Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: June 20, 2018
CHARLESTON, South Carolina - The S60 is the final vehicle in the Volvo lineup to receive the updated design language, and with it the Ford-era of vehicles is planted firmly in the history books. We had the opportunity to check out the new S60 in person at Volvo’s new factory plant in Charleston, South Carolina, and it subsequently stands as the first Volvo to be proudly made in the USA.
Imagine taking a shrink ray gun and zapping the S90. That’s the new S60, debuting with familial features like the Thor hammer shaped headlights, expansive front grill, and diagonal badge. Though I did admire the long stretched out look of the S90, I think the S60 has better overall proportions. Every curve is specific, planned, and taut. It has a much sportier stance as well.
Powertrain wise, the S60 comes with three trims in Canada, a T5 model (turbocharged four-cylinder) with front-wheel drive only, a T6 (twin-charged four-cylinder) with all-wheel drive, and a T8 model coming in the near future with a hybrid setup delivering 400 horsepower. An 8-speed transmission is standard across the board. The S60 also rides on the same scalable platform as the other Volvos like the V60 and 90-series cars.
A new addition to the Volvo portfolio is Polestar Engineered, a package that you can opt for exclusively for T8 models, and upgrades the car’s wheels, brakes, suspension, and engine control unit, boosting total output to 415 horsepower. That includes Ohlins dampers, Brembo brakes, and lightweight forged alloy wheels to instill the S60 with a bit of sportiness. Think of it like the prior “Polestar Optimization” tunes from previous models, but with a bit extra garnish to rival BMW’s M Sport and Mercedes’ AMG Sport packages.
“It is a true driver’s car that gives us a strong position in the US and China sedan markets, creating more growth opportunities for Volvo Cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. You can also expect an S60 Cross Country model to come down the pipeline in the near future, as well as a full-blown S60 Polestar to match the likes of the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C 63.
Up close in person, the S60 appears low, sleek, and incredibly sporty, especially in the R-Design trim. The S60 also debuts a few unique paint options, including a matte grey paint as seen in our photographs. We also had a seat inside the S60 and absorbed the materials and craftsmanship. Aside from the nostalgic “new car smell”, the seats are still insanely comfortable, better than BMW and Mercs that are overly plush and wide in my opinion.
If you’ve driven a modern Volvo, then everything will look familiar here, including the huge center touchscreen and minimalist cabin design. The gauges are all digital, the gear shifter is the same one you get in the S90, and plug-in T8 models will also get that Orrefors crystal gear knob that we’ve come to love. The yellow seatbelts in the Polestar Engineered models are also a neat touch. The rear seats are spacious, legroom is great for my six-foot figure, and headroom is acceptable but pushing the limits. It’s snug but comfortable in this premium mid-size sedan segment.
The 2019 Volvo S60 will arrive in dealers by October of this year. Pricing in Canada for the T8 and Polestar Engineered has yet to be announced, but for the other trims the pricing is as follows:
T5 FWD Momentum: $42,400
T6 AWD Momentum: $47,400
T6 AWD R-Design: $52,400
T6 AWD Inscription: $53,900