For its new S60, Volvo wants to duplicate the success it has had with the original S60, which has sold more than a million units so far. Volvo aims for the new S60 to be the biggest-selling model in its range. Volvo design boss Peter Horbury describes the new car as a brakes-off vehicle. In an interview , Horbury said that the company is pushing its design themes harder and is incorporating a more typically Swedish look into its products.
For the first year, Volvo has a target of selling 90,000 units, and it hopes to attain the lifetime best of 110,000 of the first S60. Volvo also claims that it has created the most dynamic car it has ever presented by working on the development of the chassis and suspension. The car has the extended Mondeo platform and there have also been S60-specific revisions. Two variants -- Dynamic and Comfort will be offered.
These variants have different dampers and changes to the subframes. In Europe, Dynamic will be standard with Comfort as an option. However, in Asia and the US, the reverse applies.
The new S60's steering is faster than the old S60. Furthermore, its suspension has been tuned to provide a firmer, sharper driving experience with stiffer bushes and mountings in the subframes and dampers.
There will also be two petrol engines available: a 304bhp turbocharged 3.0-liter straight six and a 203bhp 2.0-liter turbo four. There will also be two five-cylinder diesels, with 205bhp and 163bhp.
For the first year of production, four more engines, all four-cylinder units, will be added, including 240bhp 2.0-litre petrol unit and a 180bhp 1.6 petrol. All models will be offered with four-wheel drive as an option.
The S60 is also available with Volvo's Pedestrian Detection system, which stops the car once an imminent collision with a pedestrian is detected. The brakes will also be used to avoid hitting the car in front. Horbury said that the S60 is representative of what it calls the completion of the modernization of Volvo design. Horbury added that considering that the company only has 1% of the world market, it has to make bigger steps to be recognized.
The new Volvo S60 delivers superb driving experience as expected of a sporty car. Credit goes to the men and women behind the vehicle’s newly developed Dynamic chassis. First of all, refinements to the S60’s chassis led to a steering gear ratio that is 10 percent faster than that of previous models, which means drivers could sense a better and sharper response.
Likewise, the vehicle’s torsional rigidity has been increased by 100 percent by making the tubing thicker and the bushes stiffer, which also helps increase the feeling of direct contact with the wheels and the road. At the front, spring struts feature thicker pistons, which made the body structure around 47-percent stiffer than before – allowing the vehicle to become more capable in absorbing lateral loads.
The springs are now shorter and stiffer, with the Eigen frequency increased by 10 percent. Moreover, the spring strut mounting is now stiffer by 50 percent while the front and rear sub-frame bushes are up to twice as stiff.
Not only that, Volvo optimized the vehicle’s link arm bushings for sporty driving and complete control. On the other hand, rear damper mountings are now made PUR (polyurethane) that made it possible to achieve a better balance between comfort and dynamic control.
According to Stefan Sällqvist, the man responsible for the Volvo S60 chassis development, the team spent weeks fine-tuning the dampers on different roads like those in the English countryside and those old Roman roads.
Perfectly complementing the S60’s new Dynamic chassis is the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC), which is an array of sophisticated features that help improve driving pleasure and safety. There is also Volvo's Advanced Stability Control, which through the help of a new roll sensor could help determine as early as possible whether the car may skid, thereby allowing the anti-skid system to kick in earlier and with more precision.
Also complementing the S60’s new Dynamic chassis is a range of electronic systems that helps enhance the car’s sporty driving experience. One of these is the Corner Traction Control that utilizes torque vectoring for better and smoother tackling of corners.
This system works at times when the S60 is tackling a corner. During that sequence, more power will be transmitted to outer wheels while brakes will be initiated on the inner wheels – thereby making it possible to take tighter turns with less chance to understeer.