As many of you remember, up until the late 1990s Volvo was known for three things mostly: safety, beige station wagons and kitchen cabinet aerodynamics. Fortunately, things began to change towards the end of the decade, after Peter Horbury finally got his way to revamp the whole Volvo lineup when it comes to design.
The 1995 S40 was built on the same platform as the Mitsubishi Carisma, but its look didn't inherit any Mitsubishi nor any old Volvo design cues. The first production Volvo to use the now-trademarked "shoulder lines", it represented the dawn of a new design language for the company. Still, the first S40 was just a small preview of what was about to come at Volvo.
The real groundbreaking departure from the angular design cues of older Volvos was the first generation of the S80, born in 1998, which then lent some its genes to the smaller S60 in 2000. Peter Horbury's design revolution was therefore almost complete, especially since the S60 was marketed as heralding a "Revolvolution". This made-up word might seem as a hollow marketing gimmicks for some, but a reality for (most) Volvo aficionados.
Ten years later, the "revolvoed" S60 has reached its second generation, and it's yet again on the verge of reinventing what the world thinks about Volvo design. Of course, the model is not alone in this, as the first exponent of yet another new design language at Volvo is the XC60, a car which we also tested last year.
Getting back to the new S60, let's just say that a person traveling through time from the early 1990s would never suspect this is a Volvo. Let's remember that back then even Volvo concept cars were angular. On top of the design departure from traditional Volvo styling, the new S60 is also the first car from the Swedish stable to finally sport an almost completely new engine line-up.
We jumped at the chance to see what the new car was capable of, choosing the all-new two-liter direct injection GTDI engine, paired to Volvo's all-new twin-clutch sequential transmission. Read on to find out what we learned from our experience behind the wheel.Continue reading