Elegant, purposeful, restrained, and so much more than a shrunken XC90.
The Volvo XC60 is a very important car. It’s important to both Volvo and to the consumer, as the outgoing car held the title of being Europe’s most popular mid-sized premium SUV. It represents 30% of the Iron Mark’s global sales, too. This was one car they couldn’t afford to get wrong.
With this new one, Volvo has sought to bring the ageing XC60 bang up to date with its latest technologies and features, from the latest Drive-E powertrains to Oncoming Lane Mitigation, to ensure that the XC60 will continue to reign supreme in its highly-competitive segment. On this, President & Chief Executive of Volvo Car Group Mr. Håkan Samuelsson said, “We have a strong heritage in designing stylish and dynamic SUVs that offer the latest in technology. The new XC60 will be no exception. It’s the perfect car for an active lifestyle, and it represents the next step in our transformation plan.”
Speaking of transformation, the XC60 is the first of the Series-60 vehicles to be brought up to speed with the latest Volvo brand values, which were first seen with the XC90 large SUV and then cemented with the S90 saloon and V90 estate. The XC60 takes the new upright grille and puts a unique spin on things, with the trailing edges coming into contact with the headlights. The headlights themselves also feature the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED daytime running lights (expected of all new Volvos), which double as indicators.
The new XC60 is instantly recognisable as a Volvo, albeit a modern one. The tall taillights, the prominent grille, the athletic-yet-restrained stance are all modern hallmarks of a Gothenberg product. The profile of the car highlights the duality of the design, with the vertical grille up front in contrast to the steeply-raked hatch at the rear. The XC60 retains the ubiquitous Volvo ‘shoulders,’ prominent haunches that stretch from end to end, and lends the car a sense of visual agility.
Under the bonnet, the same Drive-E family of engines seen in current Volvo models are featured. There are the D4 and D5 diesels, good for 141kW & 175Kw respectively, with the latter coming with PowerPulse anti-lag technology to give it a more linear torque curve and better response. The petrol lineup sees the 190kW T5 and 239kW T6 feature, with the former turbocharged and the latter turbocharged and supercharged. Though 239kW might seem like quite a lot already, those looking for ultimate brawn will have to seek out the T8 TwinEngine plug-in hybrid, which offers 304kW of power and is capable of doing the century sprint in 5.3-seconds, despite its ecological and economical pretensions.
The cabin features more tech than before, too. The large Sensus infotainment screen is standard-fitment here, sitting in the centre of a beautiful (if a bit familiar) dash. The interior sees the inclusion of a mildly-revised seat design that was first seen in the Series-90 cars, with the seats themselves now more sculpted for better lateral support. “The interior is a masterful composition of well-resolved architecture, beautiful materials, and the very latest technology,” opines Volvo’s Senior Vice President of design Mr. Thomas Ingenlath. He isn’t wrong, as we cannot immediately think of a competitor for the XC60 that presents its interior quite as stunningly.
As many may be left gasping at the gorgeous interior, Volvo is keen to point out the inclusion of ‘CleanZone’ air purification technology that removes harmful particles and pollutants from the air to deliver “Scandinavian-fresh air” throughout the XC60’s cabin. And as per any Volvo, the CleanZone system makes up just one entry in the laundry list of systems designed to keep passengers healthy and safe. On top of systems we’ve seen before from the brand (like City Safety autonomous emergency braking, BLIS blind-spot monitoring, and Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving), we also see brand-new features that build on the existing suite of safety tech.
First on the list of new additions is something called ‘Oncoming Lane Mitigation,’ which works together with Steer Assist to mitigate or avoid head-on collisions when crossing traffic. Steer Assist now also works together with Blind Spot Indication System (or BLIS) to reduce the risk of collision during lane changes. Pilot Assist is new to the XC60 SUV range too, which offers steering, acceleration, and braking autonomy on “well-marked” roads at speeds of up to 130km/h. Definitely an option worth ticking.
At the time of writing, Volvo Australia has not commented on when we can expect market introduction. However, the XC60 will commence European production at the Torslanda facility in Sweden sometime in April, so we should expect to see the XC60 on our shores before the end of 2017.