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Volvo launches XC40 Recharge as its first mass market battery electric vehicle

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is the company's first modern electric vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Its quirky shape, engaging drive dynamics, and encompassing available Bowers and Wilkins stereo system have earned the Volvo XC40 accolades since it debuted in 2017. Now, Volvo has introduced the 2020 XC40 Recharge, a battery electric-powered SUV that will competing directly the forthcoming Tesla Model Y and current Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV.

The XC40 Recharge is Volvo's first step in a new lineup built around electrified powertrains. The automaker has already pledged to introduce a new EV each year in order to make half its lineup fully electric by 2025.

Volvo has given the XC40 Recharge a 78 kilowatt-hour battery. That's the same battery pack that is in the Polestar 2.

Volvo XC40 Recharge rear back plug charging Volvo has not yet announced which charging company they are teaming up with in the U.S.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

U.S. models are slated to have 487 pound-feet of torque and 402 total horsepower. The compact SUV has a promised range of over 200 miles for U.S. buyers (most Americans travel just 30 miles a day) and can be charged up to 80 percent of its capacity in 40 minutes using a fast-charging system. On a Level 2 charger, getting to that point will take 7.5 hours. The automaker has not yet announced a charging company partner.

Volvo claims the vehicle can get from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, squarely placing it in the "zippy" category.

Volvo XC40 Recharge charging front grille headlights wheels The XC40 Recharge isn't too different from a traditional XC40 on the outside and inside.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

The XC40 Recharge has very similar looks to the 2019 Volvo XC40. The biggest differentiator is its enclosed grille. Side mirrors, lower fascia, and the roof have been given a black paint job. Volvo will sell the XC40 Recharge with an available Sage Green paint job.

Because there is no engine, the front trunk (frunk, if you prefer) has been turned into a cargo storage area.

Volvo XC40 Recharge roof side spoiler black Volvo has kept the two-tone look on this XC40.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

The model's interior is nearly identical to the XC40. It includes Volvo's new Android-powered infotainment system that supports Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play.

The model will go on sale in late 2020 and is promised to cost around $55,000.

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The Vision T is likely a look at the design language of the new Hyundai Tucson.

Image courtesy of Hyundai

Next week, Hyundai will unveil a new plug-in hybrid SUV concept car. The model is the seventh in the automaker's series of Hyundai Design Center concepts that combines "emotional value" with "sensuous sportiness" in an application of the company's new design language.

"We pursue innovative solutions in design and add emotional value to our product experience through sensuous sportiness design language," said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. The SUV concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain indicating its eco-lifestyle focus and its inherent balance with the environment in which it is driven.

Hyundai Vision T concept SUV car front PHEV The side profile of the design shows off a new vision for Hyundai's compact SUV.Image courtesy of Hyundai

The SUV has a theme of parametric fantasy and transcendent connectivity. All of the concept SUV's body structures are connected from the body to light or trim features. The overall look is a seamless take on design boundaries, perhaps signifying the future seamlessness of home, vehicle, entertainment, and transportation spaces.

Ambient light reflects off concave and convex surfaces to create a sense of tension, according to Hyundai.

The vehicle features an evolution of the Hidden Signature Lamp (as seen on the new Sonata) and features a parametric air shutter that deploys to help adjust aerodynamics and design. The shutter is closed when the vehicle is stationary then moves to effect airflow, aerodynamics, and fuel efficiency.

Why might it be the next Tucson? Hyundai has already disclosed that this concept has the dimensions of a compact SUV. That ticks the Tucson box. There's also the name of the vehicle "Vision T" and the fact that nearly every SUV in the Hyundai lineup has either debuted or undergone a significant redesign in the last 18 months except Tucson. It's logical that Tucson would be up next and that it would evolve Hyundai's powertrain offerings given the success of the Kona EV.

Earlier, Hyundai announced that 13 new products would be making their way into the company's portfolio in the coming years including the Hyundai Santa Cruz truck.

No details about the car's plug-in hybrid powertrain are yet available. The full concept car will be revealed during AutoMobility LA.

Jessica Hawkins, stunt driver, sits behind the wheel of the 2020 Land Rover Defender on the set of 'No Time to Die'.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

When James Bond knocks, you answer. Whether it's Aston Martin or Land Rover, British auto brands have been well represented in the forthcoming James Bond movie "No Time to Die".

The new Land Rover Defender 110 appears alongside Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Naomie Harris, Ralph Finnes, and Ben Whitshaw. It is featured in a change sequence that showcases the vehicle's prowess in extreme off road conditions. Behind the scenes photos of the action show stunt coordinator Lee Morrison, who has worked on Jason Bourne, Indiana Jones, and James Bond movies, and stunt driver Jessica Hawkins, who competes in the W Series, at work.

The Land Rover Defender 110 driving through thick mud during filming of "No Time to Die."

"Designing and coordinating the action sequences for the Bond franchise requires a non-compromising mindset." said Morrison. "We needed an unstoppable vehicle to help us battle against the elements, steep descents and river crossings so we chose the new Defender. I'm beyond impressed that the Defender is not only back but much, much better!"

The Defender appears alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR, Land Rover Series III, and Range Rover Classic as the Bond character, played by Craig, traverses the globe to rescue a kidnapped scientist.

Land Rover's design team worked closely with Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor Chris Corbould to spec the Defender vehicles in the film. They are based on the Defender X model in Santorini Black, with darkened skid pans, 20-inch dark finish wheels, and professional off-road tires. The modes were the first Defender vehicles to be built at Jaguar Land Rover's new production facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

No Time To Die | Land Rover USA www.youtube.com

Land Rover has had a long-standing partnership with EON Productions on the Bond films, going back to 1983 when a Range Rover Convertible appeared in "Octopussy".

The Land Rover Defender 110 featured in "No Time To Die" will be on display for the first time in Los Angeles during the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Consumers can see the vehicle at the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show between November 20 and December 1, 2019.

"No Time to Die" will be released starting April 2, 2020 in the U.K. and in the U.S on April 10.

The Defender 110 will be priced from $49,900 in the U.S. and will go on sale in the spring.