Revealed ahead of its Paris Motor Show debut, the all-new Volvo V60 is the estate version of the recently launched 2011 S60 sedan. Aimed almost squarely at European buyers as Volvo projects that "no less than 90 percent" of the annual V60 production of 50,000 cars will find a home in Europe, the sporty-looking estate model will go on sale this fall.
Volvo describes the low slung V60 as a sports wagon with a coupe-like roofline. "The typical sports wagon customer is an S60 buyer who would like some extra space and flexibility, but without the slightest compromise on sporty design and exciting driving properties," says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell.
However, Volvo's focus on looks come with a cost as the V60's boot space is a mere 430 liters with the rear seats up. That's compared to 460lt of the BMW 3-Series Touring, 485lt of the Mercedes C-Class Estate and 490lt of the Audi A4 Avant. The car will come equipped with a 40/20/40-split rear seat and the fold-flat front passenger seat.
"From the design viewpoint the focus was on making the car as close to a coupe as possible, while retaining that handy extra space at the rear," say Örjan Sterner, head of exterior design for the new Volvo V60. "Our sports wagon does not aim to compete with the traditional estate car. For the customer who wants a lot of load space, there is our V70 or XC70."
Being a "sports wagon", Volvo claims the V60's handling and dynamics match those of the S60. The estate model will be offered with a choice of two chassis set ups, the standard in Europe dynamic chassis and the touring chassis. The difference between the two chassis concerns the dampers and the front and rear subframes, with the touring variant featuring a somewhat softer setting.
In addition to the two standard chassis, all variants of the V60 can be specified with the optional FOUR-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) active chassis, while there are also AWD versions of the V60.
The V60's engine lineup mirrors that in the S60 sedan and includes a variety of petrol and diesel units. There are five gasoline units, spanning from the 150HP 1.6-liter turbo to the flagship 304HP 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six that propels the V60 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 6.6 seconds while returning a combined fuel consumption of 10.2lt/100km (23mpg US or 27.7mpg UK).
The diesel lineup includes three engines, a 1.6-liter with 115HP, a 2.0-liter with 163HP and a 2.4-liter with 205-horsepower.
The new V60 will come equipped with a raft of safety features such as Advanced Stability Control, a new Corner Traction Control, which is a further refinement of the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system and Pedestrian Detection system.
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