This is Volvo’s new S60.

Described as a ‘four-door coupe’, the Swedish car maker promises that it is sportier than any current or previous Volvo saloon. And, as you’d expect from a brand with such a strong safety reputation, it bristles with equipment intended to help the driver avoid accidents, or to protect him or her should the worst happen.

Chief among these is a system using a high definition camera that’ll detect pedestrians or other vehicles coming into the S60’s path. If the system ‘judges’ that a collision is about to happen, it warns the driver. But if she or she does not react quickly, it will apply the car’s brakes. It is expected to prevent crashes if the system cuts in at speeds of up to 21mph. Above that, it will reduce damage.

The new car comes with three engine choices – two diesel and one petrol. There’s a new five-cylinder 2.0 diesel that produces 163bhp. With a manual gearbox, this can manage up to 54mpg. Otherwise, there’s the twin-turbo D5 familiar from other Volvos that gives 204bhp. If you want a petrol engine the only option at launch is a high-performance model, the T6, that generates 304bhp from its six cylinders and 3.0 litres.

T6 models also have all-wheel-drive.

Once you’ve chosen which power plant to have, you pick from three trim levels: ES, SE and SE Lux. Even the entry-model ES has alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control and the safety system that automatically brakes the car if the vehicle ahead stops dead and the S60’s driver doesn’t spot it. Moving up to SE brings better trim, a rain sensor, rear parking assistance and other items. The range topping SE Lux, meanwhile, adds leather seats that are powered and heated in the front and headlamps that turn with the front wheels.

Prices run from £23,295 to £36,745. The order book is now open, ahead of dealers seeing the first cars in July. Deliveries will begin, says Volvo, the following month.

Stephen Jury


April 13, 2010