Volvo has for too long been known for above-average vehicles that are more practical than stimulating. We hope that’s about to change, as the 2011 Volvo S60 looks like it may be one of those cars that redefines the generation of a company. The Swedes have leaked pictures and video of the redesigned sedan weeks before its anticipated debut in Geneva, and their excitement is understandable. The S60’s main attraction other than its facade is the revolutionary new Pedestrian Detection System, which forces the car to a complete stop if it senses that a collision with a person is imminent. With the system, Volvo claims that the car can avoid collisions when traveling as fast as 35km/h, and even at higher speeds is able to significantly reduce impact. Thankfully, Volvo has turned their attention under the hood as well, and offers a bevy of petrol and diesel choices, to be expanded on during the vehicle’s second year in production. The clear choice, at least on this side of the pond, would have to be the 3.0 inline-six that produces 304bhp and hustles the sedan to 60mph in a brisk 6.5 seconds. What we’re really truly pleased with is the direction Volvo decided to take with the body of their newest car. Aside from assigning more practical wheels and eliminating the glass roof, the S60 appears virtually unchanged from the S60 Concept that debuted a year ago; the oversized headlights capture the most attention, and frame the trademark Volvo grille that has been given a slightly more cohesive shape. The lights are complimented by E-Class-style running lights, sure to be a theme among luxury cars and their copycats in the years to come. The beltline is really appealing, as it undulates in sync with the car’s fenders and really runs with the outline of the vehicle, lending it a very sporty look. The rear of the vehicle incorporates a similar, albeit smoother look we recognize from the C70, the centerpiece of which is the blacked-out rear diffuser that houses the dual exhaust. With such sporty new looks to match the technology and power, this new Volvo must deliver on all fronts, but we think this time it’s finally up to the challenge. Deliveries will begin this summer.
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