With the new XC60, Volvo takes yet another step in offering cars that are fun to drive yet comfortable to ride in. The compact format and the precise road attributes mean the new Volvo XC60 provides a superb ride on both city streets and country lanes.
"The new Volvo XC60 is designed for customers who impose high demands on the driving experience - whether the car is used in the city, on the motorway or to negotiate tight curves in country lanes," says Lars Blenwall, project director for the XC60. "That is why we have focused on finding exactly the right balance between sportiness and comfort, for the chassis and for the car as a whole."
The new Volvo XC60 is robustly built to handle all operating conditions. The body has increased torsional rigidity (20 kNm/deg) while the sporty chassis setup enables the car to be precisely controlled minimises roll tendencies in demanding driving situations. Weight is optimally distributed between the front and rear axles, which contributes to superb balance and traction. The transversely installed engine and Volvo's All Wheel Drive with Instant TractionTM from Haldex contribute to well-balanced control and smoothness of operation.
Large 18-inch wheels as standard (19 inches optional) and 9.0 inches of ground clearance mean the Volvo XC60 is capable of traversing terrain that would be impossible for a conventional passenger car. The rear suspension ensures good comfort and road contact even when the going gets rough. The McPherson front suspension and wide track also contribute to excellent directional stability.
"The XC60 handles sharply and behaves exactly as you would expect whatever the situation," says Blenwall. "It promotes a feeling of safety and control, and also of relaxed comfort."
The Volvo XC60 offers a very high level of active safety. Apart from Volvo's All Wheel Drive with Instant TractionTM there is a further developed stability-enhancement function, DSTC, which is fitted as standard. In addition there is a wide range of optional functions, including the all-new Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) which offers unbeatable control when towing a trailer.
The braking system in the Volvo XC60 is based on the system used in the Volvo XC90. The powerful brakes in combination with the lower weight of the smaller vehicle means that braking performance is exceptional.
Engine performance too is of the highest level. At introduction in the U.S. in early 2009, the Volvo XC60 will be available with a turbocharged 3.0-liter high-efficiency in-line six-cylinder gasoline engine producing 281 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque.
Four-wheel drive for sure-footed grip
The Volvo XC60 is equipped as standard with Volvo's All Wheel Drive with Instant TractionTM to ensure the best possible road grip whatever the situation. With the help of an electronically controlled clutch, the AWD system automatically distributes drive between the front and rear wheels. The Instant Traction function shifts power from the front to the rear wheels at lightning speed, such as when starting from standstill on slippery or loose surfaces.
Enhanced DSTC function
Volvo's DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) function has been further developed in the new Volvo XC60 in order to help providing even more stable driving. DSTC registers deviations between the driver's intended direction and the car's actual direction. The enhanced DSTC function registers the car's roll rate as well, giving the opportunity to detect slowly built up skids. This may occur if the driver suddenly releases the accelerator pedal while steering, like when leaving a highway slightly too late. By measuring the roll rate, the DSTC function is able to start the regulation at an earlier stage - and with greater precision. This is highly noticeable in dynamic driving where the car is exposed to high lateral forces.
New Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) offers improved control
The purpose of the new Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) function is to dampen the oscillation tendencies that can arise when towing a trailer. In certain conditions there is a risk that the car and trailer might start swaying from side to side or "snaking" making it difficult for the driver to regain control. TSA operates together with enhanced DSTC to help stabilize the situation by braking one or more wheels while at the same time reducing the engine's torque. TSA operates on all road surfaces and can be specified as a separate active-safety option when purchasing a trailer hitch.
RSC helps prevent roll-overs
The XC60 is also equipped with Roll Stability Control (RSC) as standard. RSC is an active stability-enhancement system. If the system assesses that there is a considerable risk of a roll-over, the engine's torque is reduced and some braking power is directed to one or more wheels to help counter any tendency to roll over.
HDC gives added control downhill
Hill Descent Control (HDC) is Volvo's sophisticated technology for assisting slow progress in first gear when driving on steep grades. It's available as an option on the new XC60. Using the car's braking system and engine torque, HDC controls the car's speed to maintain a steady crawl. This leaves the driver free to focus solely on steering safely. HDC is activated via a button on the instrument panel. The driver can at any time take over by pressing either the accelerator or brake pedal. Once another gear is selected, HDC is automatically disengaged. All changes take place smoothly and gently.
Active chassis with Four C - and three distinct settings
The Four-C option (late calendar-year 2009 availability in the U.S.) makes the Volvo XC60 extra comfortable, especially on poor quality roads. Volvo's Four-C is an advanced, self-regulating chassis system that uses a number of sensors to continuously monitor the car's behavior. The dampers are adjusted to suit the current driving conditions in mere fractions of a second. Three chassis settings, Comfort, Advanced and Sport, allow the driver to adapt the chassis to suit road conditions at the touch of a button.
Three level speed sensitive power steering
Speed-dependent power steering is an option on the new Volvo XC60. The system allocates more servo assistance at lower speeds to make steering easier when parking. Servo assistance is reduced as speed rises in order to give the driver the most optimal road feel. Three levels of servo assistance can be selected via a menu in the car's information system to comply with the individual customer preferences.
Turbocharged T6 engine with top performance
The T6 engine - available in all Volvo large cars for the 2008 model year - is based on Volvo's compact 3.2-liter in-line six, an all-aluminum engine that was introduced in the new Volvo S80 in 2006.
The turbo version for the XC60, with a displacement of 3.0 liters, delivers 281 horsepower with torque of no less than 295 lb.-ft. Maximum torque is available from just 1500 rpm and remains on tap throughout the rev range. The result is swift acceleration and smooth driving.
The turbo version has a somewhat smaller displacement owing to its slightly smaller bore and shorter stroke. However, this is compensated by the turbocharger, which in this engine takes in exhaust gases in two phases. The inlet side has been divided into two sections of three cylinders each using what is known as twin-scroll technology. This approach makes for a simpler, more compact turbocharger that provides very fast response, fully on par with the power typically delivered by twin turbochargers.
The T6 engine is perfect for sporty driving. At the same time it has been programmed to provide the highest possible power with the lowest possible fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. With standard All Wheel Drive with Instant TractionTM the engine is used most optimally since maximum power is transmitted onto the road surface.
Like all other Volvo models, the new Volvo XC60 has a transversely mounted powertrain. Transverse installation gives the engine more space under the hood and helps reduce the risk of penetration into the passenger compartment in the event of a frontal collision.
The engine in the new Volvo XC60 is mated to a six-speed Geartronic transmission, offering drivers the choice of fully automatic or manual shift modes. The transmission has been designed to handle the output of the T6 and Volvo's powerful diesel engines. Sixth gear is a pure overdrive ratio and offers relaxed, economical cruising. The T6 version also has a sport mode. Geartronic makes it possible to change gears manually should the driver prefer a sportier driving style or if he or she wants to hold onto a specific gear.