2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo QV

Alfa Romeo Mito QV

Alfa Romeo Mito QV

Let first start by saying this is my 200th post so thank you for your continued support also I couldn’t think of a better car to bring up number 200 on.

Now if you have read my my review of the Alfa MiTo (which can be found here if you haven’t)  you will know that I am a bit of a fan of the MiTo, well it seems Alfa have decided to turn the wick up a little bit with the introduction of the upgrades for the 2014 MiTo QV.

The Quadrifoglio or four leaf clover badge started appearing on Alfa Romeo cars in the 1920’s as a good luck charm the four leafed clover on a white square background, and thus became the badge of racing Alfa’s. These days a green cloverleaf or Quadrifoglio on a white ground Quadrifoglio Verde means its the top end performance model.

The Alfa Romeo MiTo QV is no exception to the rule with Alfa’s exceptional 1.4L MultAir turbo engine under the bonnet punching out 125kw and 250nm, Alfa’s Active suspension, 18 inch titanium alloys, Brembo brakes the MiTo QV promises to be quite an exciting drive.

Rather then listen to my Alfa Romeo drool fest continue and believe me I could keep going on and on about this car check the details below from Fiat Alfa Romeo.

 

The legend lives on: Introducing the Alfa Romeo MiTo QV

  • Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde: enhanced styling features and a revised interior with Uconnect five-inch touchscreen multimedia system with Bluetooth, text-message reader and audio streaming as standard
  • Punchy 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine that generates 125kW and 250Nm, paired exclusively with slick six-speed manual transmission
  • Powerful efficiency: 0-100km/h in just 7.5secs and on to a 219km/h top speed. All while sipping just 6.0-litres per hundred kilometres
  • Alfa Active Suspension continuously adapts to road conditions, ensuring a dynamic drive
  • Stunning style: 18-inch Titanium Quadrifoglio Verde alloy wheels, Brembo brakes with red calipers, twin chrome-plated exhaust pipe, Titanio Grey frames on headlights, taillights and exterior mirrors

The new high-performance Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde – a true Italian hot hatch – has arrived with significant technical and style upgrades for 2014.

The new MiTo QV offers enhanced Italian style and technology to match its performance, efficiency, specification and, of course, driving satisfaction.

The MiTo QV’s exterior is distinguished by the burnished finish on the headlight surrounds, front grille, door mirrors; door handles and tail-light surrounds, as well as its rear spoiler, sports rear bumper, twin chrome exhaust pipes, 18-inch alloy wheels, red Brembo® brake callipers and the unmistakable Quadrifoglio Verde emblem on the front wings.

The interior also reflects the dynamic spirit of the MiTo QV, as highlighted by the new flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, trimmed in leather with contrasting white stitching. Black leather with white stitching also trims the handbrake lever and the gear lever while the Competizione ‘carbon look’ dashboard, special floor mats and aluminium kick plate (with Quadrifoglio Verde logos) add to the special feel of the interior. The sports seats – height adjustable on the driver’s side and with lumbar adjustment for both front occupants – are trimmed in specific Quadrifoglio Verde fabric and finished with white-and-green stitching to complete the revised look.

As with all Alfa Romeo cars, the power-plant is the heart of the machine and under the bonnet of the new Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde beats the advanced 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine, which develops a maximum power output of 125kW at 5,500 rpm and maximum torque of 250Nm at 2,500 rpm (in Dynamic mode).

Performance is as spirited as ever, with a 0-100km/h sprint in just 7.5 seconds.

In terms of equipment, the new Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde again offers exceptional levels of specification including Alfa Romeo’s Uconnect five-inch touchscreen multimedia system as standard, with Bluetooth connectivity, Text Reader, Audio Streaming, Voice Controls, MP3, USB and Aux-In.

Priced at just $30,500 (MSRP), the Alfa Romeo MiTo QV is in dealers now.

ALFA ROMEO MITO QV FEATURES

  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Four-piston Brembo® brake callipers finished in red
  • Alfa Active Suspension
  • 18″ exclusive Quadrifoglio Verde alloy wheels
  • Sports rear bumper with twin chrome tailpipes
  • Front fog lights with dark surrounds
  • Burnished trim on grille, handles, mirrors, front and rear light surrounds
  • New Flat-bottom sports steering wheel
  • Leather brake lever and gear lever boot with white and green stitching
  • Instrument panel with white graphics and Quadrifoglio Verde logo
  • “Competizione” Carbon-look dashboard
  • Aluminium Quadrifoglio Verde kick plates
  • Fabric seats with Alfa Romeo logo and white-green stitching
  • UconnectTM five-inch touch-screen multimedia system with Bluetooth, Text Reader, Audio Streaming, Voice Controls, MP3, USB and Aux-In
  • Specific Quadrifoglio Verde mats

ALFA ROMEO MITO QV DRIVE SYSTEMS

Alfa Active Suspension

Electronic shock absorber control system that actively and continuously changes the chassis response depending on road conditions and the driver’s needs. It interfaces with Alfa D.N.A. and the other on-board electronic devices.

Alfa D.N.A.

The Alfa MiTo was the first Alfa Romeo car to be equipped with the Alfa D.N.A. system, an innovative device that adapts the car’s personality to the needs of the driver and road conditions.

Derived from racing experience, the Alfa D.N.A. system acts on the engine, brakes, steering, suspension and gearbox, allowing three different vehicle behaviour modes, depending on the most suitable driving style for the road conditions or the desires of the driver: super-sporty mode, Dynamic; urban mode, Natural; and maximum safety even in low grip conditions, All-weather mode.

In the Dynamic racing driving mode the electronic traction control systems are activated more discreetly, the engine and brakes are more reactive and quicker to respond and the steering is more direct and sporty.

Shift the selector to the Natural urban driving mode and the calibration is more neutral, with optimised consumption.

When poor grip conditions make the road more demanding, all you have to do is activate the All-weather setting, designed to anticipate the intervention of all of the electronic safety devices.

ALFA ROMEO MITO QV SPECIFICATION

  • Powered by 1.4-litre (1386cc) MultiAir Turbo engine
  • Generates 125kW and up to 250Nm (Dynamic mode)
  • 0-100km/h acceleration time of 7.5 seconds. Max: 219km/h
  • Kerb weight: 1145kg
  • Fuel consumption: 6.0-litres per hundred kilometres, 139g/km CO2
  • Enhanced styling features include a burnished finish on exterior elements and the 18-inch alloy wheels, plus a rear spoiler, sports rear bumper and twin exhaust pipes
  • Revised interior includes new flat-bottom sports steering wheel and new Uconnect five-inch touchscreen multimedia system

Massive thank you to Fiat Afla Romeo for the info and pics, dont forget to visit their webs site www.alfaromeo.com.au

 

Special Edition Craig Lowndes Commodore

Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition

Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition

Holden have taken the wraps off a very special VF SSV Commodore to celebrate V8 Supercar Legend Craig Lowndes and i can say from the front it looks mighty tasty indeed.
Check out the details below from Holden, more details including pricing will be released next month so please check back.

Holden develops VF tribute model celebrating 20 years of Craig Lowndes in V8 Supercars
Every car hand-finished and individually numbered at the Holden Enhancement Centre at the Holden vehicle plant in Adelaide
Customers to receive exclusive, ‘money can’t buy’ experiences
Pricing and specification to be released next month
In September 1994, a 20-year-old rookie made his first appearance for Holden in a V8 Supercar at Sandown, and just one month later became a household name when he and teammate Brad Jones finished second in Australia’s great race, the Bathurst 1000. That rookie was the one and only Craig Lowndes.

On the eve of Lowndes’ 20th anniversary in V8 Supercars, Holden is commemorating ‘20 years of Craig Lowndes’ with a Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition Commodore paying tribute to an Australian motorsport legend.

On sale next month, the Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition Commodore is based on Holden’s world-beating SS V Redline Commodore and will feature a unique set of specifications. Each car will be hand-finished and individually numbered by trained technicians at the Holden Enhancement Centre, located at Holden’s Adelaide vehicle plant.

Buyers of the Craig Lowndes Special Edition will also be offered a package of exclusive, ‘money can’t buy’ experiences including:

Framed certificate of authenticity with build plate
Red Bull Racing private function and tour hosted by Craig Lowndes
Two General Admission tickets to customers’ local 2015 V8 Supercar race and Red Bull Racing pit tour
Additional pricing, specification and further details of the Craig Lowndes Special Edition VF Commodore will be released closer to sale.

Craig Lowndes said that after a 20 year career it was a huge honour to have Holden develop this fantastic tribute model.

“I’ve had a lot of success on the racetrack behind the wheel of Commodores and to celebrate that with this special road-going version is a great privilege. I know fans and customers all over the country are going to love it,” said Lowndes.

Holden dealers are now taking pre-orders on this very special edition Commodore.

About Craig Lowndes:

Lowndes was awarded a full-time drive with the factory Holden Racing Team in 1996 and was mentored by Holden legend Peter Brock. Lowndes went on to claim the prestigious Triple Crown in his rookie season: the Australian Touring Car Championship, the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000.

Over a brilliant 20 year career, the ever-smiling Lowndes has compiled a list of unsurpassed achievements including:

Three Australian Touring Car Championships
Five Bathurst 1000 titles
A record 97 ATCC/V8 Supercars Championship race wins

Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition

Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition

Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition

Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition

Hyundai ix35 Highlander Diesel quick review

ix359

Let me start by saying that I am not getting paid for my reviews, so sometimes I don’t actually get to do everything I had plan on doing with car i’ve had for the week this unfortunately is one of those times so unfortunately this turned into a quick review of the Hyundai ix35.

