IRVINE, Calif. --- Volvo is calling its all-new 2009 Volvo XC60 crossover, which made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 4, the "safest Volvo ever."

The first cars will reach dealers in Europe in fall 2008, with the U.S. launch following shortly thereafter in the first quarter of 2009.

The XC60 features City Safety --- a system designed to help the driver avoid or reduce the effects of the type of low-speed impacts that are common in city traffic.

Surveys indicate that 75 percent of all reported collisions take place at speeds of up to 19 mph. In half of these cases, the driver has not braked at all before the collision, mainly due to distraction. In these cases, City Safety could make a crucial difference. City Safety automatically applies the brakes if the driver is about to drive into the vehicle in front. A collision can thus be entirely avoided or if this is not possible, the damage to cars and people can be reduced.

City Safety is active at speeds of up to 19 mph. If the vehicle in front brakes suddenly and City Safety determines that a collision is likely, the brakes are pre-charged. If the driver fails to respond, the car applies the brakes automatically. If the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is less than 9 mph, then City Safety may help the driver entirely avoid the collision. Between 9 and 19 mph, the focus is on reducing speed as much as possible prior to the impact.

The Volvo XC60 is also equipped with Volvo's All Wheel Drive with Instant Traction. With the help of an electronically controlled clutch, the AWD system automatically distributes drive between the front and rear wheels. The Instant Traction function swiftly shifts power from the front to the rear wheels, such as when starting from standstill on slippery or loose surfaces.