Volvo S60 details revealed ahead of Geneva premiere
By Jeff Salton
February 10, 2010
Gizmag has followed the progress of the all-new Volvo S60 from concept stage and now the production version is finally here ... well, just about. The new four-door coupe which features ground-breaking Pedestrian Detection safety technology (including full auto brake) and a choice of two diesel engines (2.4L 205bhp D5 and a 2.0L 163bhp D3) and one petrol engine (an uprated high-performance 3.0L T6 petrol version with 304bhp) will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show from 2 March.
In what the automotive world acknowledges as one of the most competitive market segments, Volvo says the new S60 is sportier than any previous model and delivers excellent driving characteristics. Volvo’s chassis team has fine-tuned the driving experience by refining every detail that influences a car’s driving properties to offer the most dynamic ride ever seen on a Volvo.
The C-pillar of the all-new S60 stretches to the tail lamps – and the slim coupé–like roof line has a new contour on the shoulders on either side of the lower body. Volvo says the S60’s athletic stance is accentuated by a sculpted bonnet and short overhangs front and rear, plus what its design team calls the “racetrack” design … “the car’s lines do not end abruptly but instead continue to flow organically, echoing the smooth shapes of the racetrack”.
The exterior styling kit incorporates front and rear skid plates, two frames in the lower valence, side scuff plates, exhaust tailpipe finishers and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Volvo’s designers have also used LED technology to create distinctive, signature lights at the front and rear that clearly identify the vehicle as an S60.
New Dynamic Chassis
Every new Volvo S60 will feature a newly-developed dynamic chassis. The steering gear ratio is 10 percent faster than in previous models to give enhanced steering feel and sharper response, while the steering column’s thicker tubing and stiffer bushes have doubled the amount of torsional rigidity. This improves the feeling of direct contact between the wheels and the road.
The front spring struts have thicker pistons compared with the sports chassis in the Volvo S80 thus resulting in a 47 percent increase of stiffness to allow the body structure to better absorb lateral loads. The springs themselves are shorter and stiffer than before and the Eigen frequency has increased by 10 percent. At the front, spring strut mounting stiffness has increased by 50 percent. The front and rear subframe bushes are up to twice as stiff compared with previous models. The link arm bushings have also been optimized for sporty driving and full control.
The design team has changed the damper mountings at the rear from rubber to PUR (polyurethane) to provide better balance between comfort and dynamic control.
Stefan Sällqvist, responsible for the S60 chassis development explained: “We spent many weeks fine-tuning the dampers out in the English countryside. We drove on old Roman roads that have only ever received a few layers of tarmac over the centuries – a perfect environment for finding the right damping qualities.”
Advanced Stability Control
The Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) in the all-new S60 has a number of sophisticated features to improve driving pleasure and safety. Volvo says a new roll sensor, part of the Advanced Stability Control, can identify any skidding tendency at a very early stage.
New Corner Traction Control
A range of electronic systems have been incorporated into the new chassis in an effort to further sharpen the sporty driving experience. Corner Traction Control is a new feature that uses torque vectoring so the car takes corners more smoothly. This technology is a further refinement of the DSTC system. When taking a curve, the car's inner driven wheel is braked at the same time as more power is transmitted to the outer driven wheel. This allows the driver to take the corner more tightly while reducing any tendency to understeer.
Advanced, integrated braking functions
To help stop swiftly and safety the S60 has a number of braking functions including Ready Alert Brakes that can predict when emergency braking is needed. The brake calipers are applied lightly to the brake discs even before the driver presses the brake pedal.
Hydraulic Brake Assist helps slow the car in an emergency when the driver does not press the brake pedal fast or hard enough. Hydraulic Brake Assist can help utilize the ABS system optimally and thus shorten the overall braking distance. Another braking feature of the S60 is an Optimized Hydraulic Brakes, a system that amplifies braking ability during firm braking by using hydraulics to compensate for low vacuum pressure in the brake servo.
Fading Brake Support uses the hydraulic system to gradually build up brake pressure during long, hard braking. This helps reduce the risk of brake fade and maintains pedal feel.
Finally, the all-new S60 is equipped with an Electronic Parking Brake as standard.
FOUR-C as an option
Drivers of S60s fitted with an optional FOUR-C active chassis can alter the car’s character by selecting Comfort, Sport or Advanced. The FOUR-C active chassis, which has been modified and refined for better control and comfort, is a self-adjusting chassis system that uses a number of sensors to continuously monitor the car’s behavior. In mere fractions of a second, the dampers are adjusted to suit the current driving situation.
At the Geneva launch, the S60 range will be available with a choice of two diesels and one petrol engine.
Two five-cylinder turbo diesels
D5 is a 2.4L, 5-cylinder in-line, 205bhp producing 420Nm. The twin turbo D5 accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds (manual and automatic) and top speed is 146mph (manual) and 143mph (automatic). The complementary properties of the two turbos combine high performance with lower fuel consumption of 47.9mpg (EU Combined, preliminary figure). Advanced fuel injection technology using piezoelectric fuel valves gives exact distribution of fuel in the combustion chamber, with efficient combustion and low emissions as a result.
D3 is a newly-developed 2.0L, 5-cylinder in-line engine, 163bhp producing 400Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 9.2 seconds (manual and automatic) and top speed is 137mph (manual) and 134mph (automatic).
