Geneva 2008: Volvo XC60 softroads in style
Volvo's entrance into the ever-expanding crossover segment was finally revealed here in Geneva when the wraps were pulled off the new XC60. The swoopy, Swedish cute 'ute will make its way Stateside later this year powered by the turbocharged T6, producing 281 hp and coming standard with all-wheel-drive and Volvo's extensive safety features. Aside from the Instant Traction control, a new system, dubbed City Safety, applies the brakes if a low-speed impact is imminent. Volvo expects to unload around 50,000 XC60s a year, with 15,000-20,000 units sold here in the U.S.
Volvo's exhaustive press release is posted after the jump.
World premiere for the new XC60 – the Dramatic New Approach to Volvo's DNA
Ask Steve Mattin to describe the new Volvo XC60 and the Volvo Cars Design Director will unhesitatingly deliver a distinctive answer.
"The boldest crossover so far. This car is charged with more emotive form and far more energy than any previous Volvo model," he says.
Steve Mattin and his team have designed the XC60 with a firm eye on a very clearly defined goal.
"We're elevating our design DNA to an entirely new level by literally turning up the visual volume. If you say that you'd recognise a Volvo from a hundred metres away today, I'd say the XC60 radiates a clear Volvo presence from at least twice that distance," says Mattin and adds:
"Traditionally, Volvo's interpretation of DNA signified 'Do Not Abandon' the design traditions. We have now expanded its significance to also include the more exciting 'Dramatic New Approach'".
As this car segment's name so clearly reveals, Volvo Cars' new crossover is spiced with the very best from two car types.
Down below, the unmistakeable, capable XC muscles are pumped up, creating a strong athletic body that is mated with high ground clearance and large wheels. Up above, the flowing lines create the sporty charisma of a coupe.
"The XC60 is much more emotionally charged than most of its competitors in the segment. It is seductive and packed with thrilling contrasts. Sleek yet muscular at the same time. Powerful yet agile. Large yet at the same time compact. The XC60 is actually 20 centimetres shorter than the XC70," explains Steve Mattin.
Enlarged iron mark signals the right attitude
At the front the enlarged iron mark in the trapezoidal grille swiftly fills the rear-view mirror of the car in front – a distinct signal that Volvo's extrovert future has arrived.
"The classic iron mark now gets the role it deserves. Not discreet and modest, but bold and packed with self-confidence. It is precisely this attitude that Volvo's brand name should have," says Steve Mattin.
The XC60 previews Volvo's new face, with attitude and strength. Full of expression, personality and self confidence.
The frowning contours of the headlamps and the taut rearward flow of the front wings emphasise the bonnet's classic V-profile, giving the front an eager, wedge-shaped stance. This DNA ingredient is further strengthened by the newly incorporated unique DNA lamps. They characterize the front of the vehicle, flanking the grill and emphasising the V-shape and vertical stance of the XC60's front end.
"The expression 'the eyes are the mirror of the soul' is an excellent description of the headlamps' role. The eyes reveal more about your personality than any other facial expression does," explains Steve Mattin.
The sculpted, seductive lines are particularly clear when the XC60 is viewed from the side. The car's shoulders are exceptionally broad. Towards the front they are strengthened by an underlining sculptural undercut, and when it comes to the rear wings Steve Mattin resorts to the sensually loaded adjective "voluptuous".
The large wheels, the bold wheel arches and the darker livery of the body's lower section further enhance the muscular XC feel, while the dynamic, flowing lines of the XC60's greenhouse combined with its daring roof contour impart a sporty coupe feel to the upper part of the car.
Exciting new light configuration at the rear
At the rear the muscular shoulders are emphasised by the characteristic LED lights set into the tail lamps. For the first time ever in a Volvo, the rear position lights also double up as brake lights, which means that the entire shape of the shoulder lights up when braking, giving the XC60 an even stronger more distinctive look.
