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THERE was a time when an interest in all things Volvo would lead to universal ridicule, but not anymore.
Today, Volvos are officially cool, and the recently revealed S60 sedan adds to a line-up full of desirable metal.
The S60 joins the S40 and S80 to become a third Volvo sedan offering, and is an obvious challenge to the likes of BMW's 3 Series, the C-Class Mercedes and Audi's A4.
At launch next month, three S60 variants will be made available.
Two turbo diesels are offered – a four-cylinder T5 and a five-cylinder D5 – but the flagship model will be the twin-turbo T6 petrol.
This car features the most powerful six-cylinder engine ever offered by Volvo, boasting 224kW and 440Nm from its twin turbocharged 3.0-litre, helping it complete the 0-100kmh dash in 6.1 seconds.
It also features switchable Sport or Advanced Stability Control chassis settings, depending on how enthusiastically you'll be driving it.
It's a sporty-looking number, too, as has been the case with everything to get the nod of approval from Volvo's design team these past few years.
If you're seeking something a bit different to the commonplace German sporty executives, the all-wheel-drive S60 could well do the trick.
Being a Volvo, you'd be right to expect another world-first safety system, and with the S60 you are offered pedestrian detection and avoidance technology.
This powerfully applies the brakes for you if the system feels you're about to collide with a pedestrian.
The car also comes with City Safety (auto braking to avoid a rear-ending accident) as standard.
The range-topping S60 T6 AWD will set you back $64,950 before on-roads.
The diesel T5 and D5 models also available at launch next month weigh in at $51,950 and $57,950 respectively, before statutory and dealer charges.
Model: Volvo S60 T6 AWD.
Details: Four-door compact executive sedan.
Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged in-line six-cylinder generating maximum power of 224kW @ 5600rpm and 440Nm @ 2100-4200rpm.
Transmission: Six-speed Geartronic (no manual available).
Consumption: 10.2 litres/100km.
Performance: 0-100kmh in 6.1 seconds; top speed 250kmh.
Bottom line: $64,950 (launch date December 2010).