Volvo used the 2017 Geneva Motor Show to unveil the , arguably its most important vehicle moving forward.
The Swedish SUV replaces the original XC60, which in its nine years on the market became the best-selling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe with nearly one million units sold globally.
But let’s not dwell on the past — here are eight interesting facts about the new, 2018 Volvo XC60…
1. Volvo’s Bread-And-Butter
The new Volvo XC60 is more important to Volvo’s wellbeing than the similarly-new XC90 and S90 combined. In fact, not only has the model been a best-seller for the company, but it also represents approximately 30 per cent of its total global sales.
With car buyers flocking to crossovers and SUVs as if they were the second coming of Christ, it goes without saying that Volvo has a lot riding on new XC60’s success.
2. Built From The Ground Up
This is only the second-generation XC60, and Volvo used it as an opportunity to reinvent the nameplate.
It abandons the EUCD platform from the days when Volvo was still owned by Ford, becoming the fifth vehicle to ride on the Swedish automaker’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which made its debut with the XC90 SUV, followed by the S90 sedan and V90 and V90 Cross Country wagons.
New architecture aside, this XC60 is different from its predecessor in just about every way, from its engine selection to its door handles. Volvo didn’t skimp on its breadwinner.
3. Bigger and Roomier
Compared to the original, the second-generation XC60 is longer, lower, and wider, offering occupants and their gear more room.
Its wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer at 112.8 inches, while overall length grows 2.4 inches to 184.6 inches. Width increased just under 0.5 inch to 74.9 inches, and the vehicle is also 0.5 inch lower at a height of 65.3 inches.
Despite being bigger, the new XC60 weighs roughly the same thanks to the greater use of lightweight steel in its construction.
4. More Than a Scaled-Down XC90
Although the new, 2018 XC60 borrows many styling elements from the XC90, Volvo doesn’t want you to view it as a scaled-down version of its larger sibling.
It has a less upright stance than the XC90, featuring a more raked windshield and front end, a side profile with a slimming character line, and a shorter rear overhang that denote a much sportier vehicle.
The new the XC90 sports Volvo’s trademark Thor’s Hammer headlamps and the next evolution of the company’s grille, which has stronger vertical champers.
Do you like the overall design?
5. Clean, Luxurious High-Tech Interior
The simple, clean luxurious interior of the 2018 Volvo XC60 bears a stronger resemblance to the XC90’s than its exterior, boasting a dashboard design, seats and upholstery that should be familiar to XC90 owners. The same can be said about the 8.0-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital dial displays feature.
Other tech highlights include the Volvo’s Sensus Connect infotainment and the Volvo On Call app, both with improved usability and smartphone support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Get this: sitting in the XC60 actually makes you healthier, thanks to a “CleanZone” four-zone climate control system that can remove harmful pollutants and particles in order to supply the cabin with “Scandinavian-fresh air.”
6. Many Capable Engines
The 2018 Volvo XC60 is offered with an array of fuel-efficient and powerful powertrains, including a diesel D4 engine that makes 190 horsepower; a T5 model powered by a 254-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine; and a T6 with a turbo- and supercharged 2.0-liter unit good for 320 HP and 295 lb-ft. (400 Nm).
Sitting atop the range is Volvo’s award-winning T8 “Twin Engine” petrol plug-in hybrid system that produces 407 horsepower and accelerates the midsize SUV from 0 to 62mph (100 km/h) in just 5.3 seconds.
The T8 has an all-electric range of about 30 miles (48 km), more than double that of the XC90 T8.
All models come standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, though a front-drive T5 variant will be made available down the line. Chinese buyers have the option of a front-drive T4 base model with a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter engine — made in China exclusively for them.
7. Choose Your Driving Mode
The 2018 XC60 comes equipped with an air-suspension system that can be configured using four modes –- Comfort, Eco, Sport and Off-Road. The Off-Road mode in particular raises the chassis 1.6 inches to better navigate rough terrain, while the Sport mode lowers it half as much for a more planted feel
The front benefits from a control-arm suspension, while the rear has an integral axle suspension as opposed to the trailing arm of the outgoing model.
8. Safest Car Ever Made?
According to Volvo, the new XC60 is one of the safest cars ever made, but that’s to be expected from a brand that built its reputation on safety.
It comes standard with new and innovative technology such as Steer Assist and ‘Oncoming Lane Mitigation’, a system that uses Steer Assist to help prevent head-on collisions.
