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Inside the all-new Volvo S60 - uncompromising quality and sportiness elevated to new levels
2 March 2010
The interior of the all-new S60 takes Volvo Cars to a new dimension in terms of exclusive quality. In addition, Volvo Cars' designers have added in excitement, contrast and playfulness to the rational simplicity of Scandinavian design tradition.
"The interior has a more extrovert attitude than before, but without losing any of its practical Scandinavian roots. The all-new S60 brings us up to a whole new level when it comes to the integral experience of colour, form, material and technology," says Volvo Cars' Design Director Peter Horbury. Scandinavian design is often described with rational adjectives such as functionality, simplicity and clarity. When creating the all-new S60, the design team also added in a modern touch, details that generate excitement, contrast and playfulness.
"In addition, we've taken a significant step forward when it comes to the quality and craftsmanship of the interior. We aimed to make every visible surface, whether leather, metal, wood or plastic, exclusive both to the hand and the eye," says Anders Sachs, who is in charge of colours and materials in the all-new Volvo S60. The attractive stitching of the upholstery is a good example of the systematic approach to quality. The silk metal frame around the centre console's décor in Charcoal, Shimmer Graphite aluminium or Urbane Wood is another. "We have had an non-compromise approach when it comes to perfection. Every single detail is of great importance for the total impression," says Anders Sachs.
Uncompromising sportiness with racing inspiration
Volvo's designers obtained their inspiration from the racing track as they pursued their hunt for uncompromising sportiness in the all-new S60.
"A quick glance inside the car is enough for you to feel that this is a Volvo with a totally different dynamic presence than previous models. The racing track's dramatic yet harmoniously flowing lines can be traced in almost every interior detail. It's an interior for all your senses," says Jonathan Disley, head of interior design in the all-new S60.
The graphic character of the racing track is clearly apparent in the instrument panel and in the doors. The lines do not end abruptly but instead create an uninterrupted, continuous flow. "Every detail looks like it's in motion. All these lines ‘embrace’ the driver's cockpit. The instruments and centre stack are angled towards the driver to create a sensation of focus and control. The new dynamic three-spoke steering wheel and the new sports seats with extra side supports are standard. There isn't a single weak point or compromise anywhere in the dynamic approach we adopted from the very beginning," says Jonathan Disley.
The interior of the all-new S60 is lavish in terms of its driver-oriented details, but it is still a five-seater car offering comfortable space for all its occupants. The sculpted outer rear seats give the passenger in the middle welcome side support. Knee space in the rear seat has increased by 30 mm compared with the previous-generation S60. Beige and black are the main colours of the upholstery range, which is spiced up with the new highlight shade Beechwood Brown - a tan leather upholstery that traces its proud roots to classic Volvo models such as the P1800 ES and 164.
"We wanted to create a colour that feels both classic and timeless but in the same time radiates attitude and character", adds Anders Sachs. "For the all-new S60 we only use it on the surface of the seat, the rest is black. This gives you a floating effect that pronounces the sporty side bolsters. An unmistakable cool and exiting interior option."
Most high-tech Volvo ever
The sporty interior of the all-new S60 is also the most advanced high-tech environment any Volvo driver has ever had access to.
Ground-breaking technology such as Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake takes Volvo's safety dedication yet another step towards the vision of building cars that do not get involved in accidents.
In the field of comfort, there are features such as the optional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which automatically maintains a set gap to the vehicle in front. What is new is that the Adaptive Cruise Control operates at speeds below 30 km/h, all the way down to standstill.
The all-new S60 can naturally be equipped with parking sensors front and rear and a Park Assist camera at the rear. A camera in the front grille with a 180 field of vision is available as an option. This camera can ‘see around the corner’ and helps the driver negotiate blind exits and park with greater safety.
Entirely new Infotainment system
The all-new S60 also gets an all-new Infotainment system where information from the audio unit, navigation system, mobile phone and other functions is presented on a five-inch or seven-inch colour screen in the upper part of the centre console. The screen has a high position to make it easy for the driver to keep his or hers eyes on the road.
All the functions can be controlled from the steering wheel or via controls located directly below the colour screen. In addition there is a separate remote control.
