Author: Marc Lachapelle
If you squint just a little while gazing at the Volvo S60 Concept, you can be quite confident that you are looking at the all-new car that will soon bow as the long-awaited successor to the S60 as a 2010 model. The current model has been around since 2001.
The sleek, wind-cheating lines are a clear giveaway of the upcoming car’s exterior shape, said new Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell, but you shouldn’t count on the concept’s striking interior to make it to the production line intact.
The S60 Concept is at once perfectly recognizable as a Volvo and infused with radically modern elegance. Designers were inspired by “Scandinavian design and the Swedish coastline’s cliffs and seas” while shaping it, Volvo design chief Steve Mattin poetically says. The body lines ‘forge a continuous flow pattern inspired by the fast sweeps of a racing track” says Mattin, adding that we should expect to see more of this in upcoming Volvos.
The interior is an even more daring projection to the future, with its four, flowing thin-backed seats and the cabin’s “jewel in the crown”, a suspended centre console made from the famous Swedish Orrefors crystal. Light-coloured leather and birch wood is everywhere insides, in true modern Scandinavian style.
The S60 Concept is also replete with innovative safety components, including a system that detects pedestrians and can apply full braking power if the driver does not respond quickly enough, a feature that will be found in the new S60. The concept is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder gas engine with turbocharged direct injection (GTDi) that produces 180 hp, a technology that will be introduced later this year. It also features a ‘start-stop’ function and a “Powershift” transmission, basically two manual gearboxes that work in parallel, each with its own clutch, according to Volvo.