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New models - Volvo - S60

Sydney show: Volvo prices S60 from $52K

Numbers game: The T5 model has a four-cylinder engine, closely related to the Ford EcoBoost unit that will power next year's Falcon.

Volvo's crucial new S60 to start from $51,950, with full-blown safety pack $4990

Volvo logo15 Oct 2010

VOLVO Car Australia will offer state-of-the-art safety technologies – including its world-first pedestrian detection system – on its all-new S60 mid-size sedan when it goes on local sale in December.

All three variants of the fresh sedan line-up can be optioned with individual safety systems or with an all-in-one Driver Support Pack that includes collision warning, adaptive cruise control with queue assist, lane departure warning, driver alert control and blind spot warning system.

Adding the $4990 safety pack to the entry-level S60 T5 model, which will go on sale at $51,950, will increase the price to $56,940 before government and dealer charges.

But that is still cheaper than most of its European competitors with equivalent 177kW performance, and none of them offer the same level of safety technology at any price in a mid-sized car.

And if buyers do not want to order the whole pack, systems can be option separately.

18 center imageFormally unveiling the new S60 for the Australian market at the Sydney motor show today, VCA managing director Alan Desselss said the latest S60 would bring a new level of excitement, performance and style to the Volvo brand.

“We have high expectations for this model and believe it will be a key part of our aggressive growth plans for 2011 and beyond,” he said.

The $52K pricing of the new T5 range-opener represents a hike of about $2000 on the list price of the superseded model, which was discontinued in Australia some months ago.

Unlike previous Volvo models bearing the T5 moniker, the new S60 T5 will be powered by the new four-cylinder engine instead of an inline-five.

This 177kW four-cylinder direct-injection turbo unit is a first cousin to Ford’s EcoBoost engine destined for Australia’s Falcon from next year.

Called GTDi (Gas Turbo Direct Injection) by Volvo, the engine is the higher-performance version of the GTDi engine on offer in Europe, and is mated exclusively to Volvo’s Powershift dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Apart from the latest direct injection, the engine uses variable valve timing on both camshafts and turbocharging to produce the claimed 177kW at 5500rpm and 320Nm of torque from 1800rpm to 5000rpm, giving 0-100km/h acceleration in 7.5 seconds.

Next up the S60 range is the twin-turbo diesel-powered $57,950 D5, with 151kW at 4000rpm and 420Nm from 1500-3250rpm.

Introduced in 2009, this engine can propel the new S60 to 100km/h in 7.8 seconds and uses a claimed 5.9L/100km in official European fuel consumption tests.

Top of the range is the $64,950 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo-petrol T6, which has been tweaked to boost power to 224kW at 5600rpm and torque to 440Nm from 2100-4200rpm – good for 6.1 seconds in the 0-100km/h sprint.

While the T5 is front-wheel drive, both the T6 and D5 are all-wheel drive and use a six-speed Geartronic auto transmission.

Most of the attention on the S60 will be on the safety technologies that include Volvo’s the latest electronic stability control and low-speed crash avoidance system City Safety – introduced last year on the Volvo XC60 SUV – as standard equipment.

Most of the other new hi-tech safety electronics can be ordered in the optional pack, which includes the pedestrian detection system that Volvo claims can reduce the risk of a fatal pedestrian collision by 85 per cent by detecting people walking into the car’s path.

The system uses a combination of radar integrated into the grille and a camera next to the interior rearvision mirror to detect pedestrians, taking just 0.5 seconds to trigger an audible warning and a flashing light in the driver’s head-up display.

If the driver does not immediately respond, the car will apply full braking power automatically, which Volvo says can avoid a pedestrian collision at up to 35km/h and, above those speeds, slow the car to reduce the impact.

Volvo will launch the S60 T6 and D5 variants in December and follow-up with the T5 in March.

2011 Volvo S60 pricing:
T5 (a) $51,950
D5 (a) $57,950
T6 (a) $64,950

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