The first generation Volvo S60 was launched in 2000 and soon became Volvo Cars’ most popular model, with peak sales of 110,000 cars in 2002. Now, the all-new S60 T6 AWD is meant to repeat that success by making it attractive to driving enthusiasts.
The new 2011 S60 is moving Volvo into one of the car world’s most competitive segments: CD (compact/midsize) Premium.
“The competition is razor-sharp and the customers know exactly what they want,” says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell.
“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.”
The 2011 Volvo S60 chassis improvements include stiffer suspension bushings and a 10 percent faster steering ratio for sharper response. Volvo’s Dynamic Stability Traction Control system has a setting that disables the anti-spin system for more active driving.
The S60 is offered in three configurations: Dynamic, Touring and FOUR-C Active Chassis. The S60 comes standard with the Dynamic chassis. Touring is offered as a no-cost option and FOUR-C is an option on either chassis.
The difference between the chassis alternatives is the shock absorbers, front and rear subframes, wheels and tires. The Touring chassis is tuned to give a smoother ride on poor road surfaces. The Dynamic chassis, with its improved steering, stiffer springs and bushings, as well as more damping, is for passionate drivers.
The FOUR-C active chassis option is a self-adjusting system that uses sensors to continuously monitor the car’s behavior. The driver can select three individual chassis settings to alter the car’s ride: Comfort, Sport or Advanced.
Corner Traction Control is a new feature that brakes the car’s inner driven wheel while more power is applied to the outer driven wheel. This allows the driver to take a corner more tightly while reducing any tendency to understeer.
The new S60 has a 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline six with 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque. Coupled to Volvo’s six-speed automatic transmission, this powertrain suits the mission of the new S60 perfectly. Performance is enhanced with an all-wheel drive system from Haldex.
The interior has plenty of driver-oriented details. The 2.4-inch wheelbase increase provides a 2.1-inch increase in rear legroom. The rear seat splits 60/40 and the trunk opening has been made 4.2 inches wider than in the previous-generation S60. Sport front and rear seating is standard on the S60, along with a sport leather steering wheel, leather seating surfaces and aluminum or wood inlays.
Information from the all-new infotainment system’s audio unit, navigation system and other functions are displayed on a 7-inch monitor in the center console. All functions can be operated by a thumb-activated rotator on the right steering-wheel spoke or via buttons on the center console.
The standard multi-media system includes a CD/DVD player, HD Radio, AUX and USB inputs, MP3 capability, 160-watt amplifier and eight speakers. Also included is Bluetooth hands-free phone interface with audio streaming and Sirius Satellite Radio.
The optional Volvo Premium Sound System has Dolby Pro-Logic II Surround Sound, 650-watt amplifier and 12 premium speakers. The package includes the Volvo Navigation System with Real Time Traffic, DVD map data and remote control, and a rear park assist camera.
While Volvo’s safety features have traditionally been designed to protect the car’s occupants, the introduction of Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake on the all-new S60 aims to increase safety for unprotected road users as well.
A radar unit integrated into the S60’s grille and a camera fitted in front of the inside rearview mirror can detect any object in front of the car, determine the distance to it and identify what type of object it is. The system can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds up to 22 mph.
Base price for the new 2011 S60 is $37,700. Premium, Climate, Multimedia and Technology packages can boost the price well into the $40,000 range. — Dave Van Sickle, Motor Matters
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2010