Volvo Cars starts production of its new XC60 mid-size SUV in Gothenburg, Sweden, this month – 90 years after the first-ever Volvo, the ÖV4, saw the light of day on April 14, 1927.
A A total of just 275 vehicles were sold in its lifetime, which was modest even in those days, while the new XC60 replaces one of the best-selling models in Volvo’s history.
The 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 selling in big numbers, accounting for around 30% of Volvo’s total global sales. In fact, April 2017 will see XC60 production exceed 1,000,000.
Volvo’s founder, Assar Gabrielsson, saw an opportunity for car manufacturing in Sweden after observing the growing automotive industries in the US and Europe from his position within sales at the Swedish ball bearing maker SKF – a supplier to the car industry.
He managed to convince SKF to invest in a spin-off car business called AB Volvo and 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 and that’s Volvo’s commitment to making the world’s safest cars.
Nine unique Rolls-Royce Wraith cars have been commissioned to celebrate icons of the British music industry.
The first four Wraith ‘Inspired by British Music’ cars have been unveiled at a star-studded event in London by the artists who created them, in partnership with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
The stars involved in the project were personally invited to the home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, and worked in close partnership with Rolls-Royce’s design experts to conceive deeply personal expressions of their music legacies.
The unique cars created represent the ultimate collectors’ items for the most ardent fans of each artist and will be sold later in 2017, with Rolls-Royce donating a proportion of the value of each to charities selected by each artist, including the Teenage Cancer Trust.
The first artists honoured were The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, Sir Ray Davies of The Kinks, and producer and “fifth Beatle” Sir George Martin.
The final batch of hand-built Wraith models unveiled later in 2017 will feature Dame Shirley Bassey, Status Quo’s Francis Rossi and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones.
New survey shows what really drives British motorists mad
Driving, it can be the best of times or the worst of times, but in this modern age of congestion and bad drivers it is becoming more frustrating by the day. A new survey by YourParkingSpace into the driving habits of the British has revealed just what drives motorists mad.
The results showed that people not indicating annoyed British motorists the most, while using a mobile phone and bad parking both featured highly on the list. The survey polled 1,028 drivers throughout the UK asking ‘What annoys you the most about being a car driver in the UK?’ the full results are below:
People not indicating (72%)
Talking on a mobile phone (71%)
Bad parking (56%)
Traffic Jams (52%)
Slow drivers (42%)
Not being able to find a parking space (40%)
The data also showed that men were more likely to get annoyed by slow drivers, but both sexes found not indicating and talking on a mobile phone to be equally as irritating. Furthermore 40% of drivers polled stated that trying to find a suitable parking space was frustrating.
Bad parking- grr!
YourParkingSpace wanted to find out more about the issue of parking, so asked those participants who had chosen parking as their most frustrating option how they felt about parking charges in their local area.
48% stated that they thought that parking charges were too expensive, while 29% said that they were reasonable in their local area.
What do you think of parking charges in your local area?
Parking charges are too expensive – 48%
Parking charges are reasonable – 29%
Parking is free – 23%
The data show that parking fee opinions varied greatly depending on location with over 40% of drivers in England stating that parking was too expensive, while only 29% of Scottish drivers felt the same. Coincidentally Scotland seemed to have the highest number of free parking spaces with a third of drivers from north of the border indicating they can park for free.
Managing Director of YourParkingSpace, Harrison Woods, commented on the survey:
“It is interesting to look into the psyche of the British driver, to see what they like and what irritates them about driving. People not indicating and using mobile phones when driving are not only irritating to other road users, but also very dangerous, causing accidents and damage as well as breaking the law. “
“One thing that didn’t surprise us was the fact that 40% of motorists become frustrated when searching for parking spaces and that a large proportion of those questioned felt that parking charges were too expensive. Parking spaces have become a premium commodity in recent years, especially in major cities, and the fact that parking spaces have been getting smaller and cars getting bigger has just exacerbated the situation.”
The New York International Auto Show will host the North American debut of the GT-R Track Edition at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on April 14-24.
2017 is turning out to be a milestone year for GT-R enthusiasts. The model year started with a major makeover for both the GT-R Premium and GT-R NISMO. As the third model in the GT-R lineup, the Track Edition occupies a unique position between the “T” (touring) and “R” (racing) sides of the GT-R equation.
Designed to deliver a higher level of performance than the GT-R Premium, the Track Edition features elements of the flagship GT-R NISMO, though retaining the GT-R Premium model’s 565-horsepower engine rating (versus the GT-R NISMO’s 600-horsepower version). It is a twin-turbo VR38DETT 3.8-liter V6 engine. Torque is rated at 467 pound-feet. A Titanium exhaust system is standard. All GT-R engines are hand-assembled in a clean room by technicians known as Takumi, a process similar to racing powerplant construction. An aluminum plate is added to the front of each engine showing the name of the engine craftsman.
“The new GT-R Track Edition gives buyers a specialized model, one true to GT-R heritage and available only by special order,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “Building on the major upgrade to every GT-R for 2017, the Track Edition is an amazing package inside, outside and under the skin.”
Performance-oriented features start with the body’s additional adhesive bonding (in addition to spot welding), which helps increase body shell rigidity versus the GT-R Premium model. Next, the advanced four-wheel independent suspension receives unique NISMO tuning, with reduced weight and additional roll stiffness (versus GT-R Premium), as well as NISMO-spec tires.
Other standard equipment includes GT-R NISMO front fenders, 20-inch NISMO forged aluminum-alloy wheels and a special dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler. Inside, the Track Edition interior includes a unique red and black color treatment with high-grip, leather-appointed, motorsports-inspired Recaro® seats. A simplified switch layout includes just 11 switches, along with an 8-inch capacitive touch panel monitor. The standard steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow drivers to make mid-turn gear changes without taking their hands off the wheel.
High performance differential oil, used in GT-R motorsports competition, is standard.
All ‘17 Nissan GT-Rs are built on an exclusive Premium Midship platform, which enables the use of the unique independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system. This system places the transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle, optimizing weight distribution and maximizing handling capability. The new GT-R Track Edition has a starting MSRP of $127,990 and will be available late-summer 2017 by order only at GT-R certified Nissan dealers nationwide.
The Historic Vehicle Association will be showcasing a ’32 Ford hot rod, ’51 Mercury custom and a ’64 Chevy lowrider on April 12 to May 4 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The vehicles will be exhibited in the HVA “glass case” on the walkway between the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and National Gallery of Art. The vehicles are privately owned and are being commemorated and recorded as part of the HVA National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) to be permanently archived in the U.S. Library of Congress.
Dubbed Gypsy Rose, it’s a beautifully painted ‘64 Chevrolet Impala lowrider designed to go “low and slow” when it cruised East LA in the 1970s. It was known as one of the most extravagantly painted lowriders of the period and was featured in the opening of the 1970s sitcom, Chico and the Man. Gypsy Rose was featured on the cover of LOWRIDER Magazine in 1980. It will be on display from April 12-19.
The ’32 Ford V8 McGee Roadster was built by Bob McGee, a returning veteran who attended and played football for the University of Southern California. McGee raced the car on the California dry lakes and used it to promote hot rod safety. The iconic Deuce roadster was featured on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in 1948. It will be on display from April 20-26.
Best known as the Hirohata Merc, it’s a ‘51 Mercury coupe that was originally purchased by Bob Hirohata and extensively customized by master craftsmen, Sam and George Barris at their shop in Lynwood, California in 1952. It was striped by Von Dutch and featured modified design elements from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, and Lincoln. Under Hirohata’s ownership it was driven cross-country from LA to Indianapolis and Detroit and back. The Merc collected over 150 trophies during the first several years it was shown. It will be on display from April 27-May 4.
“The HVA’s objective is to share America’s automotive heritage with the American people,” said Mark Gessler, President of the Historic Vehicle Association. “The three cars being recognized on the National Mall represent a uniquely American story of the talented builders who modified production cars for speed and style. These three examples represent true national treasures of the early days of the hot rod, custom and lowrider movements. It is their first time in Washington, DC.”
The HVA expect hot rods, custom cars and lowriders to descend on the nation’s capital during the exhibition. This three-week 2017 exhibition expands upon the two-week 2016 HVA Cars at the Capital exhibition that featured President Taft’s 1909 White Steam Car and President Reagan’s ‘62 Willys Jeep CJ-6.
The 2017 Cars at the Capital free exhibition is underwritten in part through the generous support from Shell (including their Pennzoil and Quaker State brands), Hagerty, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), and TEN: The Enthusiast Network (including its AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD and LOWRIDER brands).
The HVA is dedicated to preserving and sharing America’s automotive heritage. In 2014, the HVA established the National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Heritage Documentation Programs and Library of Congress to document historically significant automobiles in America’s past. For more information about the HVA and its events, please visit https://www.historicvehicle.org/