The small SUV market in Australia in hotly contested and the ix35 is one of the star performers in this class after spending week with it I can now understand why.

I love the look of the ix35 from the front to the back I think the Hyundai designers have come up with a rather design it does help that the ix35 looks specially good in this colour which called Atomic Orange, its best described as a sort of metallic burnt orange. It also helps that the black grille, lower front bar, side skirts and bottom the rear really sets the colour off nicely. It’s rides on rather attractive 18inch alloys.

Having driven a few Hyundai’s I got a sense of familiarity on the Inside, the leather front seats were comfortable enough but I would have like a touch more support on the side bolsters during cornering.

The instrument panel features a large tacho and speedo and is extremely easy to read in all light and back lit with soft blue lighting at night which is easy on the eye’s.

There is also an LCD screen which can display various vehicle settings including fuel economy and distance to empty. One thing I did miss was a digital speedo which a lot of it’s competitors have.

The centre stack features Hyundai multi media system which features Bluetooth phone & audio streaming, USB, Aux input connection for your iphone or mp3 player. The sound from the audio system is not bad thanks to the six speakers. All these functions can also be controlled by buttons on the steering wheel which means you don’t have to take your hands off the wheel.

The back seat offers plenty of leg room and the kids had no complaint during the week, the back offers apple amount of room which does increase when you fold the back back seats down.

Under the bonnet the Hyundai ix35 is powered by 2.0L turbo diesel packing 135 kW and 392 Nm of torque, backing this is Hyundai’s wonderful 6 speed auto which is well suited to the diesel the shifts were smooth and due to the decent amount of torque it didn’t need to hunt for gears.

The turbo diesel has plenty power and will easily keep up with traffic, on the highway the ix35 just idles along in 6th gear. While I didn’t get much of a chance to really test out the fuel economy properly the ix35 returned decent economy in bumper to bumper traffic and on the freeway.

On the road the ix35 has benefited from the suspension and steering changes Hyundai has done to set the car up for Australia unique conditions. Although I did find the ride a touch on the firm side in as far as you do feel some of bumps. The electric power steering provides decent enough feel and it responds well to steering input and the steering is light enough to make parking the ix35 an easy job.

Safety wise the ix35 has a 5 star ANCAP rating and features 6 airbags, ABS Brakes, electronic brake force distribution (EBD), ESC, traction control,hill decent and hill hold. It also has rear parking sensors and scores full marks from me for rear view camera as well.

While I didn’t get to spend as much time and do as many KM as I’d planned to do in the ix35 i did get a feel for the car and found it rather nice.

There were a couple of things I though could of been better like the front seats and I did miss having a digital speedo. Overall the ix35 is decent small SUV and I now understand why they selling well in country. They are packed for a safety and the diesel can produce decent economy which makes it a great prospect for families.

For more information on Hyundai’s range of vehicles head over to their website http://www.hyundai.com.au

 

Volvo S60 T5 R-Design DRIVE-E Review

 

Volvo S60 T5 R-Design

Volvo S60 T5 R-Design

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up the keys to the Volvo S60 T5 R-Design sedan. This was the first Volvo sedan I’d driven for a very long time, and while the XC60 T6 R-Design had given me my first taste of a new Volvo I was very keen to see how the S60 shaped up.
From the moment I saw it I could feel the excitement raise a little, I mean this is one good looking car.
The S60 has a very sleek look to it, the addition of the R-Design package takes it to another level.
The R-Design frontend features larger air intakes, the addition of DRL’s and wide mouthed black grille combine with the wonderfully shaped dual Xenon lights give the S60 an aggressive I mean business look.
The sloping roof line and beautiful curvy rear quarter lead to the back end with R-Design rear diffuser and twin tail pipes.
Riding on the optional 19inch IXION R-Design diamond cut dark
grey alloy wheels wrapped in sticky Bridgestone Potenza tyres the S60 T5 R-Design is extremely attractive from every angle.
I mean it attracted attention everywhere I went and that just wasn’t because of the bright red paint work.
While on previous models of the S60 T5 badge stood for a ford sourced 5 cylinder engine. 2014 saw the release of the first new Volvo designed Drive-E 4 cyl engines since ford sold Volvo in 2010.

