Dan Read10 November 2009

Cruise ship

Volvo launches its all-new S60 barge. Can you spot the miniature Viking longboats in the headlights?

Volvo S60

We were promised longships and we got them. Sort of. This is the all-new Volvo S60 - the proper, authentic production version - and it's pretty much identical to the concept we saw last year. Which featured Viking longships in the headlights, if you looked hard enough.
 
And like a ship, the S60 has been ‘built to move you', we're told, which is a useful trait in a car. We're also told that lots of technology will keep you safe behind the wheel. Things like a new pedestrian detection system, which scans the road and pavement and slams the brakes on should an errant pensioner sprawl themselves in your path.
 
Other details are thin, but the concept promised a 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine with dual-clutch gearbox, a stop-start system and a clever self-adjusting grille shutter, which closes to reduce air drag when the engine is cool enough. If it manages all that, the now 10-year-old S60 might finally give the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class a bit of a scare.
 
The car won't be properly unveiled until the Geneva show next March, where various hairy Norsemen will be available to talk us through that headlight design... 

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