the car industry, they made cars that were made of a very thin metal, totally uncomfortable, very vague steering didn’t help matters. When the Cee’d replaced the Cerato the joke wore very thin indeed. The Cee’d with its “Tiger nose” started to look like a reasonably priced decent alternative to the class leaders. This trend has meant that Topgear has made is part of their show, putting it in as the reasonably priced car, last week we saw none other than Cameron Diaz drive it and Tom Cruise try his best to turn it over.

This estate or SW as Kia call it, I’m driving today isn’t quite as sporty as its hatchback brother but it isn’t a bad looking car, it’s also the last of the outgoing model.

The boot space is 534ltrs with the seats up and 1664ltrs with them down, there’s a flat floor and no boot lip so getting things in and out is easy, there’s a bit of intrusion from the wheel arches but other than that it’s a good square shape. The back seat has plenty of room for 3 adults, the optional half leather seats are in this model and they are comfy.

Up front the plastics used are a little harsh, and there’s a bit of a tinny sound when you shut any of the doors, that said this car is built to a price. The equipment level is great, air con, iPod connector, CD player, electric windows all around. The steering wheel controls are a little fussy for me, there’s just too many big buttons but that’s a minor niggle.

The 115bhp 1.6lt CRDI engine is quiet enough and get’s the car around, there’s plenty of power in it too, you should have no problems loading the car to the hilt and setting off. There’s a 5 speed gear box that seems happy enough at any speed, shame there isn’t a 6th gear for motorway cruising, still you can get a combined figure of 57mpg. The steering is on the vague side of light, the steering wheel leather is too smooth and gets a little slippy, and it needs some finger bumps on the back.

Driving the Cee’d gives you a nice feeling, the cabin is a good place to be, it’s bright and comfortable, although the drivers’ seat squab is a little short for me but then I have long legs. The gear shift is short and there’s lots of torque throughout the rev range, the suspension is firm enough without being harsh. I rather like the Cee’d, it’s functional without being too fussy, it’s not over styled and you could get a ton of stuff plus the kids on the back without any trouble.

There are two really big factors in this car to think about, the biggest being the 7 year warranty, if you bought this car today, you would still be under warranty in 2017, there are no other brands out there that come any where near that, it shows the confidence of the Kia brand. The other factor is the price, at €18,750 for an ex-demo model to this spec it’s a cheap estate. You do have to compromise on the quality of the plastics used but if you consider all the factors, you can buy a 2010 estate car with all the extras, only €156.00 tax a year and a 7 year warranty for the price of most European hatchbacks and that can’t be a bad thing.

The car I drove is available from Portlaoise Kia, you can see it here on Carzone

The Volvo V60 makes its entry onto the car market with its sights firmly set on giving the all-new S60 sedan model a tough match over the title of “The Most Dynamic Volvo Model Ever”.

“Many of the customers who had an advance look at the new V60 during the development process feel that its attitude is at least as sporty as that of the all-new S60,” says Volvo Cars Design Director Peter Horbury.

No less than 90 percent of the annual V60 production of 50,000 cars will find European buyers.

“The typical sports wagon customer is an S60 buyer who would like some extra space and flexibility, but without the slightest compromise on sporty design and exciting driving properties,” says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell, and adds:

“The competition is razor-sharp and the customers in this segment know exactly what they want. That is why we have further boosted the interior’s sense of exclusive quality and packed the car with safety- and comfort-related technical innovations. The result is a truly unique sports wagon, in total harmony with its sporty attitude.”

Coupe rather than estate car

The pronounced wedge shape and the slim coupe-like roof line of the new V60 are accompanied by the shoulder profile along the car’s sides, creating a gentle yet powerful double wave from the headlamps at the front to the tail lamps at the rear.

“From the design viewpoint the focus was on making the car as close to a coupe as possible, while retaining that handy extra space at the rear. Our sports wagon does not aim to compete with the traditional estate car. For the customer who wants a lot of load space, there is our V70 or XC70,” says Örjan Sterner, head of exterior design for the new Volvo V60.

