By Gear Patrol reader Amos Kwon

Even though Volvo hasn’t made the design equivalent of a Frigidaire on wheels since the 1980s, their cars have still attracted both suede elbow-padded, tweed blazer wearing professors and suburban upper-crusty moms for the last two decades. Now that they are owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Co., some buyers might be understandably scared off from the brand and wake up with cold-sweat nightmares of cars oozing lead from the exhaust and body panels flying off at highway speeds.

Fear no more. With solid financial ownership and a strong introduction into the booming Chinese luxury automobile market, the new 2011 Volvo S60 T6 AWD could put a medium-sized dent in the collective market held by BMW and Mercedes. As safe as a Los Angeles class submarine in a tsunami, the S60 comes with innovative boku safety doohickies like City Safety, which can automatically brake the S60 in the event of a pending low-speed impact and Volvo’s innovative Pedestrian Detection technology, which triggers the brakes to prevent an impact.

Coupled with this Ward Cleaver-like consistency are seriously upgraded luxury and performance aspects. Case in point, with 50 more horsepower and 70 more pound feet of torque (300 and 325, respectively), all-wheel drive, and standard sports suspension, you can pull the paint off a diminutive hybrid and still look like you care about the environment with that über-friendly Volvo moniker on your now nuclear waffle iron-sized front grille. The bottom line is this isn’t the car you have found memories of riding backwards in the trunk on the way to soccer practice.

About the Author: Amos is an American-born Korean, who currently resides in Chicago. His experience has run the gamut in his 20 year career that has ranged from the CIA to telecommunications to real estate. The one thread of consistency in his life is his passion for things outside of the office… cars, tobbaciana, single malt whiskey, bourbon, gourmet cooking, horology, knives and firearms, books, and whatever other manly stuff you can think of, except for NASCAR.

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