Volvo S60 Cross Country mixes the rough with the smooth

Swedish automaker Volvo has narrowed the gap between sedan, crossover and SUV with its latest offering, the Cross Country variant of the S60 luxury sedan. In the process, Volvo has become the first automaker in the luxury pack to come up with something as outrageous as a high riding sedan, bettered in shock value only by the instantly recognizable BMW X6, which some love and many hate. The S60 Cross Country is Volvo’s interpretation of a car that can mix the rough with the smooth.

In essence, the latest variant of the S60 mixes the comfort and prestige of a sedan with high ground clearance and bad road handling ability of a crossover/SUV. The car will be showcased at the upcoming 2015 Detroit Motor Show. Actual sales will start later this year, with the European market to receive this interesting new Volvo first. Changes to the cross country variant, the first such Volvo sedan, are pretty straight forward.

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Taller 18 inch and 19 inch wheels are standard, a factor that boosts ride height by a considerable 65 mm or about 2.5 inches. In contrast, the regular Volvo S60 sedan features a 136 mm ground clearance. Volvo has also equipped the S60 Cross Country with an all wheel drive layout, a feature that underscores the car’s ability to handle tarmac irregularities with aplomb. Specific markets of the world will also receive front wheel driven variants of the car, as is the case with the sedan variant.

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In terms of cosmetics, the car’s exteriors get a rough road package that adds bumper inserts at the front and rear, and side skirts on the flanks. A contrast dual tone paint job adds to the outdoorsy appeal of the car with distinct elements such as the wing mirrors getting blacked out. While exterior dimensions of the car, at 4,635 mm in length, 2,097 mm in width and 1,484 mm in height remain unchanged, the bulk of the increase in ride height is achieved by high profile tyres.

Under the hood, things remain familiar. Volvo offers a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, including ones from its latest Drive E platform. Both manual and automatic gearbox options are served up, in both front wheel drive and all wheel drive guises. While the car will be an apt addition to Volvo’s Indian vehicle range given its suitability to the rough and tumble of roads here, it remains to be seen if the Swedish automaker launches the S60 Cross Country in India.

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If brought here, the car will arrive as a completely built unit (CBU), a trait that every Volvo car sold in India shares. This factor, by itself, is a reason why the S60 Cross Country will be a straight forward import into the country if the powers that be at Volvo will it. In terms of pricing, the new car is expected to command a small premium for the priceless gem it brings to the table, peace of mind.