Steer Assist is also used by Volvo’s Blind Spot Indication System, which reduces the risk of lane-changing collisions.
Pilot Assist, Volvo’s advanced semi-autonomous driver-assistance system, is an optional feature and can automatically steer, accelerate and brake the XC60 on well-marked roads up to 80 mph (130 km/h).
What Do You Think?
Did you find our 8 facts about the all-new, Volvo XC60 interesting? Are you happy with how Sweden’s premium midsize SUV turned out? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and also check out our 10 interesting facts about the Range Rover Velar.
New, 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Gets RS Treatment, Turbo Engine
The Chevrolet Traverse lineup has received a sportier touch in the form of the new Traverse RS.
Unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the Traverse RS is the first Traverse to get a turbocharged engine, one that makes 257 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that helps the three-row, seven-passenger crossover deliver an expected EPA fuel economy rating of 20 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway.
The RS treatment appears to be more of an appearance and comfort package than it is a performance-focused one, adding blacked-out exterior trim and such standard equipment as HID headlamps, active shutters, an eight-inch infotainment system, heated seats, Bose audio, and unique 20-inch dark wheels. It doesn’t come with all-wheel drive, nor does it have it as an option.
The Chevrolet Traverse RS is currently available in the United States with a $43,095 MSRP (including freight).
Byton’s 300-Mile Electric SUV Concept Takes Aim At Tesla
If you have never heard of Byton, don’t worry — we write about cars everyday, and neither have we.
Making its North American debut at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Expo, Byton is a Chinese upstart that clearly wants to give Tesla Motors a run for its money. The company showed off its first concept at the show, an all-electric SUV that CEO Carsten Breitfeld claims “will deliver an entirely new connective experience for people on the move.”
The Byton SUV was designed in German and, as far as technology is concerned, probably has more in common with the latest smartphones than it does with the average car, boasting such gen-y features as facial-recognition-enabled locking and profiles for seat position memory, entertainment settings and more.
Its attractive and modern exterior is reminiscent of Faraday Future’s FF 91, while the interior seats seven and is highlighted by a massive 49-inch “shared experience display” screen that spans the entire dash complimented by a 8-inch touchscreen integrated into the steering wheel.
The seats can pivot, providing all passengers access to the display. Multiple, cloud-enabled productivity or entertainment features like Amazon Alexa are abound and are powered by a 5G connection.
When the SUV arrives, buyers will have the option of two versions. The base model will have a rear-wheel drive configuration and a 71 kWh battery pack that should give it a driving range around 250 miles, while the second version is all-wheel drive and packs a larger 95 kWh battery that lets it travel 325 miles.
Rear-drive models will have 400NM of torque (~300lb-ft) to work with, and the dual-motor all-wheel-drive variant will pump out 710NM (just under 525lb-ft). These are very ambitious performance figures for a Jeep Grand Cherokee-sized SUV poised for production.
As is customary of most premium electric car concepts these days, there is an autonomous driving system that, like Tesla’s, can be upgraded via software. Launch models features enhanced Level 3 components, while Level 4 will be offered sometime later as an over-the-air upgrade.
The production Byton electric SUV will be ambitious in its engineering, but perhaps not as ambitious as its claimed starting price of just $45,000 U.S., which greatly undercuts the Tesla Model X. It launches in China in 2019, with European and U.S. sales beginning later on.
Kia Niro EV Concept Previews Kia’s Long-Range Electric CUV
For those that like or are even considering getting the Kia Niro plugin hybrid, but want more electrification, the Kia Niro EV Conept is a preview of what’s to come.
Unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Expo, the full-electric crossover is just a concept, but Kia has already stated a specific range of 238 miles (383 km), which, as it turns out, is the exact same range that the Chevrolet Bolt EV launched with. A coincidence? The Korean automaker isn’t the type to play games, so likely not.
The elimination of an international combustion engine renders a traditional grille unnecessary, with the Niro EV featuring a smooth interactive display panel instead. It is powered by powered by a next-generation electric vehicle powertrain that pairs a 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack with a 150 kW electric motor.
Designers opted for a minimalistic interior boasting new technologies, including an advanced pedestrian warning system that uses multiple front-view cameras, object-recognition technology and front speakers to detect and alert pedestrians or cyclists of the car’s presence. The system also uses the grille-mounted display to provide visual communication.
The production Kia Niro EV will be one of the first long-range crossovers available when it launches, as well as just one of 16 new green vehicles that Kia will introduce by 2025, including a new hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell electric vehicle sometime in 2020.