He adds:

“The dip in the middle of the double wave visually pushes the car down. This enhances the stance and makes the car look sleeker and lower. The sculpted bonnet and the short overhangs front and rear also emphasise the sports car feel.”

Uncompromising chassis approach

Volvo Cars’ chassis experts have chiselled out the driving experience in the new Volvo V60 with the same passion and uncompromising approach that characterised the development of the all-new S60 sedan.

The result is an authentic sports wagon with driving properties that do the sporty lines full justice.

“We’ve pushed the envelope to limits we’ve never previously approached. You simply have to drive this car to appreciate how we’ve driven chassis development to its pinnacle. Take the car out on a narrow, winding country road where every bend brings a new challenge and the new V60 will demonstrate its agility with sparkling enthusiasm,” says Stefan Sällqvist, who headed the development of the chassis in the new V60.

Volvo’s new sports wagon is available with a choice of two chassis. On the European market the newly developed dynamic chassis is standard, while some other markets will have the touring chassis as standard with the dynamic variant available as an option.

The difference between the two chassis alternatives is to be found in the dampers and the front and rear subframes. Here the touring variant has a somewhat softer setting to give a smooth ride on poorer road surfaces.

Every single detail refined

“The spotlight was on giving the concept of comfort a whole new dimension. The dynamic chassis has an alert, quick-responding character that puts the focus on the driving experience, yet without diluting ride comfort,” explains Stefan Sällqvist.

In addition to the two standard chassis, all variants of the V60 can be specified with the optional FOUR-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) active chassis, which has been modified and refined for better control and comfort compared with previous Volvos.

The software in the AWD (All Wheel Drive) system has been modified to allow the four-wheel drive variants (AWD is standard in the T6 and optional with D5 with automatic gearbox) of the new V60 to exploit the sporty new chassis to the limit.

During the development process, the chassis team worked on the new Volvo V60 in parallel with the all-new Volvo S60. The result is a solution that features changes and refinements to virtually every single detail that influences a car’s driving properties. This includes improved steering, stiffer springs and bushes as well as more damping than in any previous Volvo.

The first sports wagon with Advanced Stability Control

The dynamic new chassis is backed up by a range of electronic systems that sharpen the sporty driving experience still further.

Like the all-new S60, the new V60 is fitted with Advanced Stability Control. With a new roll angle sensor, it is possible to identify any skidding tendency at a very early stage. This means that the anti-skid system can step in earlier and with greater precision. Advanced Stability Control is a great asset in dynamic driving involving considerable lateral forces, which improves handling and rapid avoiding manoeuvres.

New Corner Traction Control for smoother cornering

Corner Traction Control is a new feature that uses torque vectoring so the car corners even more smoothly. This technology is a further refinement of the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system.

When cornering, the car’s inner driven wheel is braked, causing more power to be transmitted to the outer driven wheel. This allows the driver to corner more tightly while reducing any tendency to understeer.

A highly advanced braking system is an important part of the dynamic driving properties of the new V60. Volvo’s new sports wagon is equipped with a number of features that interact to provide the shortest possible stopping distance in all scenarios.

Exclusive quality – with extra functionality

The interior of the V60 sports wagon is a clear example of how Volvo Cars’ designers have added excitement, contrast and a playful element to the Scandinavian design tradition’s rational simplicity and functionality.

“The interior has a decidedly extrovert attitude, but without losing any of its practical Scandinavian roots. The new V60 brings us up to a whole new level when it comes to the integral experience of colour, form, material and technology,” says Volvo Cars’ Design Director Peter Horbury.

