Model Year 2009
The Volvo S60 is a sports saloon designed to look like a coupé. It fits into the Volvo saloon range between the compact S40 and large S80, and echoes the sleek Volvo design introduced in those cars. It's a sleek, coupé-like design which needed only subtle evolutionary changes to keep it fresh and modern. These include the addition of a lower front spoiler inspired by the S80, a redesigned rear spoiler and a bigger grille with a larger, more pronounced Volvo ‘iron mark' badge in its centre. More noticeable are the new door mirrors, which now incorporate the side indicators, the option of Active Bending headlamps that swivel to optimise their beam and improve the driver's view of the road ahead, new alloy wheels and a new wheel centre cap, featuring the Volvo ‘iron mark'.
The Volvo S60 had new chassis and suspension settings to make it more enjoyable to drive. The Dynamic chassis had new front and rear springs and dampers, new front and rear anti-roll bars and solid bushing, giving a smoother ride quality, reduced body roll, improved grip and better steering feel. The SE Sport model features a revised Sports chassis with better body control and ride quality.
There is one turbocharged petrol engine available: the 180PS 2.0T which is complemented by two five-cylinder, 2.4-litre turbodiesels: the 2.4D with 163PS, and the D5 with 185PS. Both diesel engines have a diesel particulate filter with oxidising coating as standard, six-speed manual transmissions or (as an option) the six-speed Geartronic, plus the latest common-rail, direct-injection technology to produce generous amounts of torque - 340 Nm from 1750-2750 rpm for the 2.4D, while the new D5 generates 400 Nm from 2000-2750 rpm.
The Volvo S60 is now available with SE, SE Sport and SE Lux trim levels - all offering better standard specifications and value than other premium brand rivals.
As you'd expect from Volvo, the S60 has a full complement of safety features. Dual-stage front airbags, SIPS (Side Impact Protection System), WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), IC (Inflatable Curtain) and five three-point safety belts combine to offer class-leading occupant protection. In addition, Volvo offers a passenger airbag cut off switch to enable child seats to be carried in the front of the car. It also offers integrated booster seats for the rear, and ISOFIX mounting points.
The Volvo S60 achieved a four-star EuroNCAP crash test rating (maximum at the time of testing) and a maximum 100 per cent score for side impact protection when tested.
The Volvo S60 was designed from the outset to be a sports saloon and one of the most dynamic designs in the Volvo range. Steve Mattin, then Vice President and Chief Designer at Volvo Cars, describes it as "a four-door coupé or a two-plus-two door". Its strident, distinctive appearance tempts customers who might have chosen other premium brand rivals such as BMW 3-series, Audi A4 or Mercedes C-class.
Much of the inspiration for the original shape came from the first-generation Volvo C70 Coupé. "In the studio, the day we started the project," explains Mattin, "we had a Volvo C70 parked, and when the designers were talking about what the car should look like, I put a piece of styling tape on the Volvo C70 to create a second door."
Horbury's moment of inspiration is reflected in the Volvo S60's roofline, which tapers elegantly into the boot. It's a coupé-like detail that gives a clear indication of this car's sporting intent. That it has been achieved without robbing rear passengers of headroom is a tribute to the designer's clever blend of form and function.
There was another underlying influence in determining the Volvo S60's shape and one that sets it apart from the opposition. Mattin explains: "If you look back at the history of car design, it started very much in the days of the horse and carriage, where the horse - or the engine - was out front and the people were sitting in the carriage, over the rear axle.
"But then, later on, aircraft changed when the engines went onto the wings and the pilot came up front in his cockpit. Eventually cars, like Ferrari's 250LM, changed this - they put the engine behind the driver.
"And suddenly the new layout of the car looked right, it performed well and it looked good. All the design exercises since that day followed that track - the sort of cockpit-forward look. And that is what we tried to do with the Volvo S60."
In keeping with this design philosophy, the cockpit of the Volvo S60 sits between the front wheels, creating a strong, dynamic, homogeneous appearance. "We brought the top of the car in between the wheels, in between the overhangs to create what I feel is one of the best-balanced-looking cars there is," says Mattin.
The Volvo S60 therefore manages to assert its own, distinct identity in a competitive class, but it's also instantly recognisable as a Volvo. The prominent egg-crate grille and V-shaped bonnet are classic Volvo design elements, and so too is the strong shoulder line, which emphasises the car's strength and durability as well as aiding its side impact protection.
