Volvo S60 Takes Aim at Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series
The Swedes unveil a slick sedan that could steal the thunder from more established vehicles in the small luxury car segment.
Unlike their countrymen over at Saab, the folks on the Volvo stand have plenty to be excited about here at the Geneva Motor Show, as the Swedish automaker debuts its all-new S60. While the S60 is a handsome beast, it's not exactly unique here in the Swiss Alps, as the 5-door coupe look is almost a universal theme at this year's show.
Even so, the S60 is cleverly packaged. Volvo wants to match or better the appeal of the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series with this car — and it may achieve that. While the swooping, stylish design might make the car look small, the back seat still has plenty of room for people. And there is plenty of new technology to talk about, including a new Dynamic Chassis concept and a ground-breaking, pedestrian-detecting safety kit complete with automatic braking.
The S60 launches with a range of diesel and gasoline engines. The 5-cylinder diesel will be familiar — it comes in 205-horsepower D5 and 2.4-liter D D3 configurations. The latter can average 54.3 mpg*. There is a new direct-injection 2.0-liter GTDi T5 that produces 240 horsepower as well, with T3 and T4 1.6-liter GTDi variants following later. (Diesel options currently unavailable for the U.S. market.)
The range is topped by a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder T6 version that develops 304 horses and 325 lb-ft of torque. It will gallop to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds and can reach 155 mph, but it will be a slow seller due to a 27.6 mpg* thirst. Volvo says this is 10 percent better than the old car, however. We think it needs to be better still!
Luckily, Volvo is thinking green as well. 2011 will see an S60 DRIVe with 115g/km and economy of up to 66 mpg*. This will come only with a manual gearbox, but other versions are offered in automatic form, too.
A V60 estate version is planned as well, but details were few. We may see it at the Paris Motor Show later in the year.
*Fuel economy figures are based on European measures.