Fleet News

Volvo S60



COMPARED with the long and carefully orchestrated build-up to new Mondeo, Volvo's S60 arrived with barely a toot on the cornet. The news that Ford's Premier Automotive Group Swede was to launch a sports saloon to sit between S/V40 and S80 and to complement C70 was confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show and was followed up with precious little paper puffery, other than the official picture release in August.

And then there it was under the spotlights in its parent company's hall at Birmingham last month. Picture a C70 coupe, draw in a couple of extra doors, and behold, the S60. It's a dramatic creation that builds on, rather than being bolted to, C70's sexy lines to create a compact, but nicely balanced, four-door.

The new range comes with the choice of 2.0-litre (180bhp 2.0T) , 2.4-litre (200bhp 2.4T) and 2.3-litre (250bhp T5) petrol engines, each turbocharged and each five-cylinder units. Volvo's own 2.4-litre 163bhp turbodiesel will be offered from the second quarter of 2001 and bi-fuel is planned.

Specification is S and SE with optional winter, premium and communications packs and adjusted prices range from ú19,995 to ú25,795 - Lexus IS200, Audi A4, BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class territory.

Demonstration S60s are with dealers now and first full year volume target is 6,000 petrol, plus 600 diesel - about half that of A4 and C-class and less than a quarter of 3-series. IS200 sold more than 9,500 in the 12 months from August 1999 but is expected to level out at about 7,000 units.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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