After bowing before the crowd in Geneva in early March, the 2011 Volvo S60 has landed on our shores and made its U.S. debut in New York. Set to go on sale in the fall, the S60 will entice buyers with a more-powerful engine, all-wheel drive, and a full bank of driver aids and advanced technology.
With its thoroughly updated design inside and out, the S60 is hoping to lure 20,000 to 30,000 buyers per year, an ambitious goal considering that the outgoing model sold fewer than 6,000 copies in 2009. If the looks don’t entice buyers, Volvo hopes the sport-tuned chassis and more-powerful engine will. The T6 inline six-cylinder now displaces a full 3.0 liters and produces 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, and all that torque is available as low as 2100 RPM. Power goes to pavement through a six-speed automatic transmission and a new Haldex all-wheel drive system.
If that still isn’t enough, Volvo is banking on its massive cache of driver aids and safety features to seal the deal. For the performance-oriented, a new Corner Traction Control system simultaneously brakes the inside wheel and increases power to the outside wheel while cornering to increase stability and cornering speeds. For the safety conscious, a new Pedestrian Detection system with Full Auto Stop scans constantly for pedestrians entering the car’s path and can stop the car from as much as 22 mph to avoid a collision. At higher speeds, it can slow the car by as much as 22 mph to reduce the force of the impact.
Volvo won’t talk about pricing until we get closer to the on-sale date sometime late in the third quarter of 2010, but we expect that with all the new features, it will eclipse the current model’s $32,800 starting price. It’s got the goods on paper, but will it be good enough on the road to go head-to-head with the segment’s best and send sales soaring? We’ll have to wait until we can test one to find out.
Stay tuned for more of our complete coverage of the 2010 New York Auto Show live from the Big Apple.