When Volvo unveiled its new S60 sport sedan, it teased the public by claiming to introduce the “naughtiest Volvo ever.”
Under the Hood
The secret is that the seductive S60 performs like the proverbial naughty librarian: quiet, smooth in all the right places and equipped with either a 5-cylinder 300 HP turbocharged engine that has more horses than its BMW 328i or Audi A4 rivals. The BMW falls short by 10 HP, and the Audi lags behind by a full 39 fewer ponies. Bottom line: the S60 rivals its Bavarian luxury brethren yet the Swedish rubber hits the road at a much lower price.
In addition, Volvo added some clever transmission tweaks for 2013 to enhance the S60’s performance. It added shiny pistons, a re-engineered crank, a new software package and new overboost for an extra burst of torque when you hit the throttle. The new software enables quicker and more precise shifts and all the improvements add up to a zero to 60 shot of 5.93 seconds.
Comfort and Safety
Birkenstock-like comfort by no means translates into cheap and tacky, but rather transforms into “Scandinavian Chic,” once you enter the privacy of the cabin. Brushed metal and “supremely comfortable seats” which out-perform BMW and Audi as the “segment’s ergonomic benchmark,” communicate a prestige feel. When it comes to the inside cabin feel during the drive, it is quiet as a library except for the tunes you might be rocking on your HiFi sound system.
The infotainment system delivers Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and City Safety is standard. City Safety employs a camera and laser to scan traffic and moving objects in front of the car. This reduces fender benders considerably and pedestrian accidents significantly and tested at 25 percent greater efficacy than BMW and Audi equivalents.
Confident and Smooth Drive
Driving the naughty introvert has its rewards in terms of what one reviewer described as “extremely confident road manners in all driving situations.” This view is attributable perhaps to the S60’s standard computerized torque vectoring that intuitively controls braking on inside wheels and releases power to the outside wheel. Compared to the driving prowess of the Audi A4, one reviewer commented that the Audi was “less predictable and less composed.” Known for its luxury ride, the Volvo handles rough roads smoothly.
The Volvo S60 delivers an excellent value, especially in its T5 AWD variant, which will give added traction and control. The Audi A4 Quattro is about $800 dollars higher, and the BMW 328xi costs nearly $5K more than the Volvo. If you compare the German cars to the Volvo, feature for feature, the numbers are even more telling. The Audi costs over $1,000 more and the Bimmer comes in at $4k to $5K higher than the quiet Swedish bombshell.
Volvo Cars of North America named Park Place Volvo a recipient of its prestigious 2012 Volvo President’s Club Award. The Volvo President’s Club, in its ninth year, acknowledges outstanding performances of the top 10 percent of Volvo retailers nationwide.
Park Place Volvo is one of 25 Volvo President’s Club dealerships that delivered the highest levels against their business objectives in the following areas: customer satisfaction, sales and service quality.
“This award is a testament to Park Place Volvo’s dedication and commitment to its customers,” said John Maloney, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. “Only a small percentage of Volvo dealers achieve this recognition, and Park Place Volvo has proven they are one of our very best.”
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (www.volvocars.com/us) is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCNA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States. For more information please refer to the VCNA media website at: http://www.media.volvocars.com/us, and follow Volvo’s blog at: www.volvoblog.us.Comments
When discussing 2013 luxury crossovers, the best picks offer style, utility, and fuel efficiency. It seems like crossovers recently burst on the scene but automotive manufacturers have worked to develop the concept since the 1950s. Current models boast improved performance alongside premier passenger comforts.
Since 2007, the crossover concept became a hot topic among consumers. According to Cars.Com, crossovers feature popular aspects of SUVs like storage and roomier seating, while driving dynamics similar to a traditional car. Modifying the vehicle undercarriage or the chassis and drivetrain, delivers greater internal cabin space and creates a smoother ride.
Top Picks for 2013
Here is a rundown of the top five luxury crossover picks according to U.S. News and World Report, RoadandTrack.Com and Edmunds.Com. All information is current as of February 2013.