The interior is thus lavish in terms of its driver-oriented details, but it is still a five-seater car offering comfortable space for all its occupants. Scandinavian design’s rationality, simplicity, clarity and functionality are all prominent in the new V60:

  • The 40/20/40-split rear seat and the fold-flat front passenger seat make it possible to combine passengers and load in a remarkably flexible way. Each backrest in the three-piece rear seat is folded with exceptional ease to create an entirely flat load floor. The rear seat headrests can be folded electrically.
  • The load area has been designed for maximum utilisation of each available millimetre. The 1095 millimetre wide tailgate in combination with extra space behind the wheel housings and under the load floor is an example of the systematic approach adopted to ensure generous load capacity. The load area has a capacity of 430 litres.
  • The rear seat can be specified with integrated child booster cushions in the two outer seats.

The most high-tech Volvo ever – with Pedestrian Detection

The sporty interior of the new V60 is also the most advanced high-tech environment ever available to a Volvo driver.

“The interior of the new V60 is all about innovative design in two areas: form and technology. The design is characterised by sporty freshness down to the smallest detail. The technological aspect includes all those smart solutions that contribute to a driving experience unlike that of any other Volvo – from collision avoidance safety and comfort systems to infotainment and audio excellence of absolute world class,” says Tomas Ahlborg, Project Director for the new V60.

Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake can detect if a pedestrian steps out into the road in front of the car. If the driver does not respond in time, the car can automatically activate the brakes.

“Volvo has always led the way when it comes to protecting the occupants in our cars. In recent years we have adopted groundbreaking initiatives that help the driver avoid collisions with other vehicles. Now we are taking a giant stride forward with technology that can contribute to increased safety for unprotected road users as well,” says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Cars.

Can avoid collisions at speeds below 35 km/h

In an emergency situation the driver first receives an audible warning combined with a flashing light in the windscreen’s head-up display. In order to prompt an immediate, intuitive reaction this warning resembles a brake light. At the same time, the car’s brakes are pre-charged. If the driver does not react to the warning and an accident is imminent, full braking power is automatically applied.

Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds up to 35 km/h if the driver does not react in time. At higher speeds, the focus is on reducing the car’s speed as much as possible prior to impact. Speed can be reduced by up to 25 km/h.

Statistics reveal that the car’s speed has considerable importance for the outcome of the accident. A lower speed of impact means that the risk of serious injury is significantly reduced.

City Safety standard

The new Volvo V60 also features City Safety as standard.

With City Safety, the car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops – or if he or she is driving too fast towards a stationary object. The system can lessen or even entirely avoid low-speed rear-end impacts at speeds up to 30 km/h.

More powerful T6 version

During its first year of production, the new Volvo V60 will be available with a variety of diesel and petrol engines spanning the range from an economical 115 horsepower DRIVe version to an eager high-performance turbocharged version producing 304 horsepower. The focused drive to cut CO2 emissions has lowered fuel consumption throughout the engine range.

The T6 petrol engine has a displacement of 3.0 litres and has been improved still further, primarily thanks to lower internal friction. It now pumps out 304 bhp and no less than 440 Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 6.6 seconds and top speed is limited to 250 km/h.

At the same time, Volvo Cars’ engine specialists have succeeded in cutting fuel consumption by about 10 percent to 10.2 l/100 km (EU Combined).

The engine’s power is delivered to the wheels via Volvo’s second-generation six-speed automatic Geartronic transmission. New valves and lower friction mean faster gearchanges than before. AWD (All Wheel Drive) is standard on the T6.

New direct-injected two-litre engine

The new four-cylinder 2.0T GTDi (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) engine has a displacement of two litres and produces a generous 203 bhp, with 300 Nm of torque available from 1750 rpm. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 7.9 seconds with a manual gearbox and 8.4 seconds with automatic transmission. Top speed is limited to 230 km/h with the manual gearbox and 230 km/h with the automatic.

New in-house-developed turbocharged technology, direct injection and twin variable camshafts produce a unique combination of low fuel consumption, low emissions and a high and broad performance range, all packaged in a very compact format.

Later during the first year of production, the new V60 will also become available in a 2.0 GTDi variant producing 240 bhp and 320 Nm of torque.

