The Volvo XC60 is competing in a crowded market, but its advanced safety features sets it apart.
The Volvo XC60 may not be one of the most exciting car launches of the year, but it's certainly one of the most significant - this seminal SUV has the potential to set new standards in car safety. It's incredible to think that the outgoing model has been on sale for nine years now, and went on to become the best-selling mid-sized SUV in Europe. After making its world debut at this year's Geneva Motor Show, the mid-size SUV has officially started production at the Torslanda plant in Sweden.
Finished in Crystal White, the first customer example of the new XC60 has now rolled off the production line. It's a T5 AWD spec model, meaning it has a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine producing 250-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. In this guise, the new XC60 will sprint from 0-62 mph in 6.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 137 mph. If that's not fast enough for you, the range-topping, 400-horsepower T8 hybrid model reduces the sprint time to 5.3 seconds and increases the top speed to 143 mph. "This is a proud day for everyone at the plant," said Magnus Nilsson, vice president of the Torslanda plant.
"We have worked hard in recent weeks and months to prepare Torslanda for this latest new Volvo model, and now we are ready to start delivering new XC60s to customers." To say that Volvo is competing in a very crowded segment is an understatement, but the XC60 makes up 30 percent of the automaker's sales so there's a lot riding on it. Fortunately, its advanced safety features sets it apart. Volvo is billing the new XC60 as "one of the safest cars ever made," and it's looking like it might live up to that bold claim. Its smart Steer Assist function, for example, safely steers the car away from hazards automatically, while a Blind Spot Indication System monitors your lane position to reduce the risk of collisions.
Its semi-autonomous 'Pilot Assist' tech is particularly impressive, taking care of steering, acceleration and braking at speeds up to 80 mph. It's all part of Volvo's aim to make its cars 'deathproof' in the event of an accident by 2020. Now available in Europe, the Volvo XC60 is arriving at US dealers later this year where it will be joined by a smaller XC40 crossover.