Sexy new design; strong performance; standard all-wheel drive; exclusive materials and trims; innovative new City Safe accident-avoidance system
The mid-size Volvo S60 has been completely redesigned for 2011, recast as more of a flamboyantly styled luxury sport sedan. While the S60 debuts the automaker's new City Safety feature and has some truly innovative accident avoidance equipment, it also offers performance capabilities near the head of its class, thanks to all-wheel drive and the 300-hp turbocharged 6-cylinder engine.
The S60 is a completely new design, with plenty of curvy sheet metal and contouring, with what Volvo terms as a "double wave" stretching from the headlights to the taillights. The front end looks even more aggressive than other new Volvo designs of late, with a prominent V shape and LED lamps in front and back.
Initially, the S60 comes with a 3.0-liter turbocharged in-line 6-cylinder engine. It makes 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque and Volvo says that it provides as much usable torque as the larger V8 that's used in the S80 and XC90. Claimed fuel-efficiency is more in line with that of other 6-cylinders. The transmission's a 6-speed automatic with Geartronic manual control. Electronically controlled all-wheel drive is standard for all-weather tractability.
There will be two different suspension choices on the S60; the standard Touring Chassis is offered for those who want the most ride comfort and it's been tuned to still be smooth and quiet on rougher surfaces. For those who want a slightly sportier feel without giving up much if any comfort, there's the optional FOUR-C suspension, which uses sensors and continuously adjustable dampers to quickly stiffen up the suspension where it's needed for quick response. The system has three different selectable modes--Normal, Sport and Advanced.
Of course safety is a big part of the S60, as it has been for all Volvos in recent and not-so-recent history. In addition to top-notch crash-test protection, the S60 includes Volvo's Advanced Stability Control. The system not only provides power where it's needed for best stability in a new Sport Mode; it also helps aid stability in emergency maneuvers. Additionally, a Corner Traction Control feature helps send more torque to the outer wheel for a surer grip around tight corners.
Among the S60's more advanced safety features is Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, Distance Alert, Driver Alert Control and Lane Departure Warning. Each of these available systems helps the driver avoid a different type of potential accident through a series of warnings--and in some cases, braking. Another feature--and a claimed world first--is Volvo's City Safety feature, which will automatically detect if a collision is likely and automatically brake the car to either avoid or reduce the severity of a crash.
The Volvo S60 cabin is no longer outfitted much the same as other luxury sedans; it now can be specified with one of several special trims, including Shimmer Graphite aluminum and African Zebrano wood that's sourced from "responsibly managed forests."
Otherwise inside the S60 comes equipped as well as, if not better than, most luxury sedans. All models include a Driver Control Interface, more and more common in luxury cars today, which places many functions into a 7-inch color monitor. Leather seating surfaces and various interior leather trim are standard.
The standard sound system is a 160-watt unit with a CD player, satellite radio, HD Radio, auxiliary audio and USB inputs and eight speakers. A Bluetooth hands-free interface is also included.
The S60 also debuts a new sound system from Audyssey Laboratories which uses MultiEQ, technology common in home and professional theater equipment. The system, offered with the available Multimedia Package, also includes Dolby surround audio, a 650-watt amplifier and 12 speakers. That option package brings a navigation system, real-time traffic, a remote and rear park assist as well.
Volvo looks to make another huge leap with its new S60 sedan--in performance, styling and safety. With its new 300-hp turbocharged engine, the model should be both faster and more fuel-efficient than some other models in its class, while its styling is truly trend-setting inside and out. Also, Volvo is truly at the front of the pack with its new City Safety system--one that not only serves to warn you of an impending crash, but applies the brakes to help you avoid it completely. With that, plus a host of other accident-avoidance features, the S60 remains the car for those most concerned about safety, even at a time when it seems that every car comes with top-notch safety.
Vehicle Price: 38,575.00
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