2.0L turbo 4 cyl Drive-E 180kw 35nm

2.0L turbo 4 cyl Drive-E 180kw 35nm

The T5 features a turbo 2.0L 4cyl co developed by Volvo and Polestar featuring direct injection it puts out 180kW and a healthy 350Nm of torque. Not only does it have improved power and torque over the previous 5 cyl but it offers a great improvement in fuel economy as well.
The exhaust note is the only thing that’s not impressive about this engine as it can sound very similar to a diesel at low revs.
Performance wise though its might impressive it will more than keep up with traffic without breaking a sweat.
Should you put your foot down then it responds with excellent acceleration and it’s responsive at any speed thanks partly to the wonderful 8 speed auto.
One feature of the new Drive-E engine is the stop start feature which switches the engine off when you stop to save fuel, the economy is rather good indeed.
During the week I had the car I averaged between 12.3L/100km and 16L/100km which was just plan city driving as I didn’t get a chance to take it onto the open road. I know you can definitely do a lot better than did but I wasn’t trying to maximize economy.
The wonderful 8 speed auto I mentioned before shifts extremely quick and smooth, move it into sports mode and you can take advantage of the engines torque band.
Using the paddle shifts to explore the transmission more can be rewarding although it won’t let you rev past 6000rpm.
On the road the R-Design sports chassis is stiff but unfortunately I found it a little jiggly over some bumps especially on some of Sydney’s typical crappy B roads.
On the smoother roads though the S60 T5 R-Design is extremely well sorted and rewarding to drive the steering is a touch heavy but is responsive and decently weighted and I liked its feel.
On the inside you are met with luxury the R-Designed leather front seats not only offer great support while cornering but a comfortable as well I got the feeling they would be great on a long distance drive.
The fit and finish and quality of the interior surfaces and materials just scream premium opulence.
The leather R-Design sports steering wheel is extremely comfortable to hold and was the perfect thickness for me.
It contains controls for the audio system, adaptive cruise control and hands free blue tooth.
The instrument panel is Volvo’s Adapted Digital Display which also features in the XC60 I tested the week before.
It has 3 different coloured themes to choose from.

Performance instrument scheme

Performance instrument scheme

Elegance which has a nice blue and black tone, Eco which is a green and my favourite scheme performance which is red.
The performance scheme gives you a large tacho with a digital speedo in the middle, flanking that to the right a power metre and to the left a temp gauge which is replaced by a gauge showing you what speed you have set the cruise control on when you’re using it. I really like the setup of this display and it has to be one of the best looking instrument panels I’ve seen.
The sculpture dash covered in soft touch material leads you to the centre stack which contains the 7 inch colour screen for Volvo’s Sensus Premium Sound Multimedia system.
I really like the system and it allows you to access what seems like an endless amount of settings for the car.
By selecting MY Car you get access to things such as the City Safety, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection, Driver Alert Control, Lane Keeping Aid, Radar Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Road Sign Information (RSI), lights, door mirrors, climate, central locking, audio and phone. The system also offers full Bluetooth connectivity and live audio streaming from your phone, AM/FM radio, CD/DVD, USB, AUX and full iwhatever connectivity.
The sat nav has voice control and works great, the system will also allow you to connect to the net by WIFI or by Bluetooth using your phones net connection. Although for some reason the only way I could get it to work was to set my phone up as a WIFI hotspot.
My only beef with the system is it’s a bit fiddly to use and not quite as good as some of the touch screen systems I’ve used.
The back seat offers plenty of legroom and is extremely comfortable, boot space is not but this car came with the optional space saver spare which is mounted on the floor which does eat into your boot space.
Volvo is a world leader in vehicle safety and you would expect this car has list of features longer than your arm including.
City Safety, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC), Advanced
Stability Control (ASC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Ready Brake Alert (RBA), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) with Electronic Brake
Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Emergency
Brake Lights with hazard light activation, Advance Stability Control
(ASC); driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags front, Curtain airbags, Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) including SIPS airbags in front seats, Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), Intelligent Driver Information Sysnet (IDIS), three-point seatbelts, head restraints, anti-submarining, seatbelt pre tensioners and reminders on all seats, rear parking camera, rear parking sensors.
This car came with the optional driver support package which adds Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert, Driver Alert System (Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Active High Beam Control, Forward Collision Warning and Road Sign Information), Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning
with Full Autbrake, Front and rear parking sensors, Auto dim rear view mirror and side mirrors to the already massive safety feature list.
After a week I found the Volvo S60 T5 R-Design to be a great car it drives, steers and handles well. There are more safety features than you can pole a stick at.
Volvo’s new turbo 2.0L Drive-E engine is great, it’s wide torque band backed by a great 8 speed auto provides you with a wonderfully entertaining drive when you have that in mind. But will also return decent fuel economy when driven sedately.
The only issues I did have was while the start stop system is great for saving fuel it can be a bit intrusive at time, the Sensus system while loaded with features and providing great sound was a touch fiddly.
The ride can be a touch busy at times on roads that aren’t smooth the up side to that is the great handling specially when cornering.
Volvo are hoping this car can take it up to its German rivals in the luxury sports sedan and after my week in the S60 T5 R-Design I think they up there specially when it comes to the fit, finish and quality of the materials used on the interior.
If you’re looking for a mid size sedan that is packed full of safety features, can return decent economy but deliver you a great drive then you should be taking a look at the Volvo S60 T5 R-Design.
For full details on Volvo’s S60 range check out their website http://www.volvocars.com/au

Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design Review

xc60t6r4

I want to start by apologising for the bad photography the bad weather all week meant I didn’t get any decent photos and the ones I got were done on my phone and up to my usual standard so I’m a little disappointed by them.

