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Geneva show: Volvo takes XC60 up a notch

How Swede it is: Volvo’s chief designer says the new XC60 provides “a true Scandinavian experience” – evidenced by its pleasing aesthetics, high-grade cabin, modern powertrains and advanced safety technology.

Australia committed to broad range, top tech, for new Volvo XC60 due final quarter


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8 Mar 2017

VOLVO’S all-important new-generation XC60 mid-size premium SUV has emerged at the Geneva motor show overnight ahead of its Australian release in the final quarter of 2017.

The Swedish brand’s biggest-selling model in Australia and the segment leader in Europe, the XC60 enters its second generation based on Volvo’s modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) – as seen on 90-series vehicles including the larger XC90 – and brings a host of advanced new technology across key areas such as powertrains, safety and driver convenience.

The new model is bigger in most areas, too, resting on a 2865mm wheelbase (+91mm) and measuring 4688mm long (+44mm) and 1999mm wide (+108mm, excluding mirrors), but not standing quite so tall at 1658mm in overall height (-55mm).

Ground clearance is 216mm.

Cargo capacity increases 10 litres to 505L and incremental changes to passenger accommodation are apparent across the main measurement indexes, with front and rear legroom improving but headroom at both front and rear reducing slightly.

Volvo Car Australia (VCA) has confirmed to GoAuto that the new XC60 will arrive before the end of the year – production gets underway mid-April at the Torslanda plant in Sweden – and that petrol, diesel and plug-in petrol-electric powertrains will all be available in this market.

Pricing, specification and the launch line-up will be detailed closer to launch, but VCA corporate and public relations director Greg Bosnich said “all of the latest technology will be offered in Australia” and that the new generation offers “significant opportunity in its segment” where XC60 competes against the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Lexus NX and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Among the new technology on-board is steer assist (active from 50-100km/h), oncoming lane mitigation (which provides automatic steering assistance and can actively guide a driver back into the correct lane) and the latest generation of Volvo’s blind-spot indication system (BLIS).

The semi-autonomous driver assistance system known as ‘pilot assist’ will be offered as an option, in Europe at least, and can take a level of control over steering, acceleration and braking “on well-marked roads up to 130km/h”.

Other high-end safety systems such as large animal detection and run-off road mitigation will also be available.

A new four-zone climate-control system dubbed ‘CleanZone’ makes its way into the XC60, along with Volvo’s latest infotainment and connected services (Sensus, Volvo On Call) and full integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto devices.

As expected, the 2.4-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine variants have gone, replaced by all-alloy 2.0-litre four-cylinder units that bring uniformity in terms of displacement and cylinders across the range.

Among the petrol engines, the T5 turbo produces 187kW of power at 5500rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1500-4800rpm, the T6 uses both supercharging and turbocharging to up the ante to 235kW at 5700rpm and 400Nm from 2200-5400rpm, while the T8 plug-in hybrid combines the T6’s engine with a 65kW/240Nm electric motor and 10.4kWh lithium-ion battery for a total combined output of 300kW/640Nm.

All three engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system, with the T5 reaching 100km/h from standstill in 6.8 seconds, the T6 requiring 5.9s and the T8 the quickest of the lot at 5.3s.

Top speed is 220km/h in the T5 and 230km/h in the other two, while preliminary combined-cycle fuel economy is 7.3L/100km in T5, 7.7L/100km in T6 and just 2.1L/100km in the T8 hybrid. CO2 emissions in the latter are a mere 49g/km, compared to 167g in T5 and 176g in T6, while the T8 also offers a 45km electric-only driving range.

The diesels – both twin-turbo units – similarly pair with an eight-speed auto and AWD, the D4 producing 140kW at 4250pm and 400Nm from 1750-2500rpm and the D5 – armed with ‘PowerPulse’ technology – pushing up to 173kW at 4000rpm and 480Nm from 1750-2250rpm.

Acceleration from 0-100km/h is 8.4s and 7.2s for the D4 and D5 respectively, top speed is 205/220km/h and fuel economy and emissions come in at 5.2/5.5L/100km and 136/144g per kilometre.

Kerb weight ranges from 2081kg to 2349kg depending on the variant, maximum braked towing capacity is 2400kg – a 400kg improvement over the current model – and, for off-road enthusiasts, the approach, breakover and departure angles are, respectively, 23.1, 20.8 and 25.5 degrees.

Perhaps referencing the new-generation model’s lower height and modern but not overtly aggressive design, Volvo Car Group senior vice-president of design Thomas Ingenlath said: “The XC60 is an SUV not designed to look down on others but to drive.

“The exterior has an athletic sculpture with a subtle, timeless quality. The interior is a masterful composition of well-resolved architecture, beautiful materials and the very latest technology – all perfectly blended together.

“The XC60 provides a true Scandinavian experience which will make our customers feel special.”

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