The manner in which the rear tail lamps integrate beautifully into the boot also echoes the design language first introduced in the larger S80 and subsequently to the XC90 and S40 compact saloon. This reflects what Mattin describes as "a very Swedish design simplicity". It's also a shape that works exceptionally well, as the drag coefficient of 0.28 testifies.
Another crucial element of the Volvo S60's design is its understatement, which Mattin believes is crucial to the brand's appeal. "A Volvo buyer displays terrific self-confidence," he says. "Nobody's allowed to show off in Sweden and a Volvo's not a show-off's car. People buy Volvos because they know what they want."
This is demonstrated by the subtle exterior design changes differentiating SE, SE Sport and SE Lux models.
All models have chrome inserts in the front and rear bumper mouldings. The SE and SE Lux have large 17in alloy wheels, while the SE Sport gets 18in BBS alloys. Internally, the SE has its own distinctive svangen textile/vinyl sports upholstery. The SE Sport, meanwhile, benefits from the Nordborg Textile/leather sports upholstery, while the SE Lux enjoys the luxury of leather-faced sports upholstery. SE Sport has a ‘spaceball' gear lever (manual transmission only), and mesh aluminium dashboard, centre console and door trim complete the sporty driver environment.
Other subtle tweaks included a new front nose design a lowered grille, a front sports bumper with a deeper spoiler and larger air intakes for the two intercoolers.
Driving Dynamics: Engines
The 180PS 2.0T is complemented by two refined, powerful and economical turbodiesels, the 2.4D and D5, offering 163PS/340 Nm and 185PS/400 Nm respectively.
5cyl, 20v turbo
5cyl, 20v turbo
5cyl, 20v turbo
(Nm at rpm)
G/t = Geartronic transmission
Rack and pinion with 205-235 (17in-18in) section tyres.
Turning circle, m (ft)
11.8-12.0 (38ft 9in-39ft 4in).
5-speed manual: 2.0T
6-speed manual: 2.4D, D5
5-speed auto: 2.0T
6-speed Geartronic: 2.4D, D5
Brakes: Front discs
15in - 286mm ventilated: 2.4D, D5
16in - 305mm ventilated: 2.0T
288mm: all models
Fuel tank, litres
Load capacity: litres
Rear seats down
Load length: rear seats up
Load length: rear seats down
Width (excluding mirrors)
Front track width
Rear track width
|(Full technical data, prices and options information available in price lists, or also downloadable at http://www.media.volvocars.co.uk/)|
The S60 uses one of Volvo's ‘RN' five-cylinder, all-aluminium petrol engines. This is turbocharged and feature four valves per cylinder, a twin-cam head, centrally mounted spark plugs and Dual CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing) to optimise the combustion process. CVVT permits a dynamic variation in the outlet timing (up to 20 degrees), improving low-end torque and cutting fuel consumption. The system works on the inlet and exhaust camshaft and makes it possible to close the inlet valves earlier in relation to opening the outlet valves. This generates more torque at lower engine speeds.
With a low-pressure turbo, the 1984cc 2.0T petrol engine offers a generous 180PS of power and 240 Nm of torque from as low as 1850 rpm up to 5000 rpm, providing a 0-60 mph sprint time of 8.2 seconds, a 140 mph top speed and emissions of 212g/km.
2.4D and D5
In the UK, the majority of Volvo S60 customers choose the performance, economy and range of a diesel engine, and Volvo offers a choice of two: the 2.4D and D5, both versions of Volvo's acclaimed and refined 2.4-litre, five-cylinder turbodiesel. Both diesel engines offer a six-speed manual gearbox or the option of the six-speed Geartronic transmission.
The 2.4D develops 163PS and 340 Nm of torque from 1750-2750 rpm, which guarantees excellent mid-range flexibility with a top speed possible of 130 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 8.9 seconds. Yet despite this strong performance, the Volvo S60 2.4D achieves 54.3mpg on the extra-urban cycle, and 42.8 miles on a gallon of diesel on the combined cycle, with carbon dioxide emissions of just 174g/km.
The D5 engine is immensely powerful, with 185PS and the same levels of torque as the S60 R AWD - 400 Nm - from just 2000 rpm. This flexible performance provides a potential top speed of 143mph, emissions of 174 g/km, with 0-60 mph possible in 7.6 seconds.
