First Volvo hybrid charges up crowd

BY Myron Love . Jul 29 04:00 am

About 160 guests showed up July 14 at Jaguar Land Rover Volvo Winnipeg for an informal evening of music, food and socializing. 

“We wanted to do something to show appreciation for our customers,” says Matt Sarmatiuk, the Pointe West Autopark dealership’s general manager. “People really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere.”

In addition to mingling, the guests also had the opportunity to meet some of the newest stars in the world of Jaguar and Volvo.

On the Volvo front, the big news was the debut of the 2016 XC90 T8, the Swedish manufacturer’s first hybrid model.

“The national launch for the XC90 hybrid SUV was June 17,” Sarmatiuk says. “We began selling the vehicle around the end of June. We have already sold most of our stock, although we still have a couple left.”

Sarmatiuk describes the new hybrid as very efficient and powerful. The XC90 is powered by a two litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged gas engine that — combined with an electric motor — pumps out more than 400 horsepower. The gas engine and electric motor work together seamlessly, Sarmatiuk notes.

“You can get 95 miles to the gallon. Using just the electric mode, you can go as much as 75 kilometres. And you can plug the vehicle into any home outlet and recharge the battery in just a few hours,” he says.

The Drive-E Powertrain comes with five driving modes — among them, AWD Mode, Dynamic Mode and Individual Mode lets you combine modes to find which suits you best. One of the standout features of the XC90 hybrid is a gearstick made exclusively from Orrefors crystal glass. Each piece is handcrafted using centuries-old glass-blowing and crystal-cutting techniques.

The technology is intuitive, Sarmatiuk says. The touchscreen has been placed vertically in order to reduce scrolling. The heads-up display makes it possible to see information, such as navigation, speed and incoming calls. Messages are semi-transparent and adapt to the surrounding light. 

The touchscreen also incorporates voice recognition. The XC90 is also the first Volvo to feature Apple Carplay which allows the driver to access iTunes, contacts, Apple Maps, iMessage and even Siri. You can connect your iPhone and interact with it seamlessly on the large vertical screen.

The new model sells for about $80,000, Sarmatiuk reports. 

“The XC90 hybrid has been getting quite a lot of attention,” he says. “It was named SUV of the year. There was quite a bit of interest in the new model from our guests.”

On the Jaguar side, Jaguar Land Rover Volvo Winnipeg also introduced the two newest members of the Jaguar family: the 2017 XE S and the 2017 F-Pace. Both models are powered by supercharged three-litre V-6 engines that put out 340 hp.

“They are both very driver-oriented cars that perform at a high level in terms of the powertrain and on-road handling,” Sarmatiuk says. “They are both best in class in terms of styling and appearance, both inside and out. And they both have a body structure that is about 80 per cent aluminium.”

He describes the F-Pace as Jaguar’s first foray into the SUV crossover category.

“It falls between a larger mid-size and a compact SUV,” he says. “It provides outstanding comfort for its size with good legroom and headroom in the back.”

The F-Pace is available in four trim levels — base, Premium, Prestige, and R-Sport. The Adaptive Dynamics package is available on the Prestige and R-Sport models. The entry level price for the F-Pace is about $55,000.

The XE S sports sedan starts at around $50,000.

Both new models will soon be available in diesel, Sarmatiuk reports. 

Sarmatiuk also notes the dealership is currently taking orders on the 2016 Land Rover Evoque, the world’s first premium compact SUV convertible.

“It’s a two-door SUV with a soft top that is getting a lot of attention,” he says. “It will be selling for just under $70,000.”

myjolove1@gmail.com