The 2018 Geneva auto show produced a fair number of thought-provoking cars. The new Volvo V60 is one of them.
Automotive News has a list of hits and misses. They like the Volvo. I do as well. Volvo have made it look sufficiently like the S90 to make sense and have made it look sufficiently different so that you don’t mix the two cars up. Here is the S90 in case you have forgotten:
The two photos give you a chance to see how the front graphics have evolved. On the smaller car the lamps bite a little into the body-colour area adjacent to the grille. The fog-lamp and air intake sculpting on the V60 seems more massive, with the diagonal spars gaining more heft relative to the big sister. It isn’t too busy as is sometimes the case with this area of the car. The bumper to body panel gap is now horizontal (different) and the wheel arch moulding is grooved (the same) which is the one baroque touch on both cars.
While the rear lamps are of a kind with previous Volvo estates, I notice they have retreated somewhat from the D-pillar. And the DLO now has a squarer shape which is more in keeping with my idea of Volvo aesthetics.
The outgoing car’s DLO is almost but not quite bullet-shaped at the rear (not so good) but the tail-gate is far neater by means of the black panel blending optically with the rear screen. It was a good place to put the marque’s nameplate. The 2019 car looks as if it is supposed to be seen as wider and squarer but the body-coloured panel over the license plate depression is untidy. So, at the rear, gains and losses and it’s probably a draw as to which one is the more appealing.
On a more general level, I was thinking about the outgoing 60 and the fact that it is a car that has just not made an impression on me. It has been on sale since 2008 and in all that time the only thing I thought about it was that its styling was not authentic Volvo. The 2000-2009 car did the job, being one of the period’s smarter saloons and even if it was a bit cramped, I though it met my requirements for what a Volvo should look like.
Eighteen years later, the Mk 1 S60 still works very well indeed. The new car rejoins the Volvo design mainstream whereas the last car will stand out as an unhappy attempt to de-Volvo Volvo.
You can read a sensible summary of the new V60 here. And you can get ANE’s view here. The technical part I like is this: “Like other models on the SPA platform, the V60 runs a quirky, Corvette style transverse leaf spring rear suspension setup” (Autoblog).
We do like our saloons at DTW and I have to say the V60 is the most handsome even if it’s not actually a saloon yet. Volvo have been producing a very consistent line-up (for the most part) and I fully expect the saloon will not feature the blips and wierdnesses that are marring recent arrivals to this vexed class (step forward Insignia and 508). We have given the A6 a kicking and if you compare the two cars, it makes Audi’s fall from grace all the more unsettling.