Both these turbodiesel engines were substantially revised and enhanced in 2005 following technological developments and extensive changes to the performance characteristics. For example, these included:
|Euro IV requirement||D5 (S60)|
|CO (carbon monoxide)||0.500 g/km||0.207 g/km (58% better)|
|NOx (nitrogen oxide)||0.250 g/km||0.187 g/km (25% better)|
|Particulates||0.025 g/km||0.001 g/km (96% better)|
Driving Dynamics: Chassis
The Volvo S60 was designed from the outset to be an engaging sports saloon, delivering driving pleasure with a high level of active safety. The suspension settings were revised for 2007, with an all-new Dynamic chassis and a revised Sport chassis, and these, together with extensive use of aluminium components, high torsional rigidity, class-leading track width, and the latest electronic DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) stability systems ensure the Volvo S60 is a pleasure to drive.
High torsional rigidity allows the suspension to do its job properly and its provision was integral to the Volvo S60's design. Extensive use of High Strength Steel (HSS) in the car's construction has resulted in a torsional stiffness in excess of 20k Nm/degree, compared with a typical rating for a four-door saloon of between 6 and 14k Nm/degree. This benefits not only the ride and handling characteristics of the Volvo S60, but also its crashworthiness.
The Volvo S60 has independent MacPherson strut front suspension and a sophisticated multi-link system at the rear. Volvo's all-new Dynamic chassis is fitted as standard to SE and SE Lux models, making them feel sportier to drive without compromising on ride quality. The Dynamic chassis has new front and rear springs and dampers, new front and rear anti-roll bars and solid bushing, giving a smoother ride quality, reduced body roll, improved grip and better steering feel.
Active Four-C chassis
The advanced electronics of Volvo's Active Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) technology allow all of the car's dynamic systems to communicate and work in unison and has been specifically optimised for the variety of UK road conditions.
The car's speed, wheel movement and steering are continuously monitored via multiplexed control systems that update the suspension settings 500 times per second.
The advanced electronics allow the driver to choose between different suspension settings at the touch of a button on the dashboard for maximum driver choice, control and enjoyment. The system is designed to help counteract the car's natural dynamic tendencies:
The Four-C system (available as an option) has the choice of Sport or Comfort chassis settings, which, in the S60 (compared with the V70 or XC70), are tuned for a more sporting ride.
Comfort - Optimises ride comfort using ‘Sky-hook' control technology to make the car feel like it is suspended from an artificial horizon (‘Sky-hook' control technique).
Sport - Standard mid-setting for sporty driving (‘Sky-hook' control technique).
Advanced - Uncompromising sports-car handling, prioritising maximum driving pleasure using ‘direct road contact' control technology (‘Road contact' control technique).
Track and wheelbase
The class-leading front track width and long wheelbase provide a further contribution to the Volvo S60's exceptional stability. The wide track helps improve the car's balance, enabling it to cope with high cornering forces, while providing clear and consistent feedback to the driver. Likewise, the long (2715 mm) wheelbase contributes to a balanced weight distribution with a low minimal moment of inertia. In practical terms, this enhances the steering response and helps ensure that the Volvo S60 responds in a controlled, predictable manner in all circumstances, making a major contribution to active safety.
DSTC, EBD and EBA
The Volvo S60's carefully honed mechanical set-up is backed by sophisticated traction and stability control systems. DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) is standard on every model and prevents wheel spin by either braking the wheel that has lost traction (up to 25 mph) or, at speeds above 25 mph, by reducing engine power and using extra sensors to detect the onset of a skid. The system then automatically slows the appropriate wheel to restore control. It ensures that the driven wheels get exactly as much power as they can transfer to the road.
All Volvo S60s benefit from ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) which senses an emergency stop and automatically brings the car to a halt in as short a distance as possible.
Driving Dynamics: Steering, Brakes and Transmissions
The Volvo S60 uses a power-assisted ZF rack and pinion steering system that has been developed to optimise driver feedback and response. Steering feel is excellent thanks to careful tuning of the torque build-up during cornering. This helps the driver to place the car accurately on the road and to assess the available grip.
An optional speed dependent steering is available (standard on SE Sport models) that provides additional assistance at low speeds and more steering feel as speed increases.
