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    William Maley

    2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Features A Solar Roof

      ..Expected to return 52 MPG Combined for the Blue trim level..


    The next step in Hyundai's Sonata offensive launched today at the Chicago Auto Show. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a 2.0L four-cylinder paired with an electric motor to produce a combined 192 horsepower. This is paired with a six-speed automatic which comes with new shift programming to improve the speed and smoothness of gear changes. Hyundai touts the Sonata Hybrid will return 50 City/54 Highway/52 Combined, but that is for the efficiency Blue model. Other models will return 45/51/47 on the EPA cycle.

    One interesting feature for the Sonata Hybrid is an optional solar panel roof that can extend the electric driving range by up to two miles (provided the panel is exposed to sunlight for six hours). The panel can also keep the various batteries around the vehicle charged.

    No word on pricing, but the 2020 Sonata Hybrid goes on sale later this spring.

    Source: Hyundai
    Press Release is on Page 2


    New 2020 Segment-Busting Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Makes North American Debut at Chicago Auto Show

    2020 Sonata Hybrid Highlights
    Best-in-class highway fuel economy on Blue trim level
    Class-leading combined fuel economy on Blue trim level
    EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating and 686 miles of driving range on Blue trim level
    Solar Roof System can increase driving range – think of it as up to 700 “free” miles per year
    Hyundai Digital Key technology (optional)
    The top front-seat leg and headroom in the segment
    Unique eco-friendly design cues improve aerodynamics
    Active Shift Control technology makes shifts 30% faster and smoother

    CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2020 – Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai introduced its new 2020 Sonata Hybrid, boasting 686 miles of driving range and an EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating on the Blue trim. This is the first time the Sonata Hybrid has been shown in North America. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid is also equipped with the world’s first Active Shift Control (ASC)  technology and a Solar Roof System (SRS), which increase driving range. The new Sonata Hybrid goes on sale this spring and is built in Asan, Korea. 

    Overview
    The 2020 Sonata Hybrid’s exclusive styling has a slippery 0.24 drag coefficient, thanks to a unique cross-hole grille with active air flaps, a rear spoiler and aerodynamic alloy wheels. Hyundai Motor’s Solar Roof System makes its debut on the Sonata Hybrid. This system recharges the hybrid battery while preventing unnecessary battery discharge when the car is off. SRS can increase the driving range by a couple of miles after 6 hours of charging. Engineers also applied Active Shift Control technology to control the electric motor, aligning it with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission, reducing gear-shifting times by 30%. This synchronization not only improves the Sonata Hybrid’s acceleration and fuel economy but also improves the durability of the transmission by minimizing friction during shifts.

    The Sonata Hybrid is equipped with a Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine and a 6-speed hybrid automatic transmission. The engine’s power output is 150 horsepower and 139 lb.-ft. of torque. The car’s electric motor delivers power output of 39 kW (51 HP) and maximum torque of 151 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined system power output is 192 horsepower and EPA estimated fuel economy numbers are 50 city, 54 highway and 52 combined for the Blue trim.

    Mechanical Specifications

    2020 Sonata

    Hybrid

    2020 Camry

    Hybrid

    2020 Accord Hybrid

    Gasoline Engine

    Size

    2.0L I4 GDI

    2.5L I4 GDI

    2.0L I4 GDI

    HP/Torque (lb.-ft.)

    150 / 139

    176 / 163

    143 / 129

    Electric

    Motor

    kW (HP)

    39 kW

    (51 HP)

    88 kW

    (118 HP)

    135 kW

    (181 HP)

    Voltage

    270V

    259V

    N/A

    Net Horsepower

    192 HP

    208 HP

    212 HP

    Fuel Economy

    (city/hwy./comb.)

    EPA estimates

    50/54/52 – Blue       

    45/51/47 – SEL, Limited

    51/53/52 – LE        

    44/47/46 – SE, XLE

    48/47/48 – Hybrid


     

    Solar Roof System
    Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s solar-panel roof directly charges the 12-volt and hybrid batteries and outputs 205 watts of electricity. This system has several benefits:

    • Mileage increases by about 2 miles per day
    • Helps prevent battery discharge from infotainment or HVAC systems when the car is off
    • Unique design cue

    Active Shift Control Technology
    ASC technology optimizes transmission efficiency by monitoring gear shifts 500 times per second and precisely adjusting the transmission rotation speed for faster shift times. ASC applies new control logic software to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU), which aligns the electric motor with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission to reduce gear shifts by 30%. The technology also delivers smoother gear changes and quicker shift times.

