XC40 launches locally

With diesel or petrol engine options, the new Volvo XC40 expands the design trend started with the XC90 to take on other players in the premium compact SUV arena.

A new evolution of Volvo’s latest design language has resulted in an expressive and unique exterior, while a bespoke interior inherits all of Volvo’s latest design elements, including the 9-inch Sensus Connect touch screen and digital instrument cluster.

New design elements such as the optional contrasting black or white roof, white mirror caps and wheels, Oxide Red leather and ‘Lava’ carpets, which are made from 100% recycled materials, will allow XC40 customers to express a more individualistic style.

Functional practicality has also been a major focus on the inside of the XC40, where smart features such as a removable rubbish bin, a cubby hole hook, a dedicated smartphone storage area with wireless (inductive) charging, and a multi-adaptable boot floor, transform a typically cluttered and sometimes messy car interior into a place of serenity and organised efficiency.

The Volvo XC40 launches in SA with a choice of two trim levels (the sporty R-Design and elegant Momentum), two engines (D4 diesel or T5 petrol), and all-wheel drive on all models. Top-of-the-range Inscription derivatives arrive later in 2018, as well as the T3 front-wheel drive version.

The XC40 also introduces the new Care by Volvo subscription model, whereby customers are able to subscribe to a car rather than buy it, for a fixed monthly fee which includes service, maintenance, insurance and other added value benefits. Care by Volvo is under consideration for introduction in South Africa with a planned date of mid-2019.

Says Greg Maruszewski, MD Volvo Car South Africa, “This car is perfectly suited to the South African market. It’s luxurious, capable and compact, and pricing is extremely competitive. The new Volvo XC40 is equipped with a higher level of standard specification than any of its competitors.”

City Safety is included as standard in the new XC40. This system senses potential collisions, even when it is dark, and can activate the brakes automatically should you not react in time. City Safety provides three levels of intervention; warning, brake support and full autonomous braking, and uses a combination of instruments and sensors to constantly monitor surrounding conditions.

The Pedestrian, Cyclist and Large Animal Detection technology detects and automatically brakes the vehicle in the event of a pedestrian, cyclist or large animal (such as cattle) stepping/swerving/jumping out in front of the car. The advanced sensor system scans the area ahead and will prompt you to act with a flashing warning light, along with an audible alarm. If you do not react to the warning, and a collision is imminent, the car immediately brakes with full braking force.

Rearward facing radar detects if a rear impact is imminent, and safety belts are tightened in advance in order to protect the occupants. Lights also start flashing to warn the driver behind and brakes are activated to help reduce the impact movement.

Lane Keeping Aid is a standard-fitted system that helps the driver keep the car in its lane by gently steering the car back if it is about to cross a lane marking, and if the car senses that the driver is not driving actively, or for example, not using their indicators. If the supplied steering intervention is insufficient the driver is alerted by vibrations in the steering wheel. The system is active between 65-200 km/h.

The new XC40 can also help you stay informed by displaying real-world road sign information within your instrument display. This function also has the ability to warn the driver should the vehicle exceed the current road speed limit. At Volvo we understand that you have a lot on your mind sometimes.

Optionally available, is Volvo’s next generation of semi-autonomous technology. The Adaptive Cruise Control feature maintains the desired set vehicle speed but utilises radar to monitor the vehicle in front and automatically slows down or speeds up as necessary.

In an evolution of this, Pilot Assist also takes care of the steering (up to 130 km/h and when lane markings are clearly visible) by continually monitoring the area in front of the vehicle, making the necessary steering, accelerator and brake inputs as required to keep to the desired speed, distance and within the lane markings.

The Blind Spot Information System uses sensors to alert the driver to vehicles within the mirror blind spots, on either side of the vehicle. Cross Traffic Alert uses radar to provide information to the driver about vehicles approaching from the side – for example when reversing out of a parking space. New in the XC40, Cross

Traffic Alert now also includes braking support, which allows the car to brake on its own if an impact from either side is imminent.

This function allows the car to take over steering control in difficult parallel or perpendicular parking spots. The driver is prompted to control the throttle, braking and gear inputs. The “park out” function also assists in exiting tighter spots.

