Volvoís new S60 quick, sporty, designed to move

If itís been awhile since youíve looked at a Volvo, get ready to be wowed.

In addition to making the safest cars in the world, the Swedish automaker is also known for its ergonomical designs that while practical and extremely functional, havenít been what you would call emotionally moving.

Meet the 2012 Volvo S60.

In terms of design, this car is smoking hot.

Itís also an absolute blast to drive. Iím talking get out the driving gloves, lock in your favorite tunes on the audio system, fill up the tank because itís going to be a while before you want to come back blast to drive.

It moves you ó both physically and emotionally.

Like you donít want to get out of the car move you because you still want to drive it some more.

The all-new S60 is sportier and more dynamic than any previous Volvo, but it is still an unmistakable representative of Scandinavian design at its best as designers did a nice job of carving out the ďcoupe with four doorsĒ profile.

On the inside, the cabin is equally stunning for the five-passenger midsize sedan.

For the 2012 model year, the S60 is available in three trim levels T5, T6 and T6 R-Design.

The front-wheel drive S60 T5 (base price starting at $31,150) is powered by a 2.5-liter turbo I-5 engine producing 250 horsepower and 266 lbs.-ft. torque. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with selectable shift feature, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway using mid-grade or premium unleaded gasoline.

The all-wheel drive S60 T6 (base price starting at 37,900) is powered by a 3.0-liter turbo I-6 delivering 300 horsepower and 325 lbs.-ft. torque. Mated to a six-speed manual with selectable shift feature, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway using mid-grade or premium unleaded gasoline.

For those wanting even more excitement, Volvo also offers the S60 T6 R-Design (base price starting at $42,500), which features a more sporty appearance package as well as more performance. On the inside, the driver and front passenger sit in sports seats with extra side supports. Steering and agility have also been sharpened in the R-Design for more performance-oriented handling and agility.

Sometimes it pays to be me (just sometimes) because the T6 R-Design happened to be my test vehicle for the week.

Also all-wheel drive, the T6 R-Design is powered by a 325 horsepower version of the turbo I-6 and this baby absolutely flies.

As expected with any Volvo vehicle, the new S60 is loaded with standard safety features.

Without beating around the bush, I absolutely love the new S60. For those looking for upscale performance and Scandinavian luxury in a mid-size sedan, it is an absolute must for the test drive list.

It is not your typical cookie-cutter luxury model from Germany or Japan. You wonít be disappointed.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

MODEL:

2012 Volvo S60

5-seat mid-size sedan†

Front-, or all-wheel drive

Trim packages:

T5, T6, T6 R-Design

PRICE RANGE:

$32,000-$47,000

ENGINE:

2.5-L turbo I5 (250 hp/266 T)

3.0-L turbo I6 (300 hp/325 T)

3.5-L turbo I6 (325 hp/354 T)

TRANSMISSION:

6-speed auto w/select shift

EPA: 20/18 mpg city, 30/26 mpg highway (T5/T6)

FUEL: Premium unleaded

BRAKES: ABS

LENGTH: 182.2 inches

WHEELBASE: 109.3 inches

WIDTH: 73.4 inches

HEIGHT: 58.4 inches

WEIGHT: 3548-3877 lbs.

TRACK: 62.1/62

(front/rear)

FUEL TANK: 17.8 gallons

TIRES: 17-, or 18-inch

CARGO: 13.9 cubic feet