I was a little excited to pick the keys up to the Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design Polestar not only because this was going to be my first review of a premium brand but this particular car had the magic blue Polestar badge on the rear.
Polestar is Volvo’s performance and racing partner and Polestar takes Volvos and makes them extra special with performance upgrades.
From the outside the XC60 looks great the front end with Volvo’s trade mark grille gives the XC60 and up market but slightly aggressive look thanks the to R-Design add ons, The lightly sloping front end and rear end styling complete with attractive 20inch alloys complete the look.

Step inside and you get a distinct waft of elegance, the R-Design leather sports seats are not only extremely comfortable but very supportive as well when cornering, with electric adjustment and 3 memory storage its not only easy to find your favourite driving position you won’t lose it either.
The leather bound steering wheel is not only comfortable to hold, but the perfect thickness as well, also has controls for the adaptive cruise control, audio system, and Bluetooth.
Behind the wheel are alloy gear shift paddles for when you want to take things into your own hands.

xc60t6r9
The instrument panel is a big LCD screen, Volvo calls it an Adaptive Digital Display and it has 3 different themes you can choose from.
Elegance which has a nice blue and black tone gives you a speedo in the middle and temp gauge on the left and rev tacho on the right, Eco which is a green colour gives you the same setup except the temp gauge is replaced with a ECO gauge.
The last and my fav setting is Performance which turns the screen red, the gauge in the middle changes to a large rev tacho with a large digital speedo in the middle, to the right is power metre.
One other nifty function is the road sign info display status, A camera behind the review mirror scans the road ahead and read’s the speed limit signs along the road and the speed limit shows up on your instrument display a word of warning though as it’s fooled by school zones and their hours of operation.
Your satnav directions also pop up in the middle of the the display so you don’t have to worry about looking at the screen in the centre of the dash.
This is simply one of the most attractive looking instrument setups I’ve experienced.
The dash is made from soft touch material and the centre is home to the LCD screen from the media system.
While a lot of cars these days have large touch screen the Volvo doesn’t, instead its operated by the dials below.
At first glance the amount of buttons do seem a touch daunting at first, but once you learn which buttons are which it gets easier. You can also access via the steering wheel controls or the voice recognition system.
The Volvo Sensus system is great and allows you to access and change the settings for many of the cars settings including such things as City Safety, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection, Driver Alert Control, audio, phone and a whole lot more.
The Sat Nav which also can be controlled with the steering wheel buttons is easy to use and works very well.
The integrated Bluetooth hands free system works extremely well and once paired It offers live streaming of media from your phone, there also is the option to stream from the internet via Bluetooth or wifi. But the only way I could get it to work to on my phone was to turn into a WIFI hotspot and connect that way as for some reason I couldn’t get it to connect via Bluetooth.
This particular car came with the optional premium sound system and the sound was great thanks to its 12 speakers powered by a 5×130 W digital amp but I did find it struggled with some songs with a lot of bass considering a lot of the music on my usb stick in heavy metal or thrash I didn’t turn the bass up much during the week but I will say the sound extremely crisp.

It only took a couple km for me really start liking the XC60T6 R-Design and whats under the bonnet, the T6 badge on the back stands for Volvo’s awesome 3.0L turbo charged 6 which thanks to the Polestar upgrades pushes out an extremely healthy 242Kw and 480Nm of torque. Volvo claims a 0-100km time of 6.6 secs and after driving it around for a week I would agree with that, this car really does have some impressive acceleration.
In the normal world the XC60 T6 R will happily just laze around in bumper to bumper traffic without a care in the world and it has more than enough power to keep up with any traffic this side of an F1 GP.
Should the urge arise (and believe me it will) and you decide to explore the turbo 6 in a more deep and meaningful way, the acceleration is just unbelievable, while I didn’t get the chance to really try it out properly on my usual test loop due to the rubbish weather.
The rain did however give me plenty of chances to test out just how good AWD system is, even in the biggest of rain storms it never felt like it was going to break traction or lose control even brought nothing but lots if acceleration (and a big grin to my face), the car just gripped and took off like a scolded cat. Now my only low light to my week driving it was the fact I didn’t get to do a lot of km’s in the car as I would have like to of done so I didn’t get a chance to take it on the open road.
So unfortunately the only fuel economy figures came from a week of bumper to bumper traffic and it returned 16L/100km while some of you might think that’s a little on the high side I think it was pretty impressive considering it didn’t drive it sedately at all.
Backing the fantastic turbo 6 is Volvo 6sp Adaptive Geartronic with gear shift paddles, the transmission is perfectly suited to the engine when left to shift for itself the transmission shifts smoothly and are barely noticeable. Putting it into sports and the transmission will hold the gears longer letting explore the engines torque, should you want to shift for yourself you can use the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

