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Geneva '08: Volvo XC60

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2009 Volvo XC60


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What is it?

2009 Volvo XC60

What's special about it?

According to Fredrik Arp, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, the 2009 Volvo XC60 is not only the safest Volvo ever, "It's also the most stunning." Of course, he's paid big bucks to say stuff like that, but the fact that he's mentioning design at all shows just how important the look of the XC60 is to its success.

Mr. Arp isn't blowing smoke, though. The XC60 is certainly more stylish than the homely XC90. Instead of big and boxy, the XC60 is compact and athletic-looking. The swept-back headlights and rising beltline go a long way toward making this Volvo look like it belongs in the same league as the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLK, two of its chief competitors in the small premium utility segment.

Volvo's Design Director Steve Mattin goes even further. "This car is charged with more emotive form and more energy than any other Volvo," he said. "If you say that you'd recognize a Volvo from 300 feet away today, I dare say the XC60 radiates a clear Volvo presence from at least twice that distance." Volvo presence from two football fields away? We'll have to take Steve's word on that one.

We're actually a little surprised that Volvo's engineers didn't come up with some equally optimistic quotes for the XC60's performance. In the U.S., the standard engine will be the T6 inline-6 used in the S80 sedan. Rated at 281 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, the T6 makes the XC60 one of the more powerful sport-utilities in its class. A six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive will be standard, too.

There's some trick new safety equipment as well. Dubbed City Safety, the XC60's new system incorporates a low-speed collision avoidance computer that will stop the car if it senses an impending fender bender. Some high-end luxury cars already feature similar systems that are tied in with their cruise control, but the XC60 will come with the City Safety system as standard.

More details are expected when the 2009 Volvo XC60 gets closer to its early 2009 on-sale date in the U.S.

What's Edmunds' take?

Good-looking never hurts when it comes to selling premium SUVs. Throw in Volvo's reputation for family friendliness and the XC60 could do better than the current XC90. — Ed Hellwig, Lead Senior Editor, Inside Line

Pics: http://www.autoblog.com/photos/volvo-xc60-leakage/648535/

I have a feeling it won't be any cheaper than the big XC90, which starts at an already low $37K. In fact, the XC70, with its gutless N/A V-6, is more expensive than the XC90.

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