    “The development of the world’s first ASC technology is a remarkable innovation that incorporates precise motor control to an automatic transmission,” said KyoungJoon Chang, Vice President and Head of Powertrain Control System Group of Hyundai Motor Group. “It will not only save fuel but also provide a more fun driving experience for our customers.”

    Independently Developed Control Logic Software Applied to the Electric Motor
    Conventional hybrid vehicles do not have torque converters to improve fuel economy because torque converters lose energy while transferring power to the drive wheels. Although fuel efficient, such a system also requires longer shift times to ensure smoother gear changes.

    ASC technology allows the hybrid’s electric motor to also take control of gear shifts by applying new software logic to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU) to mitigate issues with slower shift time. The HCU monitors the rotational speed of transmission with a sensor installed inside the electric motor at 500 times per second to synchronize the rotational speed with that of the gasoline engine.

    The synchronization reduces shift time by 30% from 500 ms to 350 ms. This improves not only the hybrid vehicles’ acceleration performance and fuel economy but also the durability of the transmission, by minimizing friction during gear shifts.

    Aerodynamics
    The Sonata Hybrid slips through air with 0.24 drag coefficient. The low drag coefficient is accomplished by managing airflow over and under the body. Up front, the Sonata Hybrid has active air flaps behind the grille, which close when less engine cooling is needed. A redesigned rear spoiler further improves airflow. To reduce drag under the body Hyundai engineers added several elements:

    • Bumper lip
    • Front- and rear-wheel deflectors
    • Undercovers in the front and back of the engine bay
    • Center floor undercover
    • Rear undercover

    Digital Key
    Continuing to promote the latest advances in technology, the new Sonata Hybrid offers an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key. Digital Key uses a dedicated mobile app, Near Field Communication (NFC), and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to allow a new Sonata to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key, via a smartphone. Sonata’s Digital Key also allows secure sharing of virtual keys with family and friends.  

    Sonata owners can tailor the different vehicle functions available to each shared virtual key, and can make the key available for only a defined amount of time. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle, and can also revoke keys remotely. For additional convenience, such as using a valet service or visiting a Hyundai dealer, Hyundai Digital Key also works with an NFC card, which will be provided with each vehicle. Each Sonata still comes with traditional keys. Hyundai Digital Key is compatible only with phones using the Android operating system. 

    Hyundai Digital Key utilizes NFC technology, which exhibits a high level of security. The NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimeters apart.

    Optimized Hybrid Battery Placement
    By optimizing the placement of the high-voltage hybrid battery, Hyundai engineers were able to increase trunk capacity by 2.5 cubic feet, compared with the 2019 Sonata Hybrid. This placement also helps create best-in-class front headroom and legroom.

    Convenience Technology
    The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a number of advanced comfort and convenience features including an electric parking brake, Hands-free Smart Trunk, Qi high-speed wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan, standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®, Text-to-Speech via Bluetooth®, heated and ventilated front seats and split-folding rear seats.   

    The top-of-the-line audio and navigation display is a wide, high-definition, customizable, 10.25-inch touchscreen monitor with split screens and natural language, and cloud-based speech recognition powered by Blue Link, while the cluster supervision display is a full 12.3 inches. The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get HD Radio traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription. Dual Bluetooth support is also available, so two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio. The navigation system also comes with three years of Blue Link Multimedia/Map updates. Hyundai’s eight-inch display audio user interface, equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, is standard on the 2020 Sonata Hybrid. An optional Bose® audio system also delivers an exceptional experience to customers.

