Preview by Paul Williams, photos by Paul Williams and courtesy Volvo
For 2014 the Volvo S60 sedan and XC60 Crossover receive what the company describes as a “major renewal” to improve the appearance and boost the appeal of these models.
It’s part of an overall enhancement of the full range of Volvo vehicles and represents, “…the most extensive development of existing models in our company’s history,” according to Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Car Group.
The focus is on improved quality and attention to detail with a view to improving competitiveness in the luxury segment.
The revised interiors intend emphasize classic elements of Scandinavian design, “exemplified by beautiful, simple shapes and surfaces with unnecessary clutter removed,” according to Volvo.
2014 Volvo S60. Click image to enlarge
New Sport Seats are designed to retain comfort while increasing support, and the seatbacks are reworked to increase legroom for rear-seat passengers. Other interior enhancements include new upholstery colours, wood inlays, headliner and metal frames around the air vents and light controls.
Most obviously, the S60 receives a new front design for 2014, intended to accentuate the car’s sporting nature. Exterior detail changes include relocating the previously visible windshield washer nozzles to positions under the hood, removing the chrome trim about the grille and enlarging the Volvo logo (the “ironmark”).
The new front design also features a wider grille and revised headlights (a wolf’s eyes were the inspiration, according to Fedde Talsma, Volvo Design Director, Exterior).
The cars horizontal lines have been emphasized front and rear, according to Mr. Talsma, with a view to creating a “striking, squat presence.” It’s true that the outgoing S60 may look a bit tall and narrow, and the 2014 revisions ameliorate that to some extent. At the rear, tailpipes are now integrated.
An extended wheel choice will be available for the revised models. While 18-inch wheels are standard, a 19-inch wheel is optional for both models. Interestingly, the 19-inch wheels keep the same tire profile (aspect ratio) as the 18-inch wheels, thereby preserving the ride quality of the smaller wheel and tire combination. Furthermore, a 20-inch wheel is available for the XC60, retaining the same tire profile height and ride comfort as the 19-inch wheel.
While the drivetrain carries over from 2013, the S60 offers a choice of four chassis packages: Touring, Dynamic, Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) and Lower Sport Chassis – previously only available on R-Design vehicles. Paddles shifters are now available for the S60.