Volvo S60

Set­ting new bench­marks

Auto Today - - Dashboard - Yogendra Pratap Ed­i­tor [email protected]­to­ @Yo­genPratap

Volvo Cars con­tin­ues its new model roll out strat­egy with the new en­try-level sedan of its range be­ing given the makeover. We drove the car that is cur­rently be­ing man­u­fac­tured only in the United States of Amer­ica at an iconic lo­ca­tion – at the end point of the his­tor­i­cal Route 66 in Santa Mon­ica, Cal­i­for­nia.

Ever since the takeover of Volvo Cars by the Chi­nese and their in­fu­sion of funds into the com­pany, Volvo has de­vel­oped a clear plan for model make- overs. The first new car that rolled out on SPA un­der­pin­nings was the XC90 and that im­me­di­ately set a global bench­mark for both de­sign and in­te­ri­ors. That was fol­lowed by a com­plete makeover of the 90-se­ries cars and Volvo fol­lowed that up with makeovers of its SUV fleet. First came the XC60, and that was fol­lowed by the XC40 with the small SUV tak­ing the es­tab­lished de­sign and in­te­rior phi­los­o­phy to the next level, a clear de­par­ture and evo­lu­tion from the XC90 and the XC60. All the ve­hi­cles that Volvo has



launched till now are do­ing well in their seg­ments , set­ting bench­marks in some and push­ing the en­ve­lope in oth­ers.

The S60 was ex­pected to be the smaller sib­ling of the S90, sim­i­lar in de­sign and of­fer­ing in much the same way that the XC60 takes off from the XC90. Volvo has how­ever done to the S60 what it had done to the XC40, gone a dif­fer­ent way while try­ing to keep some of the es­sen­tial de­sign DNA com­mon.

First and fore­most, Volvo is call­ing the S60 a sports sedan, a big de­par­ture from the po­si­tion­ing of the S90, which looked el­e­gant and un­der­stated from the sides while car­ry­ing for­ward the new de­sign DNA at the front. From the front it­self the S60 looks sporty but at the same time a Volvo while the pro­file is a de­par­ture from the pre­vi­ous notch-back to a more sedan like ap­pear­ance. The front head­lights with ex- tended Thor’s Ham­mer de­sign head­lamps, and the un-mis­tak­able Volvo grille are all hall­marks that are car­ried for­ward from the pre­vi­ous cars.

The S60 is based on the Scal­able Prod­uct Ar­chi­tec­ture Plat­form that also un­der­pins the 90-se­ries cars as well as the XC60 and that means two things. The first be­ing that it can be as­sem­bled in In­dia with­out any sig­nif­i­cant changes or in­vest­ments as the SPA cars are al­ready be­ing as­sem­bled in In­dia and the sec­ond be­ing that it comes ready for elec­tri­fi­ca­tion. And in a de­par­ture from tra­di­tion and in keep­ing its com­mit­ments to elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, the S60 be­comes the first new Volvo to do away with a diesel en­gine en­tirely. At its launch the Volvo S60 will be avail­able with a four-cylin­der petrol en­gine in T5 and T6 guise as well in a twin en­gine con­fig­u­ra­tion with the T8 pow­er­train, as per the en­gine des­ig­na­tions from the




en­tire Volvo range.

While the T6 4-cylin­der su­per­charged and tur­bocharged en­gine pro­duces max power of 310bhp at 5700rpm and peak torque of 400Nm from 2200rpm right up to 5100rpm, it is the T8 en­gines that we will be con­cen­trat­ing on. While the T6 may be the en­gine that will be the main­stay of the S60 range, it may well be that Volvo will in­tro­duce the T8 ver­sions of the S60 to cre­ate a dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion in the In­dian mar­ket and stay ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion, both in terms of in­te­ri­ors as well as en­gine tech and driver as­sis­tance sys­tems. With the new BMW 3-se­ries just around the cor­ner and the midlife facelift of the Mercedes-Benz C-class just in­tro­duced in the mar­ket, Volvo will have to cre­ate that dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion.

The S60 T8 comes in two vari­ants, the R-De­sign ver­sion as well as the Polestar en­gi­neered one, both with the same 4-cyl all alu­minium 16valve en­gine but the Polestar en­gi­neered one hav­ing a lit­tle ex­tra power com­bined with beefed up sus­pen­sion and brakes.

The T8 en­gine with the R-de­sign trim pro­duces 303bhp of max power at 6000rpm and 400Nm of peak torque that is avail­able from 2200 to 4800rpm. This is trans­ferred to the front wheels

through an 8-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The rear wheels are pow­ered by a 65kW elec­tric mo­tor that pro­duces peak torque of 240Nm and is pow­ered by a 10.4kWh lithium-ion battery that is stored in the cen­tral tun­nel. The battery it­self gives the car a range of upto 40km on pure elec­tric power and ef­fec­tively trans­forms the car into an AWD ve­hi­cle. Like on the other Volvos with twin en­gine tech, there are se­lectable drive modes by which one can choose to max­i­mize per­for­mance or ef­fi­ciency.

Over­all, the sys­tem power out­put of the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine at the front and the elec­tric mo­tor at the rear give the S60 max power of 390bhp and max torque of 640Nm giv­ing the car a 0-100kmph time of 4.9 sec­onds and a top speed of 250kmph.

And that’s where the dif­fer­ence lies. Un­like the S90, the S60 is en­gi­neered to­ward sporti­ness and that is

ev­i­dent on all the vari­ants. The en­gine power is lin­ear thanks to the su­per­charg­ing at the bot­tom end and the sus­pen­sion though taut, is not floaty like on the S90 and the car han­dles well al­beit with a bit of body roll. Trac­tion at the rear helps in quick ma­neu­ver­abil­ity and the steer­ing is also the quick­est that we have seen on a Volvo. Over­all the car is still not as sporty as some of the Jaguar sedans in re­cent times or BMWs of yore but pro­vides a good mix of ride com­fort and han­dling.

On the in­side, while the S60 uses the ex­act same tech as seen on the other SPA ve­hi­cles in­clud­ing the ad­vanced Sen­sus in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, the same high end mu­sic sys­tems and all the driver as­sis­tance sys­tems in­clud­ing many of the au­ton­o­mous driv­ing fea­tures, as well as emer­gency brak­ing and pedes­trian, cy­cle and large an­i­mal de­tec­tion. The car like the other Volvos can steer by it­self, has adap­tive cruise con­trol that will work from a stand­still and also de­tects driver fa­tigue and road signs. All in all, not only does the S60 make one feel spe­cial on the in­side but also of­fers the best in safety tech avail­able any­where in the world. And it also sig­nals Volvo’s march away from diesel to start with, and to­wards elec­tric for the fu­ture.

The S60 gets sig­na­ture Volvo in­te­ri­ors. This in­cludes a large in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem which op­er­ates a plethora of func­tions on the car. The IP is also an all dig­i­tal af­fair and can be tuned to the driver’s taste

Top class equip­ment on board the newS60. There is a large panoramic sun­roof and seats at the back are rather com­fort­able. The al­loys look sporty and goes with the over­all theme of the S60

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