Volvo’s
new four-wheel drive version of its S60 sports sedan continues the tradition
of being badged ‘AWD’ (like Subaru, the company prefers the All Wheel Drive
to Four-Wheel Drive) and will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September
2001.

As in the earlier V70 AWD station wagon range, the S60 sedan’s four-wheel
drive system operates completely independently of the driver to distribute power
automatically between the front and rear wheels for the best possible grip on
varying road surfaces.

However, this new model differs from earlier 4WD Volvos in its use of an electronic
control system linked to other powertrain controllers. The system was developed
in collaboration with Swedish company Haldex – one of the pioneers in this
field.


PWC


Global
Supplier
Report


In the latest system, the power is distributed between the front and rear wheels
via a wet multi-plate clutch as before but the 4WD electronic controller is
now connected to the electronic multiplex system in the car.

As a result, it can communicate with other systems controlling the engine,
automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes and traction control to optimise four-wheel
drive to driving conditions.

This new ‘digital communication platform’ includes Volvo’s STC
(Stability and Traction Control) stability system as standard and, from the
end of 2001, buyers will be able to order the S60 AWD with the optional enhanced
DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) system.

Volvo claims that its new electronically controlled 4WD drivetrain engages
or disengages exceptionally quickly to deliver improved handling characteristics.

“After all, the owner of a sporty sedan does not use all-wheel drive primarily
for accessibility but for optimal road-holding and stability," said the
company’s senior vice president of research, development and purchase Hans
Gustavsson.

The Volvo S60 AWD uses the company’s familiar five-cylinder, 2.4-litre
‘T’ engine with light-pressure turbocharger delivering 197hp at 6,000
rpm and maximum torque of 210 lb.ft. as low as 1,800 rpm.

This engine is also used in the two-wheel drive S60 2.4T and Volvo claims its
‘lightning response and impressive power at low engine speeds’ are
especially well suited to the AWD’s drivetrain.

Sales begin at the end of August 2001 and the worldwide sales target for the
first year is 9,000 cars.


To view related research reports, please follow the links
below:-

The
world’s car manufacturers: A financial and operating review

Managing
the Future – World Vehicle Forecasts and Strategies to 2020 – Volume II