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Car Tech Video: 2011 Volvo S60 T6 AWD

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Car Tech Video: 2011 Volvo S60 T6 AWD

4:59 /

The 2011 Volvo S60 is a very enjoyable premium sedan, capable of sporty driving on the weekends and perfectly comfortable for an everyday commute. Frequently distracted drivers will appreciate the safety tech.

-It's part of Volvo's ReVOLVOlution. Away from big boned cars that obsess on safety to something naughty, they suggest, without letting up on the safety panel. Well, let's drive the first Volvo sedan of that mindset- the 2011 S60 T6 and check the tech. -Now, a lot of you have been emailing in saying, when are you gonna take a look at the new Volvo interface and interior design? And here it is. This S60 has the latest of interior technology, as well as the layout of it. We've got the 2 binocular gauges in front of us here. And this guy here, kind of a crowd pleaser- the pass through binnacle behind the center stack. That's a new display, a new layout, a new rendering for a Volvo. It's quite gorgeous. Now, what happens on this device? It all is controlled here from the center console. This is not a touch screen. It's all done here through these buttons on the center stack. And this rotate and click knob which has this sort of split panel in the middle of it. Now, here's our navigation screen. As you can see, we can do a 3D or a 2D mode. One thing I found disturbing though is, even when I zoom all the way in, notice what's missing- not a lot of street labels. In fact, no street labels. What is this, the Omega Man? There's no one there. It doesn't really show you anything, unless you're under guidance. I found that strangely vacant. To get to the menu for any of your modes- audio, nav, what have you, you hit this menu button on the top half of the controller. And that brings up this sort of kind of eye drive like menu layout. It kinda rotates in a slight hemisphere up and down a list. You can see it's really easy to pop through these menus. Notice though the first gripe I have about this car- it's kinda slow. Everything I do on this knob takes about a heartbeat or two longer than I expect it to. So I end up getting ahead of the car, and then, we're all jumble. I hate that. You've also got voice command up here, which works pretty well. And I find that it's elegant, in the fact that I can zip right through it. They're in my prompts, go-to, address. -Please state the city name, or say change search area. -San Francisco. -Please say the street name or say correction. -Webster Street. -Please say the house number in single digits, or say correction. -1200. -Please say finish or say correction. -Finish. -Please say, enter destination at way point or cancel. -Enter destination. -Calculating route. -Couple of good things going on there. First of all, notice that it's always doing the beep for me, and not giving me really overly wordy prompts of what to do next. Now, front and rear park sensors are optional on this car, for your sonar. But what you do get, is a rearview camera as part of a package on the gear box. One choice, 6 speed automatic Geartronic, they call it. It's a conventional 6 speed automatic. Now, in the engine room, because this guy is a T6, we have an inline 6 turbo charged 3 liter motor. This guy's 300 horse, 325 foot pounds of torque and this will be the high end model of the S60. -S60's come in 2 main flavors- the T6 turbo inline 6 with all wheel drive that we have here, and soon, the 2012 T5 turbo inline 5 that is front wheel drive. Our car's vibrant copper over a beech wood brown leather is certainly a departure from that navy over gray you normally associate with a Volvo. But it just reminds me of a bronze plated baseball mitt. On the road is where naughty just doesn't really happen. The car's performance is good, and handling very confident. But it has that slightly over heavy Volvo feel that doesn't encourage tossing it. In my mind, that's not a problem for a real world car that isn't driven by boy racers. But it does make their ad message a bit of a stretch. Turbo lag is noticeable around town, but less than many cars. Open it up and the power comes on real smoothly and fully. The gear box is tight and pretty fast. But again nothing jumps out about any of this to redraw the lines of the Volvo brand. The exterior styling is mostly in charge of that. -Okay, let's place this 2011 S60, the T6 with the big engine, it's about 38 5 delivered and that's your base. Now, on top of that, there are 2 key packages you wanna add and go CNET style. One for about 2800 bucks is gonna give you the GPS navigation plus 2 included map database updates. That's interesting. It also brings you an upgraded audio system with Dolby Surround and Odyssey EQ, and rolls in the rear camera with that little button to activate it. The other package is the tech package- $2100. And that includes almost all those driver assistance technologies we showed you, except for 2 that are standard. And that is the City Safe Technology, to prevent slow speed rear enders in city traffic. And the driver drowsy alert thing.

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