Volvo’s got a new S60, the most important model in the Volvo lineup and they’ve kept the ball rolling just like they did with the XC90, the V90 and the all-new XC40 baby SUV. The new S60 is an improvement on the existing one which has been widely accepted to be a good car already. But this is more than just a model facelift/refresh, it is the first Volvo to be made on US soil, at the company’s factory in Charleston, South Caroline. More significantly though, the new S60 is the first Volvo to NOT be offered with a diesel engine, ANYWHERE.

Volvo's new manufacturing plant in South Carolina, USA

Still, there will be four versions all of which will utilise the same 2.0-litre four-pot petrol unit mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. In the T5 specification, it’s turbocharged to produce 247bhp which is sent to the front wheels only. Next is the T6 which adds a supercharger to the mix to produce an extra 60bhp but sends power to all the wheels which brings down the 0-96kph time to just 5.6 seconds. Then there are the plug-in hybrid variants — the T8 and the T8 ‘Polestar Engineered’ versions, both of which pair the 2.0-litre unit with a 10.8kWh battery and an e-motor on the rear axle. In EV mode, they both should be able to do just under 50km on a full charge, which would be helpful in terms of tax savings and lower emissions. The T8 has a combined output of 385bhp and can do 0-100kph in 4.9 seconds while the Polestar tinkering takes the power up to 399bhp and brings that time down to 4.7 seconds. The T8 ‘Polestar Engineered’ variant also gets different wheels, brakes and a sportier suspension. Volvo claims this premium mid-size sedan is a true driver’s car, but we’ll have to wait for the test drive stories to know how well the title fits.

New Volvo S60 R-design

Sporty or not, the new S60 is likely to be a good drive since it is also based on the same Volvo SPA architecture as the XC90, XC60, V90 and so-on. That also means it gets Volvo’s impressive safety tech, semi-autonomous features including ‘Autobrake’ and ‘Pilot Assist’. It’s pretty on the outside and glorious on the inside, much like its big brother – the S90, complete with the portrait touchscreen and clean dash layout. No prices mentioned yet but it will be available via the Care by Volvo subscription service for a monthly fee in certain regions. Which reminds us of the one issue with the Polestat tweaked T8 – you can only get one via subscription and they will be making a limited number of these anyway.

So, would you pick an S60 over BMW 3 series or a C-class Merc? I would. Share your thoughts in the comments below the gallery and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for plenty more updates to come from the world of cool cars.

 

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