A New Volvo S60 is Born

I’ve Got Cautious Optimism

A new S60 will see the light of dealers’ showrooms and our driveways in the fall. My take: cautious optimism. Caution because it’ll probably clock in at a higher price than today’s S60, which is $32,800 base. The T6 AWD — what they showed today — will undoubtedly be higher than today’s base. (“Pricing will be announced at a later date.”) Optimism because hey, it might be a really good car. We don’t know yet.

Only one variant of the S60 is mentioned in American press and Volvo’s site, the T6 AWD. It looks like the available engine at debut — at least in North America — will be Volvo’s venerable inline 6, this time punched up a touch to 3.0L, and making a girthy 300 hp and 325 lbs-ft torque (at 2100 rpm), which is generous. Fuel economy, according to Volvo’s page, will be a mediocre 17/26 mpg.

2011 Volvo S60
2011 Volvo S60

Pedestrian Detection

It’s got the fancy pedestrian anti-run-over system that stops the car when it detects a pedestrian (and its sister, “City Safety”), but I’m not sold on it. Will it work? Probably. Will it save a few lives or injuries? Certainly. Is it something that will cause headaches for drivers due to false-positives? We’ll see. Will it be another very expensive point of failure when the cars become 5, 10, 15 years old? We’ll see.

Marketing Oddities

Volvo today at the NYC debut described the car as “naughty”. Naughty? A Volvo? I’m all for bending perceptions of Volvo’s safe-but-boring image toward safe-but-fun, but going all the way out on a limb with that adjective just doesn’t work IMHO.

In addition, the Volvo.com home page (as of this writing) doesn’t even mention the S60 debut. Huh?
Please use this Volvo forum topic for discussion. Thanks!

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