The large disc brakes are derived from those fitted to the larger, heavier Volvo S80, and have been designed to reflect the car's sporting potential. And as you'd expect from Volvo, an anti-lock braking system is fitted as standard, plus DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control), joined by EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist).
EBD constantly distributes braking power between the front and rear wheels to ensure maximum retardation regardless of the road conditions or how the car is laden. EBA automatically senses when an emergency stop is required and adjusts the braking pressure so that the car comes to a halt in the shortest possible distance.
Four different transmissions are available on the Volvo S60. The 2.0T has a five-speed manual gearbox, while, for added flexibility, the 2.4D and D5 have a sixth ratio.
A stylish, aluminium ‘spaceball' gearlever is standard with manual transmissions on all SE Sport models.
For drivers who prefer to let a computer take the strain, Volvo has a choice of two automatic gearboxes. There's a fully adaptive five-speed unit available for the 2.0T that automatically adjusts its shift patterns according to an individual's driving style. This is upgraded to a fully adaptive Geartronic system for the rest of the range that also offers the driver the opportunity to choose gears manually. Gears are selected sequentially by tipping the lever forwards to change up and backwards to change down. An ultra-compact, high-torque, six-speed Geartronic unit is offered for the 2.4D and D5.
Contemporary, Scandinavian style
The smart, modern Scandinavian-style interior of the Volvo S60 echoes the sporting appeal of the exterior.
The centre console is angled towards the driver with careful attention given to ergonomics. The large, easy-to-use buttons are spread logically across the fascia, and the controls for the audio, air conditioning and all essential functions are within easy reach. The S60 also offers satin chrome inlays on the air vents, switches and column stalks and between the remote controls on the steering wheel, plus ‘Mesh Aluminium' inlay for the doors and dashboard.
Additional controls for the audio, cruise control and optional RTI Navigation System have also been cleverly integrated into the steering wheel and can be operated while keeping the driver's hands on the steering wheel.
The three-spoke steering wheel also tilts more towards the driver than it does in any other Volvo, while a multi-adjustable seat and steering wheel ensure that drivers of all shapes and sizes can find the optimal driving position.
Comfort and Convenience
While the cockpit of the Volvo S60 is driver-orientated, it's not driver-only orientated. Volvo's designers haven't forgotten the role of passengers in the car and a high priority has been given to comfort and convenience features.
This is reflected throughout the interior. Despite the swooping, coupé-like roofline, there's ample room in the rear for two or even three adults and every passenger benefits from a full three-point seatbelt with pre-tensioner and head restraint.
The multi-adjustable front seats were orthopaedically designed and have been praised for their high level of comfort and convenience, particularly appreciated over a long journey.
The interior is also packed with the kind of ‘surprise and delight' features that make every journey easier and more enjoyable. There are separate air vents mounted in the B-pillars for rear passengers, which add to their comfort and help to clear ice and mist from the side windows.
The multi-functional armrest opens to provide extra cup holders or a ‘burger-tray'. There are up to seven cup holders and plenty of storage, while a neat hook on the side of the front seats keeps a jacket within reach without it obscuring rearward vision.
At 394 litres, the Volvo S60's well-shaped luggage compartment is extremely capacious. The rear seat split/folds to accommodate awkwardly shaped objects and, for extra-long items, the front passenger seat can also be folded forwards.
Quality and Equipment
A passion for high quality lies at the heart of the Volvo brand values. It's inherent not only in the build quality that reflects the ruggedness, durability and reliability for which the marque is renowned, but also in the choice of body and trim materials. From the crafted door handles to the leather-wrapped gearknob, the Volvo S60 exudes a feeling of quality, well-being and good Swedish design. The switchgear has a solid, high-quality feel and the fascia is enveloped in soft-touch materials, reminding occupants that they are enjoying a premium brand car.
All interior trim materials conform to Oeko-Tex standards and are allergen-free to reduce allergies and skin conditions (see Environment).
Hi-fi enthusiasts can upgrade to a Premium Sound system with Dolby Pro Logic II Surround SoundTM of the type introduced in the Volvo XC90. It includes a 6xCD, FM and AM radio, 4x75w amplifier, and no fewer than 13 speakers, as well as MP3/WMA compatibility.
Volvo employs its own audio development team, rather than relying on an outside supplier, to ensure the audio systems are tailored to suit the acoustic properties of each model. As a result, all components have been tuned to produce the best possible surround sound everywhere in the car. Even rear occupants are able to hear the sensation of surround sound over the entire music frequency range.
