For six years back in the mid-Nineties, I worked for a Volvo retailer. During that time, I became a dyed in the wool fan of the boxy-but-good era Swedish machines and the more curvaceous models that came prior. The days of Swedish bricks are long gone, but I still have a fondness for the brand. Today’s pre-reveal of the S60 Cross Country makes me question the company’s direction.
The original Cross Country of 1997 was a Volvo V70 with all wheel drive, a taller suspension and chunkier body moldings to toughen up the look a bit. The machine was aimed at the cottage going gentry who thought they needed something a bit more rugged than an V70 T5 to venture to the wilds of the Muskokas. While opinions were mixed about the additional plastic, the slightly more aggressive tire sizes were applauded as they looked the part and performed reasonably well.
The vehicle being in a few days in Detroit looks like a Swedish Donk.
For those who may not get the reference, Urban Dictionary describes a donk as
a late 80’s or early 90’s American heap (preferably an Impala) that has large enough wheels installed until it resembles (and rides and handles like) a Conestoga wagon. This is done so it sits up high enough so as to be at the same eye level as the Playas with real juice ridin in their Escalades.”
All we can hope is that Volvo hasn’t gone completely stark raving mad and that their graphics department drank a bit too much Glögg over the holidays.
Volvo press release
Detroit, MI. January 8th, 2014. Volvo Cars is stepping up to meet the demands of its core customers with the unveiling of the all-new S60 Cross Country at the Detroit Auto Show.
Back in 1997, when Volvo was the first premium brand to introduce an all-road capable variant of its successful wagons, no one could predict the future success of the crossover concept. Volvo is once again taking a bold step forward – this time in the sedan segment – with the unveiling of the all-new S60 Cross Country – the first premium sedan with the same level of capability and rugged design cues of the renowned Cross Country wagons.
“We want to further explore the market with our Cross Country brand. We did this back in 1997 with the V70 Cross Country and it led to the birth of a whole new segment. We have included all the capability-driven benefits of the Cross Country brand in this new model, while offering a completely unique expression of adventure and all-road readiness in a distinctly sporty and stylish package,” says Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Cars.
Like the recently introduced V60 Cross Country, the S60 Cross Country shares an increased ride height of 65mm (2.5 inches) and comes with the same capable All-Wheel Drive underpinnings of its sibling, making it the only truly capable and stylish all-road sedan crossover on the market.
“The S60 Cross Country is the sole contender in the crossover sedan segment. We have identified a clear niche in the market for a more capable sedan with rugged styling cues and a higher stance. The S60 Cross Country will appeal to people that are searching for an exciting and capable sedan, whilst enjoying the clear benefits that a crossover offers,” says Alain Visser, Senior Vice President Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
Reflecting Volvo’s love of nature and Scandinavian heritage, the S60 Cross Country offers both 18” and 19” wheels with high profile tires that add both comfort and all-road aesthetics, reduce road noise, and add increased wheel protection when needed.
Delivering an involved and focused driving experience with rugged substance, this dynamic design brings a sporty, unconventional and adventurous edge to the sedan concept.