After months of pre-debut illustrations and pictures, the 2011 Volvo S60 finally made it first public appearance in Geneva. Its official unveiling was accompanied by the release of key details regarding the basic S60 package as well as the version that goes on sale here in late summer. True to its buildup, Volvo's new mid-size sedan matches distinctive style with loads of new techno touches and significant improvements to overall vehicle dynamics.
According to Volvo's chief designer, Peter Horbury, the new S60 moves the styling marker well beyond the benchmark originally established by its groundbreaking predecessor. Flowing organic forms, LED lighting technology front and rear and a bold color palette rich in metallics like the S60-exclusive Vibrant Copper make this all-new iteration of Volvo's take on a "coupe with four doors" the sportiest and most dynamic sedan design in the automaker's history. Those wishing to push the envelope even further can opt for an accessory styling kit that brings unique front/rear skid plates, a front deco frame, side scuff plates, exhaust tailpipe finishers and special 18-inch alloy wheels.
The Scandinavian sense of "cool" continues inside the new S60, where forms, colors and material choices mix sport with luxury to create an environment that's both driver centric and passenger engaging. Leather and wood set an upscale tone, while sport-bolstered front buckets are matched with a 60/40 split-folding rear bench that optimizes the enhanced legroom that accompanies the S60's additional 1.6 inches of wheelbase. An all-new infotainment system, a selection of state-of-the-art audio packages, an advanced electronic climate system bring intuitive control logic and all can be controlled from the multifunction steering wheel or via the seven-inch color touch screen console display.
Initially, the 2011 Volvo S60 will arrive here in T6 AWD trim with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that makes 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. It will be paired with the Gen II version of Volvo's Geartronic six-speed automatic transmission. However, you can expect to see a naturally-aspirated five-cylinder/front-drive variant follow in the not-too-distant future. Whether ordered in standard or optional Dynamic spec, the S60's chassis tuning will have a sporty edge, a characteristic also dialed into its its standard all-wheel drive and new Corner Traction Control that uses torque vectoring to help trim understeer in tight corners. The S60 also gets a new strain of Advanced Stability Control that adds a roll angle sensor to help identify and offset skids early on and will be available with an improved version of Volvo's FOUR-C automated self-adjusting active chassis control that nets more precision and more comfort than its predecessor.
True to the company's longstanding tradition, the 2011 Volvo S60 will also introduce a number of advanced safety systems. Its anti-lock brakes will be abetted by a standard City Safety feature that automatically applies the binders at speeds of up to 19 mph to help avoid or reduce the severity of a rear-end collision. New options include Volvo's ground-breaking Driver Pedestrian Detraction with Full Auto Brake, a descriptively-named, radar-based system designed to help prevent low-speed impacts with foot traffic at speeds of up to 22 mph as well as more conventional upscale items like Driver Alert Control, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Information System, corner-following Adaptive Bi-Xenon headlamps, a rearview camera and front/rear park assist.