It has been teased to within an inch of its life, but Volvo’s all-new S60 sedan has at last been revealed in the USA - including a fire-breathing plug-in hybrid model good for 305kW.
The Swedish brand’s 3 Series and C-Class fighter was unveiled in Charleston, North Carolina (also christening the American factory where the S60 will be built), confirming that Volvo has made good on its promise to ditch diesel engines, instead focussing on hybrid powertrains to reduce fuel consumption.
There will be two plug-in hybrid engine options in the standard S60 range, with the first a T6 'Twin Engine' AWD pairing a twin-charged four-cylinder engine with a rear-mounted electric motor to produce a combined 250kW. Need more power? The T8 Twin Engine AWD ups the ante to around 295kW.
The hybrid engines will be joined at launch, in international markets at least, by the non-electrified T5 and T6 petrol engines.
But the true headline-stealing outputs belong to the Polestar engineered S60, with Volvo’s former tuning arm - now a standalone outfit - squeezing more power out of the T8 Twin Engine, boosting outputs to 305kW. The Polestar team has been hard at it elsewhere, too, swapping the regular alloys for a set of lightweight 19-inch rims, and swapping in Ohlins shock absorbers and Brembo brakes.
And if those power numbers alone don’t convince you the boring Volvo of old is dead, then consider this; the Swedish brand is making a big deal of the S60’s sporty aspirations, labelling its newest offering “one of the best sports saloons on the market.”
“The active chassis and drive modes deliver excellent control and an engaged performance that makes this a driver’s car,” says Henrik Green, VP of research and development at Volvo.
“It also brings the acclaimed technology from our 90 series and other 60 series cars into this segment, making it one of the best sports saloons on the market.”
But more than that, the new S60 just looks fantastic. Sleek proportions, clean and modern interiors (and vertical multimedia screens), premium-looking inside and out. If Volvo is to crack the hotly contested mid-size segment in Australia, this might just be the car to do it.
The S60 is built on Volvo’s SPA architecture, the same that underpins the XC90 and XC60 SUVs, and in true Volvo style, the available safety features are impressive. The AEB system now recognises pedestrians, cyclists and large animals, and will also brake for you if you turn out in front of an oncoming car - which Volvo is billing as a world first for the mid-size sedan segment. The (optional) semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system has been updated, and run-off-road mitigation, oncoming lane mitigation and cross-traffic alert all appear as well.
Internationally, the S60 is being offered through the Care by Volvo subscription service, which isn't offered in Australia. Local pricing, specifications and launch timings are yet to be confirmed.
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