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Volvo offers sneak peek of new car models

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07:17 CET+01:00
Volvo Cars unveiled updated versions of several of its larger vehicle models on Monday with modifications designed to make them feel more luxurious and boost fuel efficiency.

"This is the largest renewal we've undertaken in that we are updating 70 percent of our production," Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson said at a press event at Volvo Hall in Gothenburg where six new models were presented.

The last year has been a tough one for Volvo, with sales down and the company forced to make staff cutbacks.

SEE ALSO: In Pictures: A sneak peek at new Volvo car models

But now the company is looking ahead to 2014 by giving facelifts to its 60-, 70, and 80-series.

"The timing is right to present new models," said Samuelsson.

The cars' front ends have been given new looks, and a number of other details have been added to make the cars feel more luxurious.

The cars contain so many new elements, according to Samuelsson, that he'd rather refer to them as new models rather than having received facelifts, the term commonly used in the car industry when models are redesigned.

New design elements include a wider front grille, new seats, a heated windscreen and new safety features previously available in the V40.

According to Volvo research and development chief Peter Mertens, the updated models are sure to help Volvo thrive in a tough market.

"This is a beautiful renewal. Perfect for dealing with a crisis," he said.

The most significant development is a new Volvo-developed four-cylinder motor set to be available at the end of 2014.

In the meantime, however, Volvo's old motors have been modified to lower fuel consumption to a level that complies with Sweden's tougher green-car classification standards that come into effect at the end of the year.

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Production of the new models will commence in mid-May, primarily at Volvo's factory in Torslanda near Gothenburg.

The cars' official unveiling will take place at the Geneva auto show in early March.

TT/The Local/dl

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