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William Maley

2017 Land Rover Discovery Drops 1,000 Pounds, Becomes Sleeker

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The previous two generations of the Land Rover Discovery went by different names in the U.S. - LR3 and LR4. But tonight at an event in Paris, Land Rover introduced the next-generation Discovery and that it what it will go by when it comes to the U.S. next summer.

Let's begin with the big story. Land Rover was able to drop 1,000 pounds out of the new Discovery. To put that into perspective, the current LR4 has a base curb weight of 5,655 pounds. How did they do it? Well, it comes down to the Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA) that is currently underpinning the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. This architecture features a large amount of aluminum in its construction.

Power will come from two engines:

  • 3.0L Supercharged V6 - 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque
  • 3.0L Turbodiesel V6 - 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque

Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system.

As for going off the beaten path, Land Rover has a made a number of improvements. Overall ground clearance has been increased by 1.7 inches to 11.1 inches. An optional air suspension can raise it slightly higher. The Discovery will feature All-Terrain Progress Control - basically its a low-speed cruise control system for off-roading. Other off-road bits to be aware off include the latest version of the Terrain Response 2 system and an available two-speed transfer case. 

The exterior mimics the Discovery Sport with a smaller front grille, reshaped LED headlights, sculpting along the doors, LED taillights, and a one-piece tailgate. The interior is handsome and features a 10.2-inch touchscreen with the latest version of Jaguar Land Rover's InControl infotainment system and three-rows of seating. A clever trick that the Discovery features is the abilty to fold the second and third-row seats by using the infotainment system or an app on your smartphone.

Safety-wise, the Discovery will be available with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and a surround camera system.

Pricing for the 2017 Land Rover Discovery is as followed:

  • Discovery SE - $50,985
  • Discovery HSE - $57,945
  • Discovery HSE Td6 - $59,945
  • Discovery HSE Luxury - $64,945
  • Discovery HSE Luxury Td6 - $66,945
  • Discovery First Edition - $74,945

Prices include a $995.00 destination charge.

Source: Land Rover


Press Release is on Page 2


LAND ROVER UNVEILS THE FIFTH GENERATION FULL-SIZE DISCOVERY
The all-new full-size Discovery embodies the Land Rover brand’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure. It’s an authentic, three-row, seven-seat(1) SUV that brings new levels of capability and versatility to the Discovery family.

  • A full-sized, three-row, seven-seat SUV(1) with characteristic Land Rover capability and versatility
  • The embodiment of the Land Rover brand’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure
  • On sale from mid-2017, priced from $49,990(7)

The Seven Wonders of Discovery:
Seven principles describe the essence of Discovery and have guided its creation:

1. The Magnificent Seven: every seat is the best seat in the house

The new Discovery features a flexible interior, with seating – up to seven full-sized adult seats(1) – that’s instantly configurable from Apple and Android smartphones using the world-first remote Intelligent Seat Fold technology(2,5)

2. A much loved member of the family for the last 26 years

  • Advanced driver assistance technologies(4) provide the driver and occupants peace of mind
  • Premium interior combines leading design with durable, high-quality materials and space for the whole family

3. King of the hill: a true Land Rover with the brand’s characteristic capability on a variety of surfaces, terrains and weather conditions

  • Full-sized Land Rover SUV architecture delivers impressive all-terrain capability
  • Lightweight aluminum construction cuts approximately 1,000 lbs(3) from the weight of the outgoing LR4, delivering enhanced on- and off-road performance
  • 8,201 lb. towing capacity(10) and Advanced Tow Assist(4) take the stress out of difficult reversing maneuvers

4. British creativity: designed with charm and sophistication loved by the world
Design retains key Discovery family cues, adding optimized proportions and sophisticated surfaces

5. Storage addiction: discover the space for everything
82.7 cu. ft. of luggage space and clever storage to satisfy an active lifestyle and family needs alike

6. Connects every generation: Smart features that make life easier
All-new Discovery comes equipped with up to nine USB ports, six 12-volt charging points and an in-car 3G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices(12)

7. After the roads end: reaching threatened habitats and vulnerable people
New Discovery will continue the Land Rover brand’s work in humanitarian aid and conservation projects around the world

(PARIS) – September 28, 2016 – The all-new full-size Discovery embodies the Land Rover brand’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure. It’s an authentic, three-row, seven-seat(1) SUV that brings new levels of capability and versatility to the Discovery family.

Everyday ingenuity has been at the heart of the Discovery for the last 27 years. The new Discovery signals the transformation from cogs to code with more than 1.2 million owners with us on every step of the journey.

The fifth-generation model benefits from the strong and light full-size Land Rover SUV architecture, delivering comfort and adaptability like no other.

The all-new Discovery is ready for the digital age. Smart technology features keep families connected and confident on a variety of surfaces, terrains, and weather conditions; ensuring their destination is reached.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer said: “The all-new Discovery redefines the large SUV. The Land Rover design and engineering teams have revolutionized the Discovery DNA to create a highly desirable, extremely versatile and hugely capable premium SUV. We truly believe the result is a radical departure in design that will introduce the Discovery Family to a new, wider customer base.”

