Volvo XC60 Concept Debuts at NAIAS

Volvo unveiled its XC60 concept at NAIAS 2007. The Swedish automaker further released the first official images of the concept.

Integrating both the unmistakable, muscular XC-versatility and the sporty charisma of a coupe, the XC60 Concept is a preview of the new production Volvo XC60 that is planned to reach showrooms at the beginning of 2009, Volvo said.

“One might say that this could be the C30-owner’s next car; equally sporty and exciting, but with more cargo capacity. The XC60 Concept offers a good indication of how the “real” XC60 will look,” said Fredrik Arp, President and CEO at Volvo Cars, in the company’s press release. The concept car shows that Volvo Cars’ XC60 project is ready to challenge the competition in what is currently the toughest and fastest-growing segment in the automotive world – the Small Premium Utility segment.

Today there are only a handful of models in this segment, but within the next few years, buyers will have at least 10 competitors to choose from. Between 2007 and 2009, the segment’s sales volume is expected to expand by 75 percent to 443,000 cars. “There is considerable potential in this segment and the XC60 Concept exemplifies Volvo’s sporty and dynamic intentions while retaining our firm lead when it comes to safety. The technological solutions for avoiding low-speed collisions represent a major breakthrough. We call this system City Safety,” explained Arp.

If the vehicle in front suddenly brakes and City Safety senses that a collision is likely to occur it will pre-charge the brakes to assist the driver in avoiding an accident. However, when the system senses that a collision is imminent, the car will brake automatically.

City Safety is active at up to 18.6 mph (30 km/h). If the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is below 9.3 mph (15 km/h), the system can help the driver avoid the collision entirely. Between 9.3 and 18.6 mph, the system attempts to reduce the Volvo’s speed as much as possible before the impact.

As with the recently introduced Volvo C30, Volvo’s XC60 project is aimed at a specific target group with high demands on design, brand value and high-tech solutions in their choice of lifestyle products. This generation is very tech savvy, is becoming increasingly influential and is building up immense purchasing power. When it comes to their choice of car, these consumers adopt the same approach as they apply to other products; it should preferably cater to all their needs in one attractive, smart package.

From the design viewpoint the XC60 Concept is a daring creation, a fusion of the very best elements from two distinctive, yet dynamic vehicle types. Below the beltline, the unmistakable and capable XC styling cues give it a distinctive stance with high ground clearance on large wheels. Above the waistline, the sleek lines trace the profile and sporty charisma of an elegant coupe.

The XC60 Concept has an interior design that is as daring as the exterior. This is most evident in the instrument panel and center stack and the slim, visually floating front and rear seats. “The concept car not only provides a good indication of what the production XC60 will look like, it also offers a glimpse into the future of Volvo’s design language. With a more sculptured look, our cars will be more extroverted in their visual appeal,” says Steve Mattin, Design Director at Volvo Cars.

With the XC60 Concept, Volvo Cars is announcing that the XC family, which presently consists of the XC70 and XC90, will be expanded in the beginning of 2009. Just like the two present vehicles in the XC range, the Volvo XC60 is based on passenger-car technology, which makes it possible to combine its rugged capability with a dynamic and entertaining driving experience.

“I would like to emphasize that with the XC60 project, as with the C30, we are aiming primarily at lifestyle rather than age. We are broadening our model range to attract more customers with an active, urban lifestyle. The XC60 will be equally important as the C30 in our planned sales volume expansion,” concludes Arp.

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