Volvo cars to become cheaper soon

According to one of our source, Volvo Motors India, as an automobile firm, are looking to make their products or just like their German competitors, make the products even cheaper in a bid to appeal to a wider audience. The Volvo S60 is the one which is supposed to be at the receiving end of this magnamity. This is a conscious effort by the company to bump up volumes of its cars in India.

Some of the technological marvels like Lane Departure Warning as also Pedestrian Detection Technology would be deleted from this cheaper variant of S60 and since Volvo offers this as standard on all its cars, it is very likely that the XC60 and other Volvo cars in India would also come without this safety feature. Last year, the company sold about 130 units in India whereas this year, the goalpost has been moved to 500 units. Moreover, the company is trying very hard to push its dealer network to a substantial tally as well. However, no news of when the stripped down S60 would be launched have been revealed.

Volvo S60

Buyers Guide for Volvo

This passenger car manufacturer is a Swedish company. This company initially started as a ball bearing company with a brand name Volvo SKF. After many changes in the company and after many thought process this company started manufacturing automobiles in the year 1927. The company believes it was then that they actually came out in public as Volvo Automobiles and they also believe that this was the year when Volvo actually got established. The first car manufactured by the company was christened as Jakob. In the year 1999 Volvo sold its automobile division to Ford Motors. Volvo produces almost every type of vehicles right from commercial trucks to cars and today I will only talk about Volvo cars.

Volvo S60

Volvo S60 is the much awaited car in Indian automobile market. Reason being that firstly the brand behind this car is Volvo and secondly that this car is jam packed with features that keep our mouth wet enough. A direct competitor of BMW 3 series, Audi A4 and Mercedes Benz C Class, this car is definitely going to set the automobile market on fire. This car has an extremely appealing looks. This car is supposed to break the plain-jane image of Volvo Automobiles, as it has been always known for manufacturing cars which have this sober looks stretched all over their body. This car is expected to be launched in two engine types namely D5 and T6 engine. This car will also feature a host of safety features which have been till now unheard of in India. Out of both the motors, the D5 is expected to generate maximum sales. Anyways let’s just wait and watch.

Engine Options:
2400cc (D5)\ 2953 (T6)

Powertrain:
6 speed automatic

Power:
205 Bhp@4000 rpm\ 304 Bhp@5600 rpm

Torque:
42 Kgm @3240 rpm\ 44.8 Kgm @2100 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Looks, handling and safety features.

Thumbs Down:
Brand image

Head on Competitors:
BMW 3 series, Mercedes C Class and Audi A4

The Catch:
Rs 27 lakhs to Rs. 35 lakhs.

Volvo S80

I guess the reason behind the injustice to the sales figures of Volvo in India is the very reason that all their cars are understated. This car is one of the best cars available in India but just because of the aforementioned reason it didn’t do well here. The looks of this car is amazing, interiors are simply superb as if the manufacturer has kept elegance in mind. This car has a leather upholstered seats hwith an added dash of wood to make it even more elegant. This car is available in two engine types namely D5 and V8. Both the engines are mated with a 6 speed automatic transmission and both of them perform really well. Especially the V8 engine delivers an exceptional performance. Safety is one thing which is best in each and every vehicle of Volvo.

Engine Options:
2400cc (D5)\ 4414cc (V8)

Powertrain:
6 speed automatic

Power:
185 Bhp@4000 rpm\ 315 Bhp@5850 rpm

Torque:
40.8 Kgm @2750 rpm\ 44.8 Kgm @3950 rpm

Thumbs Up:

Price, safety, performance of V8 engine and economy of D5 engine

Thumbs Down:
Looks old and it is average in dynamics

Head on Competitors:
BMW 5 series, Mercedes E Class and Audi A6

The Catch:

Rs 37 lakhs to Rs. 45 lakhs.

Volvo XC60

When we talk about Volvo vehicles we know that there is no point talking about the safety of the vehicles as it is known by one and all that they are the leader in manufacturing the safest vehicles. To my utter surprise the company recently made an announcement that the company will be launching their new SUV which is by far the safest vehicle ever launched from their shed. Apart from that what by far I have grasped about this vehicle is that it will be one of the good looking SUVs in India. It is not that bulky than the usual SUVs found in India but still manages to deliver an exceptional performance. This car comes equipped with a 2.4 litre twin turbo diesel engine. This engine is mated with a 6 speed automatic transmission. Undoubtedly this engine has a real great performance. The problem is that this SUV is not a good off roader. So all you people who wants to take this SUV in any off road conditions then I would probably suggest you to have a look at your options before investing.

