New Volvo S60 saloon: everything you need to know | CAR Magazine

New Volvo S60 saloon: everything you need to know

Published: 04 July 2018 Updated: 02 November 2022

► New Volvo S60 revealed
► The first Volvo built in US

► Petrol or PHEV – no diesel here

This is the all-new Volvo S60 – the Swedish brand’s new saloon to accompany its V60 estate. It’ll take on the soon-to-be-replaced BMW 3-series, Audi A4, recently-facelifted Mercedes C-class and Jaguar XE.

Volvo revealed the new compact exec saloon at its new factory in Charleston, South Carolina and confirmed that the S60 is the first Volvo car to be built in the States. CAR understands Building the new saloon there ‘reinforces Volvo Cars’ commitment to the US – an important market for the company.’

However, the new location means right-hand drive production takes a bit of a back seat; the new Volvo S60 won’t arrive in UK dealers until summer 2019, while LHD Euro exports start early in 2019.

Yup, it’s definitely a Volvo…

Indeed – Volvo’s updated-from-2015 product portfolio all sort of looks the same, bar different body styles. That’s not to say the new S60 isn’t handsome, mind – it certainly keeps up with the Jag XE in the design stakes; purposeful lines, Thor’s Hammer headlights and balanced proportions.

The R-Design models (pictured in red) come with their own body trimmings, alloy wheel designs and what looks like a couple of vampiric fangs in the front valance.

Is the interior the same, too?

Pretty much exactly what you’d get on the new V60, too, yes. A fat-rimmed steering wheel, high centre console complete with knurled starter switch and driver mode roller, safety tech coming out of every orifice and the brand’s portrait-orientated Sensus Connect infotainment system are all present and correct.

Anything special about the engines specs?

European models will comprise the T5 and T6 petrols and a ‘Twin Engine’ plug-in hybrid: T8 AWD. A second PHEV– a T6 Twin Engine – is expected to come later in the car’s life cycle.

Volvo keep repeating the word ‘sports’ when referring to the new S60 in its press bumf, with boss Håkan Samuelsson calling the new saloon ‘one of the most exciting Volvo cars we’ve ever made.’ Strong words.

Check out the full specs for all European engines below:

Volvo S60 T5 specs

Engine: 1969cc 4cyl turbo, 247bhp @ 5500rpm, 258lb ft @ 1800rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Performance: 6.2sec 0-62mph, 140mph, 34.9mpg, 185g/km

Volvo S60 T6 AWD specs

Engine: 1969cc 4cyl turbo, 306bhp @ 5700rpm, 295lb ft @ 2200rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Performance: 5.3sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 31.7mpg, 204g/km

Volvo S60 T8 AWD Twin Engine specs

Engine: 1969cc 4cyl turbo plus electric motor, 384bhp @ 6000rpm, 472lb ft @ 2200rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Performance: 4.4sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 113.0mpg and 28 miles of EV range, 58g/km

Like the V60 and XC60… and the whole 90 Series of cars, for that matter, the S60 uses Volvo’s Scaleable Product Architecture platform. Henrik Green, Volvo’s SVP for R&D, says that ‘the active chassis and drive modes deliver excellent control and an engaged performance that makes this a driver’s car.’

No diesel then?

Volvo has already pledged to electrify its entire range, with plug-in hybrids, mild hybrids and full battery electric vehicles all in the pipeline. And that means that no products will be launched with diesel power from 2019 onwards, as the company shifts to a more sustainable, electrified future.

‘Our future is electric and we will no longer develop a new generation of diesel engines,’ said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive at Volvo earlier this year. ‘We will phase out cars with only an internal combustion engine, with petrol hybrid versions as a transitional option as we move towards full electrification. The new S60 represents the next step in that commitment.’

Anyway, what’s special about that black one?

Ah, that’s the S60 T8 ‘Polestar Engineered’ model. It’s about as close as we’ll get to a hot S60 for now, with the trim exclusively reserved for the top-shelf T8 Twin Engine hybrid. Volvo says that the warmer S60 is ‘a complete offer that upgrades the car’s wheels, brakes, suspension and ECU’, with power boosted to 409bhp.

When can I get one?

Prices and a release date are both TBC for Europe at the moment, but we doubt it’ll be too long before the saloon goes on sale in Europe. Volvo has, however, confirmed that the new S60 will be available via the brand’s ‘Care By Volvo’ subscription service.

Check out our Volvo reviews

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches