This second-generation XC60 comes firing on all cylinders
LUXURY CAR MANUFACTURERS are known for the type of cars they make. Whereas BMW are known as a sporty drivers’ car brand, Mercedes are famous for their luxury. While Audi seek to strike the right balance between sport and luxury, Volvo are known for making the safest cars. The Swedish car-makers were not known to make good-looking cars in the past, but that changed with the new XC90 and the S90. Now Volvo not only make safe cars, but cars that are also welldesigned and luxurious.
The new XC60 is built on the new SPA (scalable product architecture) platform and shares its underpinning with the XC90 and S90. The Thor’s Hammer LED headlamps merge into the wide chrome grille and the sculpted lines on the bonnet start from the grille and merge into the A-pillars. The flared wheel-arches along with the low, wide look at the front give the XC60 an aggressive and sporty stance.
The tornado line starts from the Thor’s Hammer headlamp and runs along the wheel-arch, the front and rear doors, and over the rear wheel-arch to merge into the bracket rear tail-lamps. The flared rear wheel-arches, low roofline with the spoiler and bracket LED tail-lamps along with the twin rear exhaust give the rear a wide and sporty stance and the SUV good proportions.
The interior design is similar to that of its elder sibling, the XC90. The inside of the car feels nice and airy thanks to the panoramic sunroof. The big touchscreen is flanked by vertical air vents at the centre of the dashboard. The brushed aluminium finish strip runs along the width of the dashboard along with a band of driftwood, giving it a sporty look. The quality of soft-touch plastic and switches is high-class. The moment you get inside, grip the leather steering and adjust the seat according to your stature and driving position, you can feel the comfort and luxury of the leather seats and the cabin. The longer wheelbase of this SUV allows the rear seats to be pushed back, thus liberating more leg-room for the rear passengers. The extra leg-room and the plush leather rear seats give the rear passengers a luxurious experience.
The Sensus in-car infotainment system in the XC60 is based on control, entertainment, navigation and native applications. The B&W (Bower and Wilkins) music system sounds as if you are listening to a live concert. The navigation is very user-friendly and easy to use. The radar-based driver assist is the closest you can get to autonomous driving. Once you select the self drive mode, all you need to do is place your hands lightly on the steering wheel and the SUV drives itself: from maintaining the cruising speed that you have selected on the cruise control, to maintaining the distance between you and the vehicle in front. The lane assist turns the SUV and keeps it in the lane up to 130 km/h; however, for this you need roads that have
proper lane markings. Incidentally, Volvo are the only premium car manufacturers in India to offer radarbased driver assist.
The trend in high-end cars and SUVs is the use of aluminium in the body-shell and monocoque construction, but Volvo have taken the opposite route by using more high-tensile steel in the monococque construction because it is stronger than aluminium. This makes the monococque stronger and prevents it from flexing under extreme load conditions.
The XC60 has double wishbone suspension with a stabiliser bar, air suspension and an active damper setup at the front. The rear setup comprises integral axle with stabiliser bar with air suspension and active shock-absorbers. Braking is taken care of by 320-mm ventilated discs at the front and 302-mm solid ones at the rear.
To keep the cost down, all new Volvos are powered by 1,969-cc engines. These four-valve petrol and diesel engines have the same bore and stroke, all-aluminium construction, and they even weigh the same. The only difference between the petrol and diesel engines is the compression ratio: the diesel runs a much higher compression ratio of 15.8:1 compared to the petrol’s lower 10.3:1 ratio.
The India-bound XC60 will be equipped with the D5 twin-turbo diesel engine with PowerPulse. The D5 engine produces 235 PS at 4,000 rpm and 480 Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,250 rpm. The motor is mated to an eight-speed auto box and the power is put down on the road via an all-wheel-drive system.
Once you select the self drive mode, all you need to do is place your hands lightly on the steering wheel and it drives itself
PowerPulse is a smart way of reducing turbo-lag. There is an electric compressor that fills up a tank with compressed fresh air and it is used to spool up the turbocharger at low rpm to reduce turbo-lag.
Our drive started from the Barcelona airport and there were a couple of loops that took us into the countryside. As I said earlier, the moment you step into this SUV there is a feeling of luxury right from the feel of the leather-wrapped steering wheel to the comfortable seats. Once I adjusted the driving position and twisted the start-stop knob, the 2.0-litre engine came to life with a little clatter that could be heard when the door was open; once you close the door, however, the engine noise disappears. The cabin insulation of the XC60 is superb.
On the road the car is easy to drive as its steering is light; as a matter of fact, the XC60 is an easy car to drive because it does everything with ease — whether it is overtaking other cars or going round a corner. There is hardly any turbo-lag thanks to the PowerPulse tech. This is not a sporty SUV because there is a little body-roll, but it is not bothersome. This is an easy and comfortable SUV to drive and you are always in control.
Sprawling 10+ inch tablet centre touchscreen puts every vehicle function at your fingertips
High-quality material with a touch of driftwood trim make the cabin elegant and sporty
PowerPulse tech makes use of compressed air to eliminate turbo-lag for seamless power delivery
Huge panoramic sunroof adds to the airy atmosphere in the cabin