Archive for March, 2011

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid – another world-first from Volvo Car Corporation

Monday, March 21st, 2011

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid – another world-first from Volvo Car Corporation

At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Volvo Cars will be unveiling the V60 Plug-in Hybrid – a virtually production-ready car with carbon dioxide emissions below 50 g/km, which translates into fuel consumption of 150 miles per gallon.

In 2012 Volvo Cars will be the first manufacturer on the market with this new breed of hybrid – which is the result of close cooperation with the Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall.

The V60 Plug-in Hybrid features the very best properties from three different car types in one sports wagon. This includes a possibility for the driver to drive up to 32 miles on pure electricity.

“This second-generation hybrid is the perfect choice for the uncompromising buyer who wants a carbon dioxide-lean car packed with driving pleasure,” says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Cars.

D5 engine and Electric Rear Axle Drive
The front wheels of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be driven by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre D5 turbodiesel, which produces 215 horsepower and maximum torque of 440 Nm. The rear axle features ERAD (Electric Rear Axle Drive) in the form of an electric motor producing 70 horsepower, which receives its power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The car features a six-speed automatic transmission.

“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-in Hybrid 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.

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be revealed at a press conference in Geneva in March


Global race for better service

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Global race for better service

There is a growing interest in Top Team, Scania’s global competition for service personnel working at dealers and workshops. The winners: Scania owners and drivers all over the world.

Scania’s Top Team competition is now under way around the world. Teams of service technicians and specialists in 46 markets have been honing their skills and competing to qualify for the regional finals, with the world final in Södertälje in October 2011 as their ultimate goal.

Scania's Top Team 2011

The main purpose of the competition is that the participants should increase their knowledge of Scania products, work methods and tools. Other goals include strengthening the cooperation and to boost motivation among the workshop staff. The competition also enables participants to gain practical experience equivalent to numerous hours of training.

“Skilled service technicians give customers quick, correct service,” emphasises Anders Gustafsson, head of Service Operations within Scania. “For Scania, this enables us to service more vehicles and to ensure that we have more satisfied customers.”

When the first such competition took place in Sweden in 1989, its aim was to raise the status of an occupational group that rarely attracted attention at the time. But today the situation is different. Once simply skilled workers, parts and service staff have increasingly assumed the role of problem solvers.

“Today, above all, it is a matter of listening to the customer and interpreting symptoms,” says Dan Löfgren, who is in charge of services development efforts within Scania Services and Parts Operations. “With the increasingly advanced electronics, trouble-shooting software-related problems has become more and more complex.”

The competition emphasises the importance of teamwork. It reflects the growing need for collaboration both on the service workshop floor and between parts and service specialists.

“Solving problems together reduces the pressure on each individual while improving the chances of getting vehicles back on the road quickly,” Löfgren says.

There is increasing interest in joining the Top Team competition. In the 2010/11 round the number of contestants and the number of qualifying rounds has been larger than in previous competitions. Löfgren is convinced that participation helps strengthen the professional identity of the service market staff.

“The competition gives them a unique chance to measure their skills on equal terms against colleagues from around the world,” he says.

Scania Top Team 2011

The Top Team competition 2010/11

• The 6,000 participants come from 46 markets
• Regional finals – three in Europe, one each in Asia and Latin America (including South Africa) – take place April through August
• The two best teams from each regional final continue on to the world final
• The world final takes place 14–16 October 2011 in Södertälje.


Monday, March 21st, 2011


The sales of Volvo’s Dynafleet Online telematics system had a fantastic year in 2010. The Dynafleet Online portfolio increased by more than 40% which means that today more than 15,600 vehicles across Europe are actively connected to Dynafleet Online.

“Dynafleet Online provides our customers with an easy, reliable and affordable tool to track both fuel and the environmental impact of their operation. Recognising fuel saving opportunities becomes more important in tough economic times and Dynafleet Online can create savings in any customer operation,” says John Russell, Business Solutions Manager at Volvo Trucks.

A new version of Dynafleet Online was launched before Christmas which includes an improved customer interface, Google maps integration for easy route planning, and traffic light reporting. A new service packaging gives increased flexibility to customers, who can now tailor their own solutions according to their specific needs. Services include ‘Fuel and Environment’, ‘Positioning’, ‘Driver Times’ and ‘Messaging’.