1. 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK models feature a six-cylinder engine for true driving power. A stop / start feature allows the vehicle to conserve gas while idling. Available options include front or all-wheel drive capabilities and BlueTEC diesel engines.
Five passengers fit comfortably inside the GLK cabin. Heated seats and entertainment features make road trips an enjoyable adventure. COMAND central control system allows drivers to access radio stations and temperature settings from their steering wheel. Vehicle pricing starts at $37,090 United States dollars (USD).
2. 2013 Porsche Cayenne received rave reviews from U.S. News and World Report regarding performance and passenger comforts. Engine options include traditional six or eight-cylinder units and a diesel powered six-cylinder model. All-wheel drive comes standard.
Five-passenger leather seating swaddles occupants in extreme comfort. A 10-speaker entertainment system offers crisp surround sound. The vibrant seven-inch touch screen panel easily controls internal mechanisms. Upgrades include Bose sound systems, navigation systems and additional passenger entertainment centers. Vehicle pricing starts at $49,600 USD.
3. 2013 Lexus RX350 like its predecessors, retains its role as the vehicle that can do it all for those who do it all. And you can’t help but feel keyed up every moment you spend with it. The most popular and well-rounded crossover wins many fans with its well-crafted chic interior, intuitive technology and supreme power with best in class fuel economy. The technology, especially, will thrill both novice and tech-savvy drivers.
The 3.5-liter V6 engine provides greater fuel efficiency and produces 270 horsepower using regular unleaded fuel, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with intelligent shift control. Vehicle pricing starts at approximately $39,660 USD.
4. 2013 Volvo XC60 vehicles embody a chic, sensible vibe. A six-cylinder engine comes naturally aspirated or turbocharged for additional power. Front-wheel drive comes standard but all-wheel drive is available as a model upgrade. Reviewers gave the XC60 favorable marks for driving acceleration and strong engine performance.
The five-seat interior features high-definition radio transmission and Bluetooth connectivity. Additional upgrades include a rear passenger entertainment package and navigation system. Ample cargo space makes transporting larger items a simple task. Base models start at $33,042 USD.
The concept is not new, but crossover vehicles meet the needs of modern society. Families and single drivers alike do not want to sacrifice style for practicality. These luxury crossover models get the job done with a little finesse along the way. Click here to see the 2013 luxury crossovers available now at Park Place Dealerships!Comments
Volvo’s award-winning safety innovations could very well be the biggest draw for the legions of loyal Dallas Volvo owners. The 2013 line of Volvo vehicles offers an impressive collection of advanced features that blends technology with safety, while enrobing these vital components in bold and striking design. While there may be too many excellent features to list for Volvo enthusiasts, here are the main highlights.
ROLL STABILITY CONTROL: Standard in the XC60 Volvo SUV, Roll Stability Control uses a gyroscope to determine the vehicle’s body angle and automatically activates pre-tensioners on each seat belt and then inflates a protective curtain when a rollover is detected. While Volvo prides itself on how each of their vehicles can command a curve with a tight hug, this feature might provide the driver and passengers with the most security of any other feature in the 2013 Volvo.
HILL DESCENT CONTROL: Also standard in the XC60 SUV, the brake system of the vehicle is used to automatically control the vehicle’s wheel speed while heading down steep grades. If you sense a trend here already, you’re right-on. Volvo isn’t a carmaker who will simply allow its reputation for safety to become stale. Added features which build greater security are far more vital than even the most striking design.
DYNAMIC STABILITY and TRACTION CONTROL: Comparing the rotation of the drive wheels is the key function for the DSTC in your 2013 Volvo. Ensuring balance throughout the car as it drives on an array of surfaces, especially slippery ones; loss of traction can be detected and then avoided while the vehicle’s anti-spin control, which can be disabled when needed, rounds-out the dynamic nature of the Volvo’s dependably controlled stability.
FOUR WHEEL ANTI-LOCK BRAKES: The key to a safe car that that can maintain control when conditions are rough, are brakes that will do what the driver needs them to do in an urgently important moment. Hydraulic Brake Assist comes through when a stop is needed immediately, while Ready Alert Brakes know when to move the brake pads closer to the discs as they anticipate the need for a stop.
