by Frank S. Washington
SANTA MONICA, Calif., — One of many first issues a Volvo government stated was that this can be a “big second for us.” He was speaking concerning the 2019 Volvo S60 luxurious sports activities sedan. I couldn’t agree extra.
Sure the automotive is necessary, specific in a market that’s dominated by utility automobiles; an automaker nonetheless should have viable sedans for the consumers who go towards the grain. The 2019 S60 updates Volvo’s providing within the luxurious midsize sport sedan market.
However there’s extra to the hugeness of the second than the automotive. All Volvo’s are powered by versatile 4 cylinder engines they usually sit on a scalable platform. The identical platform and the identical base engine ought to scale back manufