Watch Volvo Torture the New XC60

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Automotive Editor

Patrick learned to drive on the Detroit freeways with side classes in the Pennsylvania hills. He spent the summer after graduation from the University of Dayton practicing his German-language skills and air-tool technique on the BMW M motor assembly line. An alumnus of the Jalopnik Automotive Media Global Domination Brigade, he currently resides in Manhattan and teaches mathematics when not pondering the state of the vehicular world. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 9, 2017

It's one thing to talk about vehicle safety – occupant protection is among the prime engineering concerns and selling points for any modern mass-market vehicle, after all. Unfortunately, that idea of "safety" is too often reduced to a few bland descriptions and ratings that don't even try to convey the intensity of the forces involved in a crash. It's quite another to see what those forces actually look like in controlled, calibrated, very loud testing.

Our friends over at Jalopnik uncovered three videos highlighting Volvo's brutal testing regimen for its new-and-improved XC60 crossover. With the mandated impact alignments, artless camera angles, and International Safety Orange paint, the company makes a fascinating case for both clinical purity and metal-crushing violence.

The immediate impressions are powerful enough – in particular, the cabin of the XC60 will apparently withstand anything short of a direct hit from a nuclear weapon without distorting – but the fascinating parts are the details that can't be put into a few lines in a sales brochure: the child's-toy tumble of the rollover test with its moment of suspense as the test car almost flops back on its wheels; the perfect crease of a crumpling hood as the vehicle slams into a stout wall; the carefully considered shifting of a subframe as seen through a glass floor; the way a wheel gets sheared off during the offset impact test that Volvo pioneered.

If only brochures could be this visceral.

, Automotive Editor

Patrick learned to drive on the Detroit freeways with side classes in the Pennsylvania hills. He spent the summer after graduation from the University of Dayton practicing his German-language skills and air-tool technique on the BMW M motor assembly line. An alumnus of the Jalopnik Automotive Media Global Domination Brigade, he currently resides in Manhattan and teaches mathematics when not pondering the state of the vehicular world. 

Follow On: Twitter | Google+ | Website