The Volvo S60 was launched in autumn 2000 as a somewhat smaller sedan than the Volvo S80. The design brief was to create a car with the same basic lines and safety as the S80 model, but in a more compact body and with a sportier profile. Business project manager Lars Erik Lundin.
Four-door sedan. The Volvo S60 has a sloping roof line, swept-back C-posts and short rear section – a combination of sedan and coupé design that gives the car its sporty appearance. In order to further emphasise the S60 model’s sporty profile, the nose section has been extended, the haunches are more pronounced and the body has a ground-hugging stance. Although the body is compact, the interior offers generous space and comfortable seating for four occupants. However, this is space for a fifth passenger, along with a fifth seat belt and head restraint. One of the reasons for the good interior space is Volvo’s modern powertrain concept which features transverse engine installation.
Volvo Cars adopts a holistic view of safety that encompasses both Preventive and Protective safety.
Preventive safety is closely linked to the car’s driving properties. The body of the Volvo S60 features immense torsional rigidity and the car has a sturdy chassis, a combination that results in consistent, predictable behaviour on the road (see also under “Powertrain and Chassis”). Volvo Cars has developed various information systems designed to help the driver while on the move. One such system is IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System) which for instance delays incoming phone calls in complex traffic situations that require the driver’s undivided attention.
BLIS – Blind Spot Information System – registers if another vehicle is in the offset rear blind spot alongside the car and alerts the driver via a visual signal.
Active Bi-Xenon Light – moving headlight beams that follow the curvature of the road – help maintain the best possible visibility in the dark on twisting roads.
S60 models intended for the US market are equipped with a tyre pressure control system – TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System).
Protective safety in the Volvo S60 is structured around a network consisting of exterior and interior safety systems that interact with one another to reduce the risk of occupant injury in a collision. The exterior systems have the task of distributing and absorbing incoming collision forces so that the passenger compartment remains as intact and undamaged as possible. The body is therefore built in the form of a metal cage where all the components interact with one another to ensure controlled deformation.
The interior safety systems aim to keep the passengers securely in place and also to reduce the risk of serious injury. In order to provide the most effective protection possible, Volvo Cars has developed a number of in-house systems, such as WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and IC (Inflatable Curtain). All are fitted as standard in the Volvo S60. What is more, all five seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, belt pre-tensioners and head restraints. The highest possible safety requires that all the car’s occupants always use their seat belts.
Powertrain and chassis
The engines in the Volvo S60 are five-cylinder, transversely installed in-line units. A five-cylinder engine gives low vibration and smooth operation. Together with large displacement, the five-cylinder configuration provides high torque across a broad rev band, and thus also swift acceleration and excellent driveability within a wide speed range.
The Volvo S60 T5 is the top model, featuring a turbocharger and a six-speed gearbox. The engine range also includes diesel engines with particle filters, and the environmentally optimised Volvo Bi-Fuel which can be run on methane or petrol.
The chassis, with spring struts at the front and Multilink axle at the rear, is set up for stable, reassuring driving manners and alert steering response. The Multilink rear axle is an independent rear suspension system featuring a number of links and it is designed to offer a good combination of controlled wheel movements and high ride comfort. Some of these links have the task of providing a certain degree of anti-skid steering effect. A long wheelbase and wide track, together with a very torsionally rigid body, contribute to the predictable, controlled driving manners.
Volvo’s advanced DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) stability-enhancing system is fitted as standard. DSTC cuts in and helps stabilise the car if it registers any tendency to skid. An active chassis with advanced Four-C technology is available as an option. With this system, the chassis settings are adjusted automatically to suit the current driving conditions, thus improving both handling and ride comfort. Two alternative chassis settings are programmed into the system. At the touch of a button, the driver can thus alter the car’s behaviour to suit driving conditions and personal taste. The Volvo S60 2.5T AWD has Volvo’s electronically controlled All-Wheel Drive system with Instant Traction, for fast and effective distribution of traction even when moving off on a slippery surface.
The Volvo S60 is designed and equipped to impact as little as possible on the global environment and to offer a clean and healthy interior climate.
Petrol engines with low internal friction, efficient combustion and advanced exhaust filtration technology result in low emissions. Energy-efficient diesel engines with particle filters produce low emissions of carbon dioxide and soot particles.
Methane-powered Bi-Fuel cars with petrol as the back-up fuel reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25% compared with petrol-only cars, if the methane is extracted from natural gas. When running on biogas, the net greenhouse effect is instead virtually zero.
The engines in the Volvo S60 can be optionally specified with a catalytic radiator coating known as PremAir®. This system converts harmful ground-level ozone into pure oxygen as the car drives. Its benefits are greatest in dense city traffic and in strong sunlight.
Volvo’s IAQS (Interior Air Quality System) effectively reduces the amount of particles, pollen, gases and certain unpleasant odours in the air entering the cabin. All the textiles and leather upholsteries are certified according to ÖKO-TEX 100, an international standard that ensures that the interior trim is free from allergy-producing and hazardous substances.