Sleek, sexy and ultra safe

VOLVO. The name brings to mind cars as safe as armoured tanks ... and hat-wearing elderly drivers motoring along at 20kmh on the highway.

However, the designers at Volvo are doing their best to shake the slow-driver stereotype – without losing their reputation for making the world’s safest cars.

Enter the 2011 Volvo S60.

The S60 comes with sleek, coupe-style looks, cutting edge on-road dynamics and – unsurprisingly for Volvo – world-first safety innovations.

The S60’s safety features are without parallel. It’s the most high-tech Volvo on the market.

Features include Roll Over Protection System, extended functionality to its Dynamic Stability and Traction Control system to include Advanced Stability Control and, most impressive of all, Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, and Volvo’s City Safety, which was first seen on the Volvo XC60. The Pedestrian Detection uses a camera and radar to scan the road, enabling the S60 to brake itself if a pedestrian moves into the path of the car and the driver fails to respond to warnings.

My favourite safety feature is City Safety – which is standard equipment. City Safety reduces, or entirely avoids, low speed impacts up to 30kmh. If you are crawling along in gridlock, then take your eye off the road while the car is still moving, it will stop when it senses your car is about to run into a vehicle in front of you.

Not only are these brilliant innovations likely to spare you many a bingle, they could be life savers.

Other space-age safety features include Driver Alert Control – which alerts drivers who have become tired or distracted, Blind Spot Information System which helps detect vehicles in the rear blind spots on both sides of the car, Lane Departure Warning (which alerts drivers if the vehicle runs across the lane markers without the indicator being activated), Active Bi-Xenon lights that “see around corners” and secondary safety features including seat-mounted side airbags, pyrotechnic seatbelt pre-tensioners for all occupants, improved inflatable curtains and Volvo’s patented whiplash protection system.

While test driving one of Pacific Volvo Maroochydore’s S60, I fell in love with the Active Bi-Xenon lights.

When driving the S60 with the headlights on, as soon as you turn the steering wheel, the Active Bi-Xenon lights turn with the wheel.

The sharper you turn, the sharper your headlights turn to face the way you’re turning.

This feature is a game-breaker.

On the road, the S60 drives like a high performance vehicle.

The twin-turbo diesel delivers instant, adrenaline-boosting power.

Its low profile tyres stick to the road like superglue, thanks to the S60’s advanced stability control systems – part of Volvo’s high-tech Dynamic Stability and Traction Control – reducing the likelihood of wheel spin of skidding.

Despite the low-profile tyres and sports handling, the ride is as smooth as silk. Comfort levels are outstanding.

Inside the S60 is as classy as the Palazzo Versace.

Think premium interior, Swedish comfort and style and plenty of space for passengers and luggage.

Within, its premium interior combines high quality materials with Swedish comfort, style and functionality, offering tangible increases in both passenger room and luggage space.

This model just may be the most complete Volvo has ever brought to market.

It’s certainly proof that Volvo can deliver a sporty sedan that offers pristine driving pleasure.

It’s nothing short of a revolution in motoring.

After spending a weekend cruising Sunshine Coast roads in the S60, going back to my old “mortal” car felt like hopping into Fred Flintstone’s foot-powered stone age-mobile.

Check out the Volvo S60 range at Pacific Volvo in Maroochydore.

Their 2011 Volvo S60 range starts at $55,950 and you can secure 6.95% finance with five years warranty, scheduled servicing and roadside assist.

Options include high performance petrol or diesel engines with up to 224kW of power.

VITAL STATISTICS

Model: 2011 Volvo S60 D5 AWD Auto.

Engine: 2.4-litre in-line five-cylinder, 20-valve, twin turbo generating maximum power of 151kW @ 4000 rpm and peak torque of 420Nm 420Nm @ 1500-3250 rpm.

Consumption: 7.1 litres/100km (combined average).

Exterior features: Front, rear scuff plates, front deco frames and tail end pipes.

Interior features: Volvo navigation system, active bending lights with headlight wash system, park assist camera and high performance multimedia (DVD, CD, MP3 player, iPod ad MP3 connectivity), Bluetooth audio streaming, eight speakers and seven-inch colour screen).

Bottom line: Price new: $72,990, Special demo price: $57,990. Call David Jarman at Pacific Volvo, 129 Sugar Road, Maroochydore. Phone 5458 9738.


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