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Volvo is Ready for the EV Market!
During the 4th quarter of 2019, Volvo is expected to announce a major electric vehicle. The Volvo XC40 fully electric SUV will most likely be the star of this unveil. With the manufacturer’s goal to reach 50% of sales in the EV market by the mid-2020s, this will be a grand start for the company. Volvo is aiming to sell the Polestar 2 beginning in 2020. So, this car may go alongside it, or slightly after it… only time will tell. Currently, a plug-in hybrid version of the XC40 is already in production. But, to take it to the next level, a fully electric version is in the works.
Specs of the Plug-In Hybrid Version
So, before diving into the fully electric version, let’s take a look at the Volvo XC40 Plug-In Hybrid model. This version sports a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower. Furthermore, there is an electric motor boasting 82 horsepower. In combo, the hybrid sports 262 horsepower. But the electric motors are known for torque, leading to 313 lb.-ft.! Wow! For the torque to touch the ground, there is a 7-speed auto transmission. To back up this setup, there is a 9.7-kWh lithium-ion battery to store power. This version of the car can reach 60 mph in only 7.3 seconds. Lastly, on battery alone, this car can cover around 34 miles.
50% of Volvo Sales in EV Market by 2025
By 2025, Volvo is hoping to have 50% of its sales in the EV Market. That is quite a goal, and a smart goal at that. The Volvo XC40 fully electric SUV will have zero emissions and be purely electric. It will use the same Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) as the Polestar 2. For those that don’t know, Volvo’s parent company is Geely. Geely also owns Lotus and Lynk & Co. Hence, some of these subsidiary companies share architecture and parts. With the XC40 being the 2019 European Car of the Year, this car has a great opportunity to allow Volvo to enter the EV market smoothly.
A Celebration of Exotic Motorsports
In October of 2017, Fabspeed held an open house and exotic car meet event in eastern PA. The Fabspeed Open House & Exotic Car Meet 2017 was quite the success. Starting in the morning, vehicles of all types rolled into the event, ranging from BMWs to even a 2017 Ford GT. Fabspeed is an exotic car performance specialist company in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Here, Fabspeed offers aftermarket parts for high-end exotic cars, including Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, and more. While the car meet took place outside, Fabspeed held an open house at the same time, allowing enthusiasts to venture through the 26,000 square foot facility. In this building, Fabspeed contains a manufacturing facility as well as a showroom. Portions of the yearly event include food, live dyno runs, and tech talks.
Breakdown of Exotic Vehicles in Attendance
At the Fabspeed Open House & Exotic Car Meet 2017, Porsche enthusiasts were in full force. With a large amount of the parking lot full of Porsche sports cars, many other manufacturers still made a presence. The car with the most attention was a 2017 Ford GT. Although this car is not a European vehicle, it is quite the spectacle. Inside out, the Ford GT shines “bright like a diamond”. Furthermore, a McLaren 650S Liberty Walk welcomed guests at the front, being the only one in existence. At first, the car threw us off as it reminded us of the P1. So, we initially thought we were looking at one… that was until we were informed it was a modded 650S. Regardless, this car provides quite the welcome. Finally, EuroPrestige Motors was kind enough to bring out an Alfa Romeo 4C. This car is rarely seen stateside, mostly due to Alfa’s lack of marketing the 4C in the United States.
On the Porsche side, the vehicles ranged from a custom Cayman S to 911 classics to GT3 models. Many Porsche 911 GT3s graced the parking lot, including the additional one on the dyno. Furthermore, in support of McLaren, a MP4-12C Spider made an appearance as well. Guests were event fortunate enough to witness a Lotus Seven, not a typical vehicle at most car meets. There are a few other vehicles to mention, but that will be in the next section.
Dealership Appearances at Event
To no surprise, two dealers brought a few beautiful vehicles to the Fabspeed Open House & Exotic Car Meet 2017. First, Mercedes-Benz of Fort Washington was kind enough to bring over a SLS AMG. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is a beautiful car that was quite stunning at the meet. Second, West German BMW was kind enough to provide a M4 GTS and E30 M3. The BMW M4 GTS can be seen in the video by EuroDrift below. This car has quite a few exhaust options, ranging from quiet to roaring loud.
2016 BMW M4 GTS: Revving Exhaust Sound – Different Sound Modes – EuroDrift – YouTube
A Porsche 911 GT3 Roars on the Dyno
During the Fabspeed Open House & Exotic Car Meet 2017, Fabspeed was kind enough to put a Porsche 911 GT3 on the dyno. This car had a Fabspeed long tube competition race header package… and phew, it was loud! Roaring on the dyno, the epic sound echoed through the facility, bothering ear drums throughout. The best way to see this was with ear plugs, as without, it actually kind of hurt. Driving a car this loud down the road would attract a lot of attention, and possibly the bad kind. Whether this car’s sound is road legal, doesn’t mean it was bad. The car sounds fantastic, like the GT3 beast it is.
