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Future models - Volvo - S60

Detroit show: Volvo takes S60 Cross Country

Niche work: Volvo's latest model to get mild SUV mods – the S60 Cross Country – is the first to be based on a sedan.

Third Cross Country “all-road” Volvo based on S60 sedan not confirmed for Oz

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Volvo logo9 Jan 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

VOLVO has added a fourth jacked-up model to its high-riding Cross Country fleet with an “all-road” version of the S60 sedan joining its V40 hatch and the V60 and V70 wagon pair.

Due to roll out at the Detroit motor show next week, the S60 Cross Country adds 65mm to the ride height of the regular model and is the first sedan in the Swedish car-maker’s line-up to be given the “all-road” Cross Country treatment.

Volvo claims that the extra ground clearance and optional four-wheel drive system makes the new variant “the only truly capable and stylish all-road sedan crossover”, with a combination of all-paw drive traction and S60 comfort and safety.

Subaru offered a jacked-up version of its Liberty sedan – dubbed the ‘X’ – in previous-generation guise, but it is yet to be seen in the just-launched 2015 version.

Just two engine options will be initially offered in the European market with the choice of either a top-performing 185kW petrol engine or 142kW 2.4-litre diesel five-cylinder.

Diesel versions will be available with a choice of either two or four wheel drive transmissions, while petrol flagship variants will be all-wheel drive only.

The Australian S60 range includes four engine options ranging from 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol to the 3.0-litre V6 Polestar high-performance flagship, and a lone 2.0-litre diesel variant.

Future engine options could therefore be added to the new S60 Cross Country range following the pilot pair.

The S60 Cross Country will wear either 18-inch or 19-inch wheels wrapped in more SUV-like high-profile tyres for both on-road comfort and off-road grip and wheel-protection.

With kit-swallowing load bays, the V40 hatch and V60 Cross Country wagon were obvious choices for the SUV-hungry Australian market, but Volvo corporate communications executive John Duggan said a high-riding sedan version is a harder model to evaluate.

“We are evaluating the business case for it at the moment but at this stage no decision has been made,” he said.

While both V40 Cross Country and V60 Cross County promise “all-road” ability, both models are available with front-drive transmissions.

“Not everybody needs the all-wheel drive capabilities so there is the offer of a front wheel drive as well,” Mr Duggan said.

But Mr Duggan pointed out a high-riding sedan with limited off-road ability might be harder to justify than the load-lugging wagon Cross Country duo.

“That's exactly why we are evaluating the business case for that here in Australia,” he said.

Volvo's Cross Country journey started in 1997 when it introduced a more trail-focused V70 with boosted ground clearance and four-wheel drive traction.

The nameplate was dusted off last year when the V40 hatch received the same preparation, followed by the larger V60 wagon equivalent that surfaced at the Los Angeles motor show last November.

The new S60 Cross Country will roll out in Europe mid-year with a decision for the Australian market expected in the coming months.

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