Revolutionary design
The all-new Discovery was previewed by the Discovery Vision Concept, which showcased the future direction of the entire Discovery family when it debuted at the New York Auto Show in 2014; it represented a radical departure for the most versatile SUV from Land Rover. The revolutionary design gives Discovery a dynamic appearance with sophisticated surfaces and precisely engineered details designed to resonate with customers on an emotional level.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer said: “Design creates an emotional connection between our customers and our vehicles. Our clear design strategy means our vehicles are instantly recognizable and communicate the values of Land Rover that our customers love. The flawless volume and proportions, sophisticated surfaces and precise detailing of the all-new Discovery, beautifully combine with engineering integrity to create a premium SUV that will resonate with today’s customers.”

The Discovery family has always had a spirit of adventure. The new model provides a dramatic reinterpretation of the 27 years of heritage and practical DNA Discovery is best known for, and combines it with a sophisticated design that pays homage to previous models without being restrained by them.

Trademark design features include the stepped roofline, which has identified each of the four previous generations of Discovery and provides an elegant solution to a practical need. The stepped profile optimizes headroom for passengers travelling in the third row of seats(1). It also accommodates the customary stadium seating configuration Discovery is best known for, which sees each row of seats positioned higher than the one in front, ensuring every seat is the best seat in the house.

Design and engineering integrity from Land Rover ensures the fifth generation Discovery is able to accommodate seven full-sized adults in an SUV body measuring just over 16 feet in length (4,970mm). Most similar-sized competitors provide 5+2 seating, but the new Discovery is designed for 95th percentile adults to sit comfortably in its rearmost seats, providing complete interior flexibility. Each of the third-row seats(1) incorporate ISOFIX mounting points (four in total), so families with children have the freedom to put child safety seats in the most appropriate location for any journey(13).

Inside, the all-new Discovery continues the design revolution started by the Discovery Sport, where customers can specify a range of premium materials including luxurious Windsor leather upholstery and natural oak veneers.

A limited-run ‘First Edition’ model showcases the very best of the new model. Only 529 examples will be available in the United States with exclusive features including unique etched map detailing on the aluminum trim for the doors and dashboard, unique badges, bold color choices and a comprehensive list of standard equipment. 

The optional Dynamic Design Pack gives the fifth generation Discovery a more purposeful, clean appearance both inside and out, with features including a contrast roof, athletic front and rear bumper designs, luxurious leather upholstery and a sports-inspired steering wheel and pedals setting it apart.

Connecting every generation of the family
The all-new Discovery offers an available world-first Intelligent Seat Fold technology, allowing owners to reconfigure the second- and third-row seats with minimal effort; using controls at the rear of the vehicle, the central touchscreen, or even remotely – via a smartphone app – as part of the Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro services(2,5).

The innovative feature allows owners to rearrange the seats from inside the store while they wait to pay for large or bulky items, ensuring the vehicle is perfectly configured to accommodate their purchases when they go to leave.

All three rows are available with heated seats – heated and cooled in rows one and two – while massage seats are available for the driver and front passenger to optimize comfort on long journeys.

Enjoying the spacious interior of the all-new Discovery is made easier by another thoughtful Land Rover innovation. On vehicles equipped with air suspension, Auto Access Height technology reduces the ride-height by up to 1.57 in. as passengers prepare to enter or exit the vehicle.

Alongside the spacious and flexible seating layout, the other key to the new model’s versatility is the optional Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro infotainment system(6,11). Vehicles equipped with InControl Touch Pro benefit from a large 10-inch touchscreen positioned high on the center console(5,8). This development enabled Land Rover designers to reduce the number of switches on the center console by a third, delivering a clean and uncluttered appearance.

Crisp graphics and easy-to-navigate menus incorporate the latest navigation and entertainment technologies including door-to-door navigation, which can share directions to a paired smartphone to help owners complete journeys on foot(8). Seamless iOS and Android connectivity combine with a 17-speaker Meridian digital surround system and 3G WiFi to provide the ultimate listening experience, whether streaming songs online or playing music directly from a connected device.

Up to six 12V charging points ensure the new Discovery is perfectly equipped to cope with the demands of the most connected owners and their passengers, while as many as seven USB sockets (up to nine when the rear seat entertainment is fitted) allow passengers in each row to power their smartphones or tablets simultaneously.

Another technology feature for active families is the Activity Key wristband – first debuted on the 2017 Jaguar F-PACE – which allows customers to enjoy sports and active hobbies without having to carry the standard key fob and worry about the risk of damage or loss. Holding the waterproof Activity Key up to the ‘D’ in the Discovery badge on the rear tailgate simultaneously locks the vehicle and disables the ordinary key, which can be left safely inside. This leaves customers free to run, swim, ride or play without worrying about the security of their vehicle.

