Volvo’s new compact four-wheel-drive, the XC60, made its public debut at the Geneva motor show this morning. It’s due to go on sale in October and will be a direct rival for the BMW X3 and forthcoming Audi Q5. We expect it to cost from around £25k. A 3.0-litre T6 petrol version with 283bhp will be available at launch, plus two versions of the 2.4-litre D5 diesel with either 184bhp or 161bhp. Front wheel drive, rather than the standard 4x4, will also be on offer by late 2009. Here in the metal, the XC60 is the size of a Land Rover Freelander with a sleek coupe-like roofline. Its muscular lower flanks are similar to the XC90’s, but a more curvaceous profile higher up lends the XC60 a more dynamic stance than its larger sibling. At the front, angular headlights and a prominent, large Volvo badge stand out from the grille. And the XC60 will be instantly recognisable from the rear too, because its LED tail lights and brake lights are integrated, and run right the way around the boot door to provide illuminated ‘shoulders’ when the driver applies the brakes. In the cabin, despite the sleek looks and lower roofline, rear head and leg room is more than adequate. The interior fixtures and fittings are a step up from other XC models. Two-tone soft-touch materials are on offer, along with an enhanced, more user-friendly dashboard design and Volvo’s most recent electronic infotainment systems.