BLIND SPOT INFORMATION SYSTEM: When you find yourself in thick traffic, or perhaps quickly moving traffic, help with the driver’s blind-spot is a necessity that many vehicles simply do not address. Using rear-facing digital cameras installed in the door mirrors, the system monitors the traffic on either side of the car. As a vehicle enters the driver’s blind spot, the system helps alert the driver with a lamp built into the front door post on the approaching side of the car. Together with the door mirrors, this helps enable the driver to quickly decide if a lane change is safe. The system is automatically activated once the car exceeds six mph, and it reacts to nearly any type of motor vehicle, working equally well, day or night.
PARK ASSIST CAMERA, FRONT-BLIND VIEW: External cameras aren’t just for the rear view anymore, and blind-spot protection isn’t merely for the sides of your car either. Allowing you to see around corners, this new camera is located in the grille to give you a 180° field of vision of the area in front of your car. The driver can even activate the camera with a push of a button to get a split-image view in the seven inch integrated driver’s information screen. This assistance is very convenient in tight exits with limited visibility and while parking. In a luxurious marriage of sight and sound, The Park Assist Camera is available with the High-performance Sound System or the Premium Sound System.
ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL: Adaptive Cruise Control is designed for use in smooth traffic and can be activated at speeds over 18 mph. All that the driver needs to do is to select the desired speed and the minimum time gap to the vehicle in front of the Volvo. When the radar sensor detects a slower vehicle ahead, the speed automatically adapts to that vehicle. In slow moving city traffic, the new Queue Assist function automatically adapts your speed to the vehicle in front of you.
LANE DEPARTURE WARNING: In what might be the most intelligent safety feature of the last several years, the Lane Departure Warning might be as responsible for saving the life of a Volvo driver and the passengers more than any other feature. This function signals the driver when the car crosses road markings without obvious reason. The system is designed to address the risk of accidents caused by driver distraction. It’s designed for when the Volvo is driving on major roads and highways. The system operates at speeds exceeding 40 mph when there are detectable lane markers in front of the vehicle. For years, drivers heading back to Dallas from a weekend in Austin have had to rely solely on energy drinks and the divots on the side of the freeway to help disaster from occurring. Now, there’s another, more dependable safety measure in place for the Volvo owner.
Be sure to stop by your Park Place Volvo located on Inwood in Dallas and see one of our Volvo experts for more details on experiencing excellence in a new 2013 Volvo.Comments
Luxury automobile dealership group ranked #4 in the U.S. in the largest survey of American workers of its kind
DALLAS (January 31, 2013) — Dallas-based Park Place Dealerships has been named one of America’s Top Workplaces by WorkplaceDynamics. Park Place was ranked #4 nationwide among 872 organizations with more than 1,000 employees that participated in regional top workplaces programs.
“It is an honor to be recognized as one of America’s top workplaces,” said Ken Schnitzer, Chairman of Park Place Dealerships. “We have invested in hiring the best team to take great care of our clients and they do an incredible job. We value our team and we do everything we can to create an exceptional work environment.”
The National Top Workplaces list was determined solely by feedback gathered through an objective employee survey. The survey was conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, LLP, the leading on-demand employee survey provider, in conjunction with 30 leading regional newspapers. Park Place Dealerships participated in The Dallas Morning News’ Top Workplaces 2012 program.
The survey uses a proprietary set of 22 questions to rank companies. The survey data showed that employees most want to work at companies with high levels of organizational health. Companies that set a clear direction for their future; execute well; and bring real meaning to work are the healthiest.
“We have the support of the leadership team at all levels of our organization,” said Sherry Miller, vice president of human resources at Park Place Dealerships. “This enables us to implement workplace initiatives that create an environment where our employees are recognized and rewarded for their knowledge and skills, where their opinions are heard and valued, and where they can learn and further develop in their careers at Park Place.”
