Drive Wire: February 19, 2016
A new Volvo wagon, a rally Fiesta, a new Lexus powertrain, a new way to connect your car, and off-road skating.
Hey guys, it’s Christina Thompson and this is Drive Wire for Thursday, February 19.
Just in time for Geneva, we have photos of the new Volvo V90S wagon and it is one seriously handsome hauler. With the T-8 hybrid drivetrain package topping out at 400 horsepower, Volvo has basically announced their intention to turn Vermont into a power-crazed performance utopia. No word on pricing yet, but expect to see this wagon raising the tone of dealerships later this year. Although we haven’t driven it yet, all signs indicate that this is the perfect blend of luxury, utility and performance.
Famed rally driver Ken Block has a question for you. Do you have a little too much money and an insane urge to go fast? Do you have far, far too little sense of self-preservation? Because if you do, Block’s Ford Fiesta is on sale right now for about $360,000. That hefty pricetag gets you the unique 600 horsepower 4-cylinder Fiesta HFHV – that stands for “hybrid function hoon vehicle,” and by “hybrid” they mean it can compete in rallies, world rallycross, and gymkhanas with equal lethality. Is this way too much power for a civilian? Yes, yes it is.
In hybrid news, Lexus has announced the powertrain for the tasty LC500H coupe they’re debuting at Geneva. Power will come from the company’s new multi-stage hybrid system, which comprises a 3.5 liter V6 and a lithium-ion battery pack for the electric motor in the 4-speed automatic transmission. Yes, you heard correctly - a 4-speed auto, which Lexus claims preserves throttle response and driving feel. Sounds a bit weird, but the whole drivetrain is claimed to produce over 350 horsepower, so we’re willing to give it a shot.
If you like new tech but love your older car, today’s gear is the gadget for you. The Exploride heads-up display is a way to add connectivity to any car. The all-encompassing device gives you navigation, diagnostics, and even social network functions. Is that last function a bad idea for drivers? Possibly, but we like the ambition. Check it out at exploride.com.
In today’s ridiculous video, we bring you the savage ballet of powerslide off-road skating. Dustin Werbeski is basically a human Jeep with all the moves and a precariously high center of gravity. Check it out and by all means try this at home, provided you have supernatural skills and live in ten thousand square miles of semi-tamed rain forest.