Volvo Updates Two Popular Models to Electric Power Trains

Volvo’s S90 and V90 models just go an update including for the first-time mild hybrid power trains. These new mild hybrid power train is available now on every model in the Swedish’ carmakers line up. Volvo claims it offers up to a 15% savings in fuel and emissions.

The system uses a 48v battery with its own integrated starter, generator and energy recovery mechanism. It will be included across the S90 and V90 models and even on the V90 Cross county. This is the first time one of Volvo’s more sport utility models will be fitted with a hybrid system.

Each of the models in question here got some other small upgrades as well. Both models will be getting new, more stylish bumpers with fog lights and new LED taillights will be included on the V90. Models will include sequential indicator lights as well as new paint and wheel options as well.

Refreshed interiors come standard along with advance air cleaning technology which filters the cabin air and even gives an air quality report from the infotainment system. This is the system previously available only on models sold in the Chinese market.

Both models get rear USB-C charging ports (no more 12-volt power which surely some will miss) along with wireless charging being added as an option on many variants. For the audiophiles both the V90 and S90 will get new Bowers and Wilkins sound systems. For the interiors Volvo is offering many new leather-free options for materials.

Additional specs and pricing are not yet available.

BMW Brings AI into Its Munich Paint Shop

BMW is piloting new usage of AI in its plants—this time they are giving it a shot in their Munich plant paint shop.

Even though BMW employees top-notch air filter tech, fine dust particles in paint lines will vary according to the ambient air drawn into the lines. If the dust content goes over a certain amount, the wet paint could trap particles making for uneven paint jobs.

Using AI, BMW engineers and AI specialists have found a way to avoid the problem entirely. Now, every newly painted car body goes through an automatic surface analysis in the paint shop. The data gathered during these inspections are helping BMW develop a massive database of dust particle analysis. Now the AI uses the database for comparison to live particle sensor data coming from the paint booths and dryers.

One example how the AI works is when dust levels are rising due to the season or a long dry period the AI can detect this trend and recommend and earlier filter replacement to help mitigate particle levels.

The AI might also use its analytical abilities to suggest that a factory use a different material to remove dust from car bodies before painting.

BMW AI monitors and analyzes 160 features of car bodies and is able to predict paint job quality with great accuracy. AI experts at BMW are confident once they’ve completed the project in Munich the technology will be able to applied widely to all their plants.

 

General Motors Getting Greener

By late 2020 General Motors claims its Spring Hill plant will be 100 percent solar powered.

Their green tariff with the Tennessee Valley Authority should supply as much as 100 megawatts of solar energy per year, equivalent to the yearly usage of 18,000 US households. The energy will come from the Origis Energy solar farm being built in Lowndes County, Mississippi

The project is possible through the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Green Invest program.

This will increase General Motor’s renewable energy usage to 50% of its electricity usage by 2023. General Motor’s coal is to have 100% renewable electricity usage at all its GM-owned cites by 2030.

Green tariff solutions are a primary part of General Motor’s renewable energy plan. They let the company work with utility providers to provide renewable energy for its facilities.

At 2,100 acres Spring Hill is the largest GM facility in North America. 700 acres of used for farming, another 100 are a wildlife habitat that includes wetlands and native grasslands. The wildlife habitat received a Gold rating from the Wildlife Habitat Council. The actual plant itself makes Acadias, Cadillac XT5s and XT6’s as well as several of GM’s engines.

General Motors is ranked number 12 on the United State’s EPA National Top 100 List for largest green power users from their Green Power Partnership program. The EPA has stated that General Motor’s choice to use green energy helps to promote voluntary switch over to renewable energy and helps develop those resources.

 

Jaguar F-Type Getting an Update

Jaguar is restyling its iconic F-Type under the new directorship of Julian Thomson. Many believe that the all-aluminum, front engine, British icon has never looked better.

Obviously diving into their heritage Jaguar is now writing “Est. 1935” on various places on the F-Type. Besides looks though the F-Type is experiencing other changes that may have some excited and others not as these are performance changes.

The F-Type range’s engine no longer employs a six-cylinder option, instead they are offering a detuned and supercharged V8 in the mid-range model. This is now the only engine with rear or four-wheel drive available.

The F-Type also has four choices in trim levels; however, not every engine is compatible with each trim package. As an example the basic-level trim which includes passive suspension, open differential and 18 inch rims can only come with the four cylinder P300. The P450 is most compatible with the R-Dynamic trim comes with electronic limited slip differential and adaptive dampers as standard.

Finally a convertible is going to be about £5500 more than a coupe.

Ford’s Puma Getting the ST Upgrade

A new ST version of the Puma crossover will arrive later in 2020 according to its maker, Ford Motor Company.

Leaked imagery of the Puma ST suggests it will be borrowing its body look from they Hyundai Kona N. This imagery does not reveal how the Puma ST will differentiate itself from the standard Puma. The wheels suggest a design like the Fiesta ST and it is thought by some the Puma ST will borrow its powertrain.

The 1.5 liter, 3 cylinder engine of the Fiesta ST gives 197bhp and 214lb ft. Enough to give the so-called “supermini” a take of speed of 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds and its speed tops out around 114mph. The larger, higher ride Puma will have to make performance sacrifices if it uses this unmodified powertrain.

From what has been seen of prototypes, it will have a standout lower body kit that rounds the whole vehicle with a splitter-style front bumper and a new rear bumper that will house the twin tailpipes.

Other upgrades could include a stiffer suspension and larger brake discs. Options could include a limited slip differential, selectable driving modes and perhaps launch control function.

The Puma will be Ford’s third Euro-model to get an ST version and will be Ford’s first “hot” SUV to launch overseas. Its rivals will include the aforementioned Hyundai Kona N as well as their HR-V.