Home » I’m Going To Sweden To Drive The New Volvo EX30 In The Snow And Ice; Oh Boy, I Have No Idea What To Expect

I’m Going To Sweden To Drive The New Volvo EX30 In The Snow And Ice; Oh Boy, I Have No Idea What To Expect

Huibert Volvo Ex30
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As you read this, I will be on a plane winging my way from sunny California to Stockholm, Sweden where it is still very cold and snowy. After a one-night stay, we then fly from there to the very northern part of the country to the city of Lulea where the high today was 32 deg F. To my spoiled California ass, that’s freezing! Even though I spent 19 years of my life in Michigan I’m not used to that sort of thing anymore. I’m going to die. But I think I’m going to die with a smile on my face because from what I can tell, the north of Sweden is a stunningly beautiful place.

Why, you may ask, am I dragging my retired self to such a faraway place? A few weeks ago, our Matt Hardigree asked me if I wanted to go drive the new Volvo EX30 in the icy north, and while it sounded fun, I had a few questions. After he explained the situation, I started ticking off the boxes. Let’s see, Volvo is going to fly me business class? They’re going to put me in a bunch of fancy hotels and serve me the best food Sweden has to offer? I’m going to get to wander around Stockholm on my own for 1/2 a day? I’m going to get to drive a couple of Volvo’s new cars on lots of snowy roads and an ice track? Sounded interesting, but I still wasn’t really convinced. Then came the kicker. Halfway through the first morning drive, we’re going to go dogsledding. Dogsledding?? Oh yeah! Where do I sign?

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

To be perfectly honest, for all the years I spent in the auto industry and all the cool projects I got to work on, I’ve never been involved in one of these press drives so this is going to be a new experience for me. I really don’t know what to expect. I’ve heard stories, as many of you have as well, but I’ve never seen it in person. I’m excited and apprehensive at the same time. The car has already been reviewed here by Jamie Kitman. What else is there to say? Jamie did a pretty comprehensive take on the car. Will I find something new?

Ex30 Click 1

I’m figuring you folks don’t need to read again about the leather upholstery, or the restrained styling, or the way the heated seats keep your tush toasty. If the car is really good, let’s talk about the engineering that makes it good. If the car kicks ass in the snow and ice, let’s talk about the suspension and the tires and see if we can’t figure out why.

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Ex30 Click 2Let’s dig into the nuts and bolts of the new EX30. Designing and developing a new car is the product of millions of decisions. I want to dig into the decisions Volvo made to make the car perform in the snow. Volvo is clearly proud of what they created, or they wouldn’t bring a group of journos so far into the wilds of Sweden to show it off.

Ex30 Click 3

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more excited I get. This is going to be fun. And who knows. Maybe the Northern Lights are still active, and they will guide me to something interesting I can tell all of you about.

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Flinched
Flinched
27 days ago

You should expect every activity and every post will be monitored by the Chinese government.

Christo Arvanitis
Christo Arvanitis
27 days ago

I wish these were made in Sweden…

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
27 days ago

Please don’t hate me for this: I don’t like dogs. Dunno why, sorry, but knowing that adds emphasis to this next bit.

I’ve been dog sledding in Norway/Sweden twice and I absolutely loved it, the dogs just want to run all the time and they were so stupidly happy that at the end of the trip I hugged them all. On my knees in the snow at -20 with four huskies jumping all over me. The second time I harnessed them up before the trip and put them back in the kennels afterwards. It was magical.

They poop while running. Watch out for that.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
27 days ago

Last time the Autopian sent someone to test a vehicle, he disappeared mid article and now refuses to discuss it. So be careful. I’m not sure which cryptids roam Sweden, but if you meet one, get us pictures. Or at least try. The Bigfoot Crown Prince warned me about pictures of him coming out blurry

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
27 days ago

Dogsledding and the Northern Lights? Awesome!
Also, don’t get Stockholm Syndrome
(I couldn’t help it)

Justin Short
Justin Short
28 days ago

Sounds great great, i think I’m falling in” like” already

Ron888
Ron888
28 days ago

Very much looking forward to your view on the technical aspects of the car

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
28 days ago

Make sure to pick up a couple of cans of contraband surstromming!

Last edited 28 days ago by MaximillianMeen
Ron888
Ron888
28 days ago

I’ve heard stories.I must admit i’m curious.If i ever see it in my country i’ll buy a can just to experience the smell.Or better,trick my brother into opening it XD

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
27 days ago
Reply to  Ron888

Surstromming is one of those very rare things that can’t be over-exaggerated. No matter how bad you’ve heard it is, the actual experience is always worse than you would have thought possible beforehand.

Hamish48
Hamish48
28 days ago

don’t forget an icy shot or 2 of aquavit, the national drink. It packs a punch.

Fred Flintstone
Fred Flintstone
28 days ago

In Scandinavia a common saying is “there’s no bad weather, just wrong clothes”. As long as you packed your thermal underwear, you’ll be fine.

James Brown
James Brown
28 days ago

“Hej” (“hello”) Huibert and welcome to Sweden. My Minnesotan wife and I emigrated to northern Sweden (near Umeå) in 2019. David was even kind enough to visit us on one of his epic but ill-judged diesel Voyager voyages.

Luleå (pronounced Loo-ley-ohr, or Loo-leh to locals) is a fine city on a beautiful wide estuary. The ice driving should happen close to the city itself.

The winter was exceptionally cold at the start of January (-43°C in places) but the total snowfall has been manageable and now we’re in the fantastic late winter period known in indigenous Sámi languages as “Gïrradálvvie” (spring-winter). We have negative (Celsius) nighttime temperatures and positive daytime temperatures so the snow has been thawing and freezing into a gorgeous thick crust. At your latitude in Luleå you’ll now be gaining almost 7 minutes in daylight every day as we rush past the spring equinox towards the near constant summer sun. It’s a great time of year to visit.

You’ll be in an international crowd of journos and Volvo employees, but do seek out the true Norrland-ers from Luleå or the surrounding northernmost county of Norrbotten. They’re straight talking folk who enjoy hunting, fishing and mechanical things. Look out in particular for the fine American muscle cars that should be emerging from winter hibernation soon. Sweden came to an “understanding” (ahem) with Nazi Germany, so emerged unscathed and wealthy after WWII. In the 1950s and 1960s Sweden developed a serious affair with imported American cars, perhaps more so than anywhere else in Europe. That’s still true today.

“Trevlig resa” and wave to us as you fly past Umeå. (Yes, many coastal northern Swedish towns have names ending in one of the three extra vowels – å – which denotes a city on the river, usually of the same name. Lule -> Luleå, Ume -> Umeå etc).

Last edited 28 days ago by James Brown
Ron888
Ron888
28 days ago
Reply to  James Brown

Thanks for this.I always like hearing about a country from the locals.I can get a feel for the place that just doesnt happen from tourist brochures

Sklooner
Sklooner
28 days ago

It’s the local tradition to drive without pants

Usernametaken
Usernametaken
28 days ago
Reply to  Sklooner

Look buddy it’s a local tradition where we (I am referring to you and me) are to drive a jacked up pickup featuring Truck Nutz and a slip tank with your high beams and light bar on at all hours of the day.

Some pieces of culture can be left where they are.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
28 days ago

Just.

Don’t.

Crash.

10001010
10001010
28 days ago

I have to ask, did David get the reference in the top shot?

Live2ski
Live2ski
28 days ago

sounds awesome. How’s the battery range in an actual cold climate

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
28 days ago
Reply to  Live2ski

Good question!

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
28 days ago

Say hi to Santa while you’re up there. Look forward to your report.

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