Handling wise the rain ruined any chances of me really finding out how good the sports chassis really is, what corners I did get to throw at it the XC60 T6 R handled them wonderfully. There was no hint of body roll and it seemed to sit nice and flat. The downside to that was it did ride a little harsh on some of Sydney’s typical B roads, the steering might seem touch heavy to some people but I though it was weighted well and there was a decent amount of sharpness to it.
Volvo prides itself on the safety levels of their cars and as you would expect this car is absolutely packed full of safety features including:
City Safety, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Trailer Stability Assist (TSA), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and Emergency Brake Lights with hazard light activation, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC, Roll Stability Control (RSC); driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags front, two full length Inflatable Curtain airbags, Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) including SIPS airbags in front seats, Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS) and the list goes on including built in booster cushions in rear outer seats which is great if you have younger children. It also comes with rear parking sensors and gets maximum bonus points for having a rear parking camera as well.
This particular car came with the optional driver support package which adds even more safety features including Adaptive Cruise Control (at all speeds), Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, Active High Beam (AHB), Road Sign Information (RSI), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), Front parking sensors and Auto dim rear view mirror and side mirrors.

So after a week in the XC60 T6 R-Design while I didn’t put the mileage on it I wanted to, I came away feeling more than impressed. The massive amount of safety features combined with the added sure footedness of the AWD system meant that this is probably the safest car I’ve ever driven.
The added sporty features of the R-Design package really appealed to me greatly and while the car oozed luxury the R-Design seats and body kit gave it a more sporty feel.
There were a couple of features I really liked the bi-xenon Active Bending Lights (ABL), the keyless start and entry made it easy to get in even when I had armfuls of stuff. The active cruise control is just amazing even in normal traffic you set the speed you want and the distance from the car front and the car keeps it’s distance. IF the car in front of comes to a stop the car stops when the car in front moves off you touch accelerator or the resume button on the steering wheel the car takes off. The Polestar upgrades are impressive and the quality of materials used on the inside and impressive level of fit and finish is amazing.
I really could go on for a page or more on the stuff I really liked, but I will list the stuff I didn’t quite like because that list is a whole lot shorter. The Sensus system while it had a great amount of features I found it was a bit fiddly and not as easy to use as some touch screen systems on the market, the cruise control increases the speed increments in 5km/h which is annoying, but wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me if I was shopping for a car like this.
Over all the Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design is a really impressive car and really should be one of the first cars you put on your list if you’re looking for a mid size premium SUV with bucket loads of performance and safety. Oh and if you do buy one make sure you tick the Polestar box as well you won’t regret it
For full details on the Volvo XC60 range check out their website http://www.volvocars.com/au

If your in the market for a new Volvo and want to save some money without the hassles of haggling prices with the salesman check out bid my car
https://www.bidmycar.com.au/special-offer/?utm_source=kts350&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=kts350-lead 

All New Volvo XC90

All new Volvo XC90

All new Volvo XC90

Volvo’s all new XC90 broke cover today at it’s world premier, the new XC90 which is built on Volvo’s new scalable product architecture (SPA) which will underpin most new Volvos from now on. I could go on for ages specially about the safety technologies this car will come equip with but I couldn’t put it any better than Volvo so check out all the info below thank you to Volvo for information and pics.

 

Months of speculation ended today after Volvo Cars unveiled its All-New Volvo XC90, delivering on its promise to introduce a visually striking, premium quality, seven-seat SUV with world leading safety features, new powertrain technologies, an unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency and a superlative interior finish.

Three years in the making and part of a USD 11bn investment programme, the All-New XC90 marks the beginning of a new chapter in Volvo’s history, capturing its future design direction, incorporating its own range of new technologies and utilising its new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology.

“This is one of the most important days in our history,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group.

“We are not just launching a car, but re-launching our brand. This day marks a new era for our company. The XC90 paves the way for a portfolio of exciting new cars to come in the following years.”

Volvo’s new face

Symbolising this historic day in Volvo’s 87-year history, the All-New XC90 will be the first of its cars to carry the company’s new more prominent iron mark, which has the iconic arrow elegantly aligned with the diagonal slash across the grille. Together with the T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” DRL lights, the iron mark introduces an entirely new, distinctive and confident face for Volvo’s forthcoming generation of cars.

The All-New XC90’s larger bonnet with its new topography, the beltline and the sharpened shoulders connecting with the tattoo-like, new rear lights are other important design signatures that will be mirrored across the range.

To add more visual muscle from the sides, the XC90 comes with a range of wheel sizes up to 22 inches.

