► New Volvo V60 estate news
► SPA platform, Pilot Assist...
► ... plus PHEVs coming in 2019
Volvo has added a new R-Design trim to its mid-size V60 estate to keep up with BMW's M Sport and Mercedes' AMG Line trim levels. As always, the handsome spec addition throws in some sporty kit, with Volvo confidently saying it will become the most popular trim option in the UK.
So what do you get? A separate body kit to the rest of the V60 range with chunkier bumpers, black gloss everywhere and 18-inch diamond-cut alloys as standard. As for additional (or at least different) kit, LED front foglights and front parking sensors are standard on the trim along with a sports suspension system with a 12mm-lower ride height.
R-Design Pro throws in larger 19-inch alloys, keyless entry, hands-free tailgate and headlights that actively corner with you as standard. Both R-Design and the Pro models are available with the D3 and D4 diesels and the T5 petrol. Prices start at £35,410.
Keep reading for everything else we know about the Volvo V60.
We first saw the new Volvo V60 in Stockholm , where the Volvo team pulled the covers off its new estate car ‘in its natural habitat’ – the driveway of a family house.
Håkan Samuelsson, head honcho of Volvo Cars, says that ‘the family estate driver is an important customer for our business and has been for generations. The new V60 honours that tradition, but also takes it much further.’
But how much further?
Design-wise? Not much if you’re used to looking at Volvo’s larger 90 Series of cars. The new V60 basically looks like a shrunken, if slightly sharper, V90 – not exactly shocking, but no bad thing either.
It’s a handsome beast with clean surfaces, Volvo’s now-trad Thor’s Hammer headlights and large trapezoidal grille at the front. At the rear, the design is equally un-shocking; boomerang rear lights, integrated exhausts and sharp bumper lines.
And the Volvo V60 interior?
Plush. And uniform, too – the V60’s interior is another area of familiarity with its SUV cousin and the 90 Series. Sensus infotainment complete with portrait screen, chunky gearlever, knurled starter switch and drive mode selector, and digital instrument cluster all feature inside. They are identical modules copied over from the larger models - the plan is for all Volvos, from the 40s to the 90s, to share electronic hardware.
Tech includes City Safety with Autobrake, which not only reacts to other cars but pedestrians, cyclists and large animals too. Pilot Assist can steer, accelerate and brake ‘on well-marked roads’ up to 81mph and has been ‘upgraded with improved cornering performance.’
Why keep going with estates? Isn’t everyone buying SUVs now?
Volvo’s history is ingrained with great estates and as much as soft-roaders are trendy, the big bosses say it’s just fad.
We've lived with a Volvo V90: check out our long-term test review
Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s senior VP for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and America), said: ‘What we clearly see is that we have this new generation coming in, particularly in America, which don’t have that history with sports wagons and therefore think they’re cool.
'We cannot afford, given our heritage, given our market share in Europe and our die-hard fans in the US, not to have an estate. It’s pretty simple.'
Gimme new Volvo V60 engines and specs...
Volvo’s new V60 uses the SPA, or Scaleable Product Architecture, already in service in the XC60 and 90 Series of cars, but at the presentation in Sweden there was a considerable swing towards driving dynamics with the new V60.
Hans Bäckström, manager for vehicle dynamics, pointed to a marked improvement in handling characteristics; ‘it’s a car you want to drive.’
As for engines, D3 and D4 diesels will be offered, with the former producing 148bhp. T5 and T6 petrols will make up the pure green pump offerings.
Two PHEV options will join the range from 2019 – a T6 Twin Engine AWD producing 335bhp and a T8 Twin Engine AWD making 385bhp.
An all-electric V60 could also take shape from 2020, as Volvo is planning to revitalise its powertrains for the next decade. Henrik Green, Volvo’s senior VP for R&D, said: ‘We are going full electric in a broad range, rolling out in a few years from now. Between 2019 and 2021 we will renew all of our powertrains into hybrids or full electric.’
Volvo V60: price and release date
Volvo says that the new V60 is available to order now, priced from £31,810. Deliveries will start in the UK in September 2018. Both Momentum and Inscription versions will be available initially, with further trims and specs rolled out in due course.
Want an S60 saloon instead? You’ll have to wait for now, but CAR understands that it’s not far away – we’ll see it by the end of 2018.
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