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Volvo: The all new S60 

Volvo S60 - A sleek look with four doors and five seats 


The new Volvo S60 gives strong coupé associations on the outside but is in fact a roomy sedan on the inside. A strong and lively design gives the car a pronounced sporty character. Nonetheless, it is roomy and practical enough to seat five in comfort.

Sporty family cars became synonymous with Volvo already back in the 1950s: models such as the PV 544 Sport and the 122 Sport in pearly white and bright red powered by twin carburetor engines won numerous victories in both racing and rallying, and allowed the family driver to share that same experience of handling and performance.


all photos: Volvo Car Corp.

The new Volvo S60 returns to this tradition of sportiness, giving top priority to areas like dynamism and driving experience. 

Like the Volvo S80, the V70 and the newly introduced Cross Country, the S60 is developed and built on the large Volvo platform. It is yet another example that underscores how smart the platform concept can be; how different cars can be built on the same basic structure; how components from the different sections in the platform box can be combined to create cars with the same basis but with different character and aimed at different customers. In terms of size, the Volvo S60 fits in between the S40 and the S80 and in terms of its properties, it is an all-new dynamic addition to the model range. 

Sportiness - with four doors 

The Volvo S60 is clearly a Volvo in terms of design language since it is an easily defined member of the family. At the same time, it has strong individuality and holds a position of its own.

When designing the new V70, the brief was to combine the front of a sportscar with the rear of a van for both practical and aesthetic reasons. In the case of the S60 it was a matter of matching the sporty front with an equally sporty rear end. A lot of the inspiration came from the Volvo C70 coupé, but in a new shape and combined with four doors.

This was achieved by starting work on the sloping rear part of the car and moving forwards, with the rear seat passengers placed comfortably inside. The roof, windscreen and driver were all pulled forwards, resulting in a true cab-forward design with a pronounced forward driver's position. The result is commanding visibility through the large windscreen, with all the instruments and controls in the direct field of vision and within convenient reach. It's an active driver's position. 

The Volvo S60 is also characterised by short overhangs both front and rear, pronounced "haunches" or catwalks running along the entire length of the car from the A-pillar to the tail lamps, and the line that emerges gently on either side of the roof and is transformed into a sharp crease on its way down to the high rear end with its large tail lamps that also mark the Volvo sedan family identity. The boot is more dome-shaped compared with other Volvo sedans and helps round off the body in a sporty and powerful way.

With the driver in focus 

The interior is just as important as the exterior for the overall impression. The dynamic character must of course also be felt when entering the car. The interior of the S60 is designed with driving and control in mind. Therefore, it is strongly driver-oriented but the dynamic driver's experience can be shared by the passengers too. It conveys the aura of a cockpit but in such a way that it neither shuts the driver in, nor keeps the passengers out. Individualistic, but with care.


For the first time since the Volvo 1800 ES sports coupe of the early '70s, the Volvo driver sits behind a three-spoke steering wheel. The S60 offers the smallest steering wheel on the market with a 60-litre airbag. Just as sporty and inviting is the gear lever - the Spaceball - with its alloy finish; together with the steering wheel, it is an appealing combination to touch and use.

In the interior, flat surfaces are combined with domed organic shapes to give a muscular impression, and this sportiness is emphasised by the graphite-coloured instrument binnacle with its clearly marked "shoulders", by the door panels and centre console which have the same positive line, and by the design of the deeply sculpted seats. a challenge, a dash of adventure.

Fives all the way 

The engine character is just as important to the overall driving experience as the visual impression is to the eye and the tactile sensations once seated inside the car. The power behind the Volvo S60 comes exclusively by five-cylinder petrol engines, with or without turbocharging, ranging from 140 to 250 bhp:

- 2.3 litre, high-pressure turbo 250 bhp/330 Nm @ 5200/2500-5200 rpm 

- 2.4 litre, light-pressure turbo 200 bhp/285 Nm @ 6000/1800-5000 rpm

- 2.4 litre, normally asp. 170 bhp/230 Nm @ 5900/4500 rpm

- 2.4 litre, normally asp. 140 bhp/220 Nm @ 4500/3750 rpm

- 2.0 litre, high-pressure turbo 180 bhp/240 Nm @ 5300/2200-5300 rpm (only for certain markets)

All these engine alternatives can also be found in the Volvo V70, in other words the thoroughly modified and updated new generation RN engines that are more economical, cleaner and more efficient than their predecessors.  

The turbocharged engines are characterised by lightning response and massive power from low revs, and the entire range offers excellent fuel economy.  In fact, the fuel consumption for all engine versions lies between 8.4 litres/100 km (140 hp normally-aspirated) up to a modest 9.3 litres/100 km (250 hp high-pressure turbo) Euro/Comb 116. 

All normally-aspirated engines meet the American ULEV-levels while the turbocharged engines meet the LEV-standard.

Two transmission alternatives are offered for the Volvo S60: 

- a five-speed manual gearbox, or

- a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, also available with optional Geartronic function.


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