The Dolby Pro Logic II system produces five unique sound channels. Listening to Surround Sound from the Premium Sound audio system is designed to be like sitting in the best seat in front of a live orchestra - you feel you are actually there.
Luxury and style
Customers in this competitive sector expect a high level of equipment, and the Volvo S60 does not disappoint, with a generous standard specification that offers better value than most other premium brand rivals.
The Volvo S60 is now available with SE, SE Sport and SE Lux trim levels.
The new ‘SE Sport' model offers the same specification as the ‘SE', but adds:
The new ‘SE Lux' model offers the same specification as the ‘SE', but adds:
Some options are conveniently grouped together to offer better value, such as the Winter, Family, Communications and new Winter Pack with Bending Headlamps:
Heated front seats, headlamp cleaning system, luxury floor mats
Integrated child seat (rear centre armrest), sun curtain (rear shelf)
Dual-band integrated GSM telephone, RTI Navigation System with RDS-TMC, remote control and Europe DVD maps, Volvo On Call
Volvo's RTI Navigation System features an RDS-TMC (Traffic Message Channel) which displays up-to-date information on traffic problems. It has a large colour screen that rises from the top of the dashboard to be safely positioned in the driver's view. This is linked to a DVD map system that displays information for most of Europe, and shows any traffic problem areas by a set of red or yellow symbols to indicate the severity of any congestion. Controls on the steering wheel make it easy for the driver to use the system, which can display information on the traffic areas highlighted; alternatively, there's a remote control unit for passengers to use.
Volvo On Call - advanced telematics
Volvo On Call is a valuable personal safety feature using advanced telematics. The system uses an integrated GSM telephone with a built-in GPS unit for satellite positioning, and ensures help is always close at hand.
Volvo On Call - safety package
Volvo On Call comes with a standard safety package. If an airbag or seatbelt pre-tensioner is triggered in the event of an accident, Volvo On Call automatically calls the Emergency Services via BT999 and can also provide data of your location. Alternatively, pressing the red ‘SOS' button on the integrated GSM telephone will put you straight through to the Emergency Services.
Also, if the car breaks down or you need help, pressing the Volvo On Call button will put you straight through to a Volvo On Call operator who is only a call away at any time of day to offer personal services such as route guidance, or to guide roadside assistance to you.
Volvo On Call - security package
An optional Volvo On Call security package offers the added benefits of a remote door unlock facility, theft notification and vehicle tracking. In the future, Volvo On Call's services could include automatically contacting your local dealer when a service is required.
The vast range of accessories designed to accommodate the varying lifestyles of Volvo S60 owners includes front and rear parking sensors, towbars, roof racks and boxes to accommodate skis, surfboards or bicycle carriers. Each item is designed and built with the same attention to detail as the rest of the car and integrates beautifully into the overall package.
Quality and customer satisfaction
Volvo's employees are justifiably proud of the quality of their products, but they're equally determined to offer the best customer service. In 2001, Volvo's management set a target of becoming the ‘Customer satisfaction no. 1' in the premium sector. To fulfil this ambitious target, the company has initiated a series of Quality Forums, which scrutinise information from a combination of internal and external sources, including independent rankings by companies such as JD Power. Having analysed the data, the Forums initiate action plans to improve performance in specific areas.
This quality assurance package is backed up by a comprehensive warranty. The standard mechanical warranty is three years/60,000 miles, there's a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty on the paintwork and eight years' cover against rust perforation. In addition, all Volvos are covered by one year's free RAC cover, which provides full breakdown and recovery assistance, anywhere in Europe, 24 hours a day.
Volvo's commitment to safety is as old as the company itself. As Assar Gabrielsson, one of the founders of Volvo, declared: "Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is - and must remain - safety."
It's a philosophy that has been demonstrated to fine effect in the Volvo S60, which features a comprehensive safety package designed to protect occupants in a wide range of accidents.
The success of these measures was recognised in the EuroNCAP crash tests where the Volvo S60 achieved a four-star rating (maximum score at time of testing) and a maximum 100 per cent score in the side impact tests. EuroNCAP's testers concluded: "The S60 provides a structurally stable safety cage and is particularly good at protecting its occupants in a side impact, deploying airbags to protect their heads and bodies."
