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Volvo takes aim at Germans with sharp S60 pricing

Price pleaser: The S60 goes on sale from January, 2001, with pricing starting at $54,950.

On a power-per-dollar basis the S60 looks like a winning combination

3 Nov 2000

VOLVO has taken aim at its German mid-size rivals with razor-sharp introductory pricing for its new S60 compact luxury sedan.

The car will be launched in Australia at the Sydney Motor Show this month and goes on sale January 2001.

The three-model S60 range significantly undercuts BMW's 3-series and Mercedes-Benz's newly introduced C-Class on price, when cars of equivalent performance levels are compared.

For instance, the base model S60 2.4 20V SE with five-speed manual gearbox is priced at $54,950, which makes it roughly equivalent on a dollar basis to the BMW 318i Executive and Mercedes-Benz C180.

Yet its power outputs of 125kW and 230Nm place it more in-line with BMW's 323i priced at $65,190 and two Mercedes-Benzes - the $59,800 C200K and the $72,900 C240K.

The same comparisons can be drawn for the other two Volvo models - the $62,950 S60 T and the $80,950 T5 - against their equivalent BMW and Mercedes-Benz models.

The light-pressure turbocharged S60 2.4T produces 147kW and 285Nm, while the high-pressure turbo T5 develops 184kW and 330Nm.

The three five-cylinder engines are the same as those found in the new V70 wagon range. The 20V unit meets the stringent American ULEV emission standards, while the turbos are good enough to meet the LEV standard.

Despite the pricing advantage, Volvo Car Australia is keeping its sales estimates at a cautious 800 for the S60's first 12 months on sale in Australia.

Over-optimistic estimates for the larger S80 luxury sedan have prompted a more cautious tone for this car, which replaces the old S70.

The S60, built on the same platform as the S80 and the V70, follows the recent trend for Volvos to become increasingly stylish.

This car's short overhangs and coupe styling give it a sporting look. Volvo says the S60 is "sports-minded" and has been designed to appeal to the "driving enthusiast and younger buyer".

A five-speed automatic gearbox is available across the range at a $2000 premium, including Geartronic manual sequential shift on the 2.4T and T5.

The sporty five-speed manual shift gear lever - the Spaceball - with alloy finish is available as a $390 option on manual transmission versions of the 20V and 2.4T. The T5 gets Spaceball standard.

The Volvo Navigation System (VNS) will be standard on the T5 and optional on the other two models. The system is based on a GPS navigator and a CD containing detail maps.

VNS highlights the most direct route to a given destination via a voice activated 5-inch colour screen, hidden in the instrument panel until needed.

Directions to the nearest hotel, petrol station, parking station, restaurant or tourist attraction are also on hand.

The 20V will ride on 15-inch wheels, the turbo models on 16-inch wheels. Anti-lock brakes assisted by brake force distribution and the WHIPS and SIPS safety systems are standard across the range.

The 2.4T will feature stability control (STC) while the T5 comes with Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC).

PRICING Volvo S60 2.4 20V SE sedan manual $54,950 Volvo S60 2.4 20V SE sedan auto $56,950 Volvo S60 T sedan manual $62,950 Volvo S60 T sedan auto $64,950 Volvo S60 T5 sedan manual $80,950 Volvo S60 T5 sedan auto $82,950

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