When we were aboriginal arrive to sample the new Volvo S60, we ample we’d accept an accessible job advanced of us; we could aloof cut and adhesive from our contempo Volvo reviews. Afterwards all, the S60 (along with its wagon sibling, the V60) is the final archetypal in Volvo’s artefact renewal, and it uses the aforementioned Scaled Artefact Architecture (SPA) platform, Drive-E engines, and tablet-like Sensus interface as the XC60 and 90-series vehicles. Admitting we were blessed to apprehend the new S60 will be congenital in the U.S. at Volvo’s anew minted South Carolina plant, we weren’t assured any surprises.
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But abruptness us Volvo did with its abominably called 2019 Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered. This is the top-of-the-range antic copy of the S60, with an upgraded suspension, brakes, and a adaptation of Volvo’s T8 constituent amalgam powertrain beneath the hood. While electrified achievement cars aren’t new, this is one of the aboriginal examples acutely aimed at the masses. And abreast from a few glitches, it’s appealing abuse good.
That’s the acceptable news. The bad account is you won’t be able to get one anytime soon. Volvo is alms aloof 20—yes, you apprehend that right, two-zero—of the Polestar Engineering cars to the U.S. bazaar for the 2019 archetypal year. Rather than affairs them, it offered them on its Care By Volvo cable plan. As you can apparently imagine, all 20 are already announced for.
None of this makes us any beneath absorbed in the car, or any beneath alert by the active experience. The S60 PE’s powertrain combines the supercharged-and-turbocharged adaptation of Volvo’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which drives the advanced wheels, with an electric motor affiliated to the rear wheels. Total arrangement ability is 415 application and 494 lb-ft of torque, up 15 hp and 22 lb-ft from Volvo’s abject T8 setup. Added enhancements accommodate Öhlins electronically-adjustable shocks and gold-colored Brembo anchor calipers, with bench belts and annoy valve axis caps black to match.
The aggregate of the engine’s supercharger and the electric motor on the rear arbor brings a new analogue to appropriate now power. Volvo claims a 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds, but there’s added to the story. Best modern-day turbocharged cars alternate at atomic a little aback you barge the pedal from rest, but not the Polestar—it scoots with no delay. The T8 engine, which uses a supercharger to addition off-idle response, is quick abundant on its own. Augmenting it with electricity actively ups the beam agency and offers added acceptance that electrification can be a acceptable affair from a achievement perspective.
The abrupt powertrain makes it accessible to discount the suspension, which is additionally aces of note. Anyone who collection the previous-gen S60 Polestar will bethink that it was a great-handling car with a backbreaking ride. The new Polestar Engineered S60 is a little tamer and a lot added livable. It’s not the grippiest car we’ve driven, but it zips through the curves with a acceptable rightness. The ride is firm, to be sure, but not putative, and it floats rather forgivingly over bluff bumps. And while we’ve already dealt with the powertrain, we allegation acknowledgment it again: Corner avenue is a accomplished new affectionate of fun with the workload aggregate by an electric motor, which doesn’t get bogged bottomward alike if the manual happens to be in the amiss gear.
What makes the S60 PE (sorry, Volvo, but we debris to accredit to such a abundant car by such a asinine name) is that already you about-face off Sport mode, it transforms itself into Mr. Green. The gas agent shuts off and the car favors electric power. The battery-only ambit is modest—21 miles—but that’s abundant for the boilerplate one-way drive additional a quick run for lunch. The T8 accuse with a accepted 240-volt EV charger and drivers can allegation from the agent or authority the array allegation for afterwards use. Tired of assuming a Prius? Click aback to Sport mode, the agent fires up, and the electric motor goes from allowance you save ammunition to allowance you decay it.
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Only one affair was actively out of bash during our drive, however, and it had to do with the brakes. Like best hybrids, the S60 utilizes a mix of adorning and abrasion braking, and the bureaucracy in the cars we collection seemed way off to us. Hit the brakes bound and they grab hard, and aback advancing a stop the braking accomplishment increases with hasty rapidity. Smooth stops are about absurd as there’s no way of alive aback the abrupt access in braking ability will come. We’re academic there’s a botheration with the alteration from regen to abrasion braking as the car slows. Volvo says it is still adorning the brakes, admitting it’s a little annoying that the cars accept appear this far forth in the development action afterwards analytic the issue.
A brace of things are hardly beneath out-of-whack. The steering, while accurately abounding and responsive, could accommodate added feedback. And what’s up with the E-shifter’s behavior? The clear handle is nice, but it requires a double-tap to move amid the best commonly-used ranges (park, drive, and reverse), which is both arresting and unnecessary—most cyberbanking shifters acquiesce you achieve this in one motion. Call us abstruse if you like; we’ll see if you accede afterwards active a T8 and aggravating to amount out why the hell the car isn’t affective in its advised administration (answer: You appetite drive but you’ve alone fabricated it to neutral). We’d be abundant happier if Volvo adapted the accustomed P-R-N-D shifter it employs on its T5 and T6 models.
We should agenda that the crusher-bound pre-production S60s we collection had 20-inch auto and Pirelli P Zero tires that will not accomplish it to the U.S.; our S60 PEs will get 19-inch auto with a yet-to-be-determined tire. Volvo thinks the 20s would be too asperous for the moonscape pavement of Eastern cities, and accustomed our acquaintance with the previous-gen Polestar cars, its attention is apparently warranted. We’ll save our final adjudication for the absolutely broiled assembly cars, which will beggarly cat-and-mouse for the 2020 models. (Hopefully the brakes get sorted out by then.)
And what of the added S60 models? If you’ve spent any time in a new-generation Volvo, decidedly the 90-series cars, we can do this quickly: There’s way added aback bench allowance than the old short-wheelbase S60, the block is still a bit tight, and the T6 R-Design archetypal drives—as you would expect—much like a scaled-down S90. Everything abroad we say will be a rehash, so if you’d like to blooper abroad now, feel free. We awful acclaim Jetrho Bovingdon’s commodity about alarming the daylights out of himself at the Nürburgring 24.
If you’re alien with the Volvo revolution, you’re in for a treat. No agnosticism you’ve best up on the beheld differences amid the new S60 and the approachable model; the two cars buck some affinity in silhouette, but the angles and creases on the new car are sharper, and we anticipate the C-shaped taillights assignment bigger than they do on the bigger S90. This is a attractive sedan, handsome and understated, and we anticipate the architecture will age well.
But the absolute anarchy takes abode inside. Volvo has continued accumbent itself with Swedish minimalism, but the S60 (and its adolescent new-generation Volvos) booty this to a new level. Best accessory controls are accessed through a portrait-style touch-screen Volvo calls Sensus, with the cardinal of buttons on the birr bargain to the minimum appropriate by law. This makes the S60’s berth a affably aerial place, and Volvo has taken acceptable advantage by applicable the S60 with best abstracts and switchgear. Abreast from some detail differences, decidedly on the passenger’s ancillary of the dash, the S60’s fascia is identical to added Volvos, and that’s accomplished with us—Volvo’s berth architecture is absolutely unique, and we adulation it.
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That said, acquaintance with the Sensus arrangement (something we are bound accepting with our Four Seasons Volvo V90) can calmly brand contempt. It’s accessible to bash about and acquisition best of the functions, or to about-face amid a full-screen map and what’s arena on the stereo, but some $.25 of the interface charge work—for example, you accept to ample in a lot of advice to accomplish a simple chase for accurate food or added points-of-interest. Volvo hasn’t afflicted the interface abundant back the XC90 was introduced, admitting it says the S60’s adaptation has a faster processor.
We collection our T6-powered Four Seasons V90 to the columnist preview, and our drive in the S60 T6 absolutely did feel like déjà vu. Despite its abate size, the S60 is not that abundant lighter than the 90-series cars, and dispatch from the 316-hp T6 agent acquainted comparable, as did council and handling. What sets the S60 afar is its added alive size. As abundant as we adulation the V90, it’s a acreage yacht, and the S60 is abundant easier to action and park.
Volvo has set appraisement at $36,795 (including destination) for the entry-level T5 Momentum, with T6 models starting at $41,295 and T8 constituent hybrids at $55,395. T6 models are additionally accessible on Volvo’s all-embracing cable program, Care by Volvo, at $775 per ages for the Momentum trim akin and $850 per ages for the R-Design. (In case you were wondering, the limited-run 2019 Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered cars were priced at $1,100 per month.) Care by Volvo includes payments, insurance, and maintenance, and subscribers can change to a altered Volvo afterwards 12 months.
The S60 hits afterpiece to the affection of the bazaar than the bigger S90 sedan, and we adumbrate it’s activity to be a able agent (or at atomic a able subscription). We’re abject to accept to delay for the Polestar Engineered cars, but at atomic that’ll accord Volvo time to fix the brakes—and maybe appear up with a bigger name.
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