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IRVINE, Calif., (Sep. 12, 2005) – Volvo’s innovative nine-foot, 36-inch gravity racing pod sped down Jack’s Peak drive, Monterey, Ca., recently to reach a top speed of 54 mph, clinching the grand prize for overall fastest car. Blair Taylor, Volvo Gravity Car designer, who lead the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center (VMCC) team together with the engineer John Downs, is poised to bring another prestigious victory to Volvo in the upcoming Extreme Gravity Competition on Saturday, September 17, in Irvine.


The Extreme Gravity Competition, founded by former foster child Don MacAllister and CEO of Gravity Series, Inc., is a unique team-building event for auto design teams and elite corporate teams. Additionally, through Gravity Series, Inc., foster children gain valuable, paid work experience as they become involved in all aspects of the event.


“We were very happy with how the kids were able to contribute to the Monterey race,” said MacAllister. “It would have been very difficult to carry out the race without the hard work of our foster kids. I look forward to their involvement in the upcoming Irvine race.”


Taylor was equally enthusiastic. “We are very excited to take part in this positive teambuilding event which benefits foster children and hope to achieve another impressive victory,” he said. “Overall we loved the event in Monterey and seeing the expressions on the faces of the children during the race made the whole effort worthwhile.”


Designed as the ultimate gravity car, the VMCC team has created a race-bred, purpose-built vehicle that has already proven that it can beat the ten other entrants from the world’s most prestigious automotive design centers. The 2005 Volvo Gravity vehicle is based upon Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center’s human centric, Scandinavian-design approach where form and function are integrated toward elegance.


In designing and building Volvo’s gravity race car, the design team focused on safety and beauty much like they would if designing a Volvo automobile. Whether it is an SUV, convertible, or even a Volvo gravity vehicle, safety is always a top priority. The 2005 Volvo gravity car races down the track with some key safety features to protect the driver, which includes a five-point harness, rollover cage, and reactive braking system.


Lars Erik Lundin, vice president and general manager of VMCC said, “the greatness of this event of course lies in helping the foster kids, but the team building effect is also very important to us. Achieving top speed in a vehicle without an engine is a remarkable integration of design and engineering. Many people took part in the creation of this vehicle and after much brainstorming and interaction, in the end, they created a winning car.”


At the end of the day, Volvo’s involvement in this event is about more than winning – it is about the children. As Taylor said, “I believe our car will maximize the most from Mother Nature; our purpose here is to provide jobs and hope to foster kids world wide.”


About Volvo

VCNA, part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Gothenburg, Sweden, provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, and oversees Volvo operations in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.


Volvo has been building cars with safety in mind for over 75 years. The 2006 Volvo Cars model line-up includes; the award-winning new S40 and its wagon counterpart the all-new V50; the award-winning XC90; the sporty X60 sedan – including the award-winning performance sedan – S60 R and the performance wagon version – V70 R; the flagship S80 luxury sedan; versatile V70 wagon and the rugged XC70 (Cross Country).




Media Contact:

Ryan Lilyengren, Freeman/McCue PR, 714-557-3663

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