This is the new Volvo S60, and it’s the latest attempt by the Swedish safety-mongers to snatch a share of the small executive saloon market that’s dominated by the 3-series, A4 and C-class.
Volvo has only released two exterior photos of the new S60 – we’ll see the interior closer to the car’s Geneva motor show unveil in March 2010 – as it wants to highlight the new car’s design. Under now-departed design chief Steve Mattin, the S60 has been created as the car that will start the differentiation of Volvo design and break the one-size-fits-all focus.
The new Volvo S60 looks different, but they’ve toned it down from the concept haven’t they?
Unfortunately Volvo’s design team has indeed taken a step back from the gorgeous S60 Concept unveiled at the Detroit auto show at the start of 2009. The suicide doors (of course) have disappeared, the headlights aren’t quite so curvaceous and the panoramic roof has been replaced by a regular sunroof.
But compare it to the current boxy S60 and the new car is a bit of a looker – it’s much more curvaceous, with a creased bonnet, strong shoulder lines and swooping C-pillars.
The S60 is still a Volvo so we’re expecting the new Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake safety tech, which will slam on the anchors below 30mph – the City Safety system in the XC60 only works at much low speeds.
Volvo's curvaceous saloon will also be the first to use the company's smaller, more efficient new engines. Expect to see the GTDi badge on the rump of S60s that feature the new direct-injection turbocharged 1.6 petrol four-pot, which will produce up to 180bhp or emit just 120g/km, depending on tuning. There will also be other four, five- and six-cylinder engines, and a eco-friendly DRIVe model with stop/start tech.
The new S60 should give Volvo’s saloons a much-needed image makeover, and if reaction is positive, it will help push through parent company Ford’s deal to sell the Swedish company to Chinese manufacturer Geely.
The S60 will be unveiled in the metal at the Geneva motor show in March 2010, and UK sales start next September.
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