IT’S enough to make even the most hardened of motorists go misty-eyed with nostalgia. Vauxhall, one ... [more]
Tuesday, 18 February 2020
THE Volvo S60 has shrugged off its somewhat worthy past image to produce a super smart new generation of a car that will easily challenge rival executive saloons.
By eschewing offering a choice of a diesel-engine version of the new S60, Volvo has put down a marker for the way it sees this top segment evolving in future.
So there’s no diesel available for the S60 as we drift away from the fuel but a plug-in hybrid version of the S60 is available.
For now the S60’s fuel power plant is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that fizzes with energy.
I have been driving the S60 T5
R-Design Edition Automatic. The car’s performance and handling has, along with its new look, been brought bang up to date for 21st century driving.
After all, these executive flyers are expected to notch up many tough miles during their lifetimes especially on motorways and fast major roads.
So what is the new S60 about? It is a third generation, four-door mid-size saloon with top connectivity and infotainment systems. Like the V60 estate reviewed in this column recently, the S60 displays the new face of Volvo’s design language without forsaking classic styling cues.
Key new features include the iconic “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlight design, and a new grille.
The interior design of the S60 takes its references from a design first introduced in the 90 Series cars using natural materials with new details on the dashboard and instrument panel.
All new Volvos employ an infotainment system called Sensus. This is an intuitive touch screen interface that combines car functions, navigation and connected services with in-car entertainment applications such as Spotify, Pandora, Baidu or TuneIn. This “all in one place” touchscreen is a masterpiece of technology that the driver should spend some time familiarising him or herself with before taking to the road.
There is no way anyone driving today should be trying to get the hang of technology in a car while on the move.
Too many accidents bear witness to this dictum, which has to be pure common sense.
On the S60, the portrait-oriented touchscreen enables easy and fast access to many functions and features. Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also available.
Volvo’s past reputation for automotive safety is exemplary, some of the best examples of the Swedish carmaker’s invention being copied throughout the industry.
Just look at the evidence. Volvo invented the first three-point safety belt in 1959, the first child’s booster cushion in 1978, and the Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) in 1991.
In the S60, as in other new Volvo models, the SPA platform the car is built on has, says Volvo, “resulted in the strongest Volvo cars to date because of extensive use of boron steel, as well as numerous safety systems designed to protect people inside and outside the car”.
Volvo’s City Safety technology, standard on all models, combines automatic braking functionality and collision avoidance systems to cover a range of potential accident scenarios. City Safety is the only system on the market that detects pedestrians, cyclists and large animals such as moose and deer.
The Pilot Assist driver assistance system, optional on the S60, works up to just over 80mph on clearly marked roads. Volvo regards this technology as another step towards the carmaker’s Vision 2020, which states that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.
The S60 is powered by Volvo’s Drive-E petrol powertrains. In producing the first Volvo car to be sold without a diesel, Volvo is also declaring its commitment to electrification and “a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine”.
The S60 is also available with two petrol plug-in hybrid options: the new T6 Twin Engine AWD that generates a combined 340hp and the T8 Twin Engine AWD that delivers 400hp.
Volvo’s Twin Engine plug-in hybrid delivers the benefits of a high performance, low emission petrol engine with an electric motor that delivers power on demand with ultralow CO2 emissions and more than 25 miles of pure electric range.
The S60 is a fine example of Volvo’s current great form, which has sent it to the forefront of car manufacture on a number of fronts including exterior design, interior comfort, and of course safety and new technology.
Volvo S60 T5 R-Design Edition Automatic
• S60 on the road price range from: £37,935
• Fuel: petrol
• Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol
• First Volvo car to be sold without a diesel option
• S60 also available with option of two petrol plug-in hybrids
• Volvo committed to electrification
• Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available
• Pilot Assist driver assistance system option on S60
• Four-door mid-size saloon with top connectivity and infotainment systems
Looking for a job?