The spanking new Volvo XC60 has arrived and it is a crossover customers’ dream

Published on June 27th, 2009

With the backdrop of luscious greenery in the form of the Saujana’s lovely surroundings, The new Volvo XC60 was unveiled to the Malaysian motoring media fraternity by Volvo Cars Malaysia (VCM). Arguably the most beautiful Volvo to be exported from the Land of the Vikings, the XC60 is set to be the benchmark and standard-bearer in the crossover segment.

The XC60 will be stepping boldly into what is currently the automotive world’s fastest-growing segment, while being smartly dressed and sporting a thrilling blend of muscular XC capability with the sporty charisma of a coupe.

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Target group with high demands on technology

The XC60 will appeal to the target group that imposes high demands on design, brand integrity and high-tech content in its choice of lifestyle products.

Tongue in cheek, one might say that it’s all about consumers who’ve grown up with the microchip as a natural supplement to their breakfast cereal. They’re used to the immensely fast pace of development in the world of electronics – and every succeeding birthday has brought with it increased capacity in ever-shrinking gift packages.

When it comes to the choice of car, these particular consumers will adopt the same view as they do for other lifecycle products, that is to say all the properties should preferably be integrated into one single attractive and intelligent package.

“One might say that this could be the C30 owner’s next car. It’s as sporty and exciting, but way more capable. An all-round car for the person who lives single in the city and for the young family taking the kids for a weekend of fun and adventure,” said a beaming Robert Norrman, President of Volvo Cars Malaysia.

He happily added, “We’re aiming primarily at lifestyle rather than age. With the XC60 we are broadening our model range to attract even more customers with an active urban lifestyle. Like the Volvo C30, the XC60 plays an important role in our planned volume expansion strategy.”

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Design

In designing the XC60, said Norrman, “Volvo Car Corporation has kept firmly focused on one clear goal. With more expressive, emotive shapes, the XC60 should be instantly recognizable and desired.” Needless to say, if the members of the Malaysian motoring media fraternity enjoyed the luxury of deep pockets and near limitless credit, there would be quite a few more bookings to add to the already impressive number of orders that the local Volvo dealers have already chalked up for the XC60.

The XC60’s exterior is a work of art, beauty that even the likes of Jimmy Choo and Donatella Versace would envy, yet appreciate. At the front, the enlarged iron mark in the trapezoidal grille swiftly fills the rear-view mirror of the car in front – a distinct signal that Volvo’s extrovert future has arrived, albeit rather stylishly. The classic iron mark now gets the role it deserves. Not discreet and modest, but bold and packed with self-confidence. It is precisely this attitude that Volvo aims for with it’s brand name.

The sculpted, seductive lines are evidently clear when the XC60 is viewed from the side. The car’s shoulders are exceptionally broad and muscular. Towards the front they are strengthened by an underlining sculptural undercut, and when it comes to the rear wings, Norrman aptly and understandably resorts to the sensually loaded adjective, “voluptuous”.

The large wheels, the bold wheel arches and the darker livery of the body’s lower section further enhance the muscular XC feel and its presence, while the dynamic, flowing lines of the XC60’s greenhouse combined with its daring roof contour impart a sporty coupe feel to the upper part of the car.

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Exciting new light configuration at the rear

At the rear the muscular shoulders are emphasized by the attractive characteristic LED lights set into the tail lamps. For the first time ever in a Volvo, the rear position lights also double up as brake lights, which means that the entire shape of the shoulder lights up when braking, giving the XC60 a stronger and more distinct look.

The third brake light is integrated into the roof spoiler. On the tailgate, the Volvo word mark now appears in bold, widely spaced letters. To further strengthen its cross-over character, the XC60 is available with a scuff plate for the rocker panel and with front and rear skid-plates that are integrated into the bumpers.

Another new feature is that the roof rails have for the first time, been integrated into the roof. This gives the car an unusually low and broad stance for a crossover.

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Interior that puts the driver in focus

With an exterior that gets attention without trying, expectedly the new XC60 is packed with energy, style and comfort on the inside too.

According to Norrman, “You should feel like a pilot at the controls of a business jet, with all your passengers sitting in First Class. You are seated in comfort, surrounded by ergonomically designed instruments and you really feel that you are on top of the traffic situation around you.”

The XC60 has been equipped with intelligent safety systems that has never been seen or heard of in any previous Volvo. This is why the entire driver’s environment radiates a high-tech feel. The interior has been designed so every detail looks like it’s in motion.

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Unique seats with X-theme

The stitched seams of the unique, sculpted XC60 seats have a pronounced X-theme. The curvature of the forward edge of the rear seat cushion has been designed for easier entry and exit. The rear seat is also somewhat higher than the front seats to give its occupants a better view. The two outer seats can of course be specified with the same two-stage child booster cushions that were introduced in the Volvo V70 and XC70 in 2007. The seats are available in a wide variety of colours and materials.

“Choosing colour and trim is about expressing your personality, so we have developed a rich palate of attributes that customers with a taste for individuality can choose from,” Norrman continued.

The colour and trim range includes a number of contrasting combinations and the highlight colour for the XC60 is a new shade of green: Lemon Green.

“This colour is designed to be seen. It has lots of attitude. The unique asymmetrical centre console with its silver frost frame is in brushed aluminium but it is also available in two wood alternatives, one high gloss and one matt wood finish, emphasizing the authenticity of the material and our Scandinavian heritage,” said Norrman.

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World-class audio system

The world-class audio system is part of the First Class experience inside the new XC60. It comes in three levels. The highest level, Premium Sound, features 12 Dynaudio loudspeakers and an amplifier with Dolby® Pro Logic® II Surround delivering 5×130 Watts. An optional digital subwoofer under the floor in the load compartment provides an additional 260 Watts.

The sound can be optimised to suit three different situations – driver’s seat, both front seats or rear seat. The two highest levels of the audio system enable MP3 and WMA-format CDs to be played, which means that the CD changer can store several hundred tracks. All audio levels provide an auxiliary (AUX) input for connecting the owner’s own equipment, such as a portable MP3 player. A USB port (on the two highest levels) makes it possible to plug in an iPod, MP3 player or USB.

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Clean Zone Interior for added comfort

In order to give allergy sufferers an even better in-car climate, the new Volvo XC60 can be equipped with Clean Zone Interior, a system that is based on ECC (Electronic Climate Control) and IAQS (Interior Air Quality System).

When the car is unlocked with the remote control, the passenger compartment is automatically ventilated for about a minute if the outdoor temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius. Clean Zone Interior has been recommended by the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association.

The interior trim materials and other details have been selected to give off minimum levels of dangerous substances.

The new XC60 is also the first Volvo that meets the forthcoming European Union standard for type approval regarding reusability, recyclability and recoverability.

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New interpretation of Volvo’s DNA

All told, the XC60 points the way towards Volvo Cars’ future.

“In order to be premium, we have to be seen clearly. Turning up the cars’ visual volume while reinforcing our safety heritage and leadership is one of Volvo’s biggest goals and with the XC60 we have taken a major step forward,” concluded a beaming Norrman.

text: Azdee Simon

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