Storage addiction
At every stage of its development Land Rover has designed the all-new Discovery around the needs of its customers. This is evident when you look around the cabin. Design and engineering teams at Land Rover have an addiction to storage; this resulted in a host of convenient interior storage solutions for owners, including:

  • Storage in the central console capable of holding pair of two-liter beverage containers.
  • A central armrest cubby large enough to house five tablet computers with a lid that hinges through 180 degrees to function as an armrest even when open
  • Small-item stowage behind the fold-down Climate Control panel
  • A flush-fitting, push-operated, bag hook in the front passenger footwell capable of securing shopping bags

The effort put into developing the first-rate cabin storage in the all-new Discovery has been matched by the thought put into its luggage space. The premium SUV provides 82.7 cu. ft. of load capacity, or 45 cu. ft. behind row two, and the new optional dual-purpose Powered Inner Tailgate provides all the versatility expected from a vehicle wearing the Discovery badge.

When raised, the fold-down panel at the leading edge of the load area operates as a practical load restraint, but when lowered, the 11-inch overhanging section doubles as a useful bench for event seating or changing muddy footwear, all under the shelter provided by the new one-piece tailgate. This simple device replicates the functionality of the horizontally split tailgate fitted to previous Land Rover vehicles.

Comfort and capability
The all-new Discovery retains renowned Land Rover all-terrain capability thanks to its combination of excellent off-road geometry and advanced driver assistance technologies(4); together, they enhance the everyday usability of the new model.

Ground clearance is rated at 11.1-inches – an increase of 1.7 inches from the LR4 – while a maximum wading depth of 35.4-inches – an increase of 7.9-inches – provides unrivalled confidence when tackling waterlogged trails(4).

A comprehensive suite of available off-road driving technologies ensures the all-new Discovery maintains its supreme all-terrain capability and is easy to access for even inexperienced drivers. The Land Rover multi-mode Terrain Response® 2 system optimizes a range of settings, from throttle sensitivity to gear change characteristics, suiting the driving conditions at the turn of a rotary controller(4). Terrain Response 2 can even select the optimum setting automatically if drivers are unsure of the best choice.

When tackling particularly challenging terrain, All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) can be programed to maintain a suitable crawl speed as chosen by the driver. The clever technology allows the driver to concentrate solely on steering the vehicle as they negotiate obstacles, without the distraction of operating the throttle or brake pedals, and can also be used from a standstill to help when pulling away on slippery, low traction, surfaces(4).

The all-new Discovery also benefits from lightweight and durable Land Rover aluminum architecture. Similar to the construction on Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the all-new Discovery cuts more than 1,000 pounds from the weight of the outgoing LR4, which used steel ladder construction(3). This weight savings, coupled with an advanced integral link rear suspension, delivers improved handling characteristics and on-road performance without compromising the superb ride comfort that has defined generations of Land Rover vehicles.

Another Land Rover trademark carried over into the all-new model, is a Command Driving Position which helps owners enjoy the vehicle’s enhanced breadth of capability with confidence, on variety of surfaces, terrains and weather conditions, by providing excellent visibility(4).

This confidence extends to towing capability, which has been a hallmark of every generation of Discovery since it was used to tow a train at its original launch in 1989. In the US, the all-new Discovery has a maximum towing capacity of 8,201 pounds(3). This figure is enhanced with the introduction of some clever technology developed to make the towing with the Discovery more accessible than ever.

Advanced Tow Assist allows owners to complete potentially difficult reversing maneuvers when towing trailers with ease(4). The driver’s assistance feature manages the tricky counter-steering required to position trailers accurately when reversing. The driver simply guides the trailer into the desired space with the rotary controller for the Terrain Response 2 system; this is done using responsive guidance lines overlaid on the rear-facing camera feed which are displayed on the central touchscreen, taking the stress out of an otherwise tricky task(4).

A choice of powertrains
The all-new Discovery is powered with the option of both a petrol and diesel engine familiar to the Jaguar Land Rover line-up; each of which is paired with a smooth and responsive ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. They include:

  • The 340-HP supercharged 3.0L petrol V-6 carried over from the LR4. With 332 lb.-ft. of torque on demand, the petrol V-6 delivers high-end responsiveness and excellent passing power.
  • Shared with the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the all-new Discovery benefits from the introduction of a 254HP turbocharged diesel V-6 that delivers 443 lb.-ft. of torque from as little as 1,750 rpm.

The all-new Discovery will be on sale at North American retailers from mid-2017, starting at $49,990(7). For more information, visit a local retailer or log on to LandRoverUSA.com.

(1) Third row seating is an optional feature on select Discovery models.
(2) The Intelligent Seat Fold feature is included on vehicles equipped with optional seven position power seating.
(3) Depending on the selected Discovery vehicle trim and options.
(4) These systems are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver should not assume that these systems will correct errors of judgment in driving.  Please consult the owner’s manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details.
(5) Land Rover InControl® Remote™ app and data plan with a mobile network operator is required to remotely interact with your vehicle. Intelligent Seat Fold feature on app is included on vehicles equipped with optional seven position power seating.
(6) Do not use Land Rover InControl® features under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control.
(7) All prices shown are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Excludes $995 destination/handling charge, tax, title, license, and retailer fees, all due at signing, and optional equipment. Retailer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary. See your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details.
(8) Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Do not operate, adjust or view the navigation or multimedia systems under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Only use mobile phones and other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so. 
(9) Discovery vehicle equipped with the 340HP petrol V-6.
(10 Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro is standard on the HSE trim level and above.
(11) The Wi-Fi hotspot is intended for passenger use only. Land Rover InControl features may require an additional subscription with separate terms and conditions.
(12)Please consult owner's manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details regarding installation of child safety seats


