Volvo, the urban dweller stalwart, has refreshed their range of sedans – S60 and S80 – and two of their SUVs – XC60 and XC70 – to bring them out of the stone age.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a major update from Volvo hit our shores. The C30 is gone and we will not be welcoming its replacement to Canada (which is unfortunate, since it’s a stunner!). Instead, Volvo has added some nice new tech to their range of sedans and SUVs to keep them relevant before undergoing more major work later.
The XC60, and S60 on which it’s based, receive new tech: permanent high beams, Sensus Connected Touch system, heated windscreen, paddle shifters, and Adaptive Digital Display. A visual, though very subtle, refresh will accompany the new tech.
Further up the range, the S80 and XC70 get updated tech as well (many of the same options as stated above) and updated styling bits.
For a more in-depth look, both press releases have been posted below. But, be forewarned, this is the first major update to Volvo’s bread and butter cars in quite a while, so the releases are long.
The new Volvo S60 and XC60: Major renewal boosts the dynamic appearance and appeal of the Volvo 60 cluster
- New design focusing on quality and attention to detail
- New, more comfortable sport seats
- Sensus Connected Touch system with unique on-line possibilities
- Permanent high beam with groundbreaking technology
“This is the most extensive development of existing models in our company’s history. Each of the enhancements is designed around our customers’ needs. We have focused on quality and attention to detail in order to give these dynamic models a major boost and sharpen their competitiveness,” says Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Car Group. He continues: “The S60 and XC60 are our best-selling models in several important markets. We have been listening very carefully to our customers in order to make improvements that ensure that we make these successful cars more attractive.”
Emphasized attention to detail
Scandinavian design is exemplified by beautiful, simple shapes and surfaces with any unnecessary clutter removed. This is evident in the redesigned interior and exterior of the new 60 cars. Inside, the attention to detail, the authentic materials – such as wood and leather – and the easy-to-use controls contribute to the in-command driving experience.
Supportive yet comfortable seats that ensure a fresh and relaxed arrival after the longest of journeys have been a Volvo strength for decades. The buyer of a new S60 or XC60 can now specify a new sport seat that retains this traditional comfort and makes a perfect addition to the in-command feel of a true driver’s car. “The new sport seat has great hugging side support all the way from the thighs to the shoulders, so the seat keeps the driver firmly in position when cornering fast. We’ve had nearly one hundred people of all shapes and sizes test this seat and we received a really enthusiastic response. We’ve also made adjustments to the seat back, so it provides more legroom for passengers in the rear,” says Project Director Patrik Widerstrand.
There are several other examples of the attention to detail in the new 60 cluster cars. The previously visible washer nozzles have been relocated out of sight under the bonnet. The radar cover has been painted gloss black, which practically makes it disappear in the grille. The chrome frame around the grille has been removed and the new, bigger ironmark badge enhances the new cars’ self-confident look.
The new integrated tailpipes, which can be specified with some engine variants, are the physical and visual link to the technically advanced engines. But it’s not just about beautiful design: the designers have had to cope with the fact that at operating temperature, the tailpipes have to remain perfectly in place despite the exhaust system expanding in length by up to 25mm. This is another example of true Scandinavian precision engineering.
The new S60 and XC60 offer an extended wheel choice with a variety of designs that increase the personalisation possibilities for customers. “To enhance the visual appeal of the car, customers can now specify their S60 or V60 with expressive 19-inch wheels and keep the same profile height as 18-inch ones, so they don’t lose any comfort,” says Patrik Widerstrand. The XC60 is available with 20-inch wheels while keeping the same tire profile height and ride comfort as with 19-inch wheels.
The new Volvo S60 – more dynamic and elegant
The new dynamic S60 design, with its purposeful, dynamic appearance, accentuates the car’s sporting nature.
“We’ve really increased the S60’s road presence with a new front design. The more focused and determined-looking headlamps help create this new, expressive ‘face’. We were thinking of a wolf’s eyes when we designed them,” explains Fedde Talsma, Design Director, Exterior. He adds: “We’ve emphasised the S60’s horizontal lines at both the front and rear. Together with details such as a wider grille, daylight running lights and a new LED light guide on the tail lamps, they give the S60 a striking, squat presence. The car has a beauty that is rooted in the natural world. The clean surfaces and contours give it a very Scandinavian feel.”