The Top Workplaces program accurately reflects the opinions of employees through measurement of engagement, organizational health and employee satisfaction. The survey is utilized year after year by human resource professionals and C-suite executives nationwide as the gold standard in internal measurement of organizational health and employee satisfaction.
Founded in 2006, WorkplaceDynamics is the fastest-growing employee survey provider in the United States. Based on their “on-demand” employee survey, last year they surveyed more than 5,000 organizations, polled 1.7 million people and handled over a million employee responses.
Details about the National Top Workplaces, a full list of the Top 150 companies, the survey methodology, and factors that drive organizational health are available at www.topworkplaces.com.
Park Place Dealerships was founded in 1987 by Ken Schnitzer with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership on Oak Lawn. Park Place currently operates 15 full-service dealerships representing Bentley, Jaguar, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, smart, Volvo and Rolls-Royce. In addition, the dealership group includes two Park Place Bodywerks locations. For more information about Park Place Dealerships, visit parkplace.com.Comments
Volvos have always been known for fantastic reliability, industry-leading safety and excellent winter performance, but not necessarily for exciting design. Recently, the company has done a lot to shed its stodgy image, adding in major improvements in styling and performance while maintaining the qualities that drew buyers to the Swedish brand in the first place. The Volvo of today can go toe-to-toe with any major luxury brand, but it took a lot of work from a trinity of three designers to “banish the box”: Peter Horbury, Steve Mattin and Thomas Ingenlath.
In the 1990’s, Horbury was hired to help Volvo think outside of the box, so to speak. His first creation, the Volvo ECC concept car, kept the traditional Volvo grill while cutting down on the straight lines. This new, rounded shape with wide shoulders would define Volvo design for the on-coming decades.
In the second round of redesigning for Volvo, Steve Mattin joined the company. After designing top-end luxury cars like the McLaren SLR and Maybach sedan, he transferred his dramatic styling to the C30, S60, XC60 and V60. With their pointed noses, bumper-intersecting grills and large headlights, any hint of the box was gone.
Lastly, in the final caveat, Thomas Ingenlath recently took over the reigns of Volvo’s design department. He sees his role as a continuation of Horbury’s work, moving the brand toward the design language and long, low profile of the “Concept You” prototype.
R-Design: Off-the-Shelf Performance
Founder Assar Gabrielsson once said, “Car rallies are as useful to the industry as dog racing.” However, owners thought differently. Thanks to stronger chassis and a range of powerful engines, Volvos have long been a popular platform for privateer teams. The company finally revised its stance the late 1950s, offering factory racing support. The company’s cars quickly dominated the European Rally Championship, and by the 1980s the new turbocharged cars were regularly taking the checkered flag in Australia’s Supercar Series. No matter how un-sporty the styling may have been, the engineering under those boxy shells was good enough to challenge any other manufacturer on the track.
Volvo finally started offering off-the-lot performance cars in 2003 with the introduction of the R-Design line. Initially a high performance version of the S60, the tuner trim spread to cover every model. Today’s R-Design models are powered by a turbocharged six cylinder producing 325 hp 354 lb-ft. of torque. The chassis and suspension is thoroughly reworked to provide more stiffness and less body roll, while heavily bolstered seats keep passengers in place.
The result arrives somewhere in the middle of the performance spectrum: The R-Design models offer fantastic performance, but they don’t have the terrible ride, poor fuel economy and limited usability normally associated with tuner models. Even as privateers successfully campaign the S60R in Touring Car races, buyers can still purchase and experience all the usefulness and comfort expected from a Volvo.
Still the Leader in Safety
Even as Volvos have shed their stodgy design, they’ve maintained the safety that made them famous. The cars continue to get top ratings in both NHTSA and IIHS crash tests, and the company continues to innovate, being the first to market with a range of safety features such as roll stability control, curtain air bags, water repellent glass and blind spot vehicle detection which were first introduced in the Volvo brand.