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      The digital approach will therefore be complemented by the creation of a network of stand-alone retail Spaces around the world. These Spaces will be staffed by Product experts who can assist in demonstrating and explaining the Polestar car’s content and carrying out test drives should the customer wish to do so. Polestar facilities will not be located within an existing Volvo retailer showroom.
      The target date for the opening of the first Polestar Space is Q1-2019, followed by a ramp up as volumes grow.
      Polestar’s customers will have the confidence of knowing all aftersales servicing work will be carried out by selected Volvo retailers, giving the Polestar customer the peace of mind that their car will be looked after by a fully trained and professional network, but without the need for the customer to ever visit the Volvo retailer thanks to pick up and delivery servicing
      The order books for the new Polestar 1 open on 17 October 2017, with Polestar able to take expressions of interest from prospective customers immediately.
      Polestar Production Centre
      Polestar cars will be built in China. To facilitate this, Volvo Cars has formed a joint venture with two companies within its parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding. This JV is capitalised with 5B RMB (640M Euro) of equity to support Polestar’s development. Polestar remains a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group and will be fully consolidated into Volvo Car Group.
      The new Polestar 1 will be built in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China. Currently under construction and due for completion in mid-2018, the new Polestar Production Centre has been carefully created together with international award-winning architects, Snöhetta from Norway.
      The new Polestar Production Centre will also house one of the first Polestar Spaces, with a customer test track constructed within the campus to enable potential customers to evaluate the car to extremes not possible on public roads.
      When complete, the new Polestar Production Centre will be the most environmentally-responsible car factory in China, and one of the most efficient in the world, with a target of Gold status in the globally-recognised LEED ratings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
      “Our new Polestar Production Centre is no ordinary car factory,” said Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar. “It is designed for the low volume production of Polestar 1 but is also being designed to cater for the larger volumes of the future. The Production Centre has also been designed to act as a strong representation of our brand as well as a state-of-the-art production facility”.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It was just a few months ago that Volvo announced their in-house performance arm, Polestar would be spun off to become a standalone brand. It would focus on building high-performance electric vehicles, though as we reported in the rumorpile back in the summer, their first model would be a plug-in hybrid coupe. That rumor was right on the money as the brand unveiled the Polestar 1 at an event in Shanghai.
      The Polestar 1 looks to be the production model of the Volvo Concept Coupe shown a few years back. The front end is very reminiscent of recent Volvo models with a concave grille and Thor's Hammer headlights. The rear end echoes the Concept Coupe with C-Shaped taillights and short trunk lid. With an overall length of 177.2-inches, the Polestar 1 is about six inches shorter than the BMW 4-Series Coupe. Inside the coupe, it is again like Volvo's 90 Series models with a large touchscreen, steering wheel, and even the crystal gearshift.
      With all of this similarity to other Volvo models, you can't help but wonder if there is anything original to the Polestar 1. The brand says 50 percent of the coupe's parts are specific to the P1. It begins with the body where the majority of panels are made out of carbon fiber, saving 506 pounds,
      The hybrid powertrain is comprised of a 2.0L Drive-E engine driving the front axle and two electric motors on the rear axle. Total output is rated at 600 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. Polestar says when the 1 is put into its 'Pure' mode (EV mode), it can travel up to 93 miles. Quick note, when the Polestar 1 is in pure mode, the electric motors offer a total output of 218 horsepower. A 34-kWh provides the electric juice. No information was given on 0-60 mph, top speed, or recharging time.
      The suspension features the Öhlins’ Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi). This system monitors the road and driver inputs, adjust damping within 2 milliseconds to deliver optimal handling. CESi also allows for driver-selected modes, though details on this are being kept under wraps. Bringing the Polestar 1 to a stop are a set of Akebono brakes with six-piston calipers and large 15.7-inch discs.
      “The Polestar 1 is a Performance Electric Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid car in the world, we consider it an electric car with support from an internal combustion engine. All future cars from Polestar will be Electric Performance Vehicles but the Polestar 1 bridges today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a Grand Touring Coupé that's likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.
      Polestar 1 will be built a new assembly plant in Chengdu, China that will be finished in mid-2018. Production of the coupe will follow a year later. Polestar plans on build 500 1s every year that you can through a new online-only ordering process. You cannot buy one outright however. A buyer will have to choose either a two or three-year subscription. But that subscription includes insurance and maintence. The order books for the Polestar 1 are open right now.
      Polestar also announced two forthcoming models called the 2 and 3. Both models will be full electric vehicles. Polestar 2 will be a midsize sedan that will compete with the Tesla Model 3, and the Polestar 3 will be an SUV. Production of the Polestar 2 will begin towards the end of 2019. No date was given as to when production of the Polestar 3 would start.
      Source: Polestar
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Polestar unveils its first car – the Polestar 1 – and reveals its vision to be the new electric performance brand

