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The all-new Volvo S60 - Emotionally charged design makes a lasting impression

 

Like a work of art that elicits double- and triple-takes, the all-new Volvo S60 has been sculpted to move you. This breathtaking new design captures the imagination and sets the heart racing like no other Volvo sedan. While it clearly signals a revolution in Volvo design, the S60 upholds the Swedish carmaker's proud 80-year history of crafting vehicle silhouettes that withstand the test of time.

 

Emotionally charged from every angle, the new S60 is designed to make a lasting impression about the car itself and the auto maker bringing it to market. Volvo's design team delivered on the promise of creating a sedan with a coupe-like profile that's packed with distinction, self-confidence and charisma.

 

"The all-new S60 has been sculpted to move you," says Volvo Cars' Design Director Peter Horbury. "Every single line in its design is there to transport you both physically and emotionally. Its profile radiates such a coupe-like feeling that the rear doors come as something of a pleasant surprise when you examine the car close-up."

 

After spending seven years at Ford, Horbury returned to Volvo in summer 2009. The all-new S60 is a crystal-clear reflection of what is perhaps his most memorable experience from his years in the U.S.

 

"There's little point playing the polite Englishman or reserved Swede if you want to make a lasting impression," says Horbury. "Translated into a car market packed with extrovert models from all the leading makers, this means that you have to sharpen your design pencil like never before if you want to be seen. That's why it's so important for the all-new S60 to be more daring than our previous models."

 

According to Horbury the front styling is designed to make a powerful first impression. "The grille, the large iron mark and the front position marker lights are immediately noticeable in your rearview mirror," he says. "The attitude is proud and self-confident, but without appearing too aggressive. There is no doubt which car is behind you."

 

The promise of a great drive

The bold look of the all-new S60 was crafted by Volvo exterior designer Örjan Sterner. "In its overall shape, the new S60 is a coupe, sportier and more distinct than any previous Volvo sedan," says Sterner. "Virtually all the lines were penned to carve out a look that crates a strong sense of motion. It carries a sporty appeal that promises great driving pleasure before you even get behind the wheel."

 

The C-pillar of the all-new S60 stretches sensually all the way to the tail lamps - and the slim coupe-like roof line is accompanied by a new contour on the shoulders on either side of the lower body, creating a gentle yet powerful double wave from the headlamps at the front to the tail lamps at the rear.

 

"The dip in the middle of the double wave visually pushes the car down and puts focus over the wheels," says Sterner. "This enhances the stance and makes the car look sleeker and lower. The sculpted hood and the short overhangs front and rear also emphasize the sports car feel."

 

The dynamism of the design is further enhanced by what Volvo's design team calls the "racetrack" look. The car's lines don't end abruptly but instead continue to flow organically, continually, echoing the smooth shapes of vehicles in motion.

 

Unmistakable profile - even in the dark

Volvo's designers have applied LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology to create distinctive yet fluid light streams front and rear. Vertical position lights at the front, eyebrow like side marker lights, turn indicators mounted in the mirrors and position lights in the tail lamps give the new S60 an unmistakable profile that's even recognizable in the dark.

 

 "Some of the rear lamp units are integrated into the deck lid," says Sterner. "This creates a horizontal light pattern that helps make the car look even sleeker, lower and wider from behind."

 

Among the fields of gold and copper

The all-new Volvo S60 is being introduced with an exterior color palette carefully selected to emphasize the model's inspiring lines. Among the 14 U.S. color choices is the sporty and S60-exclusive Vibrant Copper.

 

"Exclusive metals such as gold, silver, copper and bronze are strong colors in both the fashion and sports industries as well as in interior design and architecture," says Anders Sachs, who is responsible for colors and materials in the all-new Volvo S60. "In recent years, improved technology and processes have made these pigments increasingly available in the car industry."

 

Designing a four-door coupe - with masking tape

The story of how Horbury inspired his designers with a roll of white masking tape in the run-up to the first S60 project is one of his favorite memories from his first stint as Design Director at Volvo Cars (1991-2002).

 

"I rolled the original Volvo C70 into the studio, pulled a roll of tape out of my pocket and marked out a rear door onto the coupe body," says Horbury. "It felt like the simplest way of describing exactly what I was looking for. After that it was just a matter of the team getting down to work."

 

"I was an immensely proud ‘father' of the first-generation S60 almost ten years ago," he says. "It took our design language a major step forward. Now we are taking an even bigger visual stride with more emotional and sporty dynamism. But the basic idea is and will remain the same: a coupe with four doors."

 

Scandinavian design at its best

Volvo's design language has undergone dramatic change over this past decade - without compromising on the core values that have made the brand one of the strongest in the automotive world.

 

"The all-new S60 is sportier and more dynamic than any previous Volvo," says Horbury. "But it is still an unmistakable representative of Scandinavian design at its best. Flowing, organic shapes with user-friendly functionality - as well as a car aiming to be the safest in the world."

Keywords:
Old S60, Auto Shows, Design, 2011
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