Being safe just got sexy – Volvo S60 sedan launched in NZ

Being safe just got sexy – Volvo S60 sedan launched in NZ

The all-new Volvo S60 has been officially launched into the New Zealand market at a special press event held in Auckland yesterday. Volvo’s sleek sedan was put through its paces during some road testing and a series of safety drills, but it’s already clear the S60 has much more to offer than ground-breaking safety features.

The new S60 is looking to raise the stakes in New Zealand’s mid-size premium car market with its coupe-style looks, sharp on-road dynamics and of course, world-first safety innovations.

The first cars are being delivered to customers before the summer holiday period, with the S60 D5 AWD (Turbo diesel All Wheel Drive) priced at $71,990 and the S60 T6 AWD (Turbo petrol All Wheel Drive) at $79,990. A front wheel drive S60 T5 will be added to the range early next year at $63,990.

For those who like to get some speed up the top-spec S60 T6 is a true sports sedan using a turbocharged six-cylinder 3.0-litre petrol engine that pumps out 224kW of power, 440Nm of torque and will do the sprint to 100kph in just 6.1 seconds. Mated up to a six-speed auto transmission it’s a potent performer. The S60 D5 uses a five-cylinder diesel mill with twin-turbocharging that produces a solid 151kW of power and 420Nm of twist, the D5 takes 8.1 seconds to 100kph and returns 6.8l/100km combined fuel economy.

For safety enthusiasts there is plenty to like about the S60 with new primary and secondary safety innovations, the all-new S60 sedan is the most high-tech Volvo yet seen. World-leading dynamic safety technology, including extended functionality to its Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system to include Advanced Stability Control (ASC) – a first for this segment – is complemented by two pioneering safety innovations: Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, and Volvo’s City Safety, which was first seen on the Volvo XC60.

In terms of exterior design the S60 has been styled to attract. Its coupe-like profile incorporates a steeply raked windscreen and a roofline that flows in one smooth sweep into the taillights. Volvo design director Peter Horbury says ‘You are almost surprised to see that it has rear doors.’

On the road, the S60 is the sportiest Volvo sedan yet made. ‘The ride is firmer and yet it is much better controlled. I would say comfort has actually been increased,’ says Egbert Bakker, technical expert responsible for vehicle dynamics at Volvo.

The all-new Volvo S60 has one of the most advanced stability control systems – part of Volvo’s high-tech Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) – reducing the likelihood of wheel spin or skidding. Corner Traction Control increases on-road agility by automatically braking the inner driven wheel as extra power is applied to the outer wheel. This ‘torque vectoring’ improves turn-in, thus reducing understeer.

In addition, Volvo’s optional FOUR-C active suspension has been modified and improved for the S60, while all-wheel drive is standard in T6 and D5 models.

Within, its premium interior combines high quality materials with Swedish comfort, style and functionality, offering tangible increases in both passenger room and luggage space.

And while the all-new S60 embraces Volvo’s already comprehensive range of passenger safety functions, it also introduces a new, world-first innovation: Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake.

Via a camera and radar that scan the road ahead, the all-new S60 is able to brake itself if a pedestrian moves into the path of the car and the driver fails to respond to warnings.

Also part of the Volvo S60’s safety armament is City Safety, which is fitted as standard equipment and reduces, or entirely avoids, low speed impacts up to 30 km/h, Driver Alert Control (DAC) to alert drivers who have become tired or distracted, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) which helps detect vehicles in the rear blind spots on both sides of the car, Lane Departure Warning (which alerts drivers if the vehicle runs across the lane markers without the indicator being activated), Active Bi-Xenon lights that ‘see around corners’ and numerous secondary safety features including seat-mounted side airbags, improved inflatable curtains and Volvo’s patented whiplash protection system (WHIPS).

According to Volvo Cars New Zealand General Manager, Steve Kenchington, the all-new S60 is, “The most dynamic, most emotionally involving car we’ve ever manufactured, a striking sports sedan that shows Volvo’s passion for cars. Yet it is very much a true Volvo. The all-new S60 will be a vital component of the company’s strategy for the New Zealand market. ‘This is an extremely important new car for us, ” he says. “With its standout style, exceptional on-road abilities, outstanding passenger comfort and the very latest Volvo safety technology it sets new standards in New Zealand’s premium mid-size segment.”

Stressing the significance of the all-new S60 in New Zealand, Mr Kenchington said Volvo Cars New Zealand is targeting around 80 annual sales in its first full year. ‘It will join the XC60 as our biggest-selling model.’

The new Volvo S60 is available from Volvo dealers right now, so if you want a closer look click here to visit the Volvo NZ website.

The motoring press weren’t the only ones putting the new S60 through its paces, to see pro driver Jonny Reid run a hot lap of Hampton Downs blindfolded in the new Volvo S60 click here.

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