      Polestar, Volvo Car Group’s performance brand, has today revealed its future as a new standalone electric performance brand. Polestar has confirmed the company’s first three models, a new purpose-built production facility in China and a new,customer-focussed route to market with all-inclusive subscription-based services that will set a new industry benchmark for performance car buyers.
      The company’s first car, Polestar 1, will start production in mid-2019. As an Electric Performance Hybrid, the car can travel up to 150km on pure electric power alone - the longest full electric range of any hybrid car on the market. In combination with its four-cylinder Volvo Drive-E engine, the Polestar 1 delivers 600hp and 1,000Nm of torque, placing the car firmly within the performance car segment.
      Polestar will act as a technology spearhead for the Volvo Car Group, bringing new technology and performance attributes to market. At the same time, Polestar will benefit from technological and engineering synergies within Volvo Cars and significant economies of scale as a result. These synergies will allow Polestar to accelerate the design, development and building of its electrified performance cars.
      Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar said; “Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it - a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand".
      Pure, Progressive, Performance - a portfolio of Polestar models
      The first car from Polestar, named Polestar 1, will form a halo for the future Polestar brand. The Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seater Grand Tourer Coupé with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain. A maximum of 500 cars per year will be built. All cars will be offered on a subscription basis, with customers benefitting from the convenience of a single, all-inclusive payment that can be topped up by additional on-demand services if required.
      Showcasing Polestar’s technology spearhead role, the Polestar 1 is based upon Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but approximately 50% is new and bespoke, created by Polestar’s engineers. Polestar 1 measures 4.5m in length compared with the 5.15m of the S90. This involved removing 320mm from the wheelbase and another 200mm in the rear to create the car’s powerful, sporty proportions.
      A further example of the technology spearhead role is an all-new double electric motor system driving both rear wheels, connected together by planetary gears. Producing 218hp, plus the support of an Integrated Starter Generator, the Polestar 1 in Pure mode, is a rear wheel drive Electric performance car with up to 150km of range. This distance ensures that many customers will only ever use the car in full electric mode.
      For those needing increased range, or wanting to exploit the full performance attributes of the Polestar 1, the double electric rear motors combine with a Volvo Drive-E two-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, powering the front wheels. In Power mode, the Polestar 1 delivers a total of 600hp and 1,000Nm of torque.
      Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar, continued; “The Polestar 1 is a Performance Electric Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid car in the world, we consider it an electric car with support from an internal combustion engine. All future cars from Polestar will be Electric Performance Vehicles but the Polestar 1 bridges today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a Grand Touring Coupé that's likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys”.
      When the driver enters the first corner in their Polestar 1, the car further differentiates itself from its electric car competitors. This is what Polestar defines as Progressive Performance. Polestar’s experience of fitting Öhlins suspension to all its previous performance road cars has been harnessed, with Polestar 1 fitted with a state-of-the-art chassis, including the all-new Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) - the world’s first car to be fitted with this advanced chassis technology.
      Each Öhlins shock absorber is fitted with a new electronic valve, installed for the first time on any road car in conjunction with Öhlins shock absorbers. The valve constantly monitors the driver inputs and road surface conditions, reacting in two milliseconds, to immediately change the ride characteristics to the prevailing demands. For the first time on an Öhlins suspension, the driver can also make changes to the suspension settings within the car, constantly able to tailor the chassis damping and ride quality to their own requirements.
      Complementing the suspension technology is a powerful braking system to provide the driver with total confidence in all driving situations. Manufactured by Akebono, the 6-piston brake callipers and 400-millimetre discs provide maximum stopping capability. Weight distribution of 48F:52R also ensures the car delivers class-leading handling.
      The Polestar 1 also brings other new technologies to the market for the Group. Thanks to the double electric rear axle’s planetary gears, torque vectoring features for the first time, separating the power from each of the electric rear motors to drive the car through corners, rather than convention traction control systems that brake the inner rear wheel, slowing the car in bends.
      As another first for the Group, the major body parts of the Polestar 1 are made from carbon fibre. This lightweight material, more commonly found in supercars, gives the car three significant advantages. Firstly a substantial body weight reduction of 230kg by building in lighter Carbon Fibre. Secondly, an increase in torsional stiffness of 45%, from 22Nmm-2 to 32Nmm-2. And additionally, a lower centre of gravity. Reducing the weight of the upper body panels by using lightweight Carbon Fibre lowers the centre of gravity for the Polestar 1 and results in better handling, performance and drivability on an open and flowing road.
      “Most electric cars are fast - that’s a product of the attributes of an electric motor. However, for Polestar, performance is far more holistic than just straight-line speed. It’s about acceleration, of course, but it’s also about cornering, braking, suspension control, chassis feedback and steering feel. This is what Polestar calls Progressive Performance,” said Thomas Ingenlath.
      Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 to follow.
      All future Polestar cars will feature a fully electric powertrain. Polestar 2 will start production later in 2019 and will be the first battery electric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. Polestar 2 will be a mid-sized fully-electric car that will join the competition around the Tesla Model 3. Polestar 2 is currently in the engineering phase and will start production before the end of 2019, delivering higher volumes than Polestar 1.