Inside, there are upgrades such as new upholstery colours, new wood inlays, a new headliner, and the silk metal frames around the air vents and light controls. “The overall effect is very warm and cosy, like being in a warm Swedish house on a cold night. The colour themes correspond beautifully with the backlit white controls in the dash and elsewhere in the car,” adds Lena Jiseborn, Design Director, Colour and Trim. And under the skin, at the heart of the dynamic driving experience, is a wide choice of chassis settings, designed around the customer’s personal requirements. The S60 buyer has a choice of four chassis types – Touring, Dynamic, Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) and Lower Sport Chassis, previously only available on the R-Design version.
The new Volvo XC60 – in-command capability with around-town style
On the exterior, Volvo’s best-selling model, the XC60, gets a more urban twist. The redesigned front features a new hood shape that emphasises the wide, confident look. “We’ve taken away any black trim so the car is now all one body colour. The new headlamps look very focused and determined, and the horizontal lines on the grille with its chrome bars emphasise the car’s width,” says Fedde Talsma.
The XC60 also benefits from an interior upgrade. The new features include new wood inlays, a new headliner, textile B-pillars and the silk metal frames around the air vents and light controls. The refined XC60 has a commanding driving position supported by generous ground clearance and the class-leading chassis. The XC60 is designed to feel every bit as nimble and agile as a standard height road car.
Corner Traction Control now comes as standard. This torque vectoring system helps the driver avoid understeer by applying just the right amount of brake force to the inner wheels while powering the outer wheels when accelerating out of a corner. With All Wheel Drive, the XC60 becomes an extremely capable vehicle on any road, in any kind of weather. The optional Hill Descent Control boosts this capability by automatically controlling the car’s speed when driving down steep slopes.
Enhancements across the new S60 and XC60 range
Sensus Connected Touch – connectivity on a new level
Sensus is the name Volvo uses for all its HMI (Human Machine Interface) functionality and the all-new Sensus Connected Touch is the latest addition. It enables connectivity and Internet in the car and turns the 7-inch display into a state-of-the-art infrared, beam-scanned touch screen that can be used even when wearing gloves – a world first in cars and handy in winter! Connection is made either via a car-mounted 3G/4G dongle or the driver’s mobile phone.
The user has access to full Internet browsing (except when driving), Internet streaming of music, Internet radio (TuneIn and Orange Live Radio) with thousands of channels from all over the world, on-line (Google) Map and Search, Embedded Connected 3D navigation with online traffic info and dangerous zone warnings, Free Parking locator, weather information, a number of native and web applications, App Store for new functions and updates as well as a Volvo service locator. It is also possible to share a WiFi network with everyone in the car.
“You can find the track you want just by saying its name. The voice-activated system works on all music sources connected to the Sensus Connected Touch,” explains Patrik Widerstrand. “TripInfo is another great feature that can read out Wikipedia information about interesting points along the route via the audio system.”
Adaptive Digital Display
The Adaptive Digital Display, which debuted in the all-new V40, is now available in the new S60, V60 and XC60. This active TFT (Thin Film Transistor) crystal display takes the interaction between car and driver to a new dimension, always displaying the most important information in any given situation.
The driver can choose between three graphic themes:
The Elegance theme is the base mode with a traditional and calm aura.
The Eco theme features green background illumination, designed to create an environmentally inspired look. An Eco meter is displayed on the left. The current and accumulated fuel consumption figures are displayed – and the driver is rewarded with a green E light when eco-driving is optimal.
The Performance theme has red background illumination, creating a sporty atmosphere. In the centre, a rev counter scale replaces the speedometer displayed in the Elegance and Eco versions. Vehicle speed is shown digitally in the centre of the display. The right display includes a power meter – a gauge that informs the driver how much power is available and how much power is being used at any given moment in time.
The V60 Plug-in Hybrid also comes with an additional Hybrid Theme with blue illumination. It includes hybrid and battery information that supports energy-efficient use of the ingenious driveline.
The three-spoke steering wheels can now be accompanied with paddle shifters for cars specified with automatic transmission. They turn the automatic box into a manual with the benefit of shifting gear with both hands on the wheel. The paddle shifters give the enthusiastic driver an additional edge, particularly when powering round twisty roads. And for the added comfort of drivers in Sweden and other cold countries, the steering wheel can also be specified with heating for increased comfort on cold winter days.
Permanent high beam with groundbreaking technology
The new Active High Beam Control makes journeys in the dark safer and more comfortable.
