Volvo XC60 (2008)

Published: 29 January 2008

Volvo will launch its long-awaited XC60 this spring – a baby brother to the successful XC90 4×4. Our spies have snared prototypes on final winter shakedown on home turf in Sweden, just weeks ahead of its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2008 and our artist has stripped away the disguise to reveal the finished look.

The XC60 is notable for being the first Volvo to be designed under the watch of Steve Mattin, the new British design director. His mission is to evolve the solid, strong-shouldered style that characterises every modern Volvo – and the XC60 will be his first effort. Can the man who designed the SLK during his stint at Mercedes bring some magic to Volvo? We’re about to find out…

Design innovation

‘We’ll have a bolder front end with a bigger badge and grille, and plenty of design innovation elsewhere,’ he tells CAR Online. But we’ll have to wait a few more weeks before we see just how close the finished car is to the XC60 concept (pictured above). Word is, it’ll be xerox-similar, give or take the usual concept-car showiness. We can see from the disguise around the tailgate that this is no boxy rear end – it looks to have kept the essence of the show car’s swooping roofline. Let’s hope those slinky rear lights make the final cut.

So remove the concept’s 20-inch wheels, add new-era, widely spaced V-o-l-v-o name spelt out on the bootlid and you’ve essentially got Volvo’s answer to the BMW X3. Expect prices to kick off at around £25,000, with a choice of petrol and diesel engines available from launch; all will be permanent four-wheel drive.

Interior cool

Inside the XC60 lies the usual, welcoming Volvo interior; this is one area the Swedes have totally sussed, with logical ergonomics, the cool central ‘floating’ console and choice of Ikea-chic woods, hide and metallic materials aplenty. The XC60 cabin will cosset more than impress.

The XC60 will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show on 4 March 2008, before going on UK sale in September 2008.

CAR will be reporting live from Switzerland for the Geneva show. Come back in the weeks ahead for our previews and, on 4 March 2008, a full multimedia show report

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet