• Volvo is preparing for the launch of its first all-electric car, the Volvo XC40 Electric.

    Building on the safety standards of the original XC40, Volvo Cars safety engineers have had to completely redesign and reinforce the frontal structure to deal with the absence of an engine.

    “Regardless of what drives a car forward, be it an electric machine or combustion engine, a Volvo must be safe,” says Malin Ekholm, head of safety at Volvo Cars. “The fully electric XC40 will be one of the safest cars we have ever built.”

    To help keep passengers safe and the battery intact in the event of a collision, Volvo Cars has developed a new and unique safety structure. The battery is protected by a safety cage which consists of a frame of extruded aluminum and has been embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure, creating a built-in crumple zone around the battery.

    In terms of active safety systems, the battery-powered XC40 also introduces new technology. It is the first Volvo model equipped with a new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). This new platform is a modern, scalable active safety system that consists of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. Volvo says this scalable system can easily be developed further and will lay the foundation for the future introduction of autonomous drive technology.

    Volvo will reveal more details about the fully electric XC40 in the coming weeks, before it will be first shown to the public on 16th October.

 

  • Another addition to the Volvo XC40 lineup is a new T2 129hp powetrain, which is available now in a new entry-level specification, Momentum Core.

    The Momentum Core specification remains well-equipped, including ‘Sensus Connect’ High Performance Sound, Navigation, ‘Volvo On Call’, 17” Alloy wheels, as well as the Volvo’s full standard safety features.

    The Volvo XC40 Momentum Core is available in both manual and automatic versions, with priced starting from £24,965 (OTR).

 

  • Audi has revealed its latest performance SUVs, the New Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback.

    The successor to the first, and currently only, series production Audi SUV to have sported the ‘RS’ badge, the new RS Q3 is a more powerful version of the first generation car’s five-cylinder TFSI engine, which now produces 400 PS and is also now available with a Sportback coupé body style option.

    “The first Audi RS Q3 established its own segment. We aim to continue this success story with the new generation of the compact high-performance SUV,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “With the offering of the all-new Audi RS Q3 Sportback, a progressive SUV coupe crossover, we are the trendsetter and are leveraging to the full the phenomenal growth potential for Audi Sport.”

    The New Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback join the Audi range in Autumn, both available in a choice of three specification levels.

 

  • Another returning Audi RS model is the New Audi RS 7 Sportback.

    Now available with a 600PS twin-turbo V8 4.0 TFSI engine, not only is the New RS 7 more powerful than the previous model, but it’s also more practical with the addition of a fifth seat and boasts improved efficiency with a new mild hybrid (MHEV) drivetrain.

    Through the 48-volt mild hybrid system, the belt alternator starter can recover up to 12 kW of power and feed it into a lithium-ion battery as electricity. If the driver releases the accelerator at a speed of between 34mph and 99mph, the drive management will select one of two options, either recovering energy or coasting with the engine switched off depending on the driving situation and the settings in Audi drive select. When the driver accelerates, the belt alternator starter will start the engine again. The MHEV system also allows for start-stop activation at speeds of 13mph and below. As soon as the vehicle in front of the car starts moving, the engine will restart, even if the brakes are applied.

    The new Sportback will get from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds and has an electronically limited max speed of 155mph.

    Available in ‘standard’ and top tier Vorsprung forms; the new Audi RS 7 Sportback will be available to order from November, with first customer deliveries in early 2020.

 

  • Maserati has announced plans for all of its new models to be developed, electrified and produced in Italy. All of Maserati’s new models will now be 100% made in Italy and will adopt hybrid and battery electric propulsion systems.

    All new Maserati models, including the updated current models, will also offer a range of autonomous driving capabilities, starting with ‘Maserati Level 2 enhanced Highway Assist’, later progressing to Level 3 with ‘hands-off’ driving and having the ability to manoeuvre in and out of lanes or bring the vehicle to a safe stop at the side of the road if the driver is unable to take control of the vehicle.

    In 2020, the company will start electrification and the Maserati Ghibli, produced in Turin, which will be the first hybrid electric propulsion for the brand. Next, an all-new Maserati all-electric sports car, the Alfieri, will be produced in Modena.

    In 2021 Maserati will then launch a new SUV to sit below the Levante, which will built at Cassino. Beyond this, new versions of the Granturismo and Grancabrio, produced in Turin, will be released and are said to "herald the full electrification era for Maserati".