The technology eliminates the need to switch between low and high beam. Instead, Active High Beam Control makes it possible keep the headlights on full beam continuously. When another car approaches from the opposite direction, the system helps to prevent dazzling of the oncoming driver by shading out only as much of the beam as necessary. This is done by an ingenious projector module mechanism integrated into the headlamp.
The same benefit applies to drivers in preceding cars.
Cornering Light for better visibility
Another innovative option for driving in the dark is the low-speed Cornering Light feature. As an extension of the current Active Bending Light system, it lights up the area the driver is steering towards for safer manoeuvring – for instance, when turning into a small road or driving through a narrow gateway at night.
Cars equipped with a rain sensor can now benefit from an electrically heated windscreen for rapid de-icing on cold winter days. The S60 and XC60 are also available with outer rear view mirrors with auto dim. Using chromatic glass, the mirrors automatically dim to avoid glare from other traffic, just like the inner rear view mirror.
IntelliSafe systems supporting the driver
IntelliSafe is Volvo’s blanket name for all active safety systems, and Volvo’s world-first City Safetytechnology plays an important part. Fitted as standard, this advanced safety system works at speeds of up to 50 km/h. All models can also get Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake, which watches out for people walking into the car’s path.
The S60 and XC60 can also be specified with the enhanced Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), which is now radar-based. The technology can also monitor and alert the driver to rapidly approaching vehicles up to 70 m behind the car, while still informing the driver about vehicles in the blind spots on both sides of the car.
Cross Traffic Alert uses the radar sensors at the rear end of the car to alert the driver to crossing traffic from the sides when reversing out of a parking space. This is especially helpful in tight and crowded areas where the side view may be restricted.
Road Sign Information supports the driver by displaying road signs on the instrument display.
“As the leader in automotive safety, we have reduced the risk of being involved in an accident or being injured in one of our latest car models by abound 50 per cent since the year 2000. By continuously introducing new preventive and protective systems, we keep moving towards our safety vision that nobody should die or suffer serious injuries in a new Volvo car by the year 2020,” says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Car Group.
The new Volvo S80 and XC70: Exclusive sophistication on a new level
- Focus on elegant, sophisticated design and attention to detail
- New, intuitive Sensus Connected Touch system
- Enhanced IntelliSafe systems
- Active High Beam Control for more relaxed driving at night
“The new features in the new Volvo S80 and XC70 are based on our human-centric approach, which has been a Volvo hallmark for more than 85 years. They take the elegant sophistication of our largest models to a new level,” says Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Car Group. He continues: “We pave the way for our future model lineup by bringing the three models visually closer to each other. The renewal is one of the most extensive in our history, with the main focus on improved quality and attention to detail.”
The new Volvo S80 – enhanced exclusive sophistication
A number of new exterior design cues reinforce the sophisticated contemporary presence of the new Volvo S80. The new front and rear bumpers create a ‘stretched’ effect to make it look wider and lower. New rectangular Daytime Running Lights at the front give the S80 nose a more contemporary look, while the rounded off classic Volvo lights at the rear visually pull the car down to the ground. The S80 can be fitted with expressive 19-inch wheels without loss of comfort. “The whole effect adds a sophisticated elegance to the car,” explains Fedde Talsma, Design Director, Exterior. “We have created a wider proportion on the front grille and added more detail such as chrome exterior highlights to give the car an elegant and upmarket feel.”
It is the attention to detail that gives the S80 its enhanced sophistication. The Executive interior package is the highest level of all-inclusive luxury, blending craftsmanship with technology, while the Inscription is a bespoke palette of options that gives the customer the opportunity to truly design the car to his or her personal taste.
“We are very proud of having Bridge of Weir in Scotland as a supplier of our quality leather seats. Their genuine cowhide has far less surface treatment than that in other premium cars, making it feel softer and more natural,” says Lena Jiseborn, Design Director, Colour and Trim. “The quality of the seats and other materials used in the car give the car a true Scandinavian feel,” she continues.
And under the skin, at the heart of the best driving experiences is a great chassis. The S80 buyer can choose from three chassis types – Comfort, Lowered Sport Chassis and Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept).
The new Volvo XC70 – rugged sophistication for all-terrain adventures
Volvo Cars paved the way for a totally new segment with the V70 Cross Country in 1997.
“Our main focus in the continuous development of the XC models has been to create a very comfortable on-road car with capable, off-road potential. The rugged and refined contemporary look reflects the XC70’s underlying strength and capability. Think of it as an exclusive goose down jacket, designed around those who like their adventure with a true feeling of sophistication,” says Lex Kerssemakers.