The latest of these innovations is Collision Warning Brake Support. CWBS detects oncoming obstruction. From there it can warn the driver, adjust the brakes for quicker response in a panic stop and even brake the car itself to prevent a collision. First released in 2006, Volvo has continually refined the system, adding City Safety and Pedestrian Detection. Between 2 and 30 mph, the City Safety system can detect obstructions in front of the vehicle and brake automatically to avoid an accident. Pedestrian Detection can identify people crossing the street at speeds below 22 mph and automatically stop the car, making it safer not only for the passengers, but those outside the car as well.
While other automakers may have adopted similar systems, they start with their top models, only gradually making technology available at more affordable prices. Volvo rolls out safety equipment across its line shortly after becoming available, letting buyers at any price get the safest possible vehicle.
Reliability: It lives on…(and always will)
In 2011, Volvo placed fourth in Consumer Reports’ reliability rankings, ahead of many other luxury automakers. The magazine has also praised the City Safety, both for making drivers safer and for decreasing the cost of insurance claims. In the latest JD Power Initial Quality study, the V70 was their pick for the Compact Premium Sporty Car segment.
See the entire line of beautifully designed, safe and sexy Volvo vehicles at Park Place Volvo Dallas.Comments
For nearly a century, Volvo has been producing automobiles, and almost for the entire existence of the manufacturer Volvo cars have been known for being the safest on the market. This tradition of excellence continues into modern day with the introduction of the Volvo City Safety technology: the newest in groundbreaking technologies helping to preserve not just your car, but also the health of you and your family.
The core of City Safety is a laser, attached to the back of the rear view mirror and invisible to the naked eye, that scans the area one car length in front of the Volvo automobile. If the sensor notices that the car in front of the driver is stopped or slowing, it has the power to apply the brakes on its own in an attempt to avoid an accident. With a speed difference between the two automobiles of 9 miles per hour or less, City Safety will avoid an accident outright. At speeds of up to 19 miles per hour, it is unable to avoid an accident, but the perfect response time of the system will result in far less damage than sustained with the system keeping watch.
There are some limitations on the system: at speeds of 20 MPH or above, City Safety will not automatically apply the brakes, due to the dangers of braking without driver expectation at that speed as well as the risk of false positives when scanning at an increased distance. It will also not notice a pedestrian or other small object in front of the car, limiting only to what it is sure is an automobile.
Nevertheless, the data about City Safety’s effect on the accident rates is in, and it is extremely positive. The Highway Loss Data Institute, the information-gathering arm of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found that automobiles equipped with Volvo City Safety suffer 27% fewer property damage claims than those without, compared with comparable midsize SUVs from other manufacturers as well as Volvo cars without the feature. Even more impressively, bodily injury liability claims were reduced by a staggering 51% thanks to accidents greatly reduced in severity by the earlier automatic braking.
City Safety was introduced in 2010, appearing on Volvo XC60 midsize SUVs with S60 sedans joining in 2011 and XC70 wagons and S80 sedans being equipped for 2012. For the kinds of low-speed impacts that City Safety prevents, human reaction time is one of the greatest challenges; the automatic braking is activated with the instant reaction time of a computer, the driver is not aware it is happening until the accident has already been avoided. The braking power is strong at 50% of maximum in which the driver will receive a jerk forward, but it will never be so violent as to cause him/her to impact the steering wheel or dashboard under normal circumstances. A light on the dashboard will alert the driver after City Safety activates.
Since the laser used is infrared, it is invisible to both the driver and all oncoming motorists – no one will be distracted by a red light flashing in their eyes as you approach. It works equally well in both day and night conditions. Since it only has to read eighteen feet in front of the car, most inclement weather will not affect it, but very heavy rain or snow may impede its performance. It is specially configured to avoid activating when attempting to park or weaving through parked cars, and can be temporarily overridden by pressing on the accelerator – but there is no way to deactivate it for good, as it will turn on again the next time the car is started.
The effects on insurance claims are clear: drivers of Volvos with City Safety file fewer claims and recover less insurance money than those without the feature. Interestingly, even though the total amount claimed for insurance is lower, the amount of the average claim is about 10% higher than other vehicles, which means the system is working. City Safety avoids the small claims for fender benders by avoiding those accidents entirely the claims that do get filed tend to be for more serious damage.