The third brake light becomes a sculptural part of the roof spoiler. On the tailgate, the Volvo word mark now appears in bolder, more widely spaced letters. To even further strengthen its cross-over character the XC60 is available with a scuff plate for the rocker panel and with front and rear skid-plates that are integrated into the bumpers.
"Another new feature is that the roof rails have for the first time been integrated into the roof. This gives the car an unusually low and broad stance for a crossover," says Steve Mattin.
Interior that puts the driver in focus
The new XC60 is packed with energy on the inside too. All the occupants sit comfortably in the newly designed seats, but it is obvious that it is the driver who is in firm focus. The by-now characteristic slim centre stack is of a fresh design with a new integrated monitor screen layout and is angled slightly towards the driver.
"You should feel like a pilot at the controls of a business jet, with all your passengers sitting in First Class. You are seated in comfort, surrounded by ergonomically designed instruments and you really feel that you are on top of the traffic situation around you. The XC60 has more intelligent safety systems than any previous Volvo. That's why I want the entire driver's environment to radiate a high-tech feel," relates Jonathan Disley, head of interior design for the new Volvo XC60.
The interior too has been designed so every detail looks like it's in motion. Jonathan Disley and his team have created this sense of energy by blending together a theme that can be called "thick-to-thin" which adds drama and excitement.
"The recurrent asymmetrical look gives the interior a self-assured attitude, brimming with self-confidence. This feeling is reinforced by the well thought-out mix of contrasting materials, such as soft, warm, dark panels and hard, cold aluminium inserts," explains Jonathan Disley.
Unique seats with X-theme
The stitched seams of the unique, sculpted XC60 seats have a pronounced X-theme.
"Cross Country, Cross City or Cross Over. Choose for yourself which interpretation suits you best," says Jonathan Disley.
The curvature of the forward edge of the rear seat cushion has been designed for easier entry and exit. The rear seat is also somewhat higher than the front seats to give its occupants a better view. The two outer seats can of course be specified with the same two-stage child booster cushions that were introduced in the Volvo V70 and XC70 in 2007.
The seats are available in a wide variety of colours and materials.
"Choosing colour and trim is about expressing your personality, so we have developed a rich palate of attributes that customers with a taste for individuality can choose from," explains Anders Sachs, programme chief designer colour and trim for the XC60.
The colour and trim range includes a number of contrasting combinations and the highlight colour for the XC60 is a new shade of green: Lemon Green.
"This colour is designed to be seen. It has lots of attitude. The unique asymmetrical centre console with its silver frost frame is in brushed aluminium but it is also available in two wood alternatives, one high gloss and one matt wood finish, emphasizing the authenticity of the material and our Scandinavian heritage," says Anders Sachs.
For the exterior, there are two new effect colours: Terra Bronze and Lime Grass Green.
Panorama roof creates space and light
Irrespective of whether the customer chooses a sober black interior or spices it up with Lemon Green, the overall impression is one of space and light – thanks largely to the new laminated glass panorama roof.
The load opening is the widest in the segment and the luggage compartment swallows 480 litres. As in the V70 and XC70, the rear seat is a three-piece 40/20/40 split/fold unit. Each section folds down easily to create a totally flat luggage platform for maximum flexibility.
World-class audio system
The world-class audio system is part of the First Class experience inside the new XC60. It comes in three levels. The highest level, Premium Sound, features 12 Dynaudio loudspeakers and an amplifier with Dolby® Pro Logic® II Surround delivering 5x130 Watt.
An optional digital subwoofer under the floor in the load compartment provides an additional 260 Watts.
The sound can be optimised to suit three different situations – driver's seat, both front seats or rear seat.
The two highest levels of the audio system enable MP3 and WMA-format CDs to be played, which means that the CD changer can store several hundred tracks. All audio levels provide an auxiliary (AUX) input for connecting the owner's own equipment, such as a portable MP3 player. A USB port (on the two highest levels) makes it possible to plug in an iPod, MP3 player or USB.