Dynafleet 1


Monday, March 21st, 2011


This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous and desirable cars in automotive history – the Jaguar E-Type.

Jaguar will be celebrating this special anniversary year at high-profile motoring events throughout 2011.

The company will mark the anniversary at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and go on to celebrate at Goodwood’s Revival and Festival of Speed, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Nurburgring Old Timer Grand Prix and a host of Jaguar customer, dealer and lifestyle events worldwide.

When it was launched in 1961, the appeal of E-Type transcended the automotive world. Such is the inherent rightness of its proportions, stance and purity of line, that it is a permanent exhibit in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The now iconic E-Type set new standards in automotive design and performance when it was launched in 1961. Its influence is still apparent in Jaguar’s modern range: cars that offer a peerless blend of performance, comfort, cutting-edge technology and award-winning design.

“Half a century of progress has not diminished the significance of the E-Type,” said Mike O’Driscoll, Managing Director Jaguar Cars and Chairman Jaguar Heritage.  “It was a sensation when it was launched, and remains Jaguar’s most enduring and iconic symbol. The E-Type is simply one of the most exciting cars ever created and a legacy to the genius of Jaguar’s founder, Sir William Lyons.”

E-Type owners included celebrities such as George Best, Brigitte Bardot, Tony Curtis and Steve McQueen and the sports car became as synonymous with the Swinging Sixties as the Beatles and the mini skirt.

“It is impossible to overstate the impact the E-Type had when it was unveiled in 1961,” said Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director. “Here was a car that encapsulated the spirit of the revolutionary era it came to symbolise.  The E-Type is a design that even today continues to inform the work we do in styling the Jaguars of the future.”

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961, Jaguar’s E-Type caused a sensation. Capable of achieving 150mph, but costing a fraction of the price of rivals with similar performance, it was the affordable supercar and became an instant icon – remaining on sale for 14 years.

Jaguar E-TYPE Coupe


Tuesday, March 15th, 2011


JCB today announced plans to turn up the heat on plant thieves by offering – as standard – some form of anti-theft device on more than 80% its machines sold in the UK and Ireland from 2011.

The move will protect thousands more construction and agricultural machines from theft in the UK and Ireland, where every week more than £1 million worth are stolen – and just five per cent are ever recovered.

From 2011 and under the name ‘JCB Guardian’, all of JCB’s backhoe loaders, telescopic handlers and tracked and wheeled excavators will be fitted with both an immobiliser and the JCB LiveLink system which allows machines to be tracked and located by satellite if stolen. This is the first time that any JCB product has been protected as standard with both immobilisers and Livelink – a move that will help save some UK customers almost £1,500 over three years in insurance premiums with JCB Insurance.

Extending protection to other products, JCB LiveLink will be installed as standard on JCB’s wheeled loading shovels and range of Telemaster articulated shovels. In addition, immobilisers will be fitted as standard on JCB’s range of compact telehandlers and mini excavators.

UK and Ireland Sales Director Yvette Henshall-Bell said: “Plant theft is a huge problem in the UK and it’s getting worse. With one in three machines sold in the UK made by JCB, more JCB machines are stolen than any other and as the UK’s number one supplier of construction equipment, we are leading the way in theft prevention. We are the only manufacturer offering, as standard, anti-theft measures on such a wide range of products.  While it was rare two years ago for customers to ask for theft protection on machines, more and more are now asking for them.

“It’s our intention to make life as difficult as possible for thieves by introducing theft protection as standard on our products and at the same time saving our customers the cost and inconvenience caused by plant theft.”

JCB LiveLink provides a telematic link to JCB’s machines which gives customers real-time location information, with curfew and geofence alerts – a real defence in the fight against thieves. In addition it can monitor the health of the machine as well as machine hours and performance.

In 2009 JCB became the first excavator manufacturer to achieve a three-star Thatcham security rating in the agricultural and construction machinery sector, with the standard applied to it JS and JZ tracked excavators and 801 and 8020 mini excavators.

Two years earlier JCB also led the fight against plant theft when it began fitting the industry registration system known as CESAR as standard to its machines. CESAR was developed by the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office Plant Theft Action Group. The Construction Equipment Association (CEA) is now the lead organisation responsible for managing the scheme and owns the CESAR trademark. Each machine fitted with CESAR has microchips containing ownership details embedded into the equipment. Machines have two tamper-resistant security plates featuring a unique code, which are both visibly displayed and lasered on to the plate. These details are also logged on a central database to help the police return recovered machines to their owners.

UK machines equipped with CESAR, immobilisers and LiveLink could benefit from insurance premium reductions of up to 45% (*based on an individual machine and subject to individual circumstances) through JCB Insurance. This can be as much as £157 per year on a mini excavator, rising to almost £500 on a JS130 tracked excavator. Over three years of ownership that can equal a £1487.70 saving on a 13 tonne machine.


The new BMW 6 Series Convertible. Irish engine line up and pricing confirmed.

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The new BMW 6 Series Convertible.

Irish engine line up and pricing confirmed.

Dublin. BMW Ireland today confirmed that the new BMW 6 Series Convertible will be available from launch with two petrol engines: the 650i and 640i. Both promise to offer unmatched dynamics, smoothness and responsiveness from their respective V8 and inline six-cylinder engines through the use of twin and single turbocharger technology.

Set to be launched in Ireland on 26th March, the new BMW 6 Series Convertible will also continue to set the benchmark in its class in terms of design. Inspired by the sportiness of a speed boat, the BMW 6 Series Convertible features a particularly flat waistline, long wheelbase, powerfully contoured roof, a wide and sweeping bonnet and a far set-back passenger compartment. The large, forward-slanted ‘shark-nose’ BMW kidney grille and muscular wheel arches further underline the sporty character of the BMW 6 Series model and add to its presence on the road.

Prices start at €107,690 (RRP) / €108,540 (OTR) for the 640i and at €133,040 (RRP) / 133,890 (OTR) for the 650i.

Generous standard specification

Both models will feature a very high level of standard specification, building upon the already high level of standard equipment of its predecessor. Amongst others the list of equipment includes:

  • Dakota leather upholstery
  • Xenon headlights
  • USB audio interface
  • Seat heating, front
  • Bluetooth telephone preparation
  • BMW Professional Multimedia Navigation system
  • Flat-panel 10.2” high-resolution control display
  • Ambient lighting
  • Folding and automatically dimming exterior mirrors
  • LED front foglights
  • 18” alloy wheels for the 640i SE model [19” for the 650i SE]


The 4.4-litre eight-cylinder engine in the new BMW 650i Convertible is unique in that the brace of turbochargers are positioned in the V-shaped area between the cylinder banks. This design results in more efficient packaging and greater engine efficiency. A maximum 407hp is developed between 5,500 and 6,400rpm, with peak torque of 600Nm available between 1,750 and 4,500rpm.

The new BMW 650i Convertible sprints from zero to 100km/h in 5.0 seconds, with a top speed electronically limited to 250km/h. For a model of such blistering performance and refinement, it is also extraordinarily efficient, with average combined fuel consumption of 10.7 l/100km and CO2 emissions of 249g/km.

The six-cylinder in-line engine in the new BMW 640i Convertible uses single turbocharger technology alongside petrol direct injection with VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control. This enables the 3.0-litre unit to develop a maximum 320hp at 5,800rpm and maximum torque of 450Nm between 1,300 and 4,500rpm. This engine propels the BMW 640i Convertible from zero to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.

Perhaps even more remarkable are its efficiency figures. The BMW 640i Convertible achieves 7.9 l/100km on the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions are only 185g/km, proving that at BMW luxurious sporting performance does not come at the expense of economy. Indeed, this model is fitted as standard with an automatic transmission that features Auto Start-Stop technology and an automatic active air flap control behind the car’s kidney grille for optimum engine performance.

As with all BMWs, both derivatives of the new 6 Series Convertible come with a raft of BMW EfficientDynamics measures to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. In addition to the features highlighted on the 640i Convertible, both models have technology such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering (EPS), the need-based operation of ancillary components and intelligent lightweight construction to ensure maximum efficiency as standard.

An eight-speed Sport automatic gearbox is standard fitment on both models, and its wide range of ratios offer a perfect balance of muscular, sprinting performance, refined high speed cruising and low speed efficiency.

BMW 6 series