New S60 shapes up to beat 3-Series!

Meet the curvy compact exec that aims to build on Volvo’s growing reputation for creating stylish, exciting cars.

These are the first official pictures of the new S60, and while no image of the rear is available yet, drivers clearly have a great deal to look forward to.

It’s inspired by the concept which debuted at the Detroit Motor Show in January, and features the same swooping coupé roofline and neatly rounded edges. It’s even finished in the same copper paintjob!

Inside, the cabin is set to be equally dramatic, with LED lights and a swooping dashboard, incorporating an LCD instrument panel.

Volvo has announced that the showroom-ready S60 will be unveiled at March’s Geneva expo – and that production will start early next summer at the firm’s plant in Ghent, Belgium.

Bosses have also promised that the newcomer will be equipped with the innovative Pedestrian Detection system – a groundbreaking safety feature that can sense people in the road in front of the car, and apply the brakes automatically if the driver doesn’t react.

Although the engine line-up has yet to be confirmed, buyers are set to be offered an all-new 1.6-litre direct-injection EcoBoost petrol turbo unit, delivering 180bhp. A 1.6-litre diesel is also on the cards – this is likely to power an ultra-efficient DRIVe model.

It’s uncertain whether a high-performance R version of the new S60 will be produced. Sources close to the project say they want to emphasise the car’s eco credentials instead.

A hybrid is in the pipeline, though. This will be developed from experimental work Volvo carried out with an all-electric C30.

Prices for the newcomer have yet to be finalised, but it’s expected to cost less than the larger V70 estate. The range could start at around £22,000.

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