By Nauman Farooq
The four-door coupe segment is getting more and more popular. Mercedes-Benz started this whole trend nearly five years ago with the introduction of the CLS, and since then, VW, Audi and even Hyundai have gotten on with this styling trend.
The latest company to follow this trend is Volvo with their new S60. “The no. 60 is reserved for our sportiest models” says Stephen Odell, president and CEO of Volvo cars.
He goes on to say, “now with the S60 we’re placing ourselves on the true enthusiast’s radar.”
To really get the enthusiasts attention, the new S60 will be launched with their 3.0-liter, straight-six, turbo-charged engine which develops 304hp. There will be four more engines on offer, including two diesels, but no word yet which ones will be offered in Canada. While front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive will be available across the range. Same with the choice of gearboxes, six-speed manual is standard, while a six-speed Geartronic automatic is available as an option.
Volvo says it’s not just in the straight line this new S60 will impress; it will be “the most dynamic (handling) car we’ve ever presented.” Since it sits on an extended version of the European Ford Mondeo platform, it should be quite a handy handling machine. Customers will also be able to pick between two variants, namely Comfort and Dynamic, with the Dynamic version getting stiffer dampers and subtle changes to the subframe.
Volvo’s newest version of their “City Safe” feature, now with a “Pedestrian Detection System” will also be available on the new S60, being the first sedan to offer such technology. The idea is, if the car gets too close to a person crossing the street or the car ahead of you suddenly stops, this Volvo system will put on full brakes to prevent the collision. It can do this at speeds under 35 km/h with the help of radars and cameras located in its nose. If the system works as well as Volvo says it does, it will be a very useful device for city centers.
Volvo plans to build 90,000 S60’s annually from their facility in Ghent, Belgium (not Sweden as most of their line-up), and while no Canadian pricing has been announced yet, expect prices to rival Audi’s A4.