Volvo’s all-new S60 sedan vary has landed in Ounceswith sharp seems to be or even sharper pricing. We take a look at the T5 and hybrid T8 variations of the Swedish vary.
Essentially the most eye-catching spotlight of the all-new 2020 Volvo S60 isn’t its good-looking design, spectacular tech, fulsome options and delicate, luxury-focused on-road enjoy, however its pricing.
The end-in level for the mid-sized, top rate four-door Swede, the $54,990 (listing) T5 Momentum model, now not such a lot undercuts circa-$70Ok German competitors logically matched in powertrain and gear, it ploughs a trench with a cut price bulldozer. Sure, 15 grand extra reasonably priced.
The Volvo S60 is gunning for erstwhile Commodore consumers. No, that’s now not a misprint.
It’s no information that the Swedish sedan nameplate hasn’t loved this type of resonance in Ounceswith consumers loved through the C-Magnificence, Three Collection and A4 – so as of present gross sales recognition – for quite a lot of causes out of doors of pricing, together with culturally. That it historically sought after for German cash didn’t precisely trap a military of Aussie bums into Scandinavian leather-based seats.
With the all-new S60 comes a brand new, competitive gross sales tactic through Volvo Australia: to plug the space between $40Ok-something mainstream within the Commodore, Camry or Passat and the mid-$60Ok access for a pleasing if moderately endowed Euro dressed in extra prestigious badging. To conquest from above and beneath is the most obvious technique at play.
“I want we had a Momentum right here,” says Volvo Australia MD Nick Connor on the native S60 release in Adelaide.
As a substitute, we’re right here to influence the high-spec T5 R-Design, at a top rate access $64,990 pricepoint, and the whiz-bang T8 R-Design flagship, with its convoluted turbo- and supercharged plug-in hybrid powertrain and on-demand electric-assisted AWD, at a correctly Top Side road $85,990 ask earlier than on-roads. A disgrace given the bottom model is this sort of scorching matter of dialogue with media at the day, given Volvo’s promise about such a lot bang for such little dollar.
We’ll must look forward to overview at the Momentum, middleweight Inscription ($60,990) and V60 wagon extrapolations (provides $2000) for any other day.
The 2 topics handy are good-looking roosters within the steel, with beautiful New Volvo sweeping traces and seductive main points, extra restrained S90 but maintaining that key ‘boulevard presence’, well natural with its delicate R-Design enhancement and 19-inch rolling inventory. It’s a dignified, upmarket glance, the pair just about indistinguishable aside from badges on bootlids. In addition they glance higher and longer than the tape measure finds.
Cabins, too, are minted in that Swedish Renaissance design that’s labored so effectively in Volvo’s different recent S, V and XC traces, and if there’s one overarching critique, it’s that the whole impact is totally indistinguishable from different present stablemates. They are saying, should you’re directly to a excellent factor…
It’s a bit cosier inside of than chances are you’ll be expecting, but doesn’t lack comfy roominess. The ones R-Design entrance seats err at the sporty facet of sumptuous – we’d like to check out the common pews – however are amply supportive and forgiving for this type of weekend getaway riding we performed during the southern state’s wine nation and the famed twisties of the Adelaide Hills.
The minimalist sprint and centre stack association, in conjunction with the conspicuous ‘iPad’-aping infotainment touchscreen structure, does polarize, regardless that individually I’m a large fan. A very simple one-swipe left or proper to get right of entry to virtually any serve as you’ll be able to consider is encouraged streamlining in a phase nonetheless obsessive about difficult user-interfacing with distracting submenu-itis. For its section, the T8 hybrid’s virtual motive force’s instrumentation does lack a little bit of one-glance readability, and overbearing the motive force a bit an excessive amount of with hybrid device operation presentations.
Fabrics, match and end, presentation: from the 360-degree digital camera show to the evenness of the double-row trim sewing, there’s not anything concerning the S60’s internal that appears or feels cut-priced. At R-Design stage, spec equivalent to wonderful Nappa leather-based and right kind four-zone local weather management are par for the route.
Rear seating is excellent if a bit tight in leg room, and we’ll must A-B in opposition to the class-leading Three Collection to peer how a lot of a packaging luck the S60 is, however it without a doubt turns out nearer to the roomier finish of its mid-sized phase than some competition (such because the Lexus IS). The 442L boot, too, is good and deep, with sq. loadspace proportions best for enormous gadgets and hulking baggage.
With the number of deciding on one model for the famed Targa Adelaide curves, and the opposite for cruising/commuting/freeway overview, we go for the slower (6.3sec 0–100km/h) T5 for the twisties moderately than the massively extra tough and fast (4.3sec) T8. Why? As a result of the entire faster hybrid’s ‘duality methods’, centring on all-electric pressure capacity and a heroic 2.0L/100km intake determine, are misplaced hooking during the twisties. And but even so, the T8’s two-tonne heft, a quarter-tonne heftier than the T5, hamstrings it rather because the extra dynamic selection.
Numerous issues expose themselves in no time with the T5 in spirited Sunday-drive mode. At the start, regardless of a lot track and dance concerning the new Modular Scalable Product Structure underpinnings, the brand new S60’s riding persona is strikingly very similar to the old-gen S60, if polished, massaged and incrementally stepped forward in just about each and every division. And, secondly, it stays a bit incongruent in execution between the powertrain and chassis, and between what it hopes to reach and what it in the long run delivers.
