Volvo’s newly-updated models will be getting active high beams as well as the usual automatic high beam headlights. This system shifts light away from other cars while ensuring full-beam coverage everywhere else. Mercedes-Benz and Audi have installed similar systems on their cars. Earlier this month, it was reported that Volvo is upgrading the S60, V60, and XC60 models with new front fascias.
However, these new clips offer new adaptive headlights, which have been dubbed as Active High Beam Control. The Active High Beam Control system begins with the usual Xenon headlights (which similar to before, could shift left or right depending on steering angle). The projector unit consists of a small cylinder with smaller metal pieces inside.
The system could push the metal pieces into the beam as the light passes through the cylinder. This will then obstruct certain parts of the projected light. The system decides to block a portion of the beam based on input from a camera positioned in front of the rear-view mirror. This is the same system linked to Volvo’s City Safety automatic braking system.
If the system spots a car up ahead, either a slow car in the same lane or one that approaches in the other direction, a signal is sent to the projector to shove a metal piece into the beam. This shades out the car. As a result, there’s high-beam coverage around the car, even at the road’s edge. However, other drivers are not blinded by this light.
Volvo claims that this system is active at speeds higher than 9 mph and works with motorcycles. In addition, it claims that the camera system has enough power to frame other cars with accuracy to within 1.5 inches. This system will be offered as an option on 2014-model-year cars that will be launched later in the spring in Europe. These include the S60 sedan, V60 wagon, and XC60 crossover.
The exterior of the new Volvo XC60 now sports a more urban look, thanks to a number of redesigned front elements as well as a new bonnet shape.
Fedde Talsma, Volvo’s exterior chief designer, quipped that the new Volvo XC60 is now finished in one color – that of the body – after getting of all black trims. He added that the new Volvo XC60 now comes with more focused headlights that border a grille with horizontal lines and chrome bars.
The latest iteration of the Volvo XC60 also comes with an upgraded interior, marked by new wood inlays, a new headliner and textile B-pillars. The interior also features silk metal frames surrounding the air vents and light controls.
Its class-leading chassis and generous ground clearance allow the new Volvo XC60 to boast of a commanding driving position, although its agility and nimbleness are at par with those of a standard height car. The new Volvo XC60 now comes as standard with Corner Traction Control, a torque vectoring system that helps understeer when accelerating out of a corner. Corner Traction Control achieves this just by applying the right amount of braking force to the inner wheels while sending more torque to the outer wheels.
When availed with an All Wheel Drive system, the Volvo XC60 transforms into an excellent all-terrain all-weather vehicle, a capability that could be boosted by the optional Hill Descent Control. This system could automatically control Volvo XC60’s speed when it is being driven down steep roads.