"We have focused firmly on the development of an HMI (Human-Machine Interface) solution that is easy to handle and that does not distract the driver from the main task of driving. The idea behind the technology is that a high percentage of the users will be able to handle the basic functions without having to refer to the instruction manual," says Tomas Ahlborg, Project Director for the all-new S60.
Volvo has conducted several test sessions to evaluate customer responses to various HMI alternatives. Tomas Ahlborg again:
"We are one of the few manufacturers to give the driver access to all infotainment functions via controls in the steering wheel. When it comes to the layout of the centre stack, most of the people in the tests felt that our solution with rotating controls close to the screen is better than a touch-screen for handling the audio system, navigation and phone with minimum possible distraction."
Integrated navigation with voice control is available as an option, as is the possibility of using Bluetooth to connect the driver's own mobile phone to the car's infotainment system.
One of the first cars with MultEQ from Audyssey Laboratories
The audio experience in the all-new S60 has been enhanced compared with previous models.
"Our most advanced system, Premium Sound, has a class-D digital 5x130W amplifier with circuits from Sweden's Anaview, Dolby Digital in combination with Dolby Pro Logic II Surround, the award-winning MultEQ from Audyssey Laboratories and 12 loudspeakers. All this creates an audio experience of absolute world class," says Tomas Ahlborg.
The Volvo S60 is one of the first car models in the world to use Audyssey Laboratories MultEQ technology, the standard for room equalization in the home and professional theatre markets. MultEQ removes distortion caused by the car cabin's acoustics enabling crisp, clear sound with improved soundstage for everyone in the car.
In addition to the top-of-the line Premium Sound, which comes with a 7-inch screen, the all-new S60 is available with a choice of three other audio systems:
- Performance - with a 4x20 W amplifier, six loudspeakers and a five-inch screen
- High Performance - with a 4x40 W amplifier and eight loudspeakers. This system also comes with five-inch screen
- High Performance Multimedia - with a 4x40 W amplifier and eight loudspeakers. This level is combined with the optional navigation system and the larger 7-inch screen
Volvo's experts do the audio tuning for all audio levels in-house
Dolby Digital gives perfect concert quality
The all-new S60 offers Dolby Digital that enables the listener to experience compelling surround sound, ensuring excellent audio quality for any Dolby Digital soundtrack. This results in a perfect concert quality when listening to live-recorded music. Of course the system also features Dolby Pro Logic II Surround that transforms ordinary stereo content into rich, full-range surround sound.
In order to further contribute to the best possible individual audio perception, Premium Sound has a special adjustment function. The audio experience can be optimised in three different ways - for the best possible enjoyment in the driver's seat, the two front seats or the rear seat.
The system can play DVDs and CDs with music in MP3, AAC or WMA formats well as AVI and Video Div-X. The system also supports Bluetooth audio streaming (A2DP).
AUX is standard for all audio levels and USB is standard from the High Performance level for hooking up other equipment, such as a portable MP3 player, iPods (from Generation 3), iPod Touch and iPhone.
From the High Performance Multimedia level, USB is also supporting Video DivX
Clean Zone Interior gives enhanced comfort
The Electronic Climate Control system, ECC, offers automatic control of both temperature and ventilation. The all-new S60 can be equipped with IAQS (Interior Air Quality System) which prevents particles and unpleasant odours from entering the cabin. To offer highly sensitive passengers even better climate comfort, the system has also been equipped with Clean Zone Interior, a system based on ECC and IAQS. When the car is unlocked using the remote control, the passenger compartment is automatically ventilated if the outdoor temperature exceeds 10 degrees Celsius.
Easily accessible storage space is an important part of interior comfort and convenience. The all-new S60 has a storage compartment behind the centre stack and another in the centre console armrest, while in the door pockets there is space for books, maps and soft-drink bottles and cans. Both the front and rear seat occupants have seat pockets within easy reach.
The rear seat splits 40/60 and the boot opening has been made 107 mm wider than in the previous-generation S60.
"The interior of the all-new S60 is all about innovative design in two areas: form and technology. The design is characterised by sporty freshness down to the smallest detail. The technological aspect includes all those smart solutions that contribute to a driving experience unlike that of any other Volvo - from collision avoidance safety and comfort systems to infotainment and audio excellence of absolute world class," says Tomas Ahlborg.