What's Next for the Swedes

#Saab, #S60

Early next year, a less expensive, front-wheel-drive S60 will debut, presumably powered by the 200-hp, direct-injected 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that Volvo is offering in the S60 in Europe and mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission. For now, the all-wheel-drive S60 T6 is a relative bargain at $38,550, although the pedestrian-protection system is part of a $2100 package. Still, eighteen-inch wheels, leather sport seats, and a five-year/60,000-mile warranty that includes all scheduled maintenance are all standard. The S60 interior hits all the right notes, too, especially if it's outfitted with one of two available two-tone color schemes: black and beige or black and beechwood brown, a hue lifted from the Volvo vaults that is sure to evoke memories in former owners of the 1960s 1800S and the 1970s 164.

Beechwood brown is about the only way that the S60 looks backward. Sure, this car pays homage to the core Volvo brand value of safety, and it oozes understated Swedish style, per recent Volvo tradition. But the 2011 S60 is also, as its developers like to point out, the sportiest Volvo ever made. And that makes it not only a nice dowry for Volvo to bring to its new Chinese owners but also a welcome addition to the overcrowded field of entry-luxury sedans.

The Specs
On sale: Now
Base Price: $38,550
Engine: 3.0L turbocharged I-6, 300hp, 325 lb-ft
Drive: 4-wheel

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