At their first US factory in Charleston, South Carolina, Volvo has unveiled what is likely their most important new non-SUV model: the S60.
The S60 first made its debut in 2000, aimed squarely at the likes of mid-size premium sedans such as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. It enters its third generation with this all new model.
Unsurprisingly, the new S60 takes most of its styling cues from the two other 60-Series vehicles in the Volvo stable, the V60 and XC60, which in turn look like shrunken down versions of the larger S90, V90 and XC90 cars. In typical Volvo style, it doesn’t have a bold design, nor a conservative one either.
The new S60’s engine lineup consists of a range of four-cylinder, turbocharged and/or supercharged petrol powerplants with hybrid assistance available higher up in the range – unlike its wagon sibling, there are no diesels whatsoever. All powertrains are matched exclusively to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The base engine is the T5, a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit producing 183kW of power and 350Nm of torque – drive is sent to the front wheels only. Above that is the T6, a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol which produces 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque – the rear wheels now join in on the fun, as the T6 comes standard with all-wheel-drive.
The top two powertrain options are both plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), starting with the T6 Twin Engine – it pairs the same 228kW four-pot as the regular T6 with two electric motors to send combined power and torque outputs of 251kW (340hp) and 590Nm respectively to all four wheels.
Finally, the range topping powertrain is the all-wheel drive T8 Twin Engine, which combines a 2.0-litre turbo and supercharged four-cylinder petrol with two electric motors to produce a stonking 298kW (400hp) of power and 640Nm of torque – 0-100km/h is rated at a hot hatch-beating 4.9 seconds. Want even more performance from your S60 T8? Option the Polestar Engineered package developed by Volvo’s performance arm Polestar – thanks to an upgraded ECU, Brembo brakes with slotted discs, Ohlins performance dampers, Ohlins strut brace and lightweight wheels, power and torque are boosted to 309kW (415hp) and 670Nm respectively, while the 0-100km/h time falls two tenths to 4.7 seconds.
Like the rest of the 60-Series and 90-Series ranges, the new S60 is based on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform. Dimensionally, it has grown compared to its predecessor, measuring in at 4761mm long (up 133mm), 2040mm wide (up 175mm) and has a 2872mm wheelbase (up 96mm) – it is slightly shorter, coming in at 1431mm (a 53mm reduction). The new S60 weighs in at 1680kg for the base T5 – 110kg heavier than its predecessor. Further, boot space is sub-par for the class at 442 litres – for reference, the 3 Series, C-Class and A4 all boast spacious 480 litre boots.
Above: Some of the Polestar performance enhancements bundled with the Engineered pack.
Being a Volvo, the S60 is exceptionally safe. Since it shares the same SPA architecture as the other 60 and 90-Series models, the bodywork and crash structure are strong and, once it is eventually crash tested, it will likely top the segment for structural integrity and overall safety. Safety tech is a strong point too – the new S60 is equipped with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, Run-off Road Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert and Volvo’s Pilot Assist system which can handle steering, acceleration and braking on highways up to speeds of 130km/h. Further, it also gets Volvo’s portrait Sensus Connect infotainment system, which comes with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G data.
The 2019 Volvo S60 will go on sale later this year in Europe, the US and Asia. Customers will have the choice of either purchasing their car outright or signing up to the ‘Care by Volvo’ subscription service, where they pay a flat monthly fee that covers the cost of the car, insurance and servicing.
What about Australia? Well, Volvo’s local arm hasn’t made a decision as to whether the new S60 will come here – more details will be shared closer to the car’s overseas launch. If we were to get it, the earliest that a production window could open up would be Q2 of 2019. Fingers crossed for now.
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What are your thoughts on the new S60?