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Horsepower may steal a lot of headlines, but the always-more-complex torque figure is often a critical one for both the workingman and the motoring playboy. The measure of rotational force represents the twist that can liquefy one's tires or haul one's horse trailer. Good stuff.
It follows then, that as with the horsepower-to-weight list that we assembled for you a few months ago, a list of cars that offer the most pound-feet with the fewest pounds to carry, is an interesting one to break down. Sure, there's a big difference in how the torque is applied from a turbocharged six-cylinder in a Swedish luxury sedan and a massive heavy-duty truck's turbo-diesel. But being the car/stat geeks that we are, we think it's kinda neat that those two vehicles rank near each other where torque and weight intersect.
As with the horsepower list, we've given you figures as pounds per every one pound-foot. Again broken down into broad price categories, we've got a mixed bag of 2014 and 2015 models here, too. Every effort has been made to select the most up-to-date prices and specs, and we've also to omitted some '14 cars that won't be re-upped after the ongoing yearly changeover.
The current, long-serving Volvo XC90 might not be going away as soon as we thought - at least not in China. According to word from CarNewsChina, the crossover's production will be moved to Daqing, China, in December and from that point on, be built at Geely's factory. The only available engine will be a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder.
According to the report, the present XC90 and the imminent next-generation model will both be sold in the market, but the Chinese-made vehicle will be positioned as a cheaper alternative. Geely will also develop a crossover of its own from the platform that should be ready in late 2015.
Volvo plans to launch the new XC90 later this year to replace the aging model, which has been on the market for over a decade. It will ride on the company's new Scaleable Product Architecture platform and will be powered by the automaker's new Drive-E four-cylinder engine family. Hybrid versions will also be available.
As fuel prices rise and greenhouse gases poke holes in the ozone, big, gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles are becoming less popular as smaller, cleaner vehicles, such as crossovers, gain market share. Volvo is late to the small crossover party, though it wants to build the XC40 crossover to compete with the Land Rover Evoque. The only problem with that, Autocar reports, is that a suitable (read: small enough) platform for it is up to five years away, despite a hopeful photos of it in testing guise.
Volvo is currently developing a new platform, called SPA (Scaleable Platform Architecture), to underpin its next-generation of vehicles, such as the 2014 XC60 pictured above and the S60 sedan, which is likely the smallest vehicle that would be able to use the new platform. Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be a quick fix for the gaping hole in Volvo's lineup, and Geely, the Chinese budget car manufacturer that owns Volvo, is reportedly preparing to launch a mid-market brand that may or may not be sold outside of China.
Can't Swedish car manufacturers catch a break?