2004 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid concept
2004 Detroit Auto Show Coverage (1/4/2004)
Chrysler Prices 300C/Magnum From $22,495
2005 Chrysler 300Enlarge Photo
Aston’s DB9 Convertible
2005 Aston Martin DB9 VolanteEnlarge Photo
Volvo V50 Wagon
2005 Volvo V50Enlarge Photo
Volvo Looks for Blind Spots
subscribeVolvo is getting ready to introduce two new safety technologies that should qualify as world-firsts, including BLIS, its blind spot sensing system. Virtually every driver knows what it’s like to begin changing lanes, only to discover another vehicle hidden just out of view. BLIS uses a door mounted camera to monitor a 10-by-31-foot space alongside the vehicle, sounding a warning when it spots danger. It will react to a car, truck or even a motorcycle moving from 12 miles-an-hour slower to up to 43 mph faster than your own car. Look for BLIS to be launched late this year. The second safety breakthrough could show up on the next new Volvo convertible. With no fixed roof, ragtops normally cannot be equipped with side curtain airbags, which are normally mounted on the inner roof edge. Volvo says it has solved the problem by turning the inflatable cushion upside down and mounting it in the top of the door. The system is designed to work even if the window is open or broken, and deflates more slowly to add a cushion of air during a vehicle rollover.
PAG Leans on Volvo Sales
The Swedish automaker helped put Ford’s struggling Premier Automotive Group back in the black last year by rolling up record worldwide sales. The story was particularly good in the U.S., where sales soared 22 percent, said Volvo’s U.S. CEO, Vic Doolan. Thanks to strong demand for its XC90 and XC70 light trucks, the carmaker sold 135,000 cars in the States, despite a downturn in its sedan volume. Doolan declared 2004 “will see an intensification of our performance.” In an interview with TheCarConnection.com, Doolan said he’s targeting sales of 200,000 vehicles a year in the U.S. by 2010, a forecast he stressed was conservative. Adding all-wheel-drive to its option list will play a significant role, he suggested, and should help underscore Volvo’s focus on safety — as well as its increasing emphasis on performance.