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Volvo promises that the appearance is more than matched by the way the car drives.
'It behaves the same way that you see it,' according to project leader Tomas Ahlborg.
The car is based on the S80 but cut down in size and tuned to reflect that it is a sportier car. Much of the chassis development was completed on Britain's old Roman roads, which are as good a suspension test as any.
The steering is said to be 10% more direct than the current S60's, and the firmer of the two chassis set-ups will be standard in Europe. Torque vectoring individual speed regulation of the driven wheels helps the car to hold its cornering line, and the new stability system gives greater help than before, but in a more subtle way. It can even be partially switched off. A variable shock absorber system is available on all models.