Update: Volvo S60 Review.

Few Volvos have ever been designed to appeal emotionally to their drivers, but according to the stereotypically safety-first Scandinavians responsible for the all-new Volvo S60, it is like few other Volvos.

To be unveiled officially at next month’s Geneva Motor Show, the S60 saloon promises to combine world-leading safety with innovative technologies, sporting design and dynamic driving properties.

Starting there, the S60 will be launched with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines, with three more petrols and another diesel to be added within the first year of production.

The petrol variants will start with the 1.6-litre four-cylinder T3 which produces 110kW and 240Nm.

Becoming the first Volvo to offer the 2.0-litre GDTi (direct injection turbo) engine, the 149kW/300Nm units takes the S60 from 0-100km/h in as few as 7.7 seconds while using just 7.9 litres/100km on a combined cycle.

Performance from the top-spec 3.0-litre six-cylinder T6 has increased to 224kW/440Nm, managing the sprint in 6.5secs while fuel use is down 10 percent to 10.2.

Diesel options peak at the 2.4-litre five-cylinder D5 which makes 151kW and 420Nm for fuel consumptions figures of 5.9 litres/100km. The 85kW/270Nm 1.6 D DRIVe is the green hero, requiring just 4.3 litres to travel 100km and emitting just 11.5kg of CO2 along the way.

It is still a Volvo, however, which means the features in this next part will probably work even better.

Volvo claims the S60 will become the world’s first sedan to feature Advanced Stability Control, which combines dynamic stability and traction control with a new roll angle sensor to identify skidding at an earlier stage and step in with greater precision when required. Corner traction control also keeps the car flatter in the bends and reduces understeer.

Pedestrian detection warns the driver of people (or similarly shaped objects) that move out in front of the car and automatically applies full braking power if the driver does not respond in time. At speeds below 35km/h it will prevent an impact, while at higher speeds the focus is on slowing the vehicle as much as possible.

City Safety works in a similar fashion, automatically applying the brakes at speeds of up to 30km/h to avoid nose-to-tail traffic accidents.

Volvo plans to sell 90,000 S60s each year, with deliveries beginning out of its Ghent, Belgium, plant early in the European summer.

The new Volvo S60 will be launched in Australia at the end of 2010 with final specifications and pricing to be announced closer to its launch.

  • Jimmy

    I’m a fan of Volvo’s new style direction.

  • Peter

    It isnt enormously different to what was started by the 04 S40 and continued with the s80, but the front is more distinctive and that was lacking in the s80 IMO. Interior looks nice, too, as you’d expect in the volvo, but I wonder what that rear legroom will be like – it was always a problem in the old s60. I have a soft spot for volvo, and fingers crossed it’ll be a good car.

    • Baddass

      I think it will be the best Volvo yet, based on how much Volvo is backing it, and reports that it is the best driver’s Volvo yet. I love the look too, but from front on the upright grille and compact headlights make it look a little bluff. But when you move the angle to so you can see the whole length of the car, it improves dramatically.

  • Steve-Poyza

    Wow the interior looks fantastic! Just like the rest of the car. Very nice.

  • Aleks

    Who ever is the lead designer at Volvo should be getting huge bonuses, Volvo is quickly starting to become on my favorite brands in terms of the looks department. All there new cars are very sexy inside and out.

  • Cynical

    To me, the design of the new S60 is disappointing. The car’s snout appears ungainly and contrived when compared with the design of the original (Peter Horbury-designed) S60. And, what is more, some of the hallmarks of Volvo’s established design language – recognisable Volvo shoulders and the “V” bonnet design – appear to have been obscured if not lost. Please, Volvo, don’t let the iron-mark get any bigger, it now borders upon caricature. The original S60 marked a substantial leap forward in Volvo design – particularly when compared with the Volvo 850 / S70 which it succeeded – but, at the same time, it managed to retain meaningful references to Volvo design history. The second S60 does not mark any such leap forward. Let’s hope that with the departure of Steve Mattin from, and the return of Horbury to, the Volvo design studio we soon see a real return to form for Volvo design. I was pleased to read in a recent interview with Horbury that he does not envisage that the secondary lighting bars which appear on the XC60 and S60 will feature on all future Volvos. They are twee and not unique (see the new Mercedes Benz E-Class). Mattin’s work was / is not all bad (I happen to own two cars in the design of which he had a hand, one a Volvo and the other a Mercedes Benz) but I think we shall have to wait to see the first car to reflect the labours of Horbury’s second coming at Volvo to see true indicia of future Volvo design.

    • DG

      Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

      • Peter

        Just a bit of detail between volvo admirers – my recollection is that the s80 came first in maybe 2000 or so, just before the s60 came out, and really the s80 was the first of the new design. Is that right? I actually like the secondary lighting bars (thanks, I would have called them “lighty bits on the front”) which wouldnt be prone to the type of failure that the LED bulbs are (I commented earlier today that LED looks crap when one bulb goes, like a nice smile with a tooth missing). I liked the prototype better, but I like this one too. If it had all of the typical volvo tricks, it’d just be a bigger s40 or a smaller s80, I suppose – not that there’s anything wrong with that, but this one will be distinctive in the lineup. Maybe the s80 will follow it, and that’d be a good thing, coz the front end on the s80 is a bit weak and chinless for an impressive car, IMO.

        • Cynical

          Peter, you are quite right; the S80 was produced (and won awards) commencing in 1998 – so it was the first of the “new design”. I too will be interested to see what aspects of the new S60 design are reflected in the next S80 / V70 (or V80). To me, this artist’s rendering of the proposed V60 – http://www.motorauthority.com/pictures/1038316_rendered-2011-volvo-v60_gallery-1#100232917 – gives the new design a more cohesive appearance. What do you think?

  • Kris

    Best looking Volvo I’ve seen, and finally some decent engines to go with it. Might give them a bit of a kick-start in sales with a bit of luck.

  • erneztp

    wow it has a unique placement of ac vents. I always love the volvo interior.

  • jimmy

    I guess it will be positioned as an A4, C-class and 3 series competitor? I’d seriously consider the s60 if I was in that market.

  • Paddy

    The 85kW/270Nm 1.6 D DRIVe is the green hero, requiring just 4.3 litres to travel 100km and emitting just 11.5kg of CO2 along the way.

    WOW FLIP!! 11.5kg. Haha, think it’s more like 115g?