Two new 1.6-litre GTDi engines

In addition there is a new 1.6-litre GTDi engine which is available in two versions: 1.6 GTDi (T3) with 150 horsepower and T4 with 180 horsepower.

The 180 bhp engine offers maximum torque of 240 Nm from just 1500 rpm all the way up to 5000 rpm. During short-term overboost, it provides an impressive 270 Nm of torque. This gives excellent lugging ability throughout the speed range. The torque curve is relatively gentle, resulting in a particularly comfortable driving experience.

The 150 horsepower engine offers 240 Nm of torque.

The 2.0T, T5 and T4 are available in combination with Volvo’s automatic six-speed Powershift transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox, while the T3 comes with a manual gearbox.

Two five-cylinder turbodiesels

The engine range also includes two five-cylinder turbodiesels.

The D5 high-performance engine with twin turbos produces 205 horsepower and 420 Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 7.9 seconds (manual and automatic). Top speed is 230 km/h (limited) with the manual gearbox and 230 km/h with the automatic.

In the most recent D5 version, which was introduced in spring 2009, performance and driveability requirements have been met by fitting two turbochargers of different sizes, one taking over from the other and providing added power across a broader rev range.

The complementary properties of the two turbos are utilised optimally for a combination of high performance and low fuel consumption of 5.4 l/100 km (EU Combined) putting this engine in the running for best in class.

In addition there is the newly developed two-litre D3 producing 163 bhp and 400 Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 9.4 seconds (manual and automatic). Top speed is 220 km/h (manual) and 215 km/h (automatic).

The new five-cylinder 2.0D is in principle the same engine as the present 2.4D, but cylinder capacity has been reduced with a shorter stroke to optimise fuel consumption.

Both turbodiesels are available with a six-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox.

The D5 with automatic can also be specified with all-wheel drive.

DRIVe diesel

During the course of the first year of production, a DRIVe version of the new V60 will also be introduced, featuring a 1.6-litre diesel engine. The engine produces 115 bhp and 270 Nm of torque, and will only be available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Engine range

Petrol engines Displacement Configuration Output Torque
T6 3.0 6-cyl in-line 304 bhp 440 Nm
2.0T 2.0 4-cyl in-line 203 bhp 300 Nm
T5 2.0 4-cyl in-line 240 bhp 320 Nm
T4 1.6 4 cyl in-line 180 bhp 240 Nm
T3 1.6 4-cyl in-line 150 bhp 240 Nm
Diesel engines Displacement Configuration Output Torque
D5 2.4 5-cyl in-line 205 bhp 420 Nm
D3 2.0 5-cyl in-line 163 bhp 400 Nm
1.6 D DRIVe 1.6 4-cyl in-line 115 bhp 270 Nm

Entirely new Infotainment system

The new V60 also gets an all-new Infotainment system where information is presented on a five-inch or seven-inch colour screen in the instrument panel. The screen has a high position to make it easy for the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road.

The audio experience in the new V60 has been further enhanced compared with previous models.

“Our most advanced system, Premium Sound, has a class-D digital 5x130W amplifier with circuits from Sweden’s Anaview, Dolby Digital in combination with Dolby Pro Logic II Surround, the award-winning MultEQ from Audyssey Laboratories and 12 loudspeakers. All this creates an audio experience of absolute world class,” says Tomas Ahlborg.

The Volvo V60 is one of the first car models in the world to use the Audyssey Laboratories MultEQ technology. MultEQ eliminates the distortion caused by the car cabin’s acoustics, providing crisp, clear sound with improved soundstage for everyone in the car.

In addition to the top-of-the line Premium Sound, which comes with a 7-inch screen, there are another three audio systems.

European target group

The initial annual target for the new Volvo V60 is 50,000 cars. Of these, no less than 90 percent will go to European buyers. The five largest markets are Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany.

The new V60 is built at the Volvo Cars production plant in Torslanda, Sweden. The first cars will be delivered to customers in autumn 2010.

