car


Volvo’s Re-Birth Continues with All-New S90 Sedan

Half profile Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

Half profile Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

The new era of Volvo picked up some steam today with the reveal of the all-new S90 sedan which finally replaces the long-in-the-tooth S80. Based on the same scalable platform architecture as the big XC90 crossover that debuted earlier this year, the S90 adopts a similar design language with a broad-shouldered look and the “Thor’s Hammer” signature lighting in the headlamp clusters.

Of course the S90 wouldn’t be a real Volvo without lots of safety technology and the sedan builds on what already debuted in the XC90 including Pilot Assist. The first version of the semi-autonomous Pilot Assist combined lane centering functionality with automatic speed control for driving in stop and go traffic at speeds up to 30 mph. ┬áThe XC90 would automatically track the vehicle ahead using the same radar sensor used for adaptive cruise control while a camera monitored the lane markings.

Pilot Assist

Pilot Assist

For the second-generation Pilot Assist, the maximum speed has been increased to about 80 mph and there no longer needs to be another vehicle to follow. That means the S90 can more or less drive itself on the highway although the driver must keep a hand on the wheel or the system will disengage. Hopefully, the camera system for detecting lane markings is more robust now, because it definitely had a hard time with detection on the XC90.

Another new feature to the S90 is large animal detection which uses the combination of radar and camera to detect creatures like moose and deer crossing in front of the car. If an animal is detected, the driver is alerted and brake pressure is boosted when the driver applies the pedal.

Interior Large Animal Detection 2

Interior Large Animal Detection 2

Under the hood, the S90 will offer three powertrain options all based around the company’s new 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that debuted in the XC90. The base T5 engine gets a turbocharger while the T6 uses an exhaust-driven turbo plus a mechanically driven supercharger to generate 316-horsepower. The top-end T8 Twin Engine adds electric drive and a lithium ion battery for a plug-in hybrid powertrain with more than 400 hp.

The new Volvo S90 will get its first public showing next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

 


First Drive: 2016 Nissan Altima

2016 Nissan Altima first drive - 2 of 28

While auto industry observers seem to be fixated on the idea that crossover utility vehicles are taking over the entire market, the reality is that in America, the midsize sedan segment is still huge and vitally important to mainstream brands. For Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Kia and Hyundai, midsize sedans are their top sellers and even at Ford and Fiat Chrysler, they trail only full-size pickup trucks. With so many sales on the line, no one can afford to stand still and Nissan is launching a major refresh of the Altima for 2016 that brings new style, technology and efficiency.

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2015 Toyota Camry XSE – It’s Not So Beige Anymore

2015 toyota camry xse 01

Over the years certain brands of cars have become inexorably associated with colors. Regardless of what is sprayed on in the paint shop, a Ferrari is always a deep scarlet red at heart. Anything built on the north side of the English Channel should be a dark green. High performance cars wearing a three-pointed star or four rings are silver arrows. The Toyota Camry? Beige through and through.

Beige is not an offensive hue. Quite the opposite in fact, it may well be the best camouflage color in the known universe. Instead of garish swirlies that are guaranteed to attract attention, automakers should just paint all their prototypes beige and spy photographers would never even see them.

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