      Polestar 3 is in the finishing stages of design and will be a larger SUV-style BEV, creating a modern expression of electric performance and driving dynamics, and sitting between Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 in terms of volume and pricing.
      “Being part of the Volvo Car Group enables Polestar to design, develop and engineer our cars using the processes of a well-established car company but at the same time, enables us to experiment with new technology in lower volume cars outside the mainstream segments. This pace of development means as we announce the future of the company, we can also already confirm that a portfolio of three Polestar cars will be on sale within the next four year timescale,” continued Thomas Ingenlath.
      A contemporary approach for modern performance customers.
      Polestar brings a fresh approach to taking vehicles to market, removing all the hassle and allowing the customer to focus on what’s important: the driving experience.
      At the heart of the Polestar customer offer is a monthly subscription payment. This all-inclusive, no deposit, flat monthly payment ensures that the customer need never concern themselves with the inconvenience or cost of depreciation, insurance and maintenance and all Polestars will be offered on this basis.
      The subscription also includes pick-up and delivery servicing where Polestar contacts the customer to arrange a convenient time for scheduled maintenance. It will also consists of a number of car rental days and access to a range of concierge services.
      Polestar also recognises that its customers can’t always plan their future motoring requirements. For this reason, Polestar on-demand services are available. Simply ordered online or through a Polestar app and added to the one monthly invoice, further reducing the “hassle” traditionally associated with car usage.
      As an example, a customer needs the short-term use of a roof box for a forthcoming skiing holiday. At a time and location specified by the owner, Polestar will supply, fit and subsequently remove the roof box, just adding a small incremental usage charge to their monthly invoice.
      Polestar offers extended concierge services, tailored to the requirements of the most demanding customers. Included is services such as the extended use of a larger Volvo car domestically and internationally for when the driver needs additional load capacity during long family holidays, for example. Other features include the ability to book a car wash and valet at a time and location convenient to the customer.
      Polestar’s own Phone-as-Key technology is the main enabler of its concierge services. Using an easy-to-use app on Apple or Android devices, the driver can gain access to the car without using a key if required. More importantly, the app allows the owner to virtually pass a key to a third-party concierge or driver to facilitate the collection of the car to re-charge it, service it and more, without the owner ever leaving their home or office.
      The subscription will be for a fixed term of two or three years. At the end of the contract, the customer simply returns the car, or Polestar collects it and delivers their next Polestar experience. Polestar will then refurbish the vehicle and prepare it for a secondary subscription as a high-quality pre-owned Polestar car.
      “Our vision is that the Polestar subscription model and services that we will offer will define the Polestar brand as much as our cars will. Services that exceed the needs, desires and expectations of the premium performance car customer are at the heart of Polestar, removing the inconvenience of ownership and allowing customers to purely concentrate on the pleasure of driving a Polestar car,” said Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar.
      Access Polestar wherever, whenever and however.
      Polestar makes the entire user experience as convenient and effortless as possible, catering to the customer’s desired choice of interaction channel (digital or physical).
      All features, from test drives, subscription offers and on demand services are ordered online. The customer never needs to visit a Polestar environment if they don’t want to.
      Polestar also recognises that as a new entrant into the electrified automotive segment, customers still want to physically engage with the brand.
      The digital approach will therefore be complemented by the creation of a network of stand-alone retail Spaces around the world. These Spaces will be staffed by Product experts who can assist in demonstrating and explaining the Polestar car’s content and carrying out test drives should the customer wish to do so. Polestar facilities will not be located within an existing Volvo retailer showroom.
      The target date for the opening of the first Polestar Space is Q1-2019, followed by a ramp up as volumes grow.
      Polestar’s customers will have the confidence of knowing all aftersales servicing work will be carried out by selected Volvo retailers, giving the Polestar customer the peace of mind that their car will be looked after by a fully trained and professional network, but without the need for the customer to ever visit the Volvo retailer thanks to pick up and delivery servicing
      The order books for the new Polestar 1 open on 17 October 2017, with Polestar able to take expressions of interest from prospective customers immediately.
      Polestar Production Centre
      Polestar cars will be built in China. To facilitate this, Volvo Cars has formed a joint venture with two companies within its parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding. This JV is capitalised with 5B RMB (640M Euro) of equity to support Polestar’s development. Polestar remains a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group and will be fully consolidated into Volvo Car Group.
      The new Polestar 1 will be built in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China. Currently under construction and due for completion in mid-2018, the new Polestar Production Centre has been carefully created together with international award-winning architects, Snöhetta from Norway.
      The new Polestar Production Centre will also house one of the first Polestar Spaces, with a customer test track constructed within the campus to enable potential customers to evaluate the car to extremes not possible on public roads.
      When complete, the new Polestar Production Centre will be the most environmentally-responsible car factory in China, and one of the most efficient in the world, with a target of Gold status in the globally-recognised LEED ratings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
      “Our new Polestar Production Centre is no ordinary car factory,” said Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar. “It is designed for the low volume production of Polestar 1 but is also being designed to cater for the larger volumes of the future. The Production Centre has also been designed to act as a strong representation of our brand as well as a state-of-the-art production facility”.
    • By cp-the-nerd




