The 2018 Volvo XC60 is the company’s newest and safest offering. For a company with such a fanatical devotion to safety as Volvo, that’s saying something.
Steering assist has been added to Volvo’s City Safety system, allowing the XC60 to use its steering assist feature to help mitigate head-on and lane-changing collisions. It has available Pilot Assist — a feature somewhat similar to Tesla’s Autopilot — which takes care of steering, acceleration, and braking on well-marked highways up to 80 mph, as long as the driver keeps their hand lightly on the wheel. And, when not decked out in crash test orange, it’s also extremely handsome.
I have a secret love for crash test videos
But, unlike most carmakers who just focus on luxury and performance in their press releases, Volvo included video of the XC60 undergoing crash testing at the Volvo Safety Center in Gothenburg, Sweden in its announcement today.
As a former volunteer firefighter, I have a secret love of crash test videos — I’ve seen numerous real-world crashes up close, and I know what violence is done to cars smashing into each other at high-speeds. So, I appreciate safe cars and all the engineering and design work that goes into them.
The key thing to watch for in crash test videos is intrusion into the passenger compartment. Ideally, the cell where the humans are should remain intact, which means that the humans are more likely to remain intact. In the video at the top, you can see the roof of the XC60 doesn’t give at all as the car tumbles over and over, and the passengers remain protected.
In the frontal crash above, you can see the crash structure give way, absorbing much of the force of the crash and sending some of the engine and wheel structure downward instead of rearward into the passenger compartment. Again, there is very little in the way of intrusion into the cabin.
Finally, below we have a frontal offset crash test. These are particularly difficult for many carmakers to deal with as the full force of the crash is spread over a very small area of the car. Volvo deals with this by designing the vehicle to slide to the side as the crash occurs, moving the passengers away from the barrier as much as possible.
The new XC60 will go into production next month at Volvo’s Torslanda Plant in Sweden. It should hit dealers later this year. Pricing was not disclosed.