The Volvo S60 Concept car was unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in early January 2009, it gave an indication of what the all-new Volvo S60 will look like when it's launched in 2010. "The all-new S60 will be one of the strongest players in a segment where the competition is razor-sharp," says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell.
The coupe-inspired lines that gave the original Volvo S60 its characteristic stance are more pronounced in this next generation. "The sporty design gives a visual promise of an enthusiastic drive and I can assure you that the all-new S60 will live up to that promise. The driving properties are better than in any previous Volvo," says Stephen Odell.
"The concept car's exterior gives a clear indication of what customers can expect of the all-new Volvo S60. On the inside we've been even more daring," says Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin.
The front of the Volvo S60 Concept sports the enlarged iron mark in the trapezoidal grille. The two lamps that flank the grill emphasise the vertical stance of the front and highlight the bonnet's V-shape. The angled headlamps flow up into the strongly sculptured bonnet and combined with the lower air intake's reverse trapezoidal shape, this gives the concept car a very expressive "face".
"Dynamic and with considerable character, but without appearing aggressive. This car is packed with inspiration from Scandinavian design and from the Swedish coastline's cliffs and seas. A thrilling blend of drama and sensuality," says Steve Mattin.
Viewed from the side, the concept car's slim coupe roofline and window graphics are accompanied by an entirely new shoulder line, forming a gentle double wave, stretching from the headlamps all the way to the rear. Both the seven-spoke 20-inch wheels and the tread of the low-profile tyres have been specially designed, while the bronze-painted brake callipers match the "Warm Liquid Copper" livery.
The unique rear parallelogram doors offer a spectacular show when they are opened and closed. Door opening is initiated by pressing a button and the movement starts off in the traditional way. In the next phase, the forward section swings out away from the car's body and the door glides parallel with the side of the car until it reaches its end position by the rear wheel. Since the car does not have a B-pillar between the front and rear seats, this door configuration offers exceptionally generous entry and exit access.
The transparent attachment of the door mirrors illuminates and becomes part of the indicator function. The panorama roof is another ingredient that contributes to the concept car's airy Scandinavian aura.
"The unique livery in "Warm Liquid Copper" enhances the richness of the Volvo S60 Concept's body surfacing, adding a feeling of depth and exclusivity. The colour also links to Sweden's rich copper mining history," says Steve Mattin.
Viking longboats in the headlamps
In each of the headlamps, the lights create a silhouette of two miniature Viking longboats sailing side by side, one for main beam and one for dipped beam. When driving in the dark, the light is reflected from the concealed, upward-facing High Performance LED bulbs, projected ahead by the ships' filled sails.
A closer look reveals more detail. The compact cooling system for the LED bulbs has protruding cooling blocks made out of aluminum, semi-visible under the ships' hulls. This design creates the illusion of shimmering glass panels that float above a dark and mysterious Scandinavian sea.
Inspiration from the racing track
"In forthcoming models, you will see more and more of our "racetrack" design cues. The car's lines do not end abruptly but instead forge a continuous flow pattern inspired by the fast sweeps of the racing track. In the concept car, this is particularly visible at the rear," says Steve Mattin.
The tail lamps, which follow the curve of the rear shoulders, are as advanced as the headlamps. When switched off, the lamp panels show no trace of the traditional red or yellow. But when activated, the position marker lights, brake lights and turn indicators come on in their correct colours with the help of LED bulbs. The solid glass panel is sectioned into horizontal "slices" that create the visual impression of a three-dimensional architect drawing when the lights come on.
At the rear there is also a retractable diffuser that adjusts with vehicle speed to give better aerodynamic properties.
New technology detects pedestrians in the danger zone
The Volvo S60 Concept also presents a safety innovation that can detect a pedestrian who steps out into the path of the car and the car's full braking power is automatically activated if the driver does not respond to the danger. The technology, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and pedestrian detection, will be introduced in the all-new Volvo S60.
"We're going to be even more exciting and dynamic while retaining our lead in the field of safety. The all-new S60 will be packed to the brim with all our expertise and technology in the safety area, both as regards preventing accidents and when it comes to protecting all the occupants in the event of a collision," says Stephen Odell.
Elevates the brand's image
The Volvo S60 Concept was created to pave the way for Volvo Cars in one of the automotive world's most focused segments, characterised by razor-sharp competition.
"Customers in this segment know exactly what they want. The emphasis is on emotional appeal, sporty design and dynamic driving properties. Success in the segment will do a lot for the brand's image and we are convinced that the all-new Volvo S60 is going to be a particularly strong contender," says Stephen Odell.
The first-generation Volvo S60 was launched in 2000 and was profiled as a coupe with four doors. "Irrespective of whether the customers are in the USA, Europe or Russia, they all prioritise the same things. Now we are giving them an entirely new S60 packed with both emotional and rational appeal. A car designed to make a unique impact even among the most discerning buyers," says Stephen Odell.