Volvo’s next-generation S60 saloon is shaping up ahead of its 2007 launch. Reader Tuli Margulies caught this heavily disguised S60 undergoing cold-weather testing while out skiing in Sweden.
Reports from inside Volvo tell us that the Swedish manufacturer’s new saloon is being developed in close co-operation with the third-generation Ford Mondeo. A sleeker front-end will mark out the new car, and beneath expect a thorough overhaul of the current S60’s stodgy dynamics, with particular attention to its steering response. Inside, Volvo is striving to match the German class leaders quality, while headline news under the bonnet will be Volvo’s new in-line six-cylinder engine. Expect a four-wheel drive S60R range-topper with 350bhp and 295lb ft to take on the Audi S4. The revamped S60 is just one of an unprecedented seven new models that Volvo, under Ford parentage since 1999, plans to launch over the next three years, boosting production from 456,224 in 2004 to at least 650,000 by the end of 2008. Next year brings a replacement for the S80 saloon, which shares the the S60’s in-line six in 235bhp naturally aspirated or up to 350bhp turbocharged forms, in addition to a range-topping 4.4-litre V8 four-wheel drive producing 320bhp. An Estate version styled from Volvo’s Versatility concept car is yet to be confirmed.
More intriguing is the new C30. A premium hatch to rival the Audi A3 and BMW 1-series, the C30 takes Volvo into a lucrative new segment with chic styling queues from the 3CC concept car. Engine choices will include four- and five-cylinder petrol and diesel engines when the car goes on sale in the UK from early 2007, with prices in a similar range as the S40, starting at around £15,000.
Following the S60 will be its V70 estate and XC70 crossover siblings, all based on Ford’s versatile C1 platform. Following the XC70 in 2008 will be little brother XC50, a small premium crossover vehicle to tackle the BMW X3.