“The figure ‘60′ in our model range nowadays indicates our sportiest models. The XC60 was the first step. We took the next step with the all-new S60 sedan – and now we’re launching the V60 sports wagon,” says Stephen Odell.

Good news for if you’re buying a Volvo in the near future, the specs and prices are changing on the S40 and V50 range. The top of the range SE Lux model is getting more standard equipment and going down in price. The new S40 1.6d will start at €27,995 for the Es model and €30,095 for the SE Lux, see the table below for all the details.

Volvo S40 & V50 Pricing**

Make Model Description Transmission Type Recommended Retail Price** Road Tax Band
Volvo S40 D2 1.6D 115hp DRIVe ES Manual €27,995 A
Volvo S40 D2 1.6D 115hp DRIVe SE Manual €30,095 A
Volvo S40 D2 1.6D 115hp DRIVe SE Lux Manual €30,095 A
Volvo S40 D2 1.6D 115hp DRIVe R-Design Manual €31,335 A
Volvo S40 D3 2.0D 150hp ES Manual €30,500 B
Volvo S40 D3 2.0D 150hp ES Automatic €33,000 C
Volvo S40 D3 2.0D 150hp SE Manual €32,600 B
Volvo S40 D3 2.0D 150hp SE Automatic €35,100 C
Volvo S40 D3 2.0D 150hp SE Lux Manual €32,600 B
Volvo S40 D3 2.0D 150hp SE Lux Automatic €35,100 C
Volvo S40 D3 2.0D 150hp R-Design Manual €33,500 B
Volvo S40 D3 2.0D 150hp R-Design Automatic €36,000 C
Volvo V50 D2 1.6D 115hp DRIVe ES Manual €29,845 A
Volvo V50 D2 1.6D 115hp DRIVe SE Manual €31,945 A
Volvo V50 D2 1.6D 115hp DRIVe SE Lux Manual €31,945 A
Volvo V50 D2 1.6D 115hp DRIVe R-Design Manual €33,185 A
Volvo V50 D3 2.0D 150hp ES Manual €32,350 B
Volvo V50 D3 2.0D 150hp ES Automatic €34,850 C
Volvo V50 D3 2.0D 150hp SE Manual €34,450 B
Volvo V50 D3 2.0D 150hp SE Automatic €36,950 C
Volvo V50 D3 2.0D 150hp SE Lux Manual €34,450 B
Volvo V50 D3 2.0D 150hp SE Lux Automatic €34,450 C
Volvo V50 D3 2.0D 150hp R-Design Manual €35,350 B
Volvo V50 D3 2.0D 150hp R-Design Automatic €37,850 C

Not only are there great reductions in the prices but the 2.0ltr 150bhp engine is a welcome addition, if you put that into a V50 you would have a powerful estate in tax band B. Good move Volvo.
Here’s the list of extras in the SE Lux models.

The full specification for the S40 & V50 SE Lux includes, in addition to all the safety features synonymous with Volvo:

Electronic Climate Control
Full Leather Upholstery
Performance Audio
Illuminated Vanity Mirrors
Aluminum Inlays
Cruise Control
Power Folding Door Mirrors with Puddle Lights
Active Bending Headlights with headlamp cleaning
Dashboard Information Computer
Audio Remote Controls on steering wheel
Leather Steering Wheel, handbrake cover & gearlever knob
Rain Sensor
Autodiming mirror
Front Foglights
Colour coordinated lower body mouldings
17″ Alloys
Passenger airbag cutoff switch
Rear Armrest with cupholders/ storage

Keep an eye on for more info.

Ohh pretty car…Like the looks?

These pictures were released this morning, so we are hot off the press. One of the best looking cars Opel has done in quite some time. Review of the Insignia coming this week…

Sexy side shot

Cool front shot

Rock climbing? No problem, she has lovely eyes too

Bring your make up for a drive, and a footbal