Take a first look at the most prescient new Volvo in years - the new XC60. This car represents the company’s first foray into the medium-sized 4x4 market; this is the ‘concept version’ that will appear at the Detroit motor show next month. The road-goer might be a little more toned-down in a few of its more flamboyant interior and exterior styling details. However, Volvo insiders insist that 98 per cent of what you see here will translate onto the final production version – and that’s great news for a company for which the momentum of progress had recently begun to decrease.
If the XC60 looks unlike any Volvo you’ve even seen before, that’s partly because it’s the first car to be penned entirely by new design director Steve Mattin, who is keen to embrace a radical and sporty design direction for future Volvo cars. It moves away from the angular design language established by Peter Horbury with the original S80 saloon, in the direction of a dynamic, free-flowing look likely to reappear on many new Volvo models over the next few years.
There’s no denying that the car seems to have a bold, glance-grabbing impression. Its muscular haunches may display some off-road intent, but the shallower glasshouse, low roof line and Volvo’s signature shoulderline provide a more coupé-like impression than that of a conventional 4x4.