“The overall impression, both exterior and interior, has a strong connection to the key elements of the Swedish lifestyle: the generous space, the celebration of light and the focus on wellbeing,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.

First SUV without compromises

The All-New XC90 is firm evidence of the Volvo-by-Volvo strategy. Its outstanding combination of luxury, space, versatility, efficiency and safety will bring the SUV segment into a new dimension, just as the original XC90 achieved in 2002.

“SPA has enabled us to create the world’s first SUV without compromises,” says Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development of Volvo Car Group.

“You get the in-command feel, generous interior space and flexible capability combined with the agility and smooth comfort of a much smaller and lower car. The adrenaline rush that is key to true driving pleasure is delivered by powertrains that offer an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation. And since the XC90 carries the Volvo badge, world-class safety is standard.”

Unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency

The All-New XC90 offers a range of two-litre, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrains, all of which provide an outstanding combination of performance and fuel-efficiency.

The top of the range XC90 Twin Engine, which combines a two-litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor, offers an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation: around 400 [300kW] horsepower with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of around 60g/km (NEDC driving cycle).

Most comprehensive standard safety package

The All-New Volvo XC90 offers the most comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package available in the automotive industry. It includes two world first safety technologies: a run-off road protection package and autobrake at intersection capability.

In a run-off road scenario, the All-New Volvo XC90 detects what is happening and the front safety belts are tightened to keep the occupants in position. To help prevent spine injuries, energy-absorbing functionality between the seat and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can arise when the car encounters a hard landing on terrain.

The All-New XC90 is the first car in the world with technology that features automatic braking if the driver turns in front of an oncoming car. This is a common scenario at busy city crossings as well as on highways, where the speed limits are higher.

City Safety becomes the umbrella name for all of Volvo Cars’ autobrake functions, which are standard equipment in the All-New XC90. It now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, day and night.

“The new technologies will take us a significant step closer to our vision that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020,” says Dr Mertens.

“Our starting point on safety is the same today as it was when the company was created almost 90 years ago: real-life situations. We study data. We crunch numbers. We innovate. The result is one of the safest cars ever made.”

Three focus areas will help Volvo Cars to reach Vision 2020: safety, connectivity and autonomous drive.

“With the XC90, we take the first step towards self-driving cars. A new function that automatically follows the vehicle ahead in stop-and-go traffic will provide a radically simplified, semi-autonomous driving experience,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management of Volvo Car Group.

Luxurious interior

The All-New XC90’s interior is the most luxurious to have been designed for a Volvo. The most striking feature is a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of an all-new in-car control system. This system is virtually button free and represents an entirely new way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services. It also helps create an interior that is modern, spacious and uncluttered.

“The new interior is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect. The simplicity is perfectly in tune with our Scandinavian design heritage. It opens up generous surfaces and gives us the opportunity to create a modern, luxurious interior architecture,” says Mr Ingenlath.

The All-New XC90 interior combines materials such as soft leather and wood with handcrafted details, including a gearlever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, the famous Swedish glassmaker, and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control. Craftsmanship has been in sharp focus during the whole development work.

The genuine seven seater features new, innovatively designed seats that also free up interior space for passengers both in the second and third seat rows. The third row offers class-leading comfort for two passengers up to 170cm tall.

One of the world’s best audio systems

The All-New XC90 features one of the top audio systems available in the automotive world after Volvo Cars audio experts joined forces with their counterparts at the renowned British audio equipment company Bowers & Wilkins.

The top-of-the-line system in the XC90 features a 1,400 Watt Class D amplifier and 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers. It also includes one of the first air-ventilated subwoofers in a car. Integrated into the car body, it turns the whole interior space into a giant subwoofer.

The latest sound processing software has been used to manage the timing of the sound and co-ordination of the speakers. This brings the emotional experience of a world-class live performance into the car.

Two main accessory themes

The All-New XC90 is available with a range of accessories that makes it possible for the owner to create a truly personalised car. There are two major exterior styling themes:

The Urban Luxury package combines a colour co-ordinated bodykit with polished stainless steel details, such as front deco frames, front and rear skid plates and side scuff plates. The 21-inch exclusive polished wheels complete the elegant look.

The Rugged Luxury kit enhances the ruggedness of the XC90 SUV with tech matte black exterior trim, stainless steel skid plates, running boards with illumination and integrated exhaust pipes. This version is supplemented by unique 22-inch wheels.

2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo Review

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I will start off by saying before this review I’ve always been a bit of a fan of old Alfa’s and not having driven one for quite a while I was interested to see whether I got the same feeling from driving a new one that I use to get from driving older ones.