      2017 Cruze Hatchback Premier (1.4T/6A)
      Odo - 8051 mi

      We just took the Cruze on a 1,000 mile road trip (from Baltimore to Myrtle Beach and back) and this was my first extended, in-depth experience driving and living with the car for a week. I'll break down the review into sections if you want to skip around.

      Fuel Economy (EPA rated 28 city/37 highway):
      *Premium gas/mobil 1 oil used. Manual recommends regular gas, dexos approved synthetic oil.

      On our trip, we achieved 39.3 mpg leaving Baltimore and 41.0 mpg coming back, based on the gauge cluster. My wife reports that it's fairly accurate, if optimistic by an mpg. Hand calculation is pretty much out the window because we have to hit 3 different gas stations with wildly different pump shut-offs and then we burn half a tank around town for the week. Sorry, I'm just not that invested when I know we can trust the gauge cluster.

      We did not hypermile whatsoever, just used cruise control as much as possible. We passed slow traffic and drove aggressively when the situation called for it. No sitting behind slow traffic or drafting large trucks to fluff the numbers. We drove 7-10 over the speed limit, with most of the journey being 65 and 70 mph zones.

      - From what I can tell, 75 mph seems to be the 40 mpg cutoff. 
      - 60 to 70 mph is the sweet spot for crushing the EPA highway rating.
      - The gauge cluster's "Best 50 mile average mpg" indicated we set a new high score of 49 mpg.

      Engine/Transmission
      1.4T DI VVT is rated 153 hp/177 tq
      C&D test numbers for the premier hatchback auto: 0-60 in 7.7 sec, 1/4 mile in 16 @ 84 mph.

      In my experience, the direct-injected 1.4T provides more than adequate acceleration and feels peppy. The tires will peel out a bit when floored from a stop, and the engine offers strong torque for low-stress highway merging or passing even with 2 people and probably 150 lbs of luggage. I also drove with 4 adult occupants and acceleration remained adequate around town without revving hard. At full throttle, the engine starts getting out of breath above 5500 rpm.

      The transmission is more eco-tuned than I'd like, but the logic is a far cry from the mess of GM's first 6-speeds. Downshifting to accelerate takes a bit of prodding, but the downshift is drama free with a progressive surge of turbo torque that follows. After 6 hours on the road, we hit stop and go traffic briefly and under 25 mph the transmission tripped over itself a few times noticeably enough for my wife to point it out. Can't really be replicated on demand.

      Steering/Handling

      The electric power system in the Cruze has good heft to it, and the predictable turn-in seems to mask the electric numbness.

      It's easy to drive, which is a comment I found myself coming back to frequently in my thoughts behind the wheel. It's not sporty, but it nails easy driving and commuting. The tires are all-season performance firestone firehawk GTs in 225/45R17 size. They handle securely, but make a lot of road noise in an otherwise quiet car. Michelins or Continentals will make a world of difference.

      Brakes

      One of the weak points of the car is the brake pedal. It sits an inch further forward than the gas pedal, which is very awkward in use. There's also too much play between gentle slowing and heavy braking. It feels like you're pushing through the floor to stop quickly.

      Mechanically, the car has 4-wheel disk brakes, and they stop the car with authority. Pedal placement and feel is really the problem.

      Conclusion

      My wife and I really like the car. I keep coming back to the "easy to drive" sentiment, fun wasn't the goal here and I already have a car for that. It's very happy commuting and eating up highway miles at 40 mpg. I was comfortable in the seats for 8 hours of driving, which is very rare. The acceleration power straddles base versus optional engines of other cars like the Civic and Mazda 3 without sacrifice to maximum fuel economy, which is a good balance that hasn't left us wanting.