For now, the effect on insurance rates is negligible as the IIHS examines the data, but there is reason to believe you may end up saving on insurance payments in the long run. The National Highway Traffic Safety Institute recently released their own report stating that the system reduces low-speed collision severity and eliminates many collisions entirely, strengthening the argument for reduced insurance payments in the near future.
Regardless of the immediate savings on insurance payments, the time and headaches saved from avoiding fender benders and the additional safety afforded to you and your family make the City Safety technology an invaluable asset in your new Volvo.Comments
For the third consecutive year, Park Place Dealerships is honored to be named in the Dallas Morning News’ Top 100 Places To Work. With more than 1400 members, Park Place took the number 4 spot in the large company category for the second year in a row, up from the number 5 spot in 2010.
This year’s field included 276 companies who agreed to participate, with surveys being sent to more than 120,000 employees. The results of those surveys make up the scoring system for the Top 100 list, and give great insight as to what it is like to work for each company on the list.
Park Place Dealerships is built upon a foundation of dedicated and talented members, who strive every day to work as a team, serving our clients and helping the organization grow as a whole.
If you are looking for an exciting career with a great team of devoted individuals in one of the top companies to work for in the DFW area, browse our current job listings on our careers site at Jobs.ParkPlaceTexas.com!
See the rest of the Top 100 list at DallasNews.comComments
Park Place Volvo Show & Shine benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, November 10, 2012
Park Place Volvo, Dallas Volvo Club and Volvo Club of America are hosting a car show 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, November 4, featuring an amazing line up of classic to current Volvo vehicles. The event is free and open to the public.
Participants can register their Volvo at http://parkplacevolvoshowandshine.eventbrite.com, and attendees can RSVP and share the event with their friends on the Park Place Dealerships Facebook event! Registration is free but limited to the first 50 vehicles. Arrive by 9 a.m. for registration and palcement. For more information about registering a vehicle or other event details, please contact Kara at email@example.com or 214-224-1971.
Awards will include the Road Warrior for the Volvo with the highest mileage; Best in Show and the People’s Choice. The public can vote on the People’s Choice award by donating $1 per ticket to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. In addition to the proceeds from the Show & Shine event, Park Place Volvo will make a donation for every Volvo sold from now through the end of the year. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation caught the attention of Volvo when Alex received an inaugural Volvo for Life award nomination in 2003. The award program honors hometown heroes doing extraordinary things in their communities.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. More info at http://www.alexslemonade.org.
Cole Luxury Homes offers custom luxury homes throughout North Texas. Cole Luxury Homes was started in the late 1950′s by JC Cole. This is a third generation family run business which is now managed by grandson Chuck Cole and Carey Caldwell, who bring innovation to the longstanding tradition of Custom Home Building. More information at http://www.coleluxuryhomes.com.
Park Place Volvo is located at 3515 Inwood Road & Lemmon Avenue, Dallas 75209, near Love Field. Celebrating 25 years as “Experts in Excellence,” Park Place Dealerships was founded in 1987 by Ken Schnitzer. Today Park Place Dealerships operates 17 full-service dealerships representing Bentley, Jaguar, Infiniti, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, smart, Volvo and Rolls-Royce. In addition, the dealership group includes two Park Place Bodyworks locations. For more information about Park Place Dealerships, visit http://www.parkplace.comComments
DALLAS, TX (Aug. 23, 2012) – The 2012 Volvo S60 earned a top rating of “good” in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) new small overlap frontal crash test, making it the highest-rated European luxury vehicle among those tested. The Volvo S60 was rated higher than the Infiniti G, BMW 3 Series, Acura TSX, and the Audi A4. The Acura TL was the only other vehicle to earn a “good” rating.
“When we decided to build a world-class sports sedan we made sure it was a great Volvo first and foremost,” said John Maloney, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. “We set the benchmark on safety, and we continue to lead the crowd.”
To learn more about the award-winning Volvo S60 sports sedan visit Park Place Volvo located in Dallas, TX or visit us at dallasvolvo.parkplace.com.
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