Porsche 911 GT3: Dyno Testing at Fabspeed Open House & Exotic Car Meet 2017 – EuroDrift – YouTube
Farewell to a Fantastic Day at Fabspeed
Although the Fabspeed Open House & Exotic Car Meet 2017 is almost a year past, that means there may be an upcoming event in one month (October 2018). So, there’s no reason to be upset. Considering the outcome of the previous event, the next one can only be better. With a large amount of auto enthusiasts in southeastern PA, the cars don’t disappoint. And, absolutely, EuroDrift would love to attend another Fabspeed event. Fabspeed offers high quality engineering for high-end exotic vehicles, making the meets quite unique. Witnessing these cars in person is well worth the venture here from areas around the mid-state area.
Note: All of the photos within this article and the Fabspeed Open House & Exotic Car Meet 2017 image browser above are taken by a EuroDrift representative. These photos are strictly property of EuroDrift and not available for any other usage. Thanks for understanding.
One Supercar Brand Says “No” to SUVs
In recent years, supercar brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini have decided to venture into the SUV market. This has been a surprise for many, unlike when Bentley or Rolls-Royce jumped ship. Regardless, even Aston Martin and Lotus are planning SUV models for the market. But, one major supercar company is saying no. McLaren intends to avoid the SUV market, unlike the competition. So, there will be no McLaren SUV arriving in the future. Honestly, avoiding the SUV market is a reasonable option, especially with the pure competition going on between the other companies now.
CEO Mike Flewitt’s Interview with Automotive News
Recently, McLaren’s CEO Mike Flewitt spoke with Automotive News about this exact topic. From the conversation, a McLaren SUV seems completely off the table.
”I’m not against SUVs… They are just not what McLaren does.” – Statement by McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt
This statement makes it clear that McLaren does not vision itself as a SUV company. Within reasonable observance, this statement is true. McLaren succeeds largely at creating vehicles in the supercar realm. Hence, staying within that will allow McLaren to spend more resources on what matters, the newest models to its fleet.
”When we decide to do a product there are three simple tests: It has to be right for the brand and right for the customer base, we’ve got to have the technology to do the best car in class, and we’ve got to make money… An SUV starts to reduce the purity of the brand as a supercar driver’s brand. Secondly, we don’t have the technology. Can you imagine from a standing start if we wanted to go out and do a better car than a Range Rover, or a Cayenne – the billions we’d have to invest? Third, therefore, is we wouldn’t make any money. So, it doesn’t tick any box.” – Statement by McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt
Obviously, from these remarks, CEO Mike Flewitt doesn’t see a McLaren SUV as a reasonable investment. Firstly, the car is not right for their brand or clientele. Secondly, McLaren feels it will degrade their supercar basis. Thirdly, McLaren doesn’t have or want the technology needed to build a SUV from scratch. Avoiding billions in investment isn’t a bad thing, as this will allow McLaren to invest otherwise. Regardless, there will be plenty of other supercar or ultra-luxury SUVs to choose from.
But… What About Electric Vehicles?
Unlike never owning a McLaren SUV, it will be possible to own a McLaren EV in the future. Not surprisingly, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt is for EVs. But, McLaren will need a lot of preparation work in the battery creation realm.
”A McLaren EV has got to be usable… It shouldn’t be that we offer a powertrain solution that compromises. It won’t just be lower emissions, it’ll be a better sports car. We’ve set ourselves half an hour full-on track use. You need to be able to do that without recharge, and when you come in and recharge it needs to recharge in 30 minutes.” – Statement by McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt
McLaren aims to bring an EV to market, but first, it must be reliable on the track. Not only will they offer lower emissions but aim to build a better car. The goal is to allow a driver 30 minutes of track intensive driving before having to charge for 30 minutes. So, downtime may be a bit longer than simply filling a tank, but electrical wise, this is a very high expectation. Building a battery like this will take high investment, research and development, and more. It most likely will not happen, but companies such as Tesla seem to have a hold on this, so maybe reaching out for some co-operative work isn’t a bad idea… or maybe it is?
No to McLaren SUV, Yes to McLaren EV
We Build Sports Cars, Not SUVs: McLaren CEO – Bloomberg – YouTube
Overall, the decision to avoid a McLaren SUV is reasonable, without a doubt. On the other hand, entering the EV market is a must. An EV will allow McLaren to retain full supercar status while offering a modern take on technology. By avoiding an SUV, McLaren saves billions in investment funding as well as headaches. First generation SUVs tend to arrive with problems, such as the Cayenne 10 years ago. Regardless of this decision, plenty of SUV options will be readily available by Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and even Lotus. In conclusion, McLaren’s decision to avoid SUVs wasn’t really a surprise anyway.
Below, a picture of the Lamborghini Urus is shown as a representation of the supercar SUVs currently on market.