      With a set of good tires and perhaps a tune in the far future, this car will be hanging around well beyond the last payment.
    • By William Maley
      The Toyota Highlander may not be the flashiest or fun to drive. But it has many qualities to make it one of Toyota’s best selling models such as functional and spacious interior, long list of standard equipment, and high-reliability marks. Last year, Toyota unveiled an updated Highlander with tweaks to the exterior, revised V6, and more safety. Considering it has been a few years since we last checked out the Highlander, it seemed a revisit was in order.
      The 2017 Highlander boasts new front and rear fascias to give it a more SUV-appearance and we think Toyota has mostly succeeded in this regard. The only issue is the front end reminding us too much of a Cylon from the original Battlestar Galactica TV. Thank the new grille design for this. Move inside and the Highlander is the same as we last saw it back in 2014 when we did our original review. This is both good and bad. The good is that the controls for the various functions are easy to use. The center console features a huge storage bin that you can easily fit a large purse or a laptop computer. A shelf underneath climate controls provides a nice space to throw small items such as a smartphone. The bad is that the controls for certain functions are not in easy reach for the drive. We also not fans of the capacitive touch buttons around the 8-inch touchscreen as they didn’t always respond. There were times we found ourselves hitting the buttons two to three times to get something to happen. The infotainment system itself is beginning to look somewhat dated with an interface that looks like it comes from the Windows XP era and the screen is somewhat dim. But we cannot argue that the system is easy to use thanks to a simple layout. Passengers sitting in the front and second-row seats will appreciate the large amount of head and legroom on offer. Also, the seats themselves are padded quite nicely. We do wish the second-row was mounted slightly higher for better long-distance comfort. The third-row seat as the seats aren’t that comfortable due to the thin amount of padding. Legroom is also quite tight with only 27.7-inches of space, meaning this is a space best reserved for small kids. Most Highlanders like our XLE AWD tester will feature Toyota’s latest 3.5L V6 that comes with direct and port fuel-injection and an upgraded valve train. The end result is 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque - up 25 and 15 respectively. This is paired with a new eight-speed automatic. Other engines include a four-cylinder for the base LE and a hybrid powertrain. Toyota’s V6 engine is one our favorites as it provides impressive acceleration and a steady stream of power up to redline. This updated engine is no exception as it feels slightly quicker than the last Highlander we drove.  The powertrain stumbles somewhat due to the eight-speed automatic’s programming. Toyota went for something that focuses on fuel economy which means the transmission is quick to upshift, but slow to downshift. This means you’ll be waiting for a moment or two for the transmission to get its act together when trying to merge onto a freeway. You might be fooled into thinking that you’re riding in a Lexus considering the smooth ride of the Highlander. Bumps are turned into minor ripples. Little road and wind noise that come inside. The Highlander is a vehicle you want to keep in its comfort zone when it comes to handling. Push it in a corner and you’ll experience excessive body roll. One thing Toyota deserves credit for the 2018 Highlander is having a number of active features standard across the entire Highlander lineup. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking; and lane departure warning with lane keep assist. The only item we would like to see added to this list is blind spot monitoring. You can only get it on XLE models and above. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Highlander, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Highlander
      Trim: XLE AWD
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S with Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, 
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,430 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Princeton, Indiana
      Base Price: $39,980
      As Tested Price: $43,184 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Rear Seat BluRay Entertainment System - $1,810.00
      Carpet Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $225.00
      Body Side Molding - $209.00
    • By William Maley
      The Toyota Highlander may not be the flashiest or fun to drive. But it has many qualities to make it one of Toyota’s best selling models such as functional and spacious interior, long list of standard equipment, and high-reliability marks. Last year, Toyota unveiled an updated Highlander with tweaks to the exterior, revised V6, and more safety. Considering it has been a few years since we last checked out the Highlander, it seemed a revisit was in order.
      The 2017 Highlander boasts new front and rear fascias to give it a more SUV-appearance and we think Toyota has mostly succeeded in this regard. The only issue is the front end reminding us too much of a Cylon from the original Battlestar Galactica TV. Thank the new grille design for this. Move inside and the Highlander is the same as we last saw it back in 2014 when we did our original review. This is both good and bad. The good is that the controls for the various functions are easy to use. The center console features a huge storage bin that you can easily fit a large purse or a laptop computer. A shelf underneath climate controls provides a nice space to throw small items such as a smartphone. The bad is that the controls for certain functions are not in easy reach for the drive. We also not fans of the capacitive touch buttons around the 8-inch touchscreen as they didn’t always respond. There were times we found ourselves hitting the buttons two to three times to get something to happen. The infotainment system itself is beginning to look somewhat dated with an interface that looks like it comes from the Windows XP era and the screen is somewhat dim. But we cannot argue that the system is easy to use thanks to a simple layout. Passengers sitting in the front and second-row seats will appreciate the large amount of head and legroom on offer. Also, the seats themselves are padded quite nicely. We do wish the second-row was mounted slightly higher for better long-distance comfort. The third-row seat as the seats aren’t that comfortable due to the thin amount of padding. Legroom is also quite tight with only 27.7-inches of space, meaning this is a space best reserved for small kids. Most Highlanders like our XLE AWD tester will feature Toyota’s latest 3.5L V6 that comes with direct and port fuel-injection and an upgraded valve train. The end result is 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque - up 25 and 15 respectively. This is paired with a new eight-speed automatic. Other engines include a four-cylinder for the base LE and a hybrid powertrain. Toyota’s V6 engine is one our favorites as it provides impressive acceleration and a steady stream of power up to redline. This updated engine is no exception as it feels slightly quicker than the last Highlander we drove.  The powertrain stumbles somewhat due to the eight-speed automatic’s programming. Toyota went for something that focuses on fuel economy which means the transmission is quick to upshift, but slow to downshift. This means you’ll be waiting for a moment or two for the transmission to get its act together when trying to merge onto a freeway. You might be fooled into thinking that you’re riding in a Lexus considering the smooth ride of the Highlander. Bumps are turned into minor ripples. Little road and wind noise that come inside. The Highlander is a vehicle you want to keep in its comfort zone when it comes to handling. Push it in a corner and you’ll experience excessive body roll. One thing Toyota deserves credit for the 2018 Highlander is having a number of active features standard across the entire Highlander lineup. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking; and lane departure warning with lane keep assist. The only item we would like to see added to this list is blind spot monitoring. You can only get it on XLE models and above. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Highlander, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Highlander
      Trim: XLE AWD
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S with Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, 
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,430 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Princeton, Indiana
      Base Price: $39,980
      As Tested Price: $43,184 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Rear Seat BluRay Entertainment System - $1,810.00
      Carpet Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $225.00
      Body Side Molding - $209.00

      View full article
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