NEW AND FUTURE CARS: 2009 Volvo S60 Concept

January 9, 2009
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0901 04 Z+2010 Volvo S60 Concept+front Three Quarter View
Sleek and sexy are words that are rarely associated with Volvos. Rather, the name Volvo generally conjures up adjectives such as safe and secure. Yet, the 2009 Volvo S60 concept seeks to change that notion and instead prove that a Volvo can be both safe and sexy.
The concept ditches the brand's aged Scandinavian design in favor of the bold styling of the handsome XC60 crossover. In front, there is a strong upward stance, thanks to the angle of the trapezoidal grille and lower air intakes. The LED headlights are modeled to look like miniature Viking longboats sailing up into the V-shaped hood.
The front doors open conventionally while the rears are electronic and swing out then slide rearward. The roofline is low and the beltline is high for that coupe-like sedan profile made popular by the Mercedes Benz CLS. The car's lines follow a "race track" theme as they continue smoothly throughout the body instead of ending abruptly. Volvo says it plans to implement this type of styling into future models and we couldn't approve more.
Inside, the concept seats four along a floating crystal center console that runs from front to back. The slim leather seats are actually cantilevered from the center stack, and both the armrest and seatbelt are integrated to give the appearance that everything is hovering. The instrument cluster continues the floating theme and houses a unique speedometer where low numbers appear farther away. The intention is to give the driver a reminder of forward motion, as if looking out the windshield would not suffice.
To read more about the 2009 Volvo S60 Concept, go to our 2009 Detroit auto show blogs coverage. All the latest blogs from the Editors of Automobile Magazine can be found HERE. We've got our whole staff wandering the floor at Cobo Hall bringing back live photos and more information about all the new debuts from Detroit.
For complete coverage of the 2009 Detroit auto show, click HERE.
0901 03 Z+2010 Volvo S60 Concept+rear Three Quarter View
The concept will also showcase some of Volvo's latest safety breakthroughs—namely its "Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection." The highlight of the technology is its ability to automatically activate the car's full braking power in certain cases - one of which is when a pedestrian steps into the path of the vehicle; another is when a low-speed collision is detected. The system warns the driver via a heads up display and will intervene if he or she does not get off the Blackberry and quickly step on the brakes.
A new turbocharged four-cylinder 1.6-liter engine lies under the hood of the concept. The engine is the first to use Volvo's efficient GTDi (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) technology. It also uses stratified combustion that allows the engine to operate with a surplus of air, thus reducing fuel consumption. It is mated to a Powershift dual-clutch gearbox, and makes 180 hp.
0901 10 Z+2010 Volvo S60 Concept+interior View
Volvo says the concept will return an impressive 5.0 l/100 km (47 mpg), but doing so isn't only the work of the new engine and transmission. The car features other eco-goodies such as electric power steering, auto start/stop, and a "DRIVe-Mode." In this mode, fuel consumption is further reduced by shutting off non-essential accessories. The car's body is made of lightweight materials, and flat underbody panels and a grille shutter reduce aerodynamic drag.
If the 2010 S60 production model is much like the concept, perhaps Acura and BMW have reason for concern. The S60 has never been the toughest warrior in the competitive entry-luxury sedan market, but this mid-sizer could be the Viking axe that Volvo needed to take a swing at its Japanese and German rivals.
To read more about the 2009 Volvo S60 Concept, go to our 2009 Detroit auto show blogs coverage. All the latest blogs from the Editors of Automobile Magazine can be found HERE. We've got our whole staff wandering the floor at Cobo Hall bringing back live photos and more information about all the new debuts from Detroit.
For complete coverage of the 2009 Detroit auto show, click HERE.

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2009 Volvo S60

2.5T FWD 4-Dr Sedan I5
starting at (MSRP)
$30,950
Engine
2.5L I5
Fuel Economy
19 City 28 Hwy
2009 Volvo S60