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“Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, every one knows that Volvos are square affairs, from one driven by the older driver, or by drama teachers. Who else fills their brochures with acronyms like SIPS, IC and WHIPS?”

“The very nature of the car - and I draw from a quote of the founders of Volvo, Assar Gabrielsson here; ‘Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is - and must remain - safety’ ”.

“The S60 is by its very nature, Volvoish.” “All of the five seats in the S60 have three-point belts, even the airbags think for themselves, inflating in two stages, dependant on the severity of the impact. In the event of an impact to the side of the car, SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) spreads the force of the impact away from the cabin and through pillars, floor and roof of the car instead.”

“The WHIPS system built into the front seats helps to prevent whiplash injuries and there are even ISOFIX attachments for child seats in both the front and back of the car”.

“In conclusion, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, don’t let the new curvy design fool you, drive a S60 and you’re driving a tank. You could point this at buildings and come out safely the other side.”

The defence council takes to the stand.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, my learned friend would have you believe that nothing has changed in the past ten years.” “But in fact quite the opposite is true, a new generation of younger Volvo drivers has emerged - people who’d never have thought have driving Volvos a few years ago are now happy to buy from the marque.”

“Take the S60 for example. Peter Horbury, Head of Design at Volvo said of the S60; ‘When designing the Volvo S60, we wanted to create Volvo’s most dynamic sporty saloon ever - a car with a difference’ - and that’s exactly what the S60 is. A car with a difference.”

“The outside styling is more curved than you’ve ever seen on one of the bad old Volvos, and the interior again, is more modern and rounded. Sure, the Swedish themes are there, with a simple and straight forward design - but it’s certainly not old fashioned.”

“Take the S60 out on to the road, and that’s where you’ll really notice the difference, Ladies and Gentlemen. Quite simply, it is one of the easiest cars of its size to drive - period. The 180bhp 2.0-litre goes about its business in an eager and efficient manner ensuring refined comfort - not normally two words associated with drama teachers”.

“Sure, the traditional values of old Volvo are still there, but these days they are combined with young and dynamic new designs, like that of the S60. Buy an S60 and you’ll get a roomy, well-built, well-designed compact executive car, and anyone in this millennium, and not the last will recognise that…”

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the decision is yours…

C. Boorman

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