The Volvo S60 was launched as a somewhat smaller sedan than the Volvo S80, with a design brief to create a car with the same basic lines and safety as the S80 model, but in a more compact body and with a sportier profile.
The Volvo S60, competing in the compact luxury segment, has a sloping roof line, swept-back C-posts and short rear section – a combination of sedan and coupé design that gives the car its sporty appearance.
In order to further emphasise the S60 model’s sporty profile, the nose section has been extended, the haunches are more pronounced and the body has a ground-hugging stance.
Although the body is compact, the interior offers generous space and comfortable seating for four occupants. However, this is space for a fifth passenger, along with a fifth seat belt and head restraint. One of the reasons for the good interior space is Volvo’s modern powertrain concept which features transverse engine installation.
Volvo Cars adopts a holistic view of safety – a core value of the car manufacturer – that encompasses both preventive and protective systems. Preventive safety is closely linked to the car’s driving properties. The body of the Volvo S60 features very high torsional rigidity and the car has a sturdy chassis, a combination that results in consistent, predictable behaviour on the road.
Volvo Cars has developed various information systems designed to help the driver while on the move. One such system is BLIS (for Blind Spot Information System) which registers if another vehicle is in the offset rear blind spot alongside the car and alerts the driver via a visual signal.
Another new preventive safety system is Active Bi-Xenon Lights – moving headlight beams that follow the curvature of the road to maintain the best possible visibility in the dark on twisting roads.
Protective safety in the Volvo S60 is structured around a network consisting of exterior and interior safety systems that interact with one another to reduce the risk of occupant injury in a collision.
The exterior systems have the task of distributing and absorbing incoming collision forces so that the passenger compartment remains as intact and undamaged as possible. The body is therefore built in the form of a metal cage where all the components interact with one another to ensure controlled deformation.
The interior safety systems aim to keep the passengers securely in place and also to reduce the risk of serious injury. In order to provide the most effective protection possible, Volvo Cars has developed a number of in-house systems, such as WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and IC (Inflatable Curtain). All are fitted as standard in the Volvo S60.
Furthermore all five seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, belt pre-tensioners and head restraints. The highest possible safety requires that all the car’s occupants always use their seat belts.
Powertrain and chassis
The engines in the Volvo S60 are five-cylinder, transversely installed in-line units. A five-cylinder engine gives low vibration and smooth operation. Together with large displacement, the five-cylinder configuration provides high torque across a broad engine revolution band, and thus also swift acceleration and excellent driveability within a wide speed range. The Volvo S60 R is the top model, featuring a turbocharger and a six-speed gearbox.
The engine range also includes diesel engines with particle filters, and in Europe the environmentally optimised Volvo Bi-Fuel which can be run on methane or petrol.
The chassis, with MacPherson spring struts at the front and a multilink axle at the rear, is set up for stable, reassuring driving manners and alert steering response. The multilink rear axle is an independent rear suspension system featuring a number of links and is designed to offer a good combination of controlled wheel movements and high ride comfort.
Some of these links have the task of providing a certain degree of anti-skid steering effect. A long wheelbase and wide track, together with a very torsionally rigid body, contribute to the predictable, controlled driving manners.
Volvo’s advanced DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) stability-enhancing system is fitted as standard. DSTC cuts in and helps stabilise the car if it registers any tendency to skid.
An active chassis with advanced Four-C technology is available as an option. With this system, the chassis settings are adjusted automatically to suit the current driving conditions, thus improving both handling and ride comfort. Two alternative chassis settings are programmed into the system. At the touch of a button, the driver can thus alter the car’s behaviour to suit driving conditions and personal taste.
The Volvo S60 R has Volvo’s electronically controlled All-Wheel Drive system with Instant Traction, for fast and effective distribution of traction even when moving off on a slippery surface. It also features the active chassis with advanced Four-C technology as standard equipment.
The Volvo S60 is designed and equipped to impact as little as possible on the global environment and to offer a clean and healthy interior climate. This is in line with the other core value of the Volvo brand: Care for the environment.
Petrol engines with low internal friction, efficient combustion and advanced exhaust filtration technology result in low emissions. Energy-efficient diesel engines such as the new D5 turbodiesel with particle filters produce low emissions of carbon dioxide and soot particles.
Volvo’s IAQS (Interior Air Quality System) effectively reduces the amount of particles, pollen, gases and certain unpleasant odours in the air entering the cabin.
All the textiles and leather upholsteries are certified according to ÖKO-TEX 100, an international standard that ensures that the interior trim is free from allergy-producing and hazardous substances.
The Volvo S60 is made at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium, with production figures of 62 157 for 2005. A total of 62 528 Volvo S60s were sold globally in 2005.
All S60 models have front-wheel drive, except the S60 R which is equipped with All-Wheel Drive.
Chassis: Front suspension with MacPherson spring struts; independent multilink rear axle.
DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) is standard. Active chassis with Four-C is an option, but is a standard feature on the S60 R.
Length 4 603
Width 1 813
Height 1 428
Track, front/rear 1 561/1 542 (with 16” wheels)
Wheelbase 2 715
Aerodynamic coefficient, Cd 0.28