Clean Zone Interior for added comfort
In order to give allergy sufferers an even better in-car climate, the new Volvo XC60 can be equipped with Clean Zone Interior, a system that is based on ECC (Electronic Climate Control) and IAQS (Interior Air Quality System).
When the car is unlocked with the remote control, the passenger compartment is automatically ventilated for about a minute if the outdoor temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius. Clean Zone Interior has been recommended by the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association.
The interior trim materials and other details have been selected to give off minimum levels of dangerous substances.
The new XC60 is also the first Volvo that meets the forthcoming European Union standard for type approval regarding reusability, recyclability and recoverability.
New interpretation of Volvo's DNA
All told, the Volvo XC60 points the way towards Volvo Cars' future.
"In order to be perceived as premium, we have to dare to be seen clearly. Turning up the cars' visual volume has been one of my biggest goals since I came here to Volvo and with the XC60 we have taken a major step forward. This is a Volvo the way I want it to be. A Volvo for myself, if you like," concludes Steve Mattin.
The new Volvo XC60 combines relaxed comfort with sporty all-road ability
• Sporty chassis setting with high comfort
• Large 17-,18- or 19 inch wheels available for best get-you-there ability
• New safety functions: a further developed DSTC system and Trailer Stability Assist
• Volvo's new 285 hp T6 engine gives top performance
With the new Volvo XC60, Volvo Cars takes yet another step in offering cars that are fun to drive yet comfortable to ride in. The compact format and the precise road attributes mean the new Volvo XC60 can make its way equally elegantly both on city tarmac and along country lanes.
"The new Volvo XC60 is designed for customers who impose high demands on the driving experience. Irrespective of whether the car is used in the city, on the motorway or to negotiate tight curves in country lanes. That is why we have focused on finding exactly the right balance between sportiness and comfort, for the chassis and for the car as a whole," says Lars Blenwall, project director for the new Volvo XC60
The new Volvo XC60 is sturdily built to handle all operating conditions. The body has extra torsional rigidity (20 kNm/deg) and the sporty chassis setup means the car is precisely controlled and minimises roll tendencies even in demanding driving situations. Weight is optimally distributed between the front and rear axles, which contributes to good balance and traction. The transversely installed engine and Volvo's All Wheel Drive with Instant TractionTM from Haldex reinforce the control and smoothness.
Large 17- or 18-inch wheels as standard (19 inches optional) and 230 mm of ground clearance mean the Volvo XC60 is capable of making its way in terrain that is impossible for a conventional passenger car. The rear suspension ensures good comfort and road contact even when the going gets rough. The McPherson front suspension and broad track also contribute to excellent directional stability.
"The car handles sharply and behaves exactly as you would expect whatever the situation. It promotes a feeling of safety and control. But also of relaxed comfort," comments Lars Blenwall.
The Volvo XC60 offers a very high level of active safety. Apart from Volvo's All Wheel Drive with Instant TractionTM there is a further developed stability-enhancement function, DSTC, which is fitted as standard. In addition there is a wide range of optional functions, including the all-new Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) which offers unbeatable control when towing a trailer.
The braking system in the Volvo XC60 is based on the system used in the Volvo XC90. The powerful brakes in combination with the lower weight of the smaller car means that braking performance is very good indeed.
Engine performance too is of the highest level. At introduction, the Volvo XC60 will be available with a turbocharged 3-litre high-efficiency in-line six producing 285 hp/400 Nm, as well as two powerful and economical 5-cylinder diesel engines.
During 2009, a front-wheel driven 2.4-litre version powered by a Euro 5 diesel engine producing 163 horsepower and with a CO2 target around 170 g/km, will follow.
Four-wheel drive for perfect grip
The Volvo XC60 is equipped as standard with Volvo's All Wheel Drive with Instant TractionTM to guarantee the best possible road grip whatever the situation. With the help of an electronically controlled clutch, the AWD system automatically distributes drive between the front and rear wheels. The Instant Traction function shifts power from the front to the rear wheels at lightning speed, for instance when starting from standstill on slippery or loose surfaces.
Further developed DSTC function
Volvo's DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) function has been further developed in the new Volvo XC60 in order to help providing even more stable driving. DSTC registers deviations between the driver's intended direction and the car's actual direction. As a complement, the further developed DSTC function registers the car's roll rate as well, giving the opportunity to detect slowly built-up skids. This may occur if the driver suddenly releases the accelerator pedal while steering, for instance when leaving a highway slightly too late. By measuring the roll rate, the DSTC function is able to start the regulation at an earlier stage – and with greater precision. This is highly noticeable in dynamic driving where the car is exposed to high lateral forces.
New Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) offers improved control when towing a trailer
The purpose of the new Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) function is to dampen the oscillation tendencies that can arise when towing a trailer or caravan. In certain conditions, the rig runs the risk of swaying from side to side or "snaking" and it can be difficult for the driver to control this movement. TSA steps in and together with the further developed DSTC function helps stabilise the car and trailer by braking one or more wheels as necessary while at the same time reducing the engine's torque. TSA operates on all road surfaces and can be specified as a separate active-safety option when purchasing a tow-bar.
RSC helps prevent roll-overs
The XC60 is also equipped with Roll Stability Control (RSC) as standard. RSC is an active stability-enhancement system. If the system assesses that there is a considerable risk of a roll-over, the engine's torque is reduced and some braking power is directed to one or more wheels to help counter any tendency to roll over.
HDC gives added control downhill
Hill Descent Control (HDC) is Volvo's sophisticated technology for assisting slow progress in first gear when driving on steep gradients, and it is available as an option on the new Volvo XC60. Using the car's braking system and engine torque, HDC controls the car's speed and maintains a steady crawling speed. This leaves the driver free to focus solely on steering safely. HDC is activated via a button on the instrument panel. The driver can at any time take over by pressing either the accelerator or brake pedal. Once another gear is selected, HDC is automatically disengaged. All changes take place smoothly and gently.
Active chassis with Four-C and three distinct characteristics
The Four-C option makes the Volvo XC60 extra comfortable. Especially on somewhat poorer roads. Volvo's Four-C is an advanced, self-regulating chassis system that uses a number of sensors to continuously monitor the car's behaviour. The dampers are adjusted to suit the current driving conditions in mere fractions of a second. The three chassis settings, Comfort, Advanced and Sport, allow the driver to adapt the chassis to suit road conditions at the touch of a button.
Three-level speed-sensitive power steering
Speed-dependent power steering is an option on the new Volvo XC60. The system allocates more servo assistance at lower speeds, for instance to make steering easier when parking. Servo assistance is reduced as speed rises in order to give the driver the most optimal road feel. The level of servo assistance can be adjusted via a menu in the car's information system to comply with the individual wishes of the customer. There are three levels to choose between.
Turbocharged petrol engine with top performance
The T6 petrol engine that is available in all Volvo's large cars as of model year 2008 is based on Volvo's compact 3.2-litre in-line six, an all-aluminium engine that was introduced in the new Volvo S80 in 2006.
The turbo version, with a displacement of 3.0 litres, delivers 210 kW (285 hp) with torque of no less than 400 Nm. Maximum torque is available from just 1500 rpm and remains on tap throughout the rev range. The result is swift acceleration and smooth driving properties.
The turbo version has a somewhat smaller displacement owing to its slightly smaller bore and shorter stroke. However, this is compensated by the turbocharger which in this engine takes in exhaust gases in two phases. The inlet side has been divided into two sections of three cylinders each using what is known as twin-scroll technology. The twin-scroll approach makes for a simpler, more compact turbocharger that provides very fast response, fully on a par with the power delivered by twin turbochargers.
The T6 engine is perfect for sporty driving. At the same time it has been programmed to provide the highest possible power with the lowest possible fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. With four-wheel drive – AWD – the engine is used most optimally since maximum power is transmitted onto the road surface.
Like all other Volvo models, the new Volvo XC60 has a transverse driveline. Transverse installation gives the engine more space under the bonnet and helps reduce the risk of penetration into the passenger compartment in the event of a frontal collision.
Energy-efficient turbodiesel from the second D5 generation
At introduction, the new Volvo XC60 will also be available with a choice of two five-cylinder turbodiesels: the D5 producing 185 hp and the 2.4D with 163 hp. The D5 is a very powerful and easy to drive turbodiesel that offers a massive 400 Nm of torque all the way across a particularly wide rev range. The D5 engine features an electronically controlled turbocharger, advanced multipoint injection technology and a very powerful engine management system.
Both diesel engines feature four-valve technology with twin overhead camshafts, which contributes to swift response and good high-speed properties.
A maintenance-free particle filter that traps about 95 percent of soot particles is fitted as standard in both engines, making them very environmentally suitable.
Engine range – petrol
Engine Configuration Power kW/hp Torque Nm
3.0 T6 AWD I6 210/285 400
Engine range – diesel
D5 AWD I5 136/185 400
2.4D AWD I5 120/163 340
The engines in the new Volvo XC60 are mated to a six-speed gearbox, either manual or automatic with Geartronic. The transmission has been dimensioned to handle the immense output of the T6 and Volvo's powerful diesel engines. Sixth gear is a pure overdrive ratio and offers relaxed, economical cruising. The T6 version also has a sport mode. Geartronic makes it possible to change gears manually should the driver prefer a sportier driving style or if he or she wants to hold on to a specific gear.
Safe, stunning and smart – the new Volvo XC60 has what the crossover customer dreams about
The new Volvo XC60 is stepping boldly into what is currently the automotive world's fastest-growing segment – dressed in a thrilling blend of muscular XC capability and the sporty charisma of a coupe.
"This is not only the safest Volvo ever. If you ask me, it's also the most stunning. Not a bad combination, is it?" says Volvo Cars President and CEO Fredrik Arp.
The new XC60 has its premiere showing at the international car show in Geneva in March, with the first cars reaching dealers in Europe in autumn 2008.
The "Small Premium Utility" segment is growing quickly. Within the next few years, buyers will have at least ten crossover models to choose between. By 2009, this segment is expected to expand by 75 percent to 443,000 cars.
"In order to succeed in that kind of competition, you have to stick your chin out and create a car that stands out from the crowd. The new XC60 bases its unique appeal on the synthesis between daringly sporty design and a range of intelligent safety systems that help the driver avoid accidents," explains Fredrik Arp.
The big safety news is City Safety – a unique feature that can help the driver avoid or reduce the effects of the type of low-speed impacts that are common in city traffic and traffic tailbacks. If the car is about to drive into the vehicle in front and the driver does not react, the car brakes itself.
"We are first manufacturer in the world to offer this type of feature as standard. City Safety clearly advertises that the new XC60 is the safest car Volvo has ever produced. The car is packed with our accumulated safety know-how and technology, both when it comes to preventing accidents and protecting all the occupants in a collision," says Fredrik Arp.
Six-cylinder turbo – and two turbo diesels
The new XC60 will initially be available with the six-cylinder turbocharged T6 engine producing 285 horsepower and two five-cylinder turbodiesels: the D5 producing 185 and the 2.4D with 163 horsepower. All Wheel Drive (AWD) with Instant Traction is fitted as standard on all variants.
"Owing to its compact dimensions – the XC60 is 20 cm shorter than the XC70 and lower than the XC90 – it continues our range of slimmed-down car models with high energy efficiency. During 2009, we will offer a front-wheel driven 2.4-litre version powered by a Euro 5 diesel engine producing 163 horsepower and with a CO2 target around 170 g/km," reveals Fredrik Arp.
The chassis setting is aggressively sporty without losing anything in terms of comfort. Sitting behind the wheel of the new XC60 is in other words more of a driving experience, while the larger Volvo XC90 focuses more on providing a ride experience.
Target group with high demands on technology
The XC60 project has its sights set on a target group that imposes high demands on design, brand integrity and high-tech content in its choice of lifestyle products.
Tongue in cheek, one might say that it's all about consumers who've grown up with the microchip as a natural supplement to their breakfast cereal. They're used to the immensely fast pace of development in the world of electronics – and every succeeding birthday has brought with it increased capacity in ever-shrinking gift packages.
When it comes to the choice of car, these consumers adopt the same view as they do for other lifecycle products, that is to say all the properties should preferably be integrated into one single attractive and intelligent package.
"One might say that this could be the C30 owner's next car. It's as sporty and exciting, but way more capable. An all-round car for the person who lives single in the city and for the young family taking the kids for a weekend of fun and adventure," relates Fredrik Arp. He adds:
"We're aiming primarily at lifestyle rather than age. With the XC60 we are broadening our model range to attract even more customers with an active urban lifestyle. Like the Volvo C30, the XC60 plays an important role in our planned volume expansion strategy."
Equal allocation to Europe and North America
The sales target for the new XC60 is over 50,000 cars per year. Distribution between Europe and North America is unusually uniform: about 40 percent each. The remaining 20 percent is destined for the rest of the world.
The five largest markets during peak year 2010 will be the USA, Germany, Great Britain, Russia and China.
"This car has a natural appeal in North America. Here in Europe it is the sporty personality in combination with the compact format that attracts new buyers, primarily women. The XC60 offers a feeling of space even though it is about 20 centimetres shorter than the XC70," explains Fredrik Arp, and adds:
"The fact that both China and Russia are among the five largest XC60 markets is proof that these growing markets are now beginning to be really large. Both markets will now advance even higher up the sales league in the future."
The Volvo XC60 will be built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium. Sales will start in Europe during the second half of 2008, while sales in North America will get under way in early 2009.
Collision avoidance standard in the new Volvo XC60
The new Volvo XC60 is being launched with City Safety – Volvo Cars' in-house developed unique technology for avoiding low-speed collisions in city traffic and tailbacks. City Safety in combination with the recently introduced Collision Warning with Auto Brake means that Volvo Cars can now offer functions for auto-braking at all speeds.
Surveys indicate that 75 percent of all reported collisions take place at speeds of up to 30 km/h. In 50 percent of cases the driver has not braked at all before the collision, mainly due to distraction. In these cases, City Safety could make a crucial difference. City Safety brakes the car automatically if the driver is about to drive into the vehicle in front. A collision can either thus be entirely avoided or if this is not possible, damage to cars and personal injuries can be reduced.
"City Safety is yet another example of Volvo's ambition to tackle real-life traffic situations when developing solutions aimed at preventing accidents. It feels particularly satisfying that we can also offer City Safety as standard in the new Volvo XC60," says Jonas Ekmark, manager of Preventive Safety at the Volvo Car Corporation's Car Safety Centre.
A Volvo equipped with City Safety offers a range of benefits both to its occupants and to the occupants of the vehicle in front:
• Protection of the occupants in the vehicle in front: The best protection for all involved is of course to avoid the accident in the first place and with City Safety this is often possible. However, in those cases where an accident cannot be avoided, City Safety helps reduce the force of the collision. The result is that the occupants of the vehicle in front suffer a less serious impact and may in fact entirely escape consequences such as whiplash injuries.
• Protection of the occupants in the own car: Colliding with a vehicle in front of you can be both a physically harmful and an emotionally unpleasant experience. By reducing the speed prior to the impact, City Safety limits the injury risks for the occupants in the rear-ending car as well. Or even eliminates them completely if the car manages to stop before colliding.
• Reduced owner costs: Even the lowest speeds and smallest bumps can result in significant costs and take time to put right. City Safety helps the owner reduce time-consuming contacts with the workshop and insurance company. What is more, Volvo is currently involved in a dialogue with the insurance companies regarding lower insurance premiums for cars equipped with City Safety.