    SmartSense Safety Technologies
    Sonata features Hyundai’s latest SmartSense advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). A series of sensors and systems, often restricted to luxury cars, combine to potentially warn the driver and may take action in the event of a safety incident. Meanwhile, other ADAS systems can help the driver perform certain tasks using the car’s 3 radar sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors and 5 cameras. These features include:

    • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard)
    • Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard)
    • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard)
    • Lane Keeping Assist (standard)
    • Advanced Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go (standard)
    • Highway Driving Assist (optional)

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    Recommended Comments



    It seems like a great idea but it just doesn't seem like it is worth whatever it will cost or the additional cost to insure something like that. 

    It would be nice and all to be able to leave your car parked all day and your range goes up but its suuuuuch a negligible amount I can't imagine it would ever pay for itself. 

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    I could see the solar panel useful when parked in a lot like where I used to work in Chandler, AZ...10-12 hrs a day of sunshine in horrific triple digit heat day after day...

    Edited by Robert Hall
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    12 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    I could see the solar panel useful when parked in a lot like where I used to work in Chandler, AZ...10-12 hrs a day of sunshine in horrific triple digit heat day after day...

    There are scenarios in which it would probably work very well, that being one of them, but I don't see enough of that scenario being worth it.

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    Is it just me or does that back remind me of the Honda Civic with the lighting? 🤔

    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    It seems like a great idea but it just doesn't seem like it is worth whatever it will cost or the additional cost to insure something like that. 

    It would be nice and all to be able to leave your car parked all day and your range goes up but its suuuuuch a negligible amount I can't imagine it would ever pay for itself. 

    Really just a marketing bit with the ability to keep a fan going circulating air to have a cooler inside in hot weather climates I think.

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    if it's only like $500, i could see a big take rate for it, but if it's above $1000, only the greeny-weeinies will take it.

     

    this would be good for fleets that aren't used 90+%.. keeping the batteries topped off to lower maintenance needs.... yeah.

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    Awesome MPG, I like the optional solar panel too, that is really cool.  This new Sonata is really impressive, it looks good, has best in class interior and technology, now 52 MPG.  They brought their A game with this car, it is a stand out.

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    3 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

     in Chandler, AZ...10-12 hrs a day of sunshine in horrific triple digit heat day after day...

    Cry baby. It's a dry heat, bet you wish you were here right now! :D

    Edited by USA-1
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    17 hours ago, USA-1 said:

    Cry baby. It's a dry heat, bet you wish you were here right now! :D

    Ya can keep the horrible dry heat. I love my rain and snow! :D ⛷️

    14 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

    Rob, never ‘Bob’.  I’m the anti-Bob. 

    Until ya get your legs and arms cut off and then your the Pool Bob! :P 🤣

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    2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Ya can keep the horrible dry heat. I love my rain and snow! :D ⛷️

     

    Have had both in the last 24 hours...freezing rain changing to snow...about 6 inches of snow so far over the ice. About 30 outside.  And it was almost 60 Monday-Tuesday.   More snow in the winter means my trees and yard will be green and healthy, so I don't mind it.  I love the greenery as opposed to dust and beige everything in the desert void..

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    37 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Ya can keep the horrible dry heat. I love my rain and snow! :D ⛷️

    BRRR!! 🥶 Ya can keep the nasty rain and clouds 10 months out of the year (grew up in PNW) I love my warmth and sunshine 325+ days of the year compared to nasty FL humid heat it's a big difference trust me, people like my buddy in FL bitch about the high humidity. Only 2.5 months of high heat here, that's when you travel to San Diego or Del Mar even the PNW in July and August to see family and friends 🏜️:D

    33 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    Have had both in the last 24 hours...freezing rain changing to snow...about 6 inches of snow so far over the ice. About 30 outside.  And it was almost 60 Monday-Tuesday.   More snow in the winter means my trees and yard will be green and healthy, so I don't mind it.  I love the greenery as opposed to dust and beige everything in the desert void..

    🥶 No thanks...🥶 " freezing rain changing to snow...about 6 inches of snow so far over the ice. About 30 outside." Yeah sounds awesome LOL!