The new five-cylinder 2.0D is, in principle, the same engine as the present 2.4D, but cylinder capacity has been reduced with a shorter stroke to optimize fuel consumption. Volvo says that with a manual gearbox fuel consumption is now up to 54.3mpg (EU Combined, preliminary figure).
The engine has been optimized to offer reduced fuel consumption and the injection system has a different type of piezoelectrical fuel valve compared with the D5 engine. These valves keep fuel consumption to a minimum with exceptionally fast and precise injection pulses under high pressure, resulting in far more efficient combustion.
In order to give the car better driving properties, the turbocharger has been fine-tuned for high torque from low revs.
Both turbo diesels are available with six-speed manual gearbox as standard or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. A maintenance-free particulate filter that traps about 95 percent of the soot particles is fitted as standard in both engines.
The 3.0L T6 petrol engine generates 304bhp and 440Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 6.5 seconds and top speed is 155mph. Volvo Cars’ engine specialists have cut fuel consumption by about 10 percent to 27.7mpg (EU Combined, preliminary figure).
The engine’s power is delivered to the wheels via Volvo’s second-generation six-speed automatic Geartronic transmission. New valves and lower friction deliver faster gear changes and AWD is standard on the T6.
Three smaller petrol engines will be added to the range during the first year of production as will the DRIVe diesel engine.
DRIVe diesel below 115g/km
The DRIVe version of the all-new S60 will feature a new 1.6L diesel engine. Volvo anticipates fuel consumption to be 65.7mpg (EU Combined, preliminary figure), corresponding to CO2 emissions approximately below 115g/km. The uprated engine produces 115hp and 270Nm of torque, and will only be available with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Later during the first year of production, the all-new S60 will also become available with a 2.0 GTDi variant (T5) producing 240hp and torque of 320Nm. Furthermore, there will be a 1.6-litre GTDi engine available in two versions: 180hp (T4) and 150hp (T3) with torque of 240Nm.
All the GTDi engines will be available in combination with Volvo’s optional automatic six-speed Powershift transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The Powershift concept works like two parallel manual gearboxes with separate clutches.
Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake
Gizmag has covered the full details of the Pedestrian Detection section in a recent article. Click here for all the information.
In a nutshell, Volvos equipped with Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds of up to 21mph if the driver does not react in time. At higher speeds, the focus is on reducing the car’s speed as much as possible prior to the impact. The speed reduction is up to 21mph.
The all-new Volvo S60 also features City Safety as standard, as seen on its larger Volvo XC60. The system can reduce or even entirely avoid low-speed rear-end impacts at speeds up to 18mph.
Additional safety systems
Driver Alert Control (DAC) monitors the car’s progress between the lane markers and warns the driver if his or her driving pattern changes in a random or uncontrolled way.
Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) helps detect vehicles in the rear blind spot on both sides of the car. A warning lamp beside the relevant door mirror comes on to alert the driver to the danger.
The all-new Volvo S60 is still a five-seater car offering comfortable space for all its occupants. Knee space in the rear seat has increased by 30mm compared with the previous-generation S60.
The designers also took the exterior's racetrack inspiration into the interior of the car. "The instruments and center stack are angled towards the driver to create a sensation of focus and control. The new dynamic three-spoke steering wheel and the new sports seats with extra side supports are standard. There isn't any compromise anywhere in the dynamic approach we adopted from the very beginning," says Jonathan Disley, head of interior design in the all-new Volvo S60.
Easily accessible storage space is another important part of interior comfort and convenience. The all-new Volvo S60 has a storage compartment behind the center stack and another in the center console armrest. The rear seat splits 40/60 and the boot opening has been made 100mm wider than in the previous-generation S60.
Beige and black are the main colors of the upholstery range.
The Electronic Climate Control system, (ECC), offers automatic control of both temperature and ventilation. The all-new Volvo S60 can be equipped with IAQS (Interior Air Quality System) which prevents particles and unpleasant odours from entering the cabin. To offer highly-sensitive passengers even better climate comfort, the system has also been equipped with Clean Zone Interior, a system based on ECC and IAQS. When the car is unlocked using the remote control, the passenger compartment is automatically ventilated if the outdoor temperature exceeds 10°C.
The all-new Volvo S60 also features: optional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Queue Assist, automatically maintains a set gap to the vehicle in front and operates at speeds below 18mph, all the way down to standstill. There’s also optional front and rear parking sensors and a rear Park Assist camera. And a camera in the front grille with a 180° field of vision that can “see around corners” to help drivers negotiate blind exits and park with greater safety.
New Infotainment system The all-new S60 also gets a new Infotainment system that integrates information from the audio unit, navigation system, mobile phone and other functions into a five- or seven-inch color screen in the upper part of the centre console.
All the functions can be controlled from the steering wheel or via controls located directly below the color screen. In addition there is a separate remote control for passengers to use.
The S60 is one of the first cars in the world to use Audyssey Laboratories MultEQ technology, the standard for room equalization in the home and professional theater markets.In addition to the top-of-the line Premium Sound, which comes with a seven-inch screen, the all-new Volvo S60 is available with a choice of three other audio systems:
- Performance – with a 4x20W amplifier, six loudspeakers and a five-inch screen
- High Performance – 4x40W amplifier and eight loudspeakers and a five-inch screen
- High Performance Multimedia – with a 4x40W amplifier and eight loudspeakers, an optional navigation system and the larger seven-inch screen.
The all-new Volvo S60 is being introduced with a range of exterior colors including two new shades: Vibrant Copper and Electrum Gold.
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