olvo’s Chinese-driven renaissance is moving at full pace. Barely two years after a full revitalization of its 90 Series flagship range – the XC90, S90, and V90 – comes the complete renewal of its mid-range 60 Series models that began with the XC60 last year and completed with the all-new S60 recently.
A reflection of Volvo’s fast-growing ambitions, the S60’s launch also marks the christening of a new plant in Charleston, South Carolina, the company’s first ever production facility in the United States.
“The new S60 is one of the most exciting Volvo cars we’ve ever made.”
Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars
THE 60s IS
Completing a formidable triumvirate that also includes the XC60 SUV and V60 wagon, both stunning and well-received cars in their own right, the S60 is being positioned as the sportier member of the trio, a made stance evident by Volvo’s usage of the aggressive R-Design trim finished brightly-coloured Fusion Red metallic paint as the hero car of its communications. A good call, really, the car looks stunning, and we are salivating.
Volvo’s communications also explicitly calls this a sports sedan, a significant deviation in path from its more recent models in which the company was conscious to avoid overplaying the ‘sporty & dynamic’ card. Still, the S60’s aggressive portrayal speaks of a company operating on confidence, meaning Volvo clearly sees this as a car that will give established players such as the 3 Series and C-Class a serious run for their money.
Coming after the XC60 and V60, the all-new S60 completes Volvo’s revolution of its mid-range 60 Series family.
“It is a true driver’s car that gives us a strong position in the US and China sedan markets, creating more growth opportunities for Volvo Cars.”
No Diesel, New 304hp T6 PHEV
The new S60 is the first Volvo car to be sold without a diesel offer, signalling the company’s industry-leading commitment to electrification and a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine. In 2017, Volvo Cars made a pledge that from 2019 onwards (that’s next year) all its new cars will have some level of electrification, whether as a mild hybrid, plug-in, or a full-on EV.
If you have plans for a brand new Volvo with a conventional engine, your window of opportunity is fast shrinking. At launch, Volvo is offering the S60 with the familiar range of T5, T6, and T8 Drive-E engines with outputs ranging from 250 to 400hp. All models come standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The S60’s range of advanced, powerful, yet efficient 2.0-litre Drive-E petrol powertrains starts off with the turbocharged T5 engine providing a respectable 250hp going to the front wheels.
All other variants of the S60 come with all-wheel drive as standard. The T6 AWD model features a turbo and super-charged petrol engine producing outputs of 316hp, whilst the T8 Twin Engine AWD plug-in hybrid metes out a combined 400hp. The entire range comes fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard, and all but the T5 have all-wheel drive.
New to the line-up will be an additional plug-in hybrid variant dubbed the T6 Twin Engine AWD, which follows a similar arrangement to the T8 but with outputs dialled down to 340hp. Of course, if you fancy a bit more performance, Polestar offers performance upgrades for the PHEV models that push the S60 T8 to as high as 415hp.
“The active chassis and drive modes deliver excellent control and an engaged performance that makes this a driver’s car.”
Henrik Green, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Volvo Cars.
For those of you who regularly plough trunk roads, it is not uncommon to be faced with the sight of another vehicle barrelling towards you on your own lane, as faster cars attempt to overtake slower ones.
The new S60 shares Volvo Cars’ own Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, safety technology and infotainment system with the new V60 as well as the top-of-the-line 90 Series cars and award-winning XC60, all of which have achieved industry-leading safety ratings.
This is a common cause of accidents and the all-new S60’s uprated City Safety system is features Oncoming Lane Mitigation that automatically brakes the vehicle in such an event to avert possible collision. It comes on top of existing features of Volvo’s City Safety package that already recognizes pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals.
This continued dedication to improved safety makes the new S60 one of the safest cars on the road. The fact that every new Volvo car launched with a list of safety kit longer than the previous one demonstrates exemplary commitment to its noble cause of ensuring that no person shall ever be killed on seriously injured in a new Volvo ever from 2020 onwards.
Another Hit in the Making?
These days, Volvo Cars struts about with amazing confidence, and have won over many fans over in the process. By staying true to its core values of safety, but at the same time adding a new emphasis to penning stunning designs, Volvo Cars now offer an enviable combination of style and substance that make them extremely competitive against their peers.
But whilst Volvo remains resolute to its virtues, it is also a much-changed outfit, a very different animal to the one that once sold the 240 and 760 to your uncle or grandfather. These days, most consumers walk into showrooms looking for SUVs – the XC60 and XC90 fly out of the showrooms, whilst the compact XC40 is already attracting huge interest.
The sedans and wagons that Volvo once relied upon as their bread and butter, meanwhile, are fast becoming secondary products in the company’s line-up. The excellent S90, for example, for all its virtues and merits as a product, does not sell as fast as the XC60 and XC90.
This, therefore, may explain Volvo’s surprising boldness in touting the S60’s sporting credentials far more acutely than any of its other recent products. Perhaps the company is already beginning to see sedans as niche offerings, thus giving it the freedom to go for the jugular and give the market a fanciful offering.
Helps You Avoid Oncoming Cars
Volvo S60 Gallery
words by KON