Engine Options:
2400cc

Powertrain:
6 speed automatic

Power:
205 Bhp@4000 rpm

Torque:
42.8 Kgm @3250 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Looks, features and economy

Thumbs Down:
Its off road capability

Head on Competitors:
Land Rover Freelander2 and Audi Q5

The Catch:
Rs 40 lakhs.

Volvo XC90

This SUV is known for its value for money. Maybe that is the reason that this vehicle poses to be the best model vehicle of Volvo automobiles. The styling of this SUV is amazing. From inside this car seems to be unbeatable. This car comes with the same engine options as in the Volvo S80. The V8 engine performs exceptionally. If you are looking for some fireworks, then this might be the right choice. I would say just take a test drive and know for yourself. As I already mentioned that Volvo vehicles are one of the understated vehicles and its true in this SUV’s case as well. According to me it is one of the best SUV’s in town and if you doubt my opinion then go and take a test drive today.

Engine Options:
2400cc (D5)\ 4414cc (V8)

Powertrain:
6 speed automatic

Power:
185 Bhp@4000 rpm\ 315 Bhp@5850 rpm

Torque:
40.8 Kgm @2750 rpm\ 44.8 Kgm @3950 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Price, performance of V8 engine and economy of D5 engine

Thumbs Down:
Looks old and it is average in dynamics

Head on Competitors:
BMW X5, Mercedes ML Class and Audi Q7

The Catch:
Rs 40 lakhs to Rs. 49 lakhs.

Volvo S60

Stylish, Sporty, Safe, Spacious, Sleek….. I really could go on about the S-Mode from Sweden.

Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has maintained a low profile in the Indian auto industry as far as the number of their offerings is concerned. This could be due to many reasons least of which revolve around the fact that Volvo makes vehicles that don’t generally fall in the economy bracket when it comes to price. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that the Indian market is cheap, but rather the frugal nature of Indians, coupled with the relatively higher price of Volvo as compared to its rivals, as well as lower fuel efficiency ratings all point to reduced sales. It is rather Volvo that has had to tailor its vehicle to suit the Indian market and this says a lot for about India as a global automotive player.

Volvo is not looking to increase its car offerings in India and has resorted to some aggressive methods to achieve this. How you ask? Well, Volvo India are planning on introducing up to three new models which will namely be the – XC60, S60 and V60 models. The XC60 and S60 are to be launched soon in India and will be quickly followed by the very impressive V60, which should pave the way for a new type of car in India. The XC60 is already doing very well in Europe as it is an awesome product but it is the S60 that should prove to be the most exciting of the lot.

Volvo is all geared up to change the rules with the introduction of the S60 as it is a completely new developed vehicle. You may wonder what being a new vehicle has to do with changing the game but one look at the S60 and all doubts will vanish. The S60 is totally new in terms of design and technology and you will only need the slightest glimpse to realize that this new Volvo is unlike anything they have offered before. The front end gets a daring, aggressive fascia with newer bolder headlights as well as a stylish, sleek grille that has the traditional diagonal strip symbolizing Volvo’s badging. These give the front end a very striking image and coupled with the newly designed bumper makes the S60 very attractive. Only the tail lights are reminiscent of previous Volvo models with the same cut and integration into the boot lid.

The interior of the Volvo S60 has also come a long way from the previous version. With the dashboard, centre console, gear shift, climate control knobs and other switches now getting a more tech-savvy, modern and most critically an uncluttered look. The front seats are low-slung and give the front occupants a snug feel while providing all the necessary cushioning and support. The low nature of the seats also gives the front cabin an added sporty look. Rear space is what Volvo hopes will give it the edge when it comes to its competitors and rear passengers will be very happy with the head room and leg room the rear cabin affords.

If you were to think that the revamped interiors and exteriors are the only things that make us gush about the new Volvo S60 you will have to think again. The way the new Volvo drives is up there with the attributes making it one of the most eagerly awaited Volvo’s ever. For the first time Volvo has taken into consideration the dynamics, sportiness and driving pleasure of a vehicle and focused on delivering on all counts.

The S60 definitely feels sporty to drive and hugs corners like a cat on a carpet. Although it may still fall short of its other German brother the BMW, in terms of sporty character, you can bet your house on the balance that Volvo have achieved between comfort and agility (although I spotted some youtube videos that proved it could actually compete with the BMW).

On a long drive in the countryside where there were lots of curvy corners and hilly sections there were minimal problems with the S60 when it came to traversing the bends and the car handles these with minimum of fuss.  The Steering wheel feels nice and weighty and also very responsive and sharp. It is not as precise as a point and shoot type but is a huge improvement over previous Volvo models.

The Volvo S60 will be offered in two engine types one being the T6, which is a 3.0 liter petrol and D5, which is a 2.4 liter diesel engine. The T6 is for those drivers who are very enthusiastic about their driving and the six cylinder, turbocharged motor belts out a maximum power of 308 PS and a maximum torque of 440 Nm. The power of the engine ensures that the car moves in a smooth straight line giving good linear acceleration. The Volvo S60 Petrol also comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission along with a sequential manual shifter although there is no paddle shift option in the car. The Volvo S60 also comes with an all-wheel drive setup and this improves grip on the road and handling by quite an extent.

The D5 engine is the cleaner option offered by Volvo but this one is much slower than the T6 petrol. Being a diesel engine the torque output is similar to that of the T6 unit and this one give an impressive 420 Nm of maximum torque. The massive quantity of torque on tap allows for an enjoyable drive in the city but after a drive in the very impressive T6 fitted vehicle it is hard not to feel a tad bit disappointed with the slightly more sluggish performance of the Volvo S60 Diesel D5 installed car.

Volvo has always been synonymous with safety and their cars have always had some of the most innovative and modern safety technologies incorporated into them. The Volvo S60 does not disappoint on this front as well and comes with a few new gadgets in it that would put even the most distrust passenger at ease. Volvo intends to set an unprecedented safety benchmark in the segment with the introduction of the Volvo S60. It features new systems like the Pedestrian detection with full auto brakes and Queue assist to help the driver prevent accidents.

The Pedestrian detection with Collision Warning and Full Auto Brake system is of great use as it uses radar incorporated in the front of the car near the grille and a camera fixed near the outside rear view mirror. The radar helps to detect any obstructions in the cars path and the camera is used to identify if that is a human being. Once the object has been detected the car sends out a warning to the driver in the form of red flashing light that appears near the instrumentation panel. If this has been ignored by the driver the car then sends out a beep and if there is again no response in the form of braking from the driver, then the cars Full Auto Brake takes control bringing the car to a complete stop if the speed is below 35 km/hr. Any speed above 35 km/hr and the car will manage to slow itself down to the maximum extent possible to ensure the minimum of collision impact with the object be it a pedestrian or other.

The Volvo S60 comes across as a total package and has none of the traditional styling cues of Volvo vehicles. It is extremely stylish, powerful, spacious and technologically advanced. It also goes without saying that the Volvo S60 is equipped with some of the most technologically advanced safety features that will make it an attractive option for many buyers.

Expect the Volvo S60 to hit Indian markets by March of next year and the only thing that is going to stand in the way of it making good sales is its price tag. Initial estimates put the Volvo S60 at around Rs. 30 lakhs and this should be a good value for the vehicle to beat out any competition as the car has all the other requisites that would make it the most viable option to Indian buyers.

Volvo S60 Specifications

Vehicle Category: Sedan
Engines (petrol): 3.0 L, 6 cylinder, 304 HP, 440 Nm torque
Engine (Diesel): 2.4 L, 6 cylinder, 204 HP, 420 Nm torque
Drivetrain: Front engine, 5 passenger, 4-door sedan, AWD
Transmissions (standard): 6-speed auto with sequential shifter
Curb Weight:
1789 kg
0-100 kph: 5.2 secs (est.)
Mileage city/hwy: 9 / 13 kmpl
Price of Volvo S60: Rs30 Lakh (est)

Volvo S60

New Volvo S60 Preview

Volvo started their Indian operations by running their much lauded buses. They also demonstrated a lot about the safety of even buses which been basic people movers, were still ignored widely as far as safety was concerned. Volvo’s foray into the passenger car section started in India with the S80. This was an Mercedes E-class, BMW 5 series and the Audi A6’s competitor. It didn’t fare too well due to its brand image and sort of staid and all to familiar Volvo looks. Its 4.4 liter twin turbo, Yamaha derived engine was a stonker though and gives a seat of the pants feel the moment you step on the accelerator. Then came the XC90 which was once again a competitor of the aforementioned companies but only exception was that this time it competed with their SUV range. The XC90 was also largely ignored not because it wasn’t a capable machine but because it suffered the same problem of brand image. It got a second breath of life when “3 Idiots” movie featured it. Now Volvo have launched their 3 series competitor, the New Volvo S60.