I really like the look of the MiTo and from the front you can the MiTo is an Alfa even from a long distance as the trade mark Alfa shield shaped grille stands out.
Newly designed teardrop shaped headlights and V shaped bonnet, together with the chromed grille rising waist line, combine with the newly designed round LED tail lights to give the MiTo a sporty look, this model rides on attractive 16in Alloy wheels which adds to the look and is specially nice looking in the wonderful white paintwork.

Stepping inside and the first thing you get is sign of classiness, the seats are black with cream inserts which match the exterior so well and are comfortable and very supportive.
The leather bound steering wheel is comfortable to hold and the perfect thickness for me and contains controls for the audio system and blue tooth.
The instrument panel is easy to read in all levels of light and lights up at night with red back lighting at night which is easy on the eye’s.
In between the dials there’s a red LCD screen which can display various functions such as fuel economy, distance to empty and handy boost gauge when your in Dynamic mode.
The dash is made from soft touch material which gives it a nice feel, the centre stack has small touch screen for the audio and while I would of liked a bigger screen this one seems to fit the dash nice nicely. The audio system offers full Bluetooth connectivity and is simple to use, the sound is pretty damn good as well although I didn’t turn the stereo up a lot during the week with awesome sound track from under the bonnet.
My darling daughter pointed out that the round air con vents combined with the audio system an appearance of a face when sitting in the back seat and when you look at it, it does which I quite like in some sort of unusual way.
You can’t help but notice the big silver switch for the Alfa DNA system at the front of the console but I add more about that later on.
The front seats fold forward allowing access to the back seat which actually has more room then it looked while it’s nots blessed with a massive amount of leg room back there I still managed to fit 3 teenagers in there easily.
The boot while not being absolutely massive offers plenty of storage and the back seats do fold down which increase the space.

 

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Back to the DNA button Alfa DNA gives the 3 car different settings.
D stands for Dynamic mode which gives ESP and ASR a sport calibration, gives the engine faster response and overboost which lifts the torque when needed, It also gives the Steering tuning a sportier calibration.
N stands for Natural mode which meant to use around and on long trips as it gives the steering a standard calibration and standard engine response to maximise fuel economy.
A stands for ALL Weather which is good for poor weather conditions it gives the ESP and ASR a calibration for maximum safety and activates a maximum comfort for the steering.

Under the bonnet the MiTo is powered by Alfa’s awesome MulitAir 1.4l turbo 4cyl engine pushing out 99kW and 230nM, not a whole lot of power but by god is this engine a little cracker.
The engine is very tractable and will easily keep up with traffic, fuel economy even in heavy bumper to bumper traffic is marvellous I easily averaged in low 9’s high 8’s which puts it towards the pointy end of the fuel economy stakes for all the cars I’ve reviewed it also has a start stop mode which when engaged swtiches the engine off when you stop in traffic which helps with the impressive fuel economy.
Driven around normally the MiTo can feel a bit slow and less exciting, but then it has a trick up it’s sleeve the Alfa DNA button I mentioned before.
Turning the DNA switch to D for dynamic wakes the MiTo up turning it from a nice sedate drive to a bit of an animal, Dynamic mode not only sharpens the steering but allows more boost for the engine and that that’s when things get exciting.
I did a test driving at 80km/h in normal mode I flicked it into dynamic and the car surged forward like I had put my foot down although it hasn’t moved.
Handling is a fraction on the firm side not overly firm to the point of being annoying but you did feel some of the bumps a bit more although at no stage did it crash or bash it’s way through them.
The offset to that is the handling is wonderful specially when you giving it a bit of a go and believe me with the DNA system, the wonderful engine and the intoxicating exhaust note it’s really hard not to give it some.
The steering is sharp and responsive specially in dynamic mode, changing it into natural mode and the steering is a touch more softer and makes it extremely easy to park and whip around tight car parks.
The 5 speed manual in this car was wonderful the shifts are smooth and easy and the clutch was extremely light, the hill hold function means no worries on hill starts.

Safety wise the MiTo boasts an impressive list of safety features including seven airbags (front, side, curtain and driver’s knee), ABS brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, collapsible steering wheel, hill hold.
It does have reverse sensors but looses points for not having a reverse camera which means the MiTo is a bit of a pain to reverse park given the limit view you get from the back window which did take some getting use to.

So after a week did the MiTo bring back those old feelings yes it did and then some, despite some deficiencies such reduce vision from the rear window, a firm ride that some people might not like as much as I did. I absolutely loved the MiTo.
It’s extremely fun to drive and can be very rewarding specially when driven in dynamic mode, but switching it to normal mode and the MiTo becomes an awesome commuter which is extremely good on fuel and the looks give you a bit of style compared to some of the boring looking competitors in it’s class.
If you are after small car that gives you a bit style then you would be bonkers not to have the MiTo on your list of cars as the MiTo is not a car it’s an Alfa Romeo. sorry but I couldn’t help it I had to add that bit.
For full details on Alfa’s great range of cars check out their website http://www.alfaromeo.com.au/

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