The Volvo S60 tops its league in the annual Consumers' Association safety ratings and is always at or near the top in independent tests carried out in the US and Europe.
Side Impact Protection System
One of the key elements to the Volvo S60's impressive crash protection is Volvo's SIPS (Side Impact Protection System). A large part of the force of a collision that would otherwise penetrate through the side of the car is dissipated by SIPS via beams, pillars, the floor, the roof and other parts of the car body. The front seats will actually move inwards in the event of a heavy side impact to keep the occupant away from the intrusion.
The side impact airbags then play an important role in protecting the chests of the occupants. They are fitted in the outer edge of the front seats, not in the door, which ensures that they're always securely positioned next to the occupant's side, whatever the position or angle of the seat.
Further protection is provided by the IC (Inflatable Curtain) airbag, which sits in the headlining and protects both front and rear occupants. In the event of a side impact, IC inflates in a few thousandths of a second and then remains inflated for about three seconds in order to provide maximum protection throughout complex collision sequences.
The two front airbags are ‘intelligent' and deploy in two stages according to the severity of the accident, alleviating the risk of facial injuries caused by the occupants' faces impacting with the airbag. They are complemented by three-point safety belts with pre-tensioners, which are fitted for all five occupants. The pre-tensioners activate within a few thousandths of a second in the event of a collision and tighten the belt for maximum protection. The front seat safety belts then release a little so that the driver and passenger are cushioned by the airbags in a controlled manner.
Volvo was the first car manufacturer to improve driver comfort by studying ergonomics and introducing adjustable lumbar support seat backs in 1964. After nearly 40 years of continuous research, crash-testing and innovation, it can also claim that its seats can reduce whiplash injuries by 50 per cent.
Seventy per cent of personal injuries in car accidents include whiplash, but Volvo's research shows this risk can be reduced by half with ‘WHIPS' - the Volvo WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), first introduced at the launch of the Volvo S80 in 1998, and now standard in all Volvo front seats.
Volvo's WHIPS seats significantly reduce the force on the spine and head by absorbing energy from the impact and offering superior support thanks to the combination of an innovative moving support mechanism in the seat back and a fixed head restraint design permanently at the right height and position.
In practice, the WHIPS seat mechanism bends backwards with the occupant's body - first in parallel and then in a short reclining movement.
Volvo's traffic accident research team compared real-life whiplash injuries from Volvos with and without WHIPS, and the results point to a clear conclusion: WHIPS reduced short-term and long-term (of more than a year) injuries by 33 per cent and 54 per cent respectively, while whiplash injuries in women were reduced by as much as 50 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively.
All Volvo car head restraints were placed in the highest category in the ‘New Car Whiplash Rating' published by the Thatcham Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre. Static tests were carried out to measure the design and position of head restraints in 500 car models.
"We are very proud of coming out so well," says Volvo Car Corporation's safety engineer and whiplash specialist, Lotta Jakobsson. "Volvo has long understood how important head restraints are, and led the industry in introducing them.
"However, static evaluations of head restraints only show a part of what happens in real-life accidents. That is why Volvo has invested over a decade's research into crash-testing and analysis of real accidents, and introduced its Whiplash Protection System - ‘WHIPS'."
Like Volvo, the Swedish insurance company, Folksam, also compared real-life accidents, and showed that WHIPS seats reduced whiplash injury by 40 per cent. In 2003, Folksam crash-tested seats from a number of different manufacturers' cars, and Volvo seats were considered the best. An overall whiplash injury reduction in the region of 50 per cent was thought possible, if all cars had seats as good as Volvo's.
On the side windows, the laminated water repellent glass gathers water together as pearls of moisture that are easily blown away by the wind, leaving a dry glass panel with unobstructed visibility. Since it is more difficult for dirt to fasten onto dry surfaces, it is also easier to keep the windows cleaner.
In addition, the Volvo S60 can be fitted with BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) that uses cameras mounted in the side door mirrors to register if another vehicle is in the blind spot. A warning lamp near the mirror alerts the driver.
A passenger airbag cut off switch is available to enable a child seat to be carried in the front of the car, while in the rear Volvo has also paid special attention to child safety with the option of two integrated booster cushions or a child seat integrated into the rear centre armrest designed for children aged between 4 and 10. This is available with the optional 'Family Pack'.
Volvo's passion for safety also extends to issues of personal security, and Volvo was voted the ‘Best Manufacturer' in the British Insurance Car Security Awards, in 2004 and 2005.