    Yeah keep telling people that's what it's like here we don't want anymore!  I won't even post the beautiful pics I have of the NOT "dust and beige everything". That's why everybody and their dog is here right now...best weather in the country :neenerneener:

    Edited by USA-1
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    18 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

     

    Yeah keep telling people that's what it's like here we don't want anymore!  I won't even post the beautiful pics I have of the NOT "dust and beige everything". That's why everybody and their dog is here right now...best weather in the country :neenerneener:

    Remember, I lived there 9 years...yes, winter is nice..  May through October it beyond sucks.  Hell on Earth.  Too many triple digit days.  A sea of beige stucco houses in the burbs, ugly, ugly desert shit beyond that, dust and crap and unrelenting heat.   Now up north is nice--I liked Prescott, Jerome, Flagstaff..  I do miss my pool, the January car auctions, and a few restaurants..but that's about it...

    Edited by Robert Hall
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    18 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    Remember, I lived there 9 years...yes, winter is nice..  May through October it beyond sucks.  Hell on Earth.  Too many triple digit days.  You can keep it.  FTS.

    Been here since 2011 myself. Nice dip in 78 degree pool out in my backyard then back into nice climate controlled home. Love it!  Mid June to mid Sept. is all of Monsoon season and worst of it, but keep telling people what you think, it's great for population control here. I would never live in the mundane frigid Winters, humid Summers Midwest. FTS as well.

    Edited by USA-1
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    3 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

    Been here since 2011 myself. Nice dip in 78 degree pool out in my backyard then back into nice climate controlled home. Love it!  I would never live in the mundane frigid Winters, humid Summers Midwest. FTS as well.

    Whatever floats your boat... I FUCKING HATE THE FUCKING DESERT.  Been there, done that...the damage done...I love greenery and going out to the islands and lakes..  😀

    Edited by Robert Hall
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    8 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    Been there, done that...the damage done...I love greenery and going out to the islands and lakes..  :)

    Nice, glad you could get that anger out of your system LOL. Plenty of nice lakes here as well and San Diego/Del Mar is 1 hr. by jet.

    Edited by USA-1
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    4 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

    Nice, glad you could get that anger out of your system LOL. Plenty of nice lakes here as well and San Diego/Del Mar is 1 hr. by jet.

    I love San Diego/Del Mar..used to go there 3-4 times a year.  .The lakes here are in green wooded areas...and I have Lake Erie...huge.  The lakes in AZ still have desert ugly around them...

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    Just now, Robert Hall said:

    The lakes in AZ still have desert ugly around them...

    Yep...ugly AZ desert...who knew? 😎

    image.thumb.png.0e3f3dcc471dd6647d5a64dff28a1b4d.png

    Roosevelt Lake AZ

     

    image.png.64f0af7e51aa3fd6e742e7946bcdbeb1.png

    Haigler Canyon AZ

     

    image.png.d8eaac5ab8c77181aafda6e7eaee34db.png

    Near Young Hwy. AZ

     

    image.thumb.png.08e9c34e83199f51e16e4e57be040c32.png

    Camelback Mountain AZ

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    4 hours ago, USA-1 said:

    BRRR!! 🥶 Ya can keep the nasty rain and clouds 10 months out of the year (grew up in PNW) I love my warmth and sunshine 325+ days of the year compared to nasty FL humid heat it's a big difference trust me, people like my buddy in FL bitch about the high humidity. Only 2.5 months of high heat here, that's when you travel to San Diego or Del Mar even the PNW in July and August to see family and friends 🏜️:D

    🥶 No thanks...🥶 " freezing rain changing to snow...about 6 inches of snow so far over the ice. About 30 outside." Yeah sounds awesome LOL!

    Yeah keep telling people that's what it's like here we don't want anymore!  I won't even post the beautiful pics I have of the NOT "dust and beige everything". That's why everybody and their dog is here right now...best weather in the country :neenerneener:

    Keep delusion-ally telling yourself how you love it there. Being born here, the one thing you always do is put 6500K lights in your house so you have sun equal lighting. Never a dull depressed day. Love the drizzle 9 months of the year and the 3 months of summer that is 70-80's, no humidty and sunny. Plus gotta love our summer days of daylight from 4:30am to 11pm. 2 days in one. Work early morning and still enjoy a day of play after work.

    Yup, will keep my hiking, camping, outdoor activities year round. Course love that we have more boats registered here than auto's. After all so many lovely places to boat too and explore.

    20190210_094431.jpg

    Love my winter views when skiing.

    20190210_094417.jpg

    20190317_085741.jpg

    Better yet is my office view for working during the week.

    20190617_124546.jpg

    Yea can keep your heat hell of sun and skin cancer. I will enjoy the clouds and mountains and beauty of the PNW. Course your always welcome to come visit! :D 

    20190707_112126.jpg

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    2 hours ago, USA-1 said:

    Yep...ugly AZ desert...who knew? 😎

    image.thumb.png.0e3f3dcc471dd6647d5a64dff28a1b4d.png

    Roosevelt Lake AZ

     

    image.png.64f0af7e51aa3fd6e742e7946bcdbeb1.png

    Haigler Canyon AZ

     

    image.png.d8eaac5ab8c77181aafda6e7eaee34db.png

    Near Young Hwy. AZ

     

    image.thumb.png.08e9c34e83199f51e16e4e57be040c32.png

    Camelback Mountain AZ

    Glad you like it there, pretty pics, but still too warm for me. Anything over 60 is bloody hot. If I could do my job from Alaska, I would move there. :D 

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    43 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Keep delusion-ally telling yourself how you love it there. Being born here, the one thing you always do is put 6500K lights in your house so you have sun equal lighting. Never a dull depressed day. Love the drizzle 9 months of the year and the 3 months of summer that is 70-80's, no humidty and sunny.

     

    HA!! Keep delusion-ally telling yourself it's "drizzle" LMAO! Born and raised up there trust me it's RAIN then POURING DOWN RAIN not much else! Sad to have to install artificial lighting to keep you from being depressed in an area of the country with the Highest level of seasonal depression, that being the PNW, then maybe 2 months of Summer, if you're lucky July and August. Remember I grew-up there working on a farm in the constant cold and rain so I know first hand what the weather is like, ALWAYS cold and wet.

    FYI, we had more snow in Northern AZ than the rest of the country in December (look it up) so we have it all here in one State not just rain, snow and ice and no way to get away from it, if I want to go skiing up North or be in the snow I can, but I'm not forced to live in an Arctic hell. :D  Feel free to come defrost anytime, my family still living in OR does often.

    37 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Glad you like it there, pretty pics, but still too warm for me. Anything over 60 is bloody hot. If I could do my job from Alaska, I would move there. :D 

    60 is freezing to me 😂 80 is perfect to each their own. Funny because my aunt and uncle who live on the Kenai Pennisula have a house here in AZ as well to come defrost. My parents still living in Oregon have a home here as well :D

    Edited by USA-1
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      Trim: GT
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC D-4S 16-Valve Flat-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 205 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 156 @ 6,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/28/24
      Curb Weight: 2,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ota, Gumma, Japan
      Base Price: $30,115
      As Tested Price: $34,783 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      TRD Handling Package - $1,270.00
      TRD Exhaust System - $1,100.00
      TRD Sway Bar - $550.00
      Special Color - $425.00
      Center Armrest - $199.00
      All-Weather Floor Mats - $169.00
    • By William Maley
      Back in the spring, I spent some time with two different Volvo 60 series models - the S60 Momentum and V60 Cross Country. I came away impressed with the work Volvo had done, picking Cross Country as my favorite. A couple months back, another 60 series model rolled up for a week long evaluation. This one is very different.
      Unlike most performance wagons that grab a bullhorn and shout for attention, the V60 Polestar goes for a more sedate approach. From afar, it looks like your standard V60. Get closer and you begin to see the small changes such as the lowered ride height, 20-inch grey wheels that cover up the massive gold brake calipers, and the two Polestar badges. Only changes for the interior are the Polestar logo embossed on the front headrests and gold seatbelts. Under the hood is Volvo's T8 powertrain. This is the 2.0L twin-charged four-cylinder paired with an electric motor on the rear axle to produce a total output of 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque. This setup also provides all-wheel drive. It is quite shocking (pardon the pun) as to how fast the V60 Polestar goes. Step on the accelerator and it feels like you have engaged warp drive as the two powertrains work together.  But there were times where the gas engine and electric motor didn't seem to be on the same page. There would be the odd delay or surging of the gas engine when driving around town in the hybrid mode. Hopefully, this is something that could be addressed with an update to the engine software. The other party trick of the V60 Polestar is the ability to run on electric power alone. This comes from an 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack underneath the cargo floor. Volvo claims a range of 22 miles on electric power alone, but I was able to stretch it out to around 23 to 25 miles throughout the week. Recharging took around eight to eleven hours if the battery was near or fully depleted.  For the week, I saw an MPGe average of 52.1. With the battery drained, I saw the average fall to around 29.1 MPG.  Volvo turned to suspension supplier Öhlins to develop something bespoke for the V60 Polestar. What was delivered is a special set of dampers that are manually adjusted by gold-colored aluminum knobs. You'll easily find the ones in the front by opening the hood - sitting on top of the shock towers. The ones in the back are slightly harder to find as they're located above the wheels in the wheel housing. This is something that feels like more of a talking point when showing off the wagon, not something you want to mess with unless you are knowledgeable on damper tuning. The V60 Polestar may be the best handling Volvo I have driven in quite some time. The Öhlins dampers do make a difference as they minimize body roll. But the dampers cannot fully hide the massive weight of the Polestar - tipping the scales at 4,522 pounds. This makes the wagon not feel as nimble. In terms of ride quality, the V60 Polestar does well on smooth roads. Take it on a road with a litany of bumps and potholes and the ride becomes very choppy. This is where I wished Volvo had gone for a computer-controlled damper system to make the ride slightly smoother. A price tag of over $68,000 is a bit much for a Volvo, but you need to take into consideration that you're getting everything as standard. That includes the premium B&O audio system, full LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, Pilot Assist, and more. The only option on our tester is the metallic paint. Despite the price tag and rough ride, I'm happy to see Volvo venturing out and doing some wild as the V60 Polestar. This vehicle is a prime example of having your cake and eating it by delivering excellent performance and efficiency in one package. The fact that this package is in a wagon shows this for someone who doesn't want to follow the Joneses and get a performance crossover. Would this be the 60 Series model I would buy? No, that honor falls to the V60 Cross Country I drove in the early spring. But the Polestar runs a close second. Disclaimer: Volvo Provided the V60 Polestar, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Volvo
      Model: V60
      Trim: T8 Polestar Engineered 
      Engine: 2.0L Twincharged DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder, Two AC Electric Motors
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 328 (gas), 46 (electric motor front), 87 (electric motor rear), 415 (combined)
      Torque @ RPM: 317 (gas), 111 (electric motor front), 177 (electric motor rear), 494 (combined)
      Fuel Economy: Combined MPGe/Gas - 69/30
      Curb Weight: 4,522 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gothenburg, Sweden
      Base Price: $67,300
      As Tested Price: $68,940 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Metallic Paint - $645.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Back in the spring, I spent some time with two different Volvo 60 series models - the S60 Momentum and V60 Cross Country. I came away impressed with the work Volvo had done, picking Cross Country as my favorite. A couple months back, another 60 series model rolled up for a week long evaluation. This one is very different.
