Baltimore, Maryland, United States
A Chinese automotive site has snagged the first spy shots of the updated Volvo XC60, completely uncovered. While the overall profile of the vehicle remains intact, the headlights are heavily revised. Gone are the two-piece units, which featured the separate light strip between the main cluster and the grille. In place now are larger lenses, somewhat reminiscent of those found on the S60 sedan. Also updated is the grille, which gets a little wider to meet the new headlights. The grille receives more chrome, while the lower front fascia has been revised with wider openings. A pair of LED fog lights are pushed way out to the corners.
Out back, the license plate holder gets a bold chrome strip above it, and the recessed exhaust is replaced with chromed, dual exhaust outlets that have been integrated into the bottom of the rear bumper.
Inside, the instrument panel has been revised, with a large, centrally mounted speedo, featuring a digital display in the center. According to reports, this is a similar setup to that of the new V40. As such, it appears that the changes are thoughtful efforts to move the XC60 forward by incorporating the most current Volvo design elements.
This year Honda Yuasa Racing brought a station wagon back to the ranks of competitors in the British Touring Car Championship (its drivers currently sit in third and fifth place in the Championship). In 1994, however, Volvo was the first team to run an estate in the series that's one of the best for delivering close racing.
Rickard Rydell and Jan Lammers drove the duo of 850 Estates prepped by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, lining up at Thruxton and proving that the rumors of a wagon in the series weren't a joke. The team used that year for development, getting the 2.0-liter, 290-horsepower, naturally aspirated five-cylinder engine ready for the next year's proper assault. The team's best finish over the 21 races was a fifth place, and they took 14th overall.
Rules changes led Volvo to switch to the 850 sedan the following year, but all the right noises had been made with the wagon. Rydell drive on to a third-place overall finish in 1995, three years later he claimed the Championship title. You'll find details and reminiscing from Rydell in the press release below, as well as the full video with scenes from the glory days.
According to a report in Reuters, the findings of an internal investigation conducted by Geely-owned Volvo is that its Chinese dealers vastly overreported their sales numbers in 2011, then even more vastly underreported their 2012 sales figures. About "half the dealers" out of the 151 total outlets gamed the system in order to get incentives for reaching volume objectives, falsely recording about 7,000 more units sold than was actually the case. Instead of 47,140 cars sold in China in 2011, the real number should have been 39,871.
Volvo corporate books a sale once it ships a car to a dealer, so that meant there were 7,000 more cars in inventory than there should have been. To restore the balance, the dealers underreported their 2012 sales while they unloaded those extra cars since, naturally, they couldn't claim the sale again. That made it look like sales declined by 11 percent in 2012, even though they actually increased year-on-year. The adjusted sales number for 2012 totalled 45,896.
Volvo has met with its dealers and told them to stop the deceitful practice. The discrepancies weren't so great that the company plans to restate its historic numbers, but from now on, it apparently plans to occasionally check inventory to make sure the numbers match and that it has a true picture of how individual models are selling.