Continuing down the course making their cars look less like the crates they’re shipped in, Volvo has rolled out the S60 at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. It’s a good car, it seems, and engineering with all those Volvo safety features we’ve come to know and love, but somehow it is more bland and has less character to it, at least to my eyes, than the older, boxier Volvos of old.
“The all-new Volvo S60 – more extrovert attitude than any previous Volvo” says the company’s press release. So they are right up front with it not being the old Volvo. We’ll see how this works out, but being fairly undistinguished never seems to be a smart marketing strategy.
Underneath the “me too” exterior, there is some impressive engineering to be had. Engine-wise, the Volvo S60 comes with a really broad spectrum of choices (at least if you live in Europe). The range topping T6 engine, which puts out 304 hp and no less than 440 Nm of torque from its 3.0 liter plant also features Volvo’s second-generation six-speed automatic Geartronic transmission with new valves and lower friction for faster gear changes than before and AWD is standard on the T6.
Other engines available include a new four-cylinder 2.0T GTDi (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) engine, two five-cylinder turbo diesels.
In the chassis department, European market S60s get the newly developed dynamic chassis as standard, while most markets in North America and Asia will have the comfort chassis as standard with the sport variant available as an option. The difference between the two options is 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.
“The spotlight was on giving the concept of comfort a whole new dimension. The dynamic chassis has an alert, quick-responding architecture that puts the focus on the driving experience, yet without diluting the impression of a comfortable ride,” explains Stefan Sällqvist
“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. Its driving properties are better than those of any previous Volvo. What is more, the car’s innovative new technologies help you become both a better and a safer driver,” says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell.