- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Volvo V60 makes its entry onto the car market with its sights firmly set on giving the all-new S60 sedan model a tough match over the title of “The Most Dynamic Volvo Model Ever”.

“Many of the customers who had an advance look at the new V60 during the development process feel that its attitude is at least as sporty as that of the all-new S60,” says Volvo Cars Design Director Peter Horbury. No less than 90 percent of the annual V60 production of 50,000 cars will find European buyers.

The response of the enthusiastic customers is music to the ears of the project group, which has always had its sights set on giving the V60 the emotive aura, sporty design and dynamic driving properties of a genuine sports wagon.

“The typical sports wagon customer is an S60 buyer who would like some extra space and flexibility, but without the slightest compromise on sporty design and exciting driving properties,” says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell, and adds: “The competition is razor-sharp and the customers in this segment know exactly what they want. That is why we have further boosted the interior’s sense of exclusive quality and packed the car with safety- and comfort-related technical innovations. The result is a truly unique sports wagon, in total harmony with its sporty attitude.”

The pronounced wedge shape and the slim coupe-like roof line of the new V60 are accompanied by the shoulder profile along the car’s sides, creating a gentle yet powerful double wave from the headlamps at the front to the tail lamps at the rear.

“From the design viewpoint the focus was on making the car as close to a coupe as possible, while retaining that handy extra space at the rear. Our sports wagon does not aim to compete with the traditional estate car. For the customer who wants a lot of load space, there is our V70 or XC70,” says Orjan Sterner, head of exterior design for the new Volvo V60. He adds:

“The dip in the middle of the double wave visually pushes the car down. This enhances the stance and makes the car look sleeker and lower. The sculpted bonnet 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” design. The car’s lines do not end abruptly but instead continue to flow organically, continually, echoing the smooth shapes of the racetrack.

A styling pack gives the V60 buyer the opportunity to boost the sporty attitude still further. Available in the accessories range, the styling pack includes skid plates front and rear, a front decor trim, side scuff plates, special exhaust tailpipes and unique 18-inch wheels.

“The styling pack gives the car the robust look inspired by the ruggedness of the XC60,” explains Orjan Sterner.

Volvo’s designers have integrated LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology to create distinctive light patterns both front and rear. The vertical position lights at the front, the eyebrow-like side-marker lights, the turn indicators integrated into the door mirrors and the tail lamps at the rear all give the new V60 an unmistakable profile even in the dark.

The new Volvo V60 is being launched with a range of exterior colors selected with immense care to emphasize the model’s inspiring lines. Among the 15 colors available are two new shades, the radiant Vibrant Copper and the more classic Electrum Gold.

“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. In recent years, improved techniques and processes have made these pigments increasingly available to the automobile industry too,” says Anders Sachs, who is responsible for colors and materials in the new Volvo V60. He adds: “Our ambition is to give customers a zest of sportiness and exclusivity in a new, exciting way. Combining either Vibrant Copper or Electrum Gold with the new Beechwood Brown interior accent color creates a strong Scandinavian flavor.”

Like the S60 sedan model, Volvo’s new sports wagon exhibits a clear driver focus, making it the ideal companion for the keen driving enthusiast. In contrast to this individualistic attitude, the new model integrates a high-tech innovation that helps it protect one of the most vulnerable road-users in modern traffic: the pedestrian.

Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake is a groundbreaking technological solution. It can detect pedestrians who walk into the road in front of the car, then warn the driver of their presence - and automatically apply full braking power if the driver does not respond in time.

The initial annual target for the new Volvo V60 is 50,000 cars. Of these, no less than 90 percent will go to European buyers. The five largest markets are Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany. The new V60 is built at the Volvo Cars production plant in Torslanda, Sweden. The first cars will be delivered to customers in autumn 2010.

In simple terms, car buyers can be divided into two main categories: enthusiasts and pragmatists. For the enthusiast, the car is a high-priority conversation topic that can never be exhausted, while the pragmatist only shows interest in the car market when it is time to replace the current vehicle with a new one every three or four years or so. In an historical perspective, Volvo’s brand has attracted more pragmatists than enthusiasts. However, with each successive generation of Volvo models offering increasingly emotive appeal, that picture has changed - and the new V60 is packed with all the ingredients from the enthusiast’s favorite menu. “The figure ‘60’ in our model range nowadays indicates our sportiest models. The XC60 was the first step. We took the next step with the all-new S60 sedan - and now we’re launching the V60 sports wagon,” says Stephen Odell.



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