Volvo S60 Concept car (2009): the full photos and video

Published: 16 December 2008

London motor show video

Volvo has just issued these first photos of the new S60 Concept car, to be unveiled at the 2009 Detroit auto show. It’s a pretty damn close look at what we’ll see when the S60 saloon is replaced in 2010.

What’s new about the S60? Today’s four-door has been plagued by mini-me S80 looks and an indistinct proposition. It’s like a Swedish iteration of BMW’s 70s/80s/90s same-again school of design – but Volvo wants to break the mould this time.

On this evidence, we’d say they’ve done a good job of achieving that. The S60 Concept car shows a more progressive design; it’s more organic, with softer shapes, more welcoming details, but still has the strong shoulder that’s characterised a generation of Swedes. Strip away the parallelogram doors and other concept jewellery, and you’re left with the new 2010 S60.

New Volvo S60 Concept car: the details

The S60 is bristling with new design details. The LED headlamps create a silhouette of a Viking longboat when switched on (son et lumière! In a Volvo!) and design director Steve Mattin talks of the flow and curves of racetracks informing the design language. Quite.

There’s clearly something in the water in Gothenburg – the S60 Concept car even has a retractable diffuser that swings into position depending on your speed.

>> For the full design story of the new Volvo S60, read the next February 2009 issue of CAR Magazine – out on 31 December 2008.   

Click ‘Next’ below to read more about the new Volvo S60

Inside the Volvo S60

At first glance, the S60 has a trad Volvo interior. Floating centre stack? Check. Simple, uncluttered switches and sensible Swedish ergonomics? You bet. But look again and you’ll see a fresh evolution of the cabin style.

The instruments have been designed to mimic the ‘floating’ design of the centre console, which itself is now made out of handmade, solid Orrefors crystal. We’re not sure about the crash properties of making half the interior out of glass, but it certainly looks cool. There’s also blond birch wood (‘the same colour as the Scandinavian coastline’s sal- and sun-bleached wooden piers’) and eco-tanned leather.

And under the bonnet?

This is a Volvo, so there’s naturally a full suite of safety gadgets. The new S60 production car will get something called Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, which – well, you kinda know what this does already. It’ll spot a pedestrian stepping into your path and slam on the brakes for you. In a production car near you by 2010. Spooky.

Volvo is fitting its first direct-injection engine to the S60. Dubbed GTDi (gasoline turbocharged direct injection), it’s a 1.6-litre petrol engine pumping out 180bhp but just 119g/km of CO2. Handy figures for a compact exec and this engine arrives in the second half of 2009.

>> For the full design story of the new Volvo S60, read the next February 2009 issue of CAR Magazine – out on 31 December 2008.   


By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet