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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2009 Volvo XC60

By David Gluckman
Article file under

We got our first glimpse of the XC60 in concept guise at the 2007 Detroit show just over a year ago. The S40-based utility will make its production debut in Geneva next month.

The 2009 XC60 will be the brand's first foray into the increasingly crowded small premium crossover segment - it will join other alphanumeric utes like the BMW X3, Acura RDX, Land Rover LR2, and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLK. Volvo hopes to appeal to current customers with the XC60 and sees it as the next step up for C30 buyers.

U.S.-bound XC60s will get motivation from Volvo's turbocharged inline-six T6 engine, which produces 281 hp. All-wheel drive will be standard.

The expected host of Volvo safety features is joined on the XC60 by a system called City Safe. When driving at low speeds the car will automatically apply the brakes if it senses an imminent collision. Volvo claims this is the first vehicle to offer such anti-rear-ending technology as standard. President and CEO Fredrik Arp even went as far as saying that this is "the safest Volvo ever."

The styling is a toned-down version of what we saw on the concept with a profile that Volvo describes as coupe-like (a la BMW's X6). The interior has the same Swedish cleanliness we're used to.