The Volvo XC60 Concept takes centre stage at the Detroit Motor Show, integrating both the unmistakable, muscular XC-versatility and the sporty charisma of a coupe. “One might say that this could be the C30 owner’s next car. Equally sporty and exciting, but far more capable. The concept car offers a good indication of what the “real” XC60 will look like,” says Fredrik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Cars. The new Volvo XC60 is planned to reach the showrooms at the beginning of 2009.
The concept car shows that Volvo Cars’ XC60 project is ready to challenge the competition in what is currently the toughest and fastest-growing segment in the automotive world – the Small Premium Utility segment. Today there are only a handful of models in this segment but within the next few years buyers will have at least ten to choose between.
Between 2007 and 2009, the segment’s sales volume is expected to expand by 75 percent to 443,000 cars. “There is considerable potential here and the concept car shows that we both can and actually dare to be even sportier and more dynamic while retaining our firm lead when it comes to safety. The technological solutions for avoiding low-speed collisions represent a major breakthrough. We call this system City Safety,” explains Fredrik Arp.
The chosen power train for the Volvo XC60 Concept is a six-cylinder, 3.2-litre bio-ethanol engine with All Wheel Drive, offering dynamic performance in the form of 265 horsepower and 251 lb/ft (340 Nm) of torque – with emissions of fossil carbon dioxide dropping by up to 80 percent when driving, compared with the same engine running only on gasoline.
Target group with high demands on technology
As with the recently introduced Volvo C30, Volvo’s XC60 project is aimed at a specific target group with high demands on design, brand value and high-tech solutions in their choice of lifestyle products.
Tongue-in-cheek, one might say that these are consumers who always regard the microchip as a natural complement to their breakfast cereal. Consumers who have grown up in an era during which electronic products have undergone unimaginable development – and for whom every birthday has brought greater electronic capacity in ever-smaller gift packages.
This generation is constantly on the lookout for the very latest gadget and as a group it is becoming increasingly influential and building up increasing purchasing power. When it comes to the choice of car, these consumers adopt the same approach as they apply to other products; it should preferably cater for all their needs in one attractive, smart package.
Capable XC muscles down below, elegant coupe above the waistline
From the design viewpoint the XC60 Concept is a daring creation, a fusion of the very best elements from two distinctive yet dynamic car types. Down below, the unmistakable and capable XC muscles pump up the car, giving it a distinctive stance with high ground clearance on large wheels. Above the waistline, the sleek lines trace the profile and sporty charisma of an elegant coupe.
The XC60 Concept has an interior design that is at least as daring as the exterior. This applies particularly to the instrument panel and centre stack and the slim, visually floating front and rear seats. “The concept car not only provides a good indication of what the XC60 will look like, it also offers a hint of the lines of future Volvo models. With a more sculptured look, our cars will be more extrovert in their visual appeal. If you say that you recognise a Volvo from 50 metres today, I want to get to the point where people will instantly spot it from twice the distance in the future,” says Steve Mattin, Design Director at Volvo Cars.
Deliveries to customers in early 2009
With the XC60 Concept, Volvo Cars is announcing that the XC family, which presently consists of the XC70 and XC90, will be expanded in the beginning of 2009. Just like the two current models in the XC range, the Volvo XC60 is based on passenger car technology, making it possible to combine its rugged capability with a dynamic and entertaining drive. “I would like to emphasise that with the XC60 project as with the C30, we are aiming primarily at lifestyle rather than age. We are broadening our model range to primarily attract more customers with an active, urban lifestyle. The XC60 will be just as important as the C30 in our planned sales volume expansion,” concludes Fredrik Arp.