Looks

The S60 moves a bit away from the Scandivian design theme and now mixes conservative and stylish looks in the same plate. The front features a prominent snout like look with about two creases on the bonnet. This merges into the small but purposeful grill and the Volvo logo proudly sits across it. The head lamps are tear drop shape and they are of the bi-xenon types. The strangest design element is that the fog lamp is placed just next to the head lamp. The head lamp washers are heated ones and sit just below the headlamps in a slot of their own.

The crease from the bonnet again extends from the grill to the lower bumper artistically. It sort of resembles the Hyundai Verna Transform in this regard, though the Verna’s nose job seems like a bad afterthought. The lower air dam is of the honey comb mesh grill type and is flanked by two smaller ones which are outlined by a strip of chrome.

The turn indicators are embedded in the head lamp cluster as well as on the outside rear view mirrors. A side skirt adorns the side profiles. The wheels are the 17 inch alloy types. The rear window has a quarter glass to it. The door handles are of the tug type. While at the door handles, it must be mentioned that in an event of a fire, they can be opened by flame resistant gloves. The roof-line slopes like that of a coupe and this merges neatly into the stubby boot. The rear looks more like the BMW 5 series GT. The tail lamps are horizontally stacked and the reversing lights are split by the boot. The bumper is covered by an aluminium skid plate and houses twin tail pipes. These are coated in chrome.

Interiors

The interiors are even more interesting than the exteriors. The floating central console looks awesome and feels a class above than the competition. The multi spoked and contoured steering wheel feels great to hold and steer. It also houses solid looking controld for the Bluetooth, audio and cruise control. The dashboard feels premium to feel and touch with all those brushed aluminium around.

The flexibility of the interiors is in the fact that for a Volvo S60, you can specify the interior trim completely according to you wish. This makes each Volvo S60 exclusive to its owner. In other words, you design the interiors and Volvo makes it for you. The seats are of high quality perforated leather. Storage spaces abound with the double glove box, map pockets and even space beneath the seats.

The rear seats are also comfortable to seat three upright because of the flat floor. The front seat head rests feature video screens. A touch screen navigation system on the dashboard completes the list of standard gizmos other than the usual knip knacks.

Handling and ride quality

The Volvo S60 is going to have the dynamic chassis as standard for the US market however for India, Volvo would be offering only comfort chassis in India with some emphasis on sportiness as an option. It can be expected that the Volvo would be a combination of the good ride quality like the Mercedes C class and the handling pleasure of the BMW 3 series. The boot space is also a huge 557 liters compounded by the fact that the loading lip is also low.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

For starters, Volvo would bring in the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol having 4 cylinders with 200 bhp and the other one would be the 3.0-litre petrol V6 producing 304 bhp. There would be diesels on offer as well. The twin turbo diesel straight six 2.4-litre giving 214 bhp and the 2.0-litre four-cylinder  turbo-diesel with 163 bhp would complete the line up. This puts it bang in the territory of the BMW engines and it would be a competition worth watching.

Power would be put via the front wheels or an optional 4 wheel drive system. The gearbox would be a standard 6 speed manual on all the variants plus a 6 speed automatic with triptronic function as an option. Both these should be super slick shifting units as experienced on the previous Volvos.

Performance for the turbo petrol would be in the league of the BMW 335i however we would reserve our comments until we get our hands on one of the cars.

Fuel efficiency would be at par with the competition if not less than them.

Braking would be handled by advanced disc brakes on all 4 wheels. It would be assisted by a 4th generation ABS as well as traction control perfected by Volvo. It would also have EBD and ESP. Safety would be of paramount importance as with all the Volvos. It features an S-class rivalling safety features at the price of a C-class. There is the second generation pedestrian detecting safety system, 3 point ELR seat belts, ample crumple zones, 8 airbags, auto brake, lane veneer alert and many more driver aids.

Without even conducting a crash safety test on this one, we can say that the occupants would come out unscathed out of this Volvo or for that matter any Volvo.

Verdict

The Volvo S60 in India is one of the most awaited cars. It has been giving a tough fight to the German trio everywhere across the world. It is a rock solid car and would even drive or brake by itself. It has also got the performance on the papers to boot for. The only thing lacking may be in the price point that Volvo intends to price it at. The estimated pricing for the base version starts at Rs.33 lakhs. This is something that seems pricier than the competition and Volvo would have to remedy it, if it wants to gain a chunk of the market share from the Indian market. It is expected to be launched in January 2011 with some famous celebrity endorsing it. We hope this works for Volvo India.

Volvo S60 Price would range from Rs.33-41 lakhs.