Over the years I've given TrustedReviews a pretty broad remit, with the site covering many areas of technology from PC components, to MP3 players, to TVs, to mobile phones etc. TR also covers a large amount of technology that's used in the car - gear like satellite navigation, FM transmitters and Bluetooth hands free kits - and with the amount of technology squeezed into cars increasing all the time, I felt that it was time to expand on our automotive coverage. As such, I decided that TR should begin to cover cars themselves, and all the technology that's built into them, rather than just third party devices.
Rather fortuitously, while I was considering this expansion of TR's content, I received an invitation to a launch event for the new Volvo XC60. This was lucky for a couple of reasons - first and foremost, it gave me something new and exciting to kick things off with, and second, Volvo has stuffed the XC60 full of technology that makes it a perfect fit for TrustedReviews. Obviously there's more to the XC60 than the technological toys inside it, but my main focus will be on that technology. That said, it's still important to give you some background data on the car first.
The XC60 falls into the Crossover category, which means that it's a four wheel drive vehicle, but it looks more like a car than a full-on SUV. Looks wise, the XC60 is pretty successful, and it's a million miles away from the square and boxy cars of yore that many still associate with Volvo. In fact the rake of the windscreen and sloping bonnet wouldn't look out of place on a coupe, let alone a 4WD crossover. The good looks continue inside, with a modern and bright cockpit, that's focused towards the driver. There are a lot of toys scattered around the centre console, steering wheel and dash, but I'll come to all that later.
Volvo is offering the XC60 with three engine variants - two five cylinder diesel units and one straight six petrol engine. The Diesel 2.4D and the Diesel D5 produce 163ps and 185ps respectively, while the petrol engine turns out a very healthy (well not environmentally healthy obviously) 285ps. Unsurprisingly, Volvo expects the vast majority of XC60s sold to be diesel versions.
But the big news with the XC60 isn't the choice of engines, or even the fetching design. You see the XC60 has a rather interesting party piece that's sure to enhance Volvo's already solid (pun intended) reputation for safety…