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Geneva: Volvo XC60 targets Jaguar

New XC60 is second generation Volvo mid-sized SUV and a vital part of the brand’s future

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The Volvo XC60, unveiled in Geneva, is the second generation of the brand’s mid-sized SUV and a vital part of the Swedish brand’s mushrooming fortunes.

Volvo has seen major growth since reinventing its range around the ‘Drive-e’ programme – UK registrations were up eight per cent in 2016, and the second-generation XC60 is expected to boost this progress – in nine years on sale the outgoing model has sold almost a million globally and today accounts for 30 per cent of Volvo’s volume.

When it arrives in UK showrooms in September the XC60 is expected to target buyers of the Jaguar F-Pace and Audi Q5 in what is now a very competitive upmarket mid-sized SUV market.

The new Volvo XC60 is built on the Swedish brand’s latest SPA large car platform – this has already been used on the successful range-topping 90 Series models and will also be the basis for the next generation S60 saloon and V60 estate, which are expected in 2018.

The new XC60 measures up longer by 62mm, with a wheelbase extended by 91mm, and wider than the outgoing car, but looks sleeker due to the 14mm shaved from the height.

The XC60 will be offered with the Drive-e powertrains already familiar, particularly in the 90 Series cars. At launch these will comprise the 190hp D4 and 235hp D5 diesel, the petrol unit of 254hp and the T8 Twin Engine petrol hybrid.

Much praised since launching in the XC90, the T8 unit produces 407hp, resulting in a 5.3-second 0-62mph time. Volvo has not yet released any other figures for the XC60, but the hybrid version of car’s larger sister, the XC90, offers CO2 emissions levels of just 49g/km.

Volvo is heavily promoting the safety package available for the XC60, dubbing the new model one of the safest cars ever made.

The City Safety system now includes a Steer Assist feature. This is employed both by a new safety system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation to guard against head-on collisions, and the Blind Spot Indication System to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions.

Volvo is a major player in developing autonomous driving technology – available as an option on the XC60 is the Pilot Assist system. This takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads at speeds up to 78mph.

Unveiling the XC60 at the Geneva show, Volvo president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson says that the brand has a strong heritage in designing stylish and dynamic SUVs that offer the latest in technology.

“The new XC60 will be no exception – it’s the perfect car for an active lifestyle, and it represents the next step in our transformation plan,” Samuelsson adds.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.