All-Wheel Drive and the optional Hill Descent Control are a further boost to the XC70’s go-anywhere promise.
A number of new exterior design cues sharpen the XC70’s contemporary road presence. These include a front grille with a bold, wider proportion, a new bigger ironmark, and details such as the Daytime Running Lights and added matte silver touches. The XC70 is available with wheels up to 19-inches in diameter.
“Our aim is to emphasise the luxurious feel with a more road-hugging stance. The XC70 should look perfectly at home in any environment, whether it’s in the middle of the open country or a country club car park,” says Fedde Talsma.
The XC70 also features improved off-road design cues such as skidplates that protect the car on really uneven surfaces. The protective black below the belt line now extends to surround the front fog lights giving them a purposeful, functional feel. The rear lights have also been redesigned.
As with the V70, the rear seats can be folded down in three 40/20/40 segments. Fold all of the rear seats flat and the load space grows from 575 litres to 1,600 litres. Another human-centric detail is the power-operated tailgate.
The rear seat can integrate double two-stage child seats – booster cushions that offer children from the age of three and upwards a comfortable and safe ride height.
Enhancements across the new XC70 and S80 range
Sensus Connected Touch – new connectivity possibilities
The HMI (Human Machine Interface) functionality Sensus is extended with the option to add intuitive all-new technology that enables connectivity and Internet in the car. The Sensus Connected Touch turns the 7-inch display into a state-of-the-art infrared, beam-scanned touch screen that can be used even when wearing gloves – a world first in cars.
The driver goes online either via a car-mounted 3G/4G dongle or a personal mobile phone and the features include:
- Internet streaming of music
- A global choice of Internet radio via TuneIn and Orange Live Radio
- Full Internet browsing (except when driving)
- On-line Google Map with Google Search
- Embedded Connected 3D navigation with online traffic info and dangerous zone warnings
- Free Parking locator
- TripInfo that reads out Wikipedia information about interesting points along the route
- Native and web applications and App Store for new functions and updates
- Weather information and forecasts
- A Volvo service locator
“The voice-activation system works on all music sources connected to the Connected Touch,” says Project Director Patrik Widerstrand, adding: “It is also possible to share a WiFi network with everyone in the car.”
Adaptive Digital Display
The Adaptive Digital Display, which debuted in the all-new V40, uses an active TFT (Thin Film Transistor) crystal display to bring the driver personalised information.
There are three themes to choose from: Elegance, Eco and Performance.
The default mode Elegance has a classic look and layout.
The Eco mode has a green colour theme and is designed to encourage and reward a fuel-efficient driving style. The Eco meter on the left displays current and accumulated fuel consumption – and optimal eco-driving is rewarded with a green E light.
Performance features red illumination, and a rev counter scale replaces the speedometer displayed in the Elegance and Eco versions, while the vehicle speed is shown digitally. On the right, a power meter shows how much engine power is available, which is a very useful tool for overtaking.
More relaxed driving in the dark
The Active High Beam Control helps the driver use high beam more efficiently. It also offers automatic switching between high and low beam at the right moment.
Inside, an all-new Ambient Light enhances driving at night. It illuminates key features such as cup holders, door releases, seat controls, and luggage and storage areas. Cars equipped with the automatic gearbox also feature a new gearshift knob with piano-black inlay.
Cars equipped with a rain sensor can now also get an electrically heated windscreen for rapid de-icing on cold winter days.
Heated steering wheel and paddle shifters
To give drivers in cold climate extra comfort, three-spoke steering wheels can now be specified with electric heating. Cars with automatic transmission can get paddle shifters that give the driver the opportunity to shift gear manually with both hands on the wheel.
IntelliSafe systems supporting the driver
IntelliSafe, Volvo’s blanket name for all active safety systems, is an important part of the driver-centric approach in the S80 and XC70. The world-first City Safety technology is fitted as standard, and this advanced safety system now works at speeds of up to 50 km/h. All three models can also get Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake, which watches out for people walking into the car’s path. Road Sign Information supports the driver by displaying road signs on the instrument display. “As the leader in automotive safety, we have reduced the risk of being involved in an accident or being injured in one of our latest car models by abound 50 per cent since the year 2000. By continuously introducing new preventive and protective systems, we keep moving towards our safety vision that nobody should die or suffer serious injuries in a new Volvo car by the year 2020,” says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Car Group.