2009 NAIAS: Volvo S60 Concept
Volvo’s mid-range sedan, the S60, shares a platform with the newly updated XC70 and V70 wagons, but the updated sedan won’t arrive until next year. In the meantime, Volvo is building anticipation with a wonderfully styled S60 Concept said to be very close to the production car, minus the concept’s crystal center stack.
More photos and a Volvo press release after the jump.
An early Christmas present from Volvo Cars – a taste of the spectacular all-new Volvo S60
A few days before Christmas, Volvo Cars treats the automotive world to an early unwrapping of a car that will shine bright in the streets for years to come.
The Volvo S60 Concept gives the car world a glimpse of what the all-new Volvo S60 is going to look like when it arrives in 2010.
“The all-new S60 will be one of the strongest players in a segment where the competition is razor-sharp,” says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell. The coupe-inspired lines that gave the original S60 its characteristic stance are even more pronounced in the next generation.
“The sporty design gives visual promise of an enthusiastic drive and I can assure you here and now that the all-new S60 will live up to that promise. The driving properties are better than in any previous Volvo. The car’s technology will help you to be a better and safer driver,” says Stephen Odell.
The Volvo S60 Concept is being shown for the very first time at the Detroit Motor Show in early January 2009. The production version of the all-new Volvo S60 will be introduced in 2010.
DNA at a new level
The concept car gives a clear indication that the Volvo Cars design team is stepping up to the next level in the development of the products’ DNA.
“The modern Scandinavian design of the S60 Concept reflects the “Do Not Abandon” approach to the strengths of the brand’s design language. At the same time, it’s a Dramatic New Approach. A refined balance of tradition and new, dynamic visual excitement,” says Volvo Cars’ design director Steve Mattin. He adds: “The concept car’s exterior gives a clear indication of what customers can expect of the all-new S60. On the inside we’ve been even more daring – there the focus has been on creating a vision of the future in the slightly longer perspective.”
Scandinavian inspiration and drama
The front of the S60 Concept naturally sports the enlarged iron mark in the trapezoidal grille. The 3D Volvo letters in the iron mark are embedded in an illuminated panel. The grille itself has a somewhat new appearance with structured horizontal vanes adding refinement to its form.
Two DNA lamps flank the grill. They emphasise the vertical stance of the front and promote the bonnet’s V-shape. The DNA lamps also become the starting points of the fresh sculptural design language of the bumpers.
The angled headlamps flow up into the strongly sculptured bonnet. Combined with the lower air intake’s reverse trapezoidal shape, this gives the concept car a very expressive “face”.
“Dynamic and with considerable character, but without appearing aggressive. This car is packed with inspiration from Scandinavian design and from the Swedish coastline’s cliffs and seas. A thrilling blend of drama and sensuality,” says Steve Mattin.
Viking longboats in the headlamps
The concept car’s headlamps unite classic Scandinavian influences with modern high-tech.
In each of the headlamps, the lights form a sculpture creating the image of two miniature Viking longboats sailing side by side, one for main beam and one for dipped beam. When driving in the dark, the light is reflected from the concealed, upward-facing High Performance LED bulbs, projected ahead by the ships’ filled sails.
A closer look reveals a number of specially designed details.
The compact cooling system for the LED bulbs has protruding cooling blocks made out of aluminium, semi-visible under the ships’ hulls. The design creates the illusion of shimmering glass panels that float above a dark and mysterious Scandinavian sea.
The semi-transparent housing incorporates a layered ring-like formation that is part of the position lights. You can see the confident face of the concept car illuminating in a ring-like formation.
Warm Copper paintwork
The transparent attachment of the door mirrors illuminates fully and becomes part of the indicator function. The panorama roof is another ingredient that contributes to the concept car’s airy Scandinavian aura.
“The unique livery in “Warm Liquid Copper” enhances the richness of the S60 Concept’s body surfacing, adding a feeling of depth and exclusivity. The colour also links to Sweden’s rich copper mining history,” says Steve Mattin.
Double wave and sensational doors
Viewed from the side, the concept car’s slim coupe roofline and window graphics are accompanied by an entirely new lateral shoulder line, forming a gentle double wave. Stretching from the headlamps all the way to the tail, it adds emotional excitement and plays with the surface and its highlights.
The unique rear parallelogram doors offer a spectacular show whenever they are opened and shut. Door opening is initiated by pressing on a button and the movement starts off in the traditional way. In the next phase, the forward section also swings out away from the car’s body and the door glides parallel with the side of the car until it reaches its end position by the rear wheel.
Since the car does not have a B-pillar between the front and rear seats, this door configuration offers exceptionally generous entry and exit access.
Both the seven-spoke 20-inch wheels and the tread of the low-profile tyres have been specially designed. The bronze-painted brake callipers match the car’s paintwork and accentuate the concept car’s muscular, sporty looks.
Inspiration from the racing track
“In forthcoming models, you will see more and more of our “racetrack” design cues. The car’s lines do not end abruptly but instead forge a continuous flowing pattern inspired by the fast sweeps of the racing track. In the concept car, this is particularly visible at the rear,” says Steve Mattin.
The tail lamps, which follow the curve of the rear shoulders, are as advanced as the headlamps up front. When switched off, the lamp panels show no trace of the traditional red or yellow associated with rear lights. But when activated, the position marker lights, brake lights and turn indicators come on in their correct colours with the help of LED bulbs.
The lighting system’s solid glass panel is sectioned into horizontal “slices” that create the visual impression of a three-dimensional architect drawing when the lights come on. At the rear there is also a retractable diffuser that adjusts with vehicle speed to give better aerodynamic properties.
New technology detects pedestrians in the danger zone
The Volvo S60 Concept presents a ground-breaking safety innovation that, among other things, can detect a pedestrian who steps out into the path of the car – and the car’s full braking power is automatically activated if the driver does not respond to the danger. This system will be introduced in the all-new Volvo S60.
“We’re going to be even more exciting and dynamic while retaining our lead in the field of safety. The all-new S60 will be packed to the brim with all our expertise and technology in the safety area, both as regards preventing accidents and when it comes to protecting all the occupants in the event of a collision,” says Stephen Odell.
Elevates the brand’s image
The Volvo S60 Concept was created to pave the way for Volvo Cars in one of the automotive world’s most focused segments, characterised by razor-sharp competition.
“Customers in this segment know exactly what they want. The emphasis is on emotional appeal, sporty design and dynamic driving properties. Success in the segment will do a lot for the brand’s image and we are convinced that the all-new Volvo S60 is going to be a particularly strong contender,” says Stephen Odell.
The first-generation Volvo S60 was launched in 2000 and was profiled as a coupe with four doors. The car’s sporty nature has made the S60 one of Volvo Cars’ most global models
“Irrespective of whether the customers are in the USA, Europe or Russia, they all prioritise the same things. Now we are giving them an entirely new S60 packed with both emotional and rational appeal. A car designed to make a unique impact even among the most discerning buyers,” says Stephen Odell.