It’s a fit-enough powertrain on numbers: the R-Design will get nominal lifts of 5kW and 50Nm over the two.0-litre turbocharged 4 in Momentum and Inscription spec, its 192kW/400Nm bang on par with its fittest key German competitors. The engine itself is toey, delicate and most commonly foible loose. And with a 7.3L/100km declare, it’s impressively thrifty, too. But if mixed with the eight-speed auto and all-wheel pressure, some synergy between its key parts is a bit misplaced.
Dig in and reaction isn’t as swift because it might be, its persona now not as daring and alert because it differently may well be. It’s only a contact leisurely for its sporty R-Design temporary, and doesn’t reasonably muster up the mojo for what’s a satisfyingly targeted roadholding bundle. The T5 will without a doubt go back some heady tempo on the expense of an excellent diploma of sweat and fanfare, and has a tendency to settle right into a planted, safe-as-houses dynamic mode that’s secure, protected and predictable, if now not precisely heart-racing.
The dealing with temporary is considered one of ironclad protection web moderately than sweetness, lightness or playfulness. That’s now not essentially a nasty factor, it simply gained’t be for everybody. There’s a first rate diploma of engagement with the motive force, and also you without a doubt really feel extra without delay hooked up with the street than with S60s previous, however it simply comes up a little bit brief should you’re anticipating right kind Three Collection-like sports activities sedan skill.
The T5 R-Design’s 4-C adaptive damping turns out key to the T5’s spectacular level and lateral grip at the move, however peg the tempo again or even its softest experience atmosphere isn’t reasonably as compliant and cosseting correctly for the S60’s transparent convenience leanings. At cruise it’s quiet, feels forged, and is in most cases reasonably composed, however sharply edged avenue imperfections can jar the experience greater than they actually will have to.
A little bit extra focal point and varnish within the powertrain, and extra mood within the suspension, would deliver a little bit extra enjoyable stability to the T5’s broader on-road persona.
Positive, you’d be expecting a magnitude of added thrust from the 311kW and 680Nm T8 hybrid mixture, however I used to be totally stunned through how easy, blank and seamless drivability is when put next with the T5’s more effective turbo-four and eight-speed auto bundle. That’s for the reason that T8 hybrid device is so bloody complicated that even each phrases in its Dual Engine namesake are technically fallacious (it will have to in all probability be One Engine Two Motor as a substitute)…
How complicated? Deserving of an article deep-dive from some brighter engineering spark than I – Hi? Paul Maric? – however I’ll give it a concise crack.
There’s a 2.0-litre turbo petrol 4, its supercharger boosting till grab disengagement at 3500rpm, the place a big high-flow turbocharger continues the heavy lifting to redline. Transverse, eight-speed, entrance pressure: gotcha. There’s additionally a 65kW/240Nm electrical motor – now not ‘engine’, Volvo – at the rear axle that plays quite a lot of roles: it supplies sole rear electrical pressure in EV mode for as much as 43km vary; provides AWD in hybrid mode; provides energy and torque throughout acceleration; and plays brake-energy recuperation.
Wait, there’s extra. Wedged between the engine and transmission is a Crank-Built-in Starter Generator providing 34kW and 150Nm of additional “inside combustion enhance” electrical spice up, regardless that, it appears, its number one serve as is as a get started motor and alternator. How the whole thing conspires in combination to create 311kW and 680Nm is black magic venturing past my dimly mentioned comprehension…
Soar at the loud pedal and thrust is speedy, forged and enjoyable; a sensation that turns out to shed the S60 of a lot of its two-tonne mass, whole with a pleasing tuneful engine notice and completely no sense of the place and when the quite a lot of energy devices clock off and on. It’s this type of thrust completely aligned with the powerful and dignified top rate vibe the remainder of the S60 bundle guarantees.
The EV mode is lovely first rate: glad to expire to freeway velocity with average acceleration, and ready to stream with different visitors with no need to name on inside combustion enhance. Trying out each its EV vary and zero–100km/h claims is a role for any other day, however fortunately this ‘plug-in’ can also be pressured into rate mode to best up the battery at the fly for later full-EV use of the motive force’s opting for.
Surprisingly, then, the T8 R-Design sits now not on 4-C adaptive suspension, however at the vary’s Dynamic device. And whilst its taut nature may go back body-control favours manhandling two tonnes on a twisty avenue, it’s merely approach too stiff for a automobile differently constructed for swift convenience, and now and then jarringly so.
Trip quibbles apart, the S60 T8 R-Design bundle has numerous attraction, and distinctive attraction at that. Volvo Australia itself struggles to call a logical rival to this mid-$80Ok luxo-performance plug-in hybrid, and regardless of what bench racers may learn into acceleration figures, it is nowhere within the neighbourhood of even a BMW M340i xDrive (as soon as it after all arrives) let by myself an M3, nor does it well change for anything equivalent to a Genesis G70 3.3T. A Mercedes-Benz C300e, in all probability?
The S60 T5, too, is an excessively likeable prospect, however it’s getting with regards to German cash the place there’s some heady festival from the Giant 3, regardless that the Volvo without a doubt seems to be very compelling within the equipment-as-value stakes without reference to anything. Higher nonetheless, Volvo has after all addressed over the top servicing prices, introducing aggressive capped-priced servicing plans around the native levels. 3 years of “complete” servicing at the S60 will general $1595 – an enormous step ahead from the place Volvo has been up to now.
On paper, regardless that, it’s the access, mid-$50Ok T5 Momentum that appears to be the actual candy spot for the S60, and a automotive we actually sit up for getting during the CarAdvice storage. It without a doubt seems to be the most efficient probability to modify the nameplate’s fortunes for the easier within the top rate phase, and in all probability the mainstream phase as neatly.
MORE: S60 information, opinions, comparisons and movies
MORE: The whole thing Volvo