Overview: Volvo V60

So Volvo has called the new V60 a Sports Wagon and given it a racy window-line. But don’t be fooled: numerous differences in the running-gear make it more than just an S60 with an extended roofline, and its boot volume of 430l puts it squarely between the V50’s 362l and the V70’s 555l. The V60 is a proper estate car, developed in parallel with the S60 to be capable of handling loads. And as far as driving dynamics are concerned, anyone who has driven a V70 on a twisting route knows that the ability to deal with loads is no excuse for poor handling.

As usual with a new model, there is a fair amount of electronic technology on offer, much of it related to safety — a trend in the industry at large, and not just at Volvo. There are also a couple of new petrol engines and a revised diesel.

Engines

In contast to Volvo’s decision to launch the S60 saloon with a choice of only three engines — D3, D5 and T6 — the V60 will be available initially with a range of five. There are two diesels initially — the D3 and D5 — plus the 1.6-litre Drive engine, which will be arriving after a few months. Petrol units are the familiar straight-six three-litre T6 and two new directly-fuelled 1.6-litre GTDi motors. A fourth petrol engine, dubbed T5, will be available later.

The lowest-powered engine offered in the V60 is Volvo’s Drive unit, offering 115PS and 270Nm from 1560cc through a six-speed manual gearbox. Derived from the familiar Ford-PSA diesel, this is a highly capable unit, delivering very accessible performance even in the big V70.

The 2.4-litre D5 has twin turbochargers working sequentially for an output of 205PS and 420Nm. The more recent two-litre D3 derivative offers 163PS and a very impressive 400Nm; in principle, it is the same engine as the 2.4 but with a shorter stroke. Both turbodiesels are available with a six-speed Geartronic epicyclic automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox.

The three-litre T6 petrol engine has been revised, cutting fuel consumption by around 10 per cent., and drives all four wheels through the six-speed Geartronic automatic. This transmission has also been updated, with new valves and lower internal friction; faster gearchanges are claimed. Manual transmission and two-wheel drive are not available with the T6 engine.

The new direcly-fuelled 1.6-litre petrol engine comes in two versions, dubbed T3 (150PS) and T4 (180PS). The more powerful version delivers 240Nm from 1500rpm to 5000rpm. An overboost function allows the engine to generate 270Nm, albeit briefly. The 150PS variant also offers 240Nm, but with no overboost facility. The T4 is available with Volvo’s six-speed Powershift transmission — an automated unit with twin wet-plate clutches — or a six-speed manual gearbox; the T3 comes with a manual gearbox only.

The late-arriving T5 petrol engine is two-litre, four-cylinder unit billed to produce 240PS and 320Nm.

Running-gear

Depending on where it’s sold, the V60 is available with a choice of two chassis. In Europe, the Dynamic chassis is standard; while ther markets will have the Touring set-up as standard, with the Dynamic variant available as an option. The difference between the two is to be found in the dampers and in the front and rear subframes: the Touring variant has softer settings to give a smooth ride on poorer road surfaces.

All variants of the V60 can be specified with the optional Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) active chassis.

As you would expect, the V60 comes with a variety of electronic systems aimed at sharpening the handling. Like the S60, the V60 is fitted with Advanced Stability Control: this uses a roll angle sensor to detect any loss of traction at an early stage, so that the car’s stability control system can step in earlier and with greater precision.

Corner Traction Control is a new function of Volvo’s Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system. It uses torque vectoring to reduce understeer: the car’s inner driven wheel is braked, causing more torque to be transmitted to the outer, more heavily loaded driven wheel.

Pedestrian Detection is an optional system that detects a pedestrian who moves into the car’s path. The system includes a function to apply full braking automatically if the driver does not respond in time.

In the first stage of operation, the driver receives an audible warning combined with a flashing light in the windscreen’s head-up display. In order to prompt an immediate, automatic reaction, the visible warning resembles a brake light. At the same time, the car’s brake line is are pre-charged. If the driver does not react to the warning and an accident is imminent, full braking power is automatically applied.

The Pedestrian Detection system coupled with its automatic brake function can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds up to 21mph if the driver does not react in time. At higher speeds, the system slows the car as much as possible before impact.

The V60 also features City Safety as standard. This system automatically applies the brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops, or if he is approaching a stationary object too quickly. The system can lessen or even entirely avoid low-speed rear-end impacts at speeds of up to 18mph.

There is a fair shopping-list of optional safety-related equipment, all of which is becoming increasingly familiar across the industry — chiefly because it is available off-the-shelf, give or take some calibration, from suppliers like Bosch and Hella.

  • Driver Alert Control is (as you would imagine) designed to alert a tired or distracted driver. This function monitors the car’s progress between lane markers and warns the driver if his driving pattern changes in a random or uncontrolled way. Other systems — such as that used by Daimler — take information directly from sensors on the steering column and compare the driver’s steering patterns with those known to indicate tiredness.
  • Lane Departure Warning alerts the driver if the car runs across the lane markers without the turn indicator being used.
  • Blind Spot Information System helps detect vehicles in the rear blind spot on both sides of the car. A warning lamp beside the relevant door mirror comes on to alert the driver to the danger.
  • Active Xenon headlights are articulated, following the curve of the road.

Rollover Protection System (ROPS) uses sensors to deploy the seatbelt pre-tensioners and inflatable curtains in the event of a rollover.

The V60 has seatbelt pre-tensioners fitted to all seats. Pre-Prepared Restraints regulate the airbags and the seatbelt load limiters according to the force of the impact.

The latest incarnation of Volvo’s SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) includes a gyro to improve the System’s response to offset side impacts. The gyro’s signals are added to yaw-sensor and accelerometer information to control the inflatable curtains, side-impact airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners.

Volvo’s initial annual target for the new Volvo V60 is 50,000 cars, 90 per cent. of which will go to European buyers. The five largest markets are Sweden, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy and Germany. The V60 will be built at the Volvo Cars production plant in Torslanda, Sweden, and the first cars will be delivered to customers in autumn 2010.

We have included below technical information covering the S60 as well as some preliminary data for the V60. The gaps in the data tables will be filled soon.

Volvo S60 D3 D5 T6
Engine type D5204T2 D5244T10 B6304T4
Cylinders 5 5 6
Valves 4 4 4
Bore/stroke 81.0/77.0 81.0/93.15 82.0/93.2
Swept volume 1984cc 2400cc 2953cc
Compression
ratio
16.5:1 16.5:1 9.3:1
PS/rpm 163/2900 205/4000 304/5600
Nm/rpm 400/1380 420/1500 440/2100
Maximum speed 137 146 155
0-100km/h 9.2 7.8 6.5
Urban MPG
(l/100km)
39.2
(7.2)
40.9
(6.9)
19.5
(14.5)
CO2 g/km 139 139 231
Emissions N/S N/S N/S
Transmission M6 (A6) M6 (A6) A6
Driven wheels Front Front All
Fuel tank 67.5l 67.5l 67.5l
Kerb mass * 1611 1615 1752
PS/t 102 128 177
Nm/t 250 262 257
Length 4628 4628 4628
Width 1899 1899 1899
Height (1) 1484 1484 1484
Wheelbase 2776 2776 2776
Track: front
— rear
1588
1585
1588
1585
1588
1585
Cd x A 0.28 x 2.27 0.28 x 2.27 0.28 x 2.27
* DIN. EU kerb mass = DIN + 75kg.
(1) Height including shark-fin aerial.
Volvo V60 1.6 Drive 1.6 T3 1.6 T4
Cylinders 4 4 4
Valves 4 4 4
Bore/stroke 75.0/88.3 79.0/81.4 79.0/81.4
Swept volume 1560cc 1595cc 1595cc
Compression
ratio
16.0:1 10.0:1 10.0:1
PS/rpm 115/3600 150/- 180/5500
Nm/rpm 270/1740 240/- 240†/1600
Maximum speed TBA TBA TBA
0-100km/h TBA TBA TBA
Urban MPG
(l/100km)
TBA
(TBA)
TBA
(TBA)
TBA
(TBA)
CO2 g/km TBA TBA TBA
Emissions EU5 EU5 EU5
Transmission M6 M6 M6 (A6)
Driven wheels Front Front Front
Fuel tank TBA TBA TBA
Kerb mass * TBA TBA TBA
PS/t TBA TBA TBA
Nm/t TBA TBA TBA
Length TBA TBA TBA
Width TBA TBA TBA
Height (1) TBA TBA TBA
Wheelbase 2776 2776 2776
Track: front
— rear
1588
1585
1588
1585
1588
1585
Cd x A TBA TBA TBA
* DIN. EU kerb mass = DIN + 75kg.
(1) Height including shark-fin aerial.
† 270Nm for brief overboost.
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