The new Volvo S60 has been revealed at the firm’s first U.S. manufacturing plant in Charleston, South Carolina – and it’s not only the first American-built Volvo, it’s also the firm’s first car in decades not to feature a diesel engine.
It’s a bold move by Volvo, because the S60 is competing in the same sector as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. This is a marketplace dominated by diesel.
It’s also one dominated by sales to company car fleets, though, and Volvo will be hoping the ultra-low emissions of its S60 diesel alternative, the S60 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, will easily sway them.
BMW has already seen demand exceed supply for its 330e iPerformance plug-in hybrid, suggesting the sector is primed to switch from diesel by reputation-conscious companies who want to be seen to do the right thing.
The diesel-free S60 range, which goes on sale in the UK from early 2019, is part of Volvo’s commitment to completely phase diesel out: it’s already said it will not develop another range of diesel engines, and from 2019, every new car it introduces will, like the S60, be electrified.
“The new S60 is one of the most exciting Volvo cars we’ve ever made,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. “It is a true driver’s car that gives us a strong position in the U.S. and China saloon markets, creating more growth opportunities for Volvo Cars.”
The saloon version of the new Volvo V60 estate, it will be offered with regular T5 and T6 petrol turbo engines, but the star powerplants will be the two turbocharged and supercharged plug-in hybrids. The T6 Twin Engine AWD produces 340hp, and the T8 Twin Engine AWD puts out 400hp – which can be tweaked further, to 415hp, by a Polestar Engineered engine upgrade.
Polestar will also do over the wheels, brakes and suspension to ensure the S60 can handle the extra power…
All S60s should drive well, though. The car uses Volvo’s acclaimed Scalable Product Architecture, or SPA, which helps make cars such as the V90, XC60 and XC90 so impressive.
Volvo R&D senior vice president Henrik Green reckons it will be “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”.
Needless to say, it will be one of the safest cars in its sector too – if not THE safest.
Volvo will even let you subscribe to it, if you don’t want to buy it. The Care by Volvo offer provides a car for no down payment, with the flat-fee monthly subscription taking care of everything apart from fuel. It “makes having a car as transparent, easy and hassle-free as having a phone,” reckons Volvo.
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