The gestation period for a new Volvo model has always been rather languid. Back in the 1950s, when tailfins were making annual progress toward low earth orbit, Volvo was cranking out PV444 and 544s. Those cars spent a good part of a decade looking like 1940s Fords, and so it's gone with Volvo's models. The iconic 200 series was in production for nearly 20 years, so while the current S60 was first teased nearly ten years ago, the fact that it's still on sale isn't that surprising given the brand's history of model longevity.

All the way back to Volvo's original stylist Jan Wilsgaard, the Swedish automaker has had good looking cars that stand up over time. Of course, a glance at the latest S60 sales figures might indicate that the public is using the car as an illustration of "long in tooth." Most of Volvo's range has been recently refreshed, but its important bread and butter sedan has been soldiering on largely unchanged from its 2005 mid-cycle freshening. Until now, that is.

The next S60's production styling has been captured by spy photographers, and the new duds follow the styling themes laid out by the recent XC60. The front end is smoother and more chiseled at the same time, and the bodysides pick up a character line where the current car wears a smooth radius. We think it looks good, it's a nice evolution of the original S60's handsome and well-proven styling, and should make Volvo a more attractive purchase when Ford eventually relents and admits it's for sale. Follow the source to see the new S60 in full. Thanks for the tip, Casey!

[Source: Straightline, Photo: Brenda Priddy & Co.]