What's new and cool with the 2010 S60?

  • Styling - with a short rear deck and highly distinctive front lights and grille, it is a big departure from the previous S60, while retaining the four-door coupe aspirations. Featured from Volvo's new corporate design language are a new large Volvo iron symbol, parallel to the grille day running lamps, and larger spaced letters in the brand name on rear. 
  • This is the first Volvo to have dimensions placing it head to head with German premium makers. Previous Volvos were half a class between the Germans: The old S60 was smaller than the 5 Series/E-Class/A6 of its day but bigger than a 3 Series/A4/C-Class, while the S40 was smaller than the 3 Series/A4/C-Class but bigger than the 1 Series and A3. The new S60 will tackle the 3 Series and Audi A4 head on. "If we were a market leader, we could do cars outside the established size classes, but at our size we can't", an unnamed Volvo exec is quoted.
  • Safety will be high on the innovations list: Collision Warning system with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection will be the highlight. This goes one step further than the Collision Warning with Brake Support system in the XC60 - the system in the XC60 is not intended to fully brake the car to a stop, even though it will (very sharply!) stop you hitting an obstacle by abruptly slamming on the stoppers at a critical distance from an obstacle.

  • Engines - I predict 9 engine options - 4 diesel and 5 petrol/gas:
  • DIESEL: in Europe, I expect a 1.6D (DRIVe - 109bhp), 2.0D (136bhp), 2.4D (173bhp) and D5 (twin turbo 2.4D - 205bhp)
  • GAS/PETROL: 3.2 (235bhp) and T6 (3.0T - 281bhp) as in present XC60. Also more or less for certain is a 1.6 GTDi (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct injection) four cylinder based on Ford EcoBoost technology offering outputs from 150 to 180bhp - replacing current generation 2.0 and 2.5T gas power plants. Fingers crossed for an R engine to go into a revived S60R/V60R - probably a direct injection 3.0T upped to 300+bhp, or if Volvo were out to emulate the M3/C-Class AMG, the Yamaha V8 with a few tweaks to bring the output up around the 360bhp mark (the current M3 is good for 414bhp from it's 4 litre).
  • Transmissions - given the current crop of Volvo transmissions, and the stated intention of developing Powershift for engines larger than 4 cylinder, I would assume that both gas and diesel engines will come with a choice of 5 and 6 speed manual (5MT/6MT) and 6 speed Powershift dual clutch (6DCT). The older, less efficient Geartronic ought not to be installed in the new car, although it is used in the closely related XC60. At least the T6 and D5 will offer 4th generation Haldex AWD to avoid help distribute the power and torque. And hopefully a version of Haldex XWD as used on the Saab Turbo-X exclusively to date in the S60R to really make it a machine to trash around. Imagine how neatly Volvo could integrate paddle-shifters into the steering column? Yes, please!
  • Cross Country - will we see a smaller, less aggressive sibling to the XC60 and XC70? Audi have released an A4 Allroad based on the current A4 Avant to join their Q5 and A6 Allroad, and Volvo have the technology and styling know how from the XC60 and XC70 mentioned above to make a slightly raised AWD V60 with plastic side mouldings and skid plates to cater for those who live in the snow belt or occasionally tow a boat or horse trailer. V60XC anyone?