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Volvo has revealed its next-generation premium mid-size SUV at the Geneva motor show prior to its Australian launch in the fourth quarter this year.
The XC60 enters its second-gen based on Volvo's modular 'Scalable Product Architecture' (SPA), and brings a host of advanced new technology across key areas such as powertrains, safety and driver convenience. This vehicle is Volvo's biggest-selling model in Australia and the segment leader in Europe.
We will have to wait for a test drive to see if it's better, but the new model is certainly bigger with a 2865mm wheelbase (+91mm) and measuring 4688mm long (+44mm) and 1999mm wide (+108mm, excluding mirrors), but not standing quite as tall at 1658mm in overall height (-55mm). Ground clearance is 216mm.
Front and rear legroom are improved but headroom front and rear are reduced slightly. Cargo capacity increases 10L to 505L.
Production gets underway mid-April at the Torslanda plant in Sweden. Volvo Car Australia (VCA) has confirmed to CarsGuide that petrol, diesel and plug-in petrol-electric powertrains will all be available in this market, and that the new XC60 will arrive before the end of the year.
VCA corporate and public relations director Greg Bosnich said, "all of the latest technology will be offered in Australia" and that the new generation offers "significant opportunity in its segment."
Australian pricing, specification and line-up will be detailed closer to launch.
Safety technology includes the latest generation of Volvo's blind-spot indication system (BLIS), oncoming lane mitigation – which provides automatic steering assistance and can actively guide a driver back into the correct lane – and on-board steer assist, which is active from 50-100km/h.
Volvo's 'pilot assist' will be offered as an option, in Europe at least. The semi-autonomous driver assistance system can take a level of control over steering, acceleration and braking "on well-marked roads up to 130km/h."
Large animal detection and run-off road mitigation are among other high-end safety systems that will be available.
The new XC60 will feature Volvo's latest multimedia and connected services (Sensus, Volvo On Call) and full integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto devices, while a new four-zone climate control system dubbed ‘CleanZone' is also fitted.
There is now uniformity in terms of displacement and cylinders across the XC60 range with 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines replacing the 2.4-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine variants.
The T5 turbo produces 187kW of power at 5500rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1500-4800rpm, the T6 uses both supercharging and turbocharging to up the ante to 235kW at 5700rpm and 400Nm from 2200-5400rpm, while the T8 plug-in hybrid combines the T6's engine with a 65kW/240Nm electric motor and 10.4kWh lithium-ion battery for a total combined output of 300kW/640Nm.
An eight-speed automatic transmission sits behind all three engines along with an all-wheel drive system.
The T5 reaches 100km/h from standstill in 6.8 seconds, the T6 requires 5.9s, and the T8 is quickest of the lot at 5.3s.
The T5's top speed is 220km/h and 230km/h in the other two, while preliminary combined-cycle fuel economy is 7.3L/100km for T5, 7.7L/100km for the T6, and a miserly 2.1L/100km for the T8 hybrid. CO2 emissions in the latter are only 49g/km, compared to 167g in T5 and 176g in T6, while the T8 also offers a 45km electric-only driving range.
The diesels – both twin-turbo units – also pair with an eight-speed auto and AWD, the D4 producing 140kW at 4250pm and 400Nm from 1750-2500rpm, and the D5 – armed with ‘PowerPulse' technology – pushing up to 173kW at 4000rpm and 480Nm from 1750-2250rpm.
Acceleration from 0-100km/h is 8.4s and 7.2s for the D4 and D5 respectively, top speed is 205/220km/h and fuel economy and emissions come in at 5.2/5.5L/100km and 136/144g per kilometre.
Kerb weight ranges from 2081kg to 2349kg depending on the variant, maximum braked towing capacity is 2400kg – a 400kg improvement over the current model .
Volvo Car Group senior vice-president of design Thomas Ingenlath said: "The XC60 is an SUV not designed to look down on others but to drive," perhaps referring to the new-generation model's lower height and modern but not overtly aggressive design.
"The exterior has an athletic sculpture with a subtle, timeless quality. The interior is a masterful composition of well-resolved architecture, beautiful materials and the very latest technology – all perfectly blended together," he said.
"The XC60 provides a true Scandinavian experience which will make our customers feel special."