      Unlike most performance wagons that grab a bullhorn and shout for attention, the V60 Polestar goes for a more sedate approach. From afar, it looks like your standard V60. Get closer and you begin to see the small changes such as the lowered ride height, 20-inch grey wheels that cover up the massive gold brake calipers, and the two Polestar badges. Only changes for the interior are the Polestar logo embossed on the front headrests and gold seatbelts. Under the hood is Volvo's T8 powertrain. This is the 2.0L twin-charged four-cylinder paired with an electric motor on the rear axle to produce a total output of 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque. This setup also provides all-wheel drive. It is quite shocking (pardon the pun) as to how fast the V60 Polestar goes. Step on the accelerator and it feels like you have engaged warp drive as the two powertrains work together.  But there were times where the gas engine and electric motor didn't seem to be on the same page. There would be the odd delay or surging of the gas engine when driving around town in the hybrid mode. Hopefully, this is something that could be addressed with an update to the engine software. The other party trick of the V60 Polestar is the ability to run on electric power alone. This comes from an 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack underneath the cargo floor. Volvo claims a range of 22 miles on electric power alone, but I was able to stretch it out to around 23 to 25 miles throughout the week. Recharging took around eight to eleven hours if the battery was near or fully depleted.  For the week, I saw an MPGe average of 52.1. With the battery drained, I saw the average fall to around 29.1 MPG.  Volvo turned to suspension supplier Öhlins to develop something bespoke for the V60 Polestar. What was delivered is a special set of dampers that are manually adjusted by gold-colored aluminum knobs. You'll easily find the ones in the front by opening the hood - sitting on top of the shock towers. The ones in the back are slightly harder to find as they're located above the wheels in the wheel housing. This is something that feels like more of a talking point when showing off the wagon, not something you want to mess with unless you are knowledgeable on damper tuning. The V60 Polestar may be the best handling Volvo I have driven in quite some time. The Öhlins dampers do make a difference as they minimize body roll. But the dampers cannot fully hide the massive weight of the Polestar - tipping the scales at 4,522 pounds. This makes the wagon not feel as nimble. In terms of ride quality, the V60 Polestar does well on smooth roads. Take it on a road with a litany of bumps and potholes and the ride becomes very choppy. This is where I wished Volvo had gone for a computer-controlled damper system to make the ride slightly smoother. A price tag of over $68,000 is a bit much for a Volvo, but you need to take into consideration that you're getting everything as standard. That includes the premium B&O audio system, full LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, Pilot Assist, and more. The only option on our tester is the metallic paint. Despite the price tag and rough ride, I'm happy to see Volvo venturing out and doing some wild as the V60 Polestar. This vehicle is a prime example of having your cake and eating it by delivering excellent performance and efficiency in one package. The fact that this package is in a wagon shows this for someone who doesn't want to follow the Joneses and get a performance crossover. Would this be the 60 Series model I would buy? No, that honor falls to the V60 Cross Country I drove in the early spring. But the Polestar runs a close second. Disclaimer: Volvo Provided the V60 Polestar, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Volvo
      Model: V60
      Trim: T8 Polestar Engineered 
      Engine: 2.0L Twincharged DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder, Two AC Electric Motors
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 328 (gas), 46 (electric motor front), 87 (electric motor rear), 415 (combined)
      Torque @ RPM: 317 (gas), 111 (electric motor front), 177 (electric motor rear), 494 (combined)
      Fuel Economy: Combined MPGe/Gas - 69/30
      Curb Weight: 4,522 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gothenburg, Sweden
      Base Price: $67,300
      As Tested Price: $68,940 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Metallic Paint - $645.00
    • By William Maley
      This week at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit bureau sees the 2020 Lexus RX 350L Lux come in for an interactive review. It has been some time since I last drove any version of the RX and it has gone some significant changes. The key one is the introduction of a three-row version - designated by the L at the end. Another welcome change is an introduction of a touchscreen for the Lexus Enform infotainment system.
      Power comes from a 3.5L V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Out the door, this RX 350 comes with an as-tested price of $63,540 with a $1,025 destination charge.
      Here are some quick thoughts,
      Acceleration isn't the RX's strong suit. The V6 moves the crossover at an adequate speed. The touchscreen makes a huge difference in overall usability with Enform. I find myself not screaming at it - both internally and externally. Third-row does eat up a lot of cargo space when up. I'll be trying to squeeze myself into the third-row along with other items throughout my week in the RX. In the meantime, drop off any questions you have.


      View full article
  • Posts

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    • I think you miss understand me. Yes electronics and controls have been around since the 70's. The 70's, 80's and even 90's are very basic simple electronic controls. Starting in 2000 and since then, we have seen actual computers take over larger and larger management of ICE auto's and with Tesla leadership, we saw a rapid change away from basic controllers to full fledge computers that have in depth coding and encryption to the point that GM rolled out a single solid Terabyte system for their auto's starting with Cadillac. Ford is now doing it as is everyone else trying to catch up. You see thousands of new job openings at all Auto companies and these are for true computer developers. Not just basic electrical engineers or mechanical engineers which are still very much needed. The future as we move forward with EVs will incorporate secure, encrypted locked down computer operating systems.
    • Really worth watching...Overhead cam vs. Overhead valve on a motorcycle....how indian and harley market and think differently about bikes. Well shot with good photography, well paced commentary.   
    • Moving that way in 2030, there by 2050...?
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