The 2011 Volvo S60 is set to make its debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show, and as expected, the automaker's newest midsize offering remains true to the concept that bowed in Detroit last year and comes packing a formidable blend of tech and safety features.
The images in the gallery below speak for themselves, but with a sloping greenhouse and a pedestrian-safe front end, the all-new S60 certainly packs more presence than the outgoing model. A wagon variant is expected to arrive in Europe later this year, but Stateside consumers likely won't get a crack at the five-door model.
Compared to its predecessor, the S60 grows by one inch to 182.2 inches overall, with a 109.3-inch wheelbase (up by 2.3 inches over the last generation) and a one-inch widening up front, along with 1.7-inch stretch in the rear. All told, the S60 is less than 100 pounds heavier than the outgoing model.
Power will be provided by a twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six putting out 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, with maximum twist available at 1,500 rpm. Coupled with a six-speed automatic and a Haldex all-wheel drive system, the S60 T6 AWD will run to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and top out at 155 mph. Expect the front-wheel drive model to debut alongside the wagon late in 2010.
European consumers will have their choice of a turbo'd and direct injected 2.0-liter four-pot, along with a diesel and a dual-clutch gearbox. There's also talk of the S40's turbocharged 2.5-liter (T5) making its way underhood later in the S60's lifecycle, which should be good for 227 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque.
Three separate suspension systems will be available: Base, Dynamic and Four-C Adaptive. Dynamic will be optional and use stiffer springs and bushings, combined with retuned dampers and thicker piston rods, with the Four-C setup utilizing Volvo's new adaptive damping system.
Naturally, safety isn't left out of the package, and with the S60, Volvo has incorporated it's newest system – Pedestrian Detection – which utilizes the City Safety crash avoidance system, a front-mounted radar unit and mirror cameras to detect pedestrians over 31 inches tall and apply the brakes to prevent a collision.
All the details are available in the press release below the fold and expect a slew of videos later today showing the new S60 in action.
The all-new Volvo S60 has its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on the 2nd of March. It makes its entry into one of the automotive world's toughest segments and is backed by an extroverted attitude that promises to deliver a thrilling driving experience, innovative safety and gorgeous design.
The all-new S60 has been sculpted to move you - both physically and emotionally.
It is without a doubt the most dynamic car model Volvo has ever introduced - and its Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake is a groundbreaking safety feature.
"The sporty design delivers a visual promise of enthusiastic driving characteristics and I can assure you that the all-new S60 truly lives up to that promise," says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell. "Its driving properties are better than those of any previous Volvo. The all-new S60's innovative new technologies help you become both a better and a safer driver." With the all-new Volvo S60, Volvo Cars is advancing its position in one of the car world's most competitive segments: CD Premium.
"The competition is razor-sharp and the customers know exactly what they want. The emphasis is on emotional stance, sporty design and dynamic driving properties. Success in this segment means a lot for the brand's image and we are convinced that the all-new S60 will be one of the strongest contenders," continued Odell.
Stunning coupe design with four doors
The all-new S60 is sportier and more dynamic than any previous Volvo. But it is still an unmistakable representative of Scandinavian design at its best.
"The S60 has been sculpted to move you. Every single line in its design is there to transport you both physically and emotionally. Its profile is very coupe-like so that the rear doors come as something of a pleasant surprise when you examine the car close-up," noted Volvo Cars' Design Director Peter Horbury.
The C-pillar of the all-new S60 stretches sensually all the way to the tail lamps - and the slim coupe-like roof line is accompanied by a new contour at the shoulders on either side of the lower body, creating a gentle yet powerful double wave that sweeps continuously from the headlights to the tail lights.
The dip in the middle of the double wave visually pushes the car down. This enhances the S60's aggressive stance and makes the car look sleeker and lower. The sculpted hood and the short overhangs front and rear also emphasize the sports-car feel.
The most dynamic Volvo ever
The all-new S60 is much more than a beautiful study in design. It is without a doubt the most driver-oriented car model Volvo has ever presented.
"This project has been about pure passion for the task of driving Volvo's chassis development expertise to its very pinnacle. We've crossed into territory where we've never been before," commented Stefan Sällqvist, who is in charge of developing the chassis of the all-new S60.
In the U.S., it is planned that the all-new S60 will be offered with the sporty "Dynamic" chassis as standard, while other markets will be offered with a "Comfort" chassis as standard and the "Dynamic" chassis as an option.
The difference in ride and handling between the two chassis alternatives can be found in the dampers and the front and rear subframes. The Comfort variant has a somewhat softer setting to give a smoother ride on poorer road surfaces.
During the development process, the chassis team carved out a holistic solution featuring changes and refinements for virtually every single detail that influences a car's driving properties. This includes improved steering, stiffer springs and bushings as well as more damping than in any previous Volvo.
The software in the All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, which is standard on the S60 T6, has been modified to exploit the sporty new chassis to the limit. The all-new S60 can be specified with the advanced, self-adjusting FOUR-C active chassis. The FOUR-C active chassis has been modified and refined for better control and more comfortable feel compared to previous Volvos.
First sedan with Advanced Stability Control
The dynamic new chassis in the all-new Volvo S60 is backed up by a range of electronic systems that sharpen the driving experience even further.
The S60 is the first sedan model on the market with Advanced Stability Control. With a new roll angle sensor, it is possible to identify any skidding tendency at a very early stage. This means that the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) can step in earlier and with greater precision. Advanced Stability Control is a great asset in dynamic driving involving considerable lateral forces, thus improving handling and rapid avoidance maneuvers.
Corner Traction Control for tighter cornering
Corner Traction Control is a new feature that uses torque vectoring so the car takes curves with agility and precision. This technology is a further refinement of the DSTC system. When cornering, the car's inner driven wheel is braked at the same time as more power is transmitted to the outer driven wheel. This allows the driver to take the curve more tightly while reducing any tendency to understeer.
A highly advanced braking system is an important part of the dynamic driving properties of the all-new S60. The sedan is equipped with a number of features that interact to provide the shortest possible stopping distance in all scenarios.
Exquisite quality inside
The interior of the all-new S60 takes Volvo Cars to a new dimension in terms of exclusive quality. In addition, Volvo Cars' designers have added excitement, contrast and playfulness to the clean simplicity of Scandinavian design tradition.
"The interior has a more extroverted attitude than before, but without losing any of its practical Scandinavian roots. The all-new S60 brings us up to a whole new level when it comes to the integral experience of color, form, material and technology," said Horbury. Scandinavian design is often described with rational adjectives such as functionality, simplicity and clarity. When creating the all-new S60, the design team added a modern touch and details that generate excitement, contrast and playfulness.
The interior of the all-new S60 is lavish in terms of its driver-oriented details, but it is still a five-passenger car offering comfortable space for all its occupants. The sculpted outer rear seats give the passenger in the middle welcome side support. The all-new S60 benefits from a nearly 2.5-inch increase in wheelbase, from 106.9 inches to 109.3 inches over the previous-generation S60. This increase has a direct impact on rear seat leg room. Rear passengers will notice a 2.0-inch increase in leg room. Knee space in the rear seat has also increased by 1.2 inches compared with the previous-generation S60. The rear seat splits 40/60 and the trunk is 4.2 inches wider than in the previous S60.
Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake
The sporty interior of the all-new S60 is also the most advanced vehicle ever offered to a Volvo driver.
"The interior of the all-new S60 is all about innovative design in two areas: form and technology," noted Tomas Ahlborg, Project Director for the all-new S60. "The design is characterized by sporty freshness down to the smallest detail. The technological aspect includes smart solutions that contribute to a driving experience unlike that of any other Volvo - from collision avoidance safety and comfort systems to infotainment and audio excellence of absolute world class."
Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake is a groundbreaking technological solution. It can detect pedestrians who walk into the road in front of the car, warn the driver - and automatically apply full braking power if the driver does not respond in time.
"We are truly proud of our success in making our technology so reliable that we can offer a complete system that can avoid a collision with a pedestrian by detecting, alerting and applying full braking. It's a world first, to the best of our knowledge," noted Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Cars. "With this technology we have increased the braking force in our automatic braking system from fifty percent to full stopping power,"
Can avoid collision with a pedestrian at up to 22 mph
In an emergency situation the driver first receives an audible warning combined with a flashing light in the windscreen's head-up display. At the same time, the car's brakes are pre-charged. If the driver does not react to the warning and an accident is imminent, full braking power is automatically applied.
Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds of up to about 22 mph if the driver does not react in time. At higher speeds, the focus is on slowing down the S60 as much as possible prior to the impact.
A lower speed of impact means that the risk of serious injury is significantly reduced. For instance, if speed is cut from 30 mph to 15 mph, Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake is expected to reduce the fatality risk by as much as 20 percent and in some cases by up to 85 percent.
City Safety standard
The all-new Volvo S60 also features City Safety as standard.
With City Safety, the car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops - or if he or she is driving too fast towards a stationary object. The system can lessen or even entirely avoid low-speed rear-end impacts at speeds up to 18 mph.
More powerful T6 version offered in the U.S.
In the U.S., the all-new S60 will be initially offered with a more powerful version of the T6 engine currently offered in the XC60 premium crossover. All T6 models come standard with Volvo's all-wheel-drive system.
The turbocharged T6 displaces 3.0 liters and has been improved still further, primarily thanks to lower internal friction. It now pumps out 300 hp and no less than 325 lb.-ft. of torque. Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes 6.2 seconds and top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
The engine's power is delivered to the wheels via Volvo's second-generation six-speed automatic Geartronic transmission. New valves and lower friction mean faster gear changes than before.
New infotainment system - and world-class audio system
The all-new S60 gets an all-new infotainment system where information from the audio unit, navigation system, Bluetooth-enabled phones and other functions are presented on a seven-inch high-resolution color screen (U.S. models) in the upper part of the center console. The screen is installed high in the instrument panel to make it easy for the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road.
"We are one of the few manufacturers to give the driver access to all infotainment functions via controls in the steering wheel," noted Ahlborg,
The audio experience in the all-new S60 has been enhanced compared with previous models.
One of the first car models with MultEQ
The Volvo S60 is one of the first car models in the world to use Audyssey Laboratories MultEQ technology, the standard for room equalization in the home and professional theater markets. MultEQ removes distortion caused by the car cabin's acoustics, enabling crisp, clear sound with improved sound quality for everyone in the car.
"Our most advanced system, Premium Sound, has a class-D digital 5x130W amplifier with circuits from Sweden's Anaview, Dolby Digital in combination with Dolby Pro Logic II Surround, the award-winning MultEQ from Audyssey Laboratories and 12 loudspeakers. All this creates an audio experience of absolute world class," said Ahlborg.
In addition to the top-of-the line Premium Sound, the all-new S60 is available with a choice of three other audio systems.
Annual target 90,000 cars globally
The initial annual target for the all-new Volvo S60 is 90,000 cars. The customer base is spread unusually uniformly throughout the world. Europe (including Russia), North America and the rest of the world will each account for about one-third of total sales.
The all-new S60 is built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium. The first cars will be delivered to European customers this September, with U.S. S60s arriving late 2010. Pricing for the all-new S60 will be announced closer to the car's on-sale date in the U.S.
"Irrespective of whether the customers are in the USA, Europe or elsewhere in the world, they all prioritize the same characteristics. Now we are giving them an entirely new S60 that has a unique appeal to even the most discerning of buyers," says Stephen Odell.