During low speed manoeuvres, the Visual Park Assist 360º Cameras provide the driver with additional information relating to the car’s surroundings. A birds-eye view of the car is provided via four hidden cameras, digitally stitched together to create a seamless image on the centre screen.

Run-off road accidents are amongst the largest cause of single vehicle accidents. To combat this, Volvo Cars has developed two support systems aimed at helping to avoid a run-off road accident from taking place, or protecting the car’s occupants in the case of an unavoidable road departure.

The Run-off Road Mitigation function is designed to help prevent unintentional road departures at vehicle speeds between 65-140 km/h. Run-off Road Protection focuses on accidental road departure. Using input from the car’s advanced sensor system, the technology is able to detect a run off road scenario.

Distraction, lack of concentration, and falling asleep are major reasons for accidents. In 2007 Volvo Cars introduced a world-first technology to combat this danger. Driver Alert Control keeps track of the car’s path in relation to lane markings on either side, by means of the camera in the windscreen.

If the system detects that the car is being driven in an erratic manner the driver gets an alert in the form of an audible signal as well as a text message and a coffee cup symbol in the driver display, that indicate it is time to take a break. With Sensus Navigation, the driver also gets guidance to the next available place to take the break.

 

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Car ownership revamped

Volvo Cars South Africa is currently evaluating a new business model that could radically change the way in which cars are ‘owned’.

In conjunction with the launch of the new Volvo XC40, Volvo Cars is inventing a new model of having access to a car with the launch of the ‘Care by Volvo’ subscription service. This will make having a car as transparent, easy and hassle-free as having a mobile phone: a national, ready-negotiated monthly fee, combined with getting a new car every 24 months.

After ordering their car online, Care by Volvo customers will be able to drive away in a new Volvo without having to worry about traditional extras such as deposits, insurance, taxes, service fees and geographical –  or customer age-related differences. A flat monthly subscription fee will be their only expense.

In addition to making driving a new Volvo that much simpler, Care by Volvo will, depending on regional availability, offer a range of digital concierge services, such as fuelling, cleaning, service pick-up and e-commerce delivery to the car.

A new car sharing feature which is part of Care by Volvo as standard, will allow new Care by Volvo XC40 drivers to share their car with friends and family with new digital key technology.

Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO, says: “With Care by Volvo, we introduce new car accessibility for the modern age. In a time where consumers are used to transparent flat-fees for all sorts of services, the traditional process of buying and owning a car can be perceived to be rather complicated. Care by Volvo changes all of that.”

The new XC40, launched simultaneously in Milan, will be the first Volvo model with which Care by Volvo will be available. Other Volvo models will be included over time, as will new digital concierge services.

Care by Volvo is a concept that will develop and expand over time. The central focus is on offering customers convenient access to the sense of freedom a car is meant to deliver.

“Our aim with Care by Volvo is to provide our customers with a transparent, premium car user experience. With a fixed monthly payment, Volvo Cars provides a truly customer-focused alternative to the traditional purchase or leasing. Time is a luxury for our customers, and with this service we are able to free up time in their daily lives. This is simply making life easier for our customers,” says Thomas Andersson, Vice President Care by Volvo at Volvo Cars.

Earlier in September, Volvo announced the acquisition of the technology platform and key staff of  Luxe, a US-based premium valet and concierge service company. This acquisition is another example of Volvo’s ongoing development in the area of digital consumer experiences.

Care by Volvo will first be available for buyers of the new Volvo XC40 in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway, Poland and the United States. Other markets will follow at a later stage.

In South Africa, the Care by Volvo business model and related services are under scrutiny for local introduction.

Premium subscription versus leasing:

  • Care by Volvo is a new premium subscription service and differs from existing lease offers in a number of important ways.
  • Care by Volvo offers a convenient package of services allowing customers to enjoy their car whilst Volvo Cars handles everything else.
  • Private leasing is an entry level offer without any additional services included in the price, while even full service leasing covers only parts of the services available in Care by Volvo. For example, none of the digital services to be offered via Care by Volvo are currently part of existing leasing packages.
  • Care by Volvo will also encompass flexibility and customers will be allowed to switch cars temporarily depending on their needs (market-specific).
  • Care by Volvo also removes the practice of price negotiations. Customer research shows that this is one of the elements of the car-buying process that customers dislike the most.
  • Care by Volvo has no customer geographical – or age-related price differences.