The Volvo S60 is fitted as standard with a wide range of features designed to protect occupants from burglary, theft and assault. An electronic immobiliser makes it impossible to start the car without the correct key, while the outer lock cylinder rotates, making it difficult to break in to. If the thief does manage to get in, via a window, for example, the deadlock system makes it impossible to open a door from the inside. The introduction of optional laminated side windows also makes it harder for thieves to gain access.
The remote control key fob, allowing the driver to open the car when approaching it, activates the deadlock system. This system can also be used to open the boot independently of the doors, which is a useful deterrent to opportunist thieves.
The same remote control system also switches on the alarm system, which is standard in every Volvo S60. The alarm is triggered if anyone attempts to open the doors, the bonnet or the boot lid. It also reacts to movement inside the car or if a window is broken.
The Home Safe and Approach lighting system provides an important contribution to personal security. By pressing a button on the remote controller when approaching the car, the driver is able to turn on the inside lights, the side marker lights and the lights in the rear-view mirrors. On leaving the car, a tweak of the headlight stalk activates the dipped beam headlamps for 30, 60 or 90 seconds (programmable by a Volvo dealer), lighting a path to the door. It's a simple system that offers considerable peace of mind.
Volvo On Call - advanced telematics
Volvo On Call is a valuable optional safety and security feature using advanced telematics. The system uses an integrated GSM telephone with a built-in GPS unit for satellite positioning, and ensures help is always close at hand. If an airbag or seatbelt pre-tensioner is triggered in the event of an accident, Volvo On Call automatically calls the Emergency Services via BT999 and can also provide data of your location.
Alternatively, pressing the red ‘SOS' button on the integrated GSM telephone will put you straight through to the Emergency Services.
Also, if the car breaks down or you need help, pressing the Volvo On Call button will put you straight through to a Volvo On Call operator who is only a call away at any time of day to offer personal services such as route guidance, or to guide roadside assistance to you. An optional Volvo On Call security package offers the added benefits of a remote door unlock facility, theft notification and vehicle tracking.
According to the 2001 RAC Report on Motoring, the typical private motorist drives for over 250 hours each year, while in the same period, a company car driver spends an average of 425 hours inside their vehicle.
Yet, while most of us are aware of vehicle emissions and air quality issues, how many drivers know that the air inside their cars may also be harmful? Or that the metals, textiles and leathers used in car interiors can emit volatile substances, which activate allergies and skin conditions?
Many motorists don't realise their car could be increasing their risks of asthma, eczema, headaches, eye irritation or even a heart attack. In recent years, the number of people suffering from allergies and other forms of hypersensitivity has been growing rapidly.
Volvo's ‘Clean inside and out' programme to create emissions-free cars is a healthy solution to the problem. The interior of the Volvo S60 complies with a strict standard called Oeko-Tex, which sets maximum levels for dangerous substances contained in textiles and trim materials. All the leather upholstery and the trim fitted to the Volvo S60 meets Oeko-Texstandards. The components on the Volvo S60 that most frequently come into contact with the skin - the door handle, ignition key and safety belt locks - are also compliant with Oeko-Texand allergen-free.
Every Volvo S60 also benefits from Volvo's AQS (Air Quality System). This constantly monitors the cabin environment to minimise odours and pollutants entering from the outside. It ensures that the air inside the car is always cleaner than that outside. The air-conditioning system also incorporates a cabin air filter that prevents dust, pollen and exhaust gas particles entering the car.
The Volvo S60's slippery shape and sophisticated catalyst and engine management systems help to keep fuel consumption and emissions to a minimum.
Volvo's commitment to the environment extends beyond the car itself. It was one of the first manufacturers to use tools to evaluate the life-cycle environmental impact of its products. The system, known as EPI (Environmental Product Information), enables Volvo to evaluate the impact of its products and processes on natural resources, ecosystems and human health. This information is available to the public at www.volvocars.com/epi.
It's a strategy that has clearly paid dividends - emissions of solvents from Volvo's Torslanda plant in Sweden have been reduced by over 90 per cent since 1972 and 85% of the car can be recycled at the end of its life. Little wonder that each new Volvo is backed by an Environmental Product Information analysis. In addition, Volvo's annual Corporate Citizenship report is available at www.volvocars.com/citizenship.
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