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2010 Volvo XC60 Preview

2010 Volvo XC60 Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2009

Critical Knowledge:
  • City Safety impact protection

  • Turbocharged T6 engine

  • All-wheel drive with Instant Traction

  • 281 hp

  • Push-button start



Introduction
As the 15 millionth Volvo vehicle rolls off the production line in Sweden, the automaker has added one more model to the lineup: the new XC60 crossover. The XC made its world debut at the Geneva Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in Europe in the fall of 2008, the XC60 will invade U.S. shores in the first quarter of 2009, hoping to compete with models like the BMW X3, Infiniti EX35 and Lincoln MKX.


Design
According to Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin, the Volvo XC60 will be instantly recognizable as a Volvo product. "If you say that you'd recognize a Volvo from 300 feet away today, I daresay the XC60 radiates a clear Volvo presence from at least twice that distance." What he's talking about are the instantly identifiable rear "shoulders," which are more pronounced on the XC60 than on the XC90. Sculpted and defined side lines along with a tapered greenhouse give the XC60 a "fast forward" look.

Up front, there's no mistaking the XC60 as a Volvo; it has a large signature iron mark in the trapezoidal grille, along with projector beam headlamps with washers and inset fog lamps. Sculpted and defined side lines along with a tapered greenhouse give the XC60 a "fast forward" look. Overall dimensions place the XC60 almost 8 inches shorter than Volvo's XC70 wagon offering. The side-view mirrors incorporate turn-signal indicators, and Continental Cross Contact 18-inch tires (19s are optional) with 12-spoke alloy wheels finish the look.

Inside, the XC60 features light wood on the center console and metallic trim accents and two-tone, double-stitched leather seats. Steering-wheel-mounted controls, navigation system in the center console, and considerable storage space round out the interior.

The XC60 also features a laminated glass panorama roof for that open-air feel, but with all the safety features expected from a Volvo. The cargo area offers 16.9 cubic feet of cargo volume, and the tailgate opening is the widest in the segment, according to Volvo.

Hardware
The push-button start engine brings to life Volvo's T6 turbocharged engine, which will produce 281 hp. The 3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve, intercooled, turbo, inline 6-cylinder powerplant produces 295 lb.-ft. of torque and is matched to Volvo's 6-speed "Geartronic" driver-adaptive automatic transmission, which allows the driver to cruise in Drive, or slide the shift lever to the right and shift up and down for more spirited driving without having to deal with a third pedal. Drivers also have a choice in steering feel. A speed-dependent power steering system can be tailored to the driver's preference. Opt for high-boost for ease of parking, then switch to low boost when you want more steering feel for spirited driving, the automaker explains.

The XC60 also gets Volvo's Electronically Controlled all-wheel drive system with Instant Traction standard, which includes a pre-charging valve to the already sophisticated Haldex system that maintains a preset torque load to help control slippage, Volvo says.

Safety
Volvo claims the XC60 will be safest vehicle it has ever produced. One of the new features is called City Safety: a system that will automatically apply the brakes (without driver action) if the front sensors recognize the possibility of a low-speed impact such as is common in city traffic. Driver Alert Control is a lane-departure warning system that helps alert the driver if the vehicle is no longer moving in a straight line. The Intelligent Driver Information System can delay incoming phone calls. Collision Warning projects a red warning light on the windshield along with an audible buzzer to alert the driver to a possible collision with the vehicle in front. Trailer Stability Assist, usually found on pickup trucks or big SUVs, helps reduce the sway that can occur with a trailer in tow, Volvo says. Finally, an energy-absorbing soft structure in front of the bumper helps counteract the risk of leg injuries to a pedestrian in a frontal impact. Other safety items include Brake Assist, the Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) and Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS).

Technology
The Dynaudio sound system in the 2010 Volvo XC60 cranks out 650 watts of power. If that's not enough, buyers can opt for an under-floor subwoofer for an additional 260 watts.

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