With the new Volvo XC60, Volvo Car Corporation will expand its range of XC vehicles that deliver versatility and all-wheel drive capability. Yet for this project, engineers and designers were charged with creating a vehicle that places more emphasis on a premium driving experience on city streets, highways and country trails than the off-road path.
"The new Volvo XC60 is designed for customers who impose high demands on the driving experience, irrespective of whether the vehicle is used in the city, on the motorway or to negotiate tight curves in country lanes." says Lars Blenwall, project director for the new Volvo XC60. "That is why we have focused on finding exactly the right balance between sportiness and comfort, for the chassis and for the vehicle as a whole."
The new Volvo XC60 is built to handle a wide range of road conditions. The XC60 combines high torsional rigidity (20 kNm/deg) and a sporty chassis setup to precisely control body movements and minimize roll tendencies in demanding driving situations. Weight is optimally distributed between the front and rear axles to further contribute to good balance and traction. A transversely installed engine and the Volvo All Wheel Drive with Instant Traction system reinforce the controlled, smooth power delivery.
Large 17- or 18-inch wheels will be standard (19 inches optional) and no less than 230 mm of ground clearance means the Volvo XC60 is capable of making its way through tougher terrain. The independent rear suspension ensures good comfort and road contact while the McPherson front suspension and broad track also contribute to excellent directional stability.
"The XC60 handles sharply and behaves exactly as you would expect whatever the situation. It promotes a feeling of safety and control. But also of relaxed comfort," comments Blenwall.
The XC60 will be available with only one engine in Canada: a 3.0-litre, turbocharged inline six cylinder engine that delivers 281 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm).
The T6 engine is based on the 3.2-litre engine currently available in the Volvo S80, V70, XC70 and XC90. The somewhat smaller displacement is due to a smaller bore and shorter stroke. However, the engine is includes a special turbocharger that manages exhaust gases in two phases. The inlet side has been divided into two sections of three cylinders each, a format known as twin-scroll technology. The twin-scroll approach makes for a simpler, more compact turbocharger that provides fast response, on a par with the more traditional twin turbocharger set-up.
The T6 engine has been programmed to provide the highest possible power with the lowest possible fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. As with all Volvo models, the XC60 has a transverse driveline to provide more space under the hood and helps reduce the risk of penetration into the passenger compartment in the event of a frontal collision.
Six-speed Geartronic and AWD
The XC60's T6 engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Geartronic. Geartronic makes it possible to change gears manually by shifting the gear lever.
All XC60 models sold in Canada will be equipped with the company's All Wheel Drive with Instant Traction system. With the help of an electronically controlled clutch, the AWD system automatically distributes engine power between the front and rear wheels. The Instant Traction function quickly shifts power from the front to the rear wheels when starting from standstill on slippery or loose surfaces.
Further developed DSTC
The company's next generation Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system will also be introduced on the XC60's standard equipment list. The current DSTC registers deviations between the driver's intended direction - based on throttle and steering wheel inputs - and the car's actual direction and reduces engine power and applies one or more brakes to correct the deviation.
The new DSTC system will now monitor the XC60's body roll rate as well, providing a clearer picture of the driving situation and the opportunity to recognize a skid earlier and in more situations. For example, a skid may occur if the driver suddenly releases the accelerator pedal while steering when exiting a highway slightly too late. By measuring the roll rate, DSTC is able to recognize the potential for a skid at an earlier stage and react with greater precision by applying one or more brakes.
New Trailer Stability Assist
For customers who often tow, the XC60 will be available with Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) to help dampen the oscillation tendencies that can affect a trailer. In certain conditions, the trailer runs the risk of swaying from side to side or "snaking", making it difficult for the driver to control the trailer's movement. In these situations, TSA will engage and work with DSTC to help stabilize the XC60 and trailer by braking one or more wheels and reduce engine power.
RSC helps prevent roll-overs
The XC60 is also equipped with Roll Stability Control (RSC) as standard. RSC is an active stability-enhancement system that monitors the vehicle's yaw rate. If the system assesses that there is a considerable risk for a roll-over, the engine's torque is reduced and some braking power is directed to one or more wheels to help reduce the likelihood of a roll-over.
HDC gives added control downhill
Hill Descent Control (HDC) is designed to assist slow progress in first and reverse gear when driving on steep gradients, and will be available as an option on the new Volvo XC60. Using the vehicle's braking system and engine torque, HDC controls the XC60's speed to a maximum of 10 km/h. This leaves the driver free to focus on steering safely.
Four-C active chassis
The XC60 can also be equipped with the Volvo Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept (Four-C) to allow the driver to select one of three suspension settings. When selecting Comfort, Sport or Advanced, the vehicle's dampers are adjusted to deliver a firmer or softer ride to tailor the vehicle to the road conditions. Four-C also reduces the vehicle's pitch and dive tendencies during acceleration and braking and monitors steering wheel and pedal input to help deliver maximum traction in emergency situations regardless of which setting has been selected.
Volvo Cars of Canada Corp. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 42 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The company's product range includes the stylish and sporty C30, the elegant C70 hardtop convertible, the compact S40 sedan, the S60 sport sedan, the S80 flagship sedan, the versatile V50 wagon and the award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle. For 2008, the company is introducing two all-new models: the redesigned V70 wagon and the capable and comfortable XC70.
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