Active at speeds of up to 30 km/h
City Safety is active at speeds of up to 30 km/h. If the vehicle in front brakes suddenly and City Safety determines that a collision is likely, the brakes are pre-charged. If the driver remains inactive, the car applies the brakes automatically. If the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is less than 15 km/h then City Safety may help the driver entirely avoid the collision. Between 15 and 30 km/h the focus is on reducing speed as much as possible prior to the impact.
Laser sensor monitors traffic in front
City Safety keeps an eye on traffic in front with the help of a laser sensor that is integrated into the top of the windscreen at the height of the rear-view mirror. It can detect vehicles and other objects up to 10 metres in front of the car's front bumper.
City Safety is developed to react to vehicles in front that are either at a standstill or are moving in the same direction as the car itself.
Based on the gap to the vehicle in front and the car's own speed, the system makes 50 calculations a second to determine what braking force would be needed to avoid a collision. If the calculated braking force exceeds a certain level without the driver responding, the system determines that the risk of a collision is imminent.
City Safety helps either avoid or reduce the severity of the collision by automatically braking the car and reducing the throttle opening. At the same time, the brake lights are activated to warn other traffic.
City Safety works equally well during the day and night. However, the laser sensor has the same limitations as all optical technologies in that the detection capacity can be limited by fog, snow or heavy rain. It is therefore necessary to keep the windscreen free of dirt, ice or snow. The sensor is covered by the windscreen wipers, but the driver should pay extra attention to keeping the sensor area clean at all times.
"It is important to underline that City Safety does not relieve the driver of the responsibility for maintaining a safe distance to avoid a collision. The automatic braking function does not react until it considers that a collision is imminent. City Safety will help reduce the consequences or completely avoid an imminent collision," says Jonas Ekmark.
New function controls the restraint system in a collision
In order to further boost safety and help reduce the risk of injuries, the laser sensor interacts with other on-board technology and controls the airbags and adaptive seat belt load limiters to suit the severity of the collision. This technology is known as Pre-Prepared Restraints (PRS) and is being introduced together with the new Volvo XC60. PRS forges a unique link between preventive systems (sensors) and protective safety systems. In case of a collision, the Restraint Control Module controls the deployment of the protective restraint systems. With the additional information supplied by the laser sensor the Restraint Control Module controls the adaptive seat belt load limiter depending on the severity of the collision. The potential of the adaptive seat belt load limiter to reduce injuries can therefore be further utilized.
PRS is active at all speeds, unlike City Safety which only operates up to 30 km/h. PRS is activated by means of a pyrotechnical device in the adaptive seat belt load limiter. This means that City Safety can be activated without PRS being activated, if the collision severity is lower than the level required for PRS activation.
Another two new safety functions launched
Volvo Cars is extending its safety offering with two new functions that stabilise the car in critical situations.
• Further developed DSTC function
Volvo's DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) function has been further developed in the new Volvo XC60 in order to provide even more stable driving. DSTC registers deviations between the driver's intended direction and the car's actual direction. As a complement, the further developed DSTC function registers the car's roll rate as well, giving the opportunity to detect slowly built-up skids. This may occur if the driver suddenly releases the accelerator pedal while steering, for instance when leaving a highway slightly too late. By measuring the roll rate, the DSTC function is able to start the regulation at an earlier stage – and with greater precision. This is highly noticeable in dynamic driving where the car is exposed to high lateral forces.
• New Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) offers improved control when towing a trailer
The purpose of the new Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) function is to dampen the oscillation tendency that sometimes occurs when towing a trailer or caravan behind the car. In certain conditions, there is a risk that the rig might start snaking and it can be difficult for the driver to regain control once this occurs. TSA operates together with the further developed DSTC system to stabilise the rig by braking one or more wheels while at the same time restricting the engine's torque. TSA is sold as a separate active safety function when purchasing a tow-bar.
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