Press Releases

Fine tuning gives Volvo S60 new standard of ride, handling


For immediate release


It's all about the suspension.


When a new car makes claims about sporty performance or exceptional ride quality, it only takes a short drive to separate the physics from the fantasy. Time and effort spent on the art and science of suspension design and tuning make the difference between the pretenders and the premium performers, and a brisk test drive quickly tells the tale.


So when the Volvo S60 is described as having both sporty performance and extraordinary ride comfort, it is clear that considerable time and effort have been lavished on the new sedan and the fine tuning of its suspension.


The starting point for the S60 is the Volvo large car platform, host to the S80 luxury sedan. The S60 wheelbase is shorter than the S80 but longer than the S70 model it replaces (271.5 cm vs 266.4 cm) despite a shorter overall length (457.6 cm for S60 vs 472.2 cm for S70). Front and rear track are also wider on the S60.


The S60 inherits the capable MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension design from that platform, but it is the refinements to the design that give the S60 its distinctly sporty character.


The front design utilizes forged aluminum lower wishbones with anti-roll bar, mounted in hydro-bushings to help isolate road shocks. The wishbones attach to a lower subframe, itself isolated by more bushings.


The rear multi-link uses discrete components to manage different aspects of the forces and keep the rear wheels willing participants in the handling. A separate aluminum subframe is attached to the body by isolation bushings, and separate longitudinal trailing arms, double wishbones, a watt link and anti-roll bar handle longitudinal stiffness and longitudinal steer, lateral loads, camber compensation and roll steer. Coil springs over shocks are fitted to the lower wishbone to achieve a higher damper ratio and reduced weight. A low roll centre in the rear geometry ensures parallel behaviour with the front suspension. The camber compensation contributes to higher lateral grip plus stability in fast corners and transient manoeuvres, resulting in consistent, predictable behaviour in all circumstances.


Anti-dive geometry in the front and rear suspension, with anti-lift front geometry, manage the pitch and squat of heavy braking or acceleration. The slight toe-out (front) and toe-in (rear) under heavy braking contribute stability and balance. Weight distribution is 57/43 front/rear. The rack-and-pinion steering goes from lock to lock in less than three turns.


The high torsional rigidity of the S60 chassis permits the suspension to perform at optimum levels while the extensive isolation efforts pay dividends in reduced noise, vibration and harshness. Ride is firm but very comfortable.


A selection of available wheels and tires are appropriate to the level of performance sought by the S60 buyer. The standard 15 x 6.5 alloy wheels and 195/65HR15 all-season tires on the base S60 are replaced by 16 x 6.5 alloy wheels and 205/55HR16 all-season tires on the S60 2.4T. The S60 T5 steps up to 16 x 7 wheels and 215/55HR16 all-season tires to complement the T5 chassis tuning. Optional wheels and tires are also available, including 17 x 7.5 alloy wheels with 235/45HR17 tires.


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Lisa Graham

Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd.



Doug Mepham

MacDonald & Co.


Old S60
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