imageThe new Volvo XC60 is in town, available in two variants but both with a 3.0 liter turbocharged six-cylinder T6 engine producing an exciting 285 horsepower and 400Nm of torque from just 1,500rpm, mated to a 6-speed Geartronic auto. The two variants are called the XC60 T6 LE and the XC60 T6 SE, and they retail for RM360k and RM330k respectively, OTR without insurance. It’s a rather handsome and dynamic looking car actually, a far departure from the Volvos of the past. Think of it as a smaller XC90 on steroids, buffed up and more toned.

The more expensive LE version is the one with all the goodies. For an additional 30k, you get a panoramic sunroof, a 12 speaker Dynaudio premium sound system, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning with Auto Brake, Lane Departure Warning, and Drive Alert Control. Collision Warning with Autobrake actually alerts the driver if the distance to the car in front of you suddenly decreases. If the driver does not react in time, the system brakes at up to 50% maximum braking power automatically.

The cheaper SE version gets an 8 speaker sound system. Both sound systems feature a 6-CD changer with AUX, USB, Bluetooth and iPod connectors. The interior leather can be had in either soft beige/espresso brown, or offblack. The trim inlays can be had in either a sporty brushed aluminium trim, or for something more classic, you have classic wood or Nordic light oak.

Here’s the rest of the equipment that comes with both LE and SE versions: dual stage driver and front airbags, dual chamber front SIPS (side impact protection system) airbags, Inflatable Curtain airbags, all-wheel drive, whiplash protection system, a 40:20:40 splitting rear seat, ABS, EBD, brake assist, ready alert brake, fading brake support, dynamic stability and traction control, roll stability control, rollover protection system, hill descent control, blindspot information system, rain sensor wipers, active bending lights, headlamp washers, ISOFIX points for the rear seats, speed sensitive power steering with 3 manual settings, electric seats for the front with memory for the driver, auto-dimming rear view mirror with integrated compass, powered tailgate, B-pillar ventilation vents, and a Personal Car Communicator for keyless entry and drive.

Optional over the prices above are various styling accessories which consist of larger 19 inch wheels, front bumper bars in matte aluminium, running boards, side scuff plates, and a rear bumper skid plate.


2011 Range Rover released with a new V8 diesel engine

Known for its off-roading capabilities and comfortable interior, the Range Rover today is a far cry from its first model in 1970, which came with a basic interior, vinyl seats and plastic dashboards. Over the course of a few decades, the Range Rover brand has grown under the ownership of BMW and more recently the Tata Group, who also own Jaguar. The company has just released the 2011 Range Rover with a list of tweaks.

First on the list is the choice of engines, one of them being the new LR-TDV8 4.4-litre diesel engine that replaces the LR-TDV8 3.6-litre engine. Power delivery from the new oil burner has been pushed to 308hp and it creates an enormous 700Nm of torque. Added benefits of the newly developed engine include being more fuel efficient as it only consumes 7.81 liters per 100km travelled, while only producing 253 g/kg of CO2.

This as you’d expect has increased performance and the Range Rover now goes from 0 to 96km/h in just 7.5 seconds going on to reach a top speed of 209 kph. Quite an amazing feat when you realise this car weighs over two tonnes. Thus to keep this power under control, a Brembo brakes are fitted, similarly seen in the 5.0-litre LR-V8 supercharged model. This comprises of 380mm ventilated front discs with unique, lightweight aluminium six-piston opposed action monoblock calipers at the front, while the rear uses 365mm ventilated discs with single piston sliding calipers.

The engine is paired with the new ZF 8HP70 8-speed transmission, which is only for the diesel engine. The rest of the engines continue to soldier on with the 6-speeder. Steering mounted paddle shifts are also employed along with a rotary knob for selecting Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Sports mode. Similar to the transmission in the Jaguar XF, the knob rises when the ignition is switched on.

The new Range Rover also gets the Terrain Response system which incorporates Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration Control. The first system holds the car in place on a gradient long enough for the driver to move his foot from the accelerator to the brakes, while the second is a “safety cover” which still holds the car in place, even if the Hill Descent Control isn’t engaged.

Other added features are optional illuminating treadplates for the front door, a new ‘Jupiter’ front grille and new side vents for the diesel model. The Range Rover will still be offered with the previous range of petrol and diesel engines as well. It will probably take some time for this model to reach Malaysia as we’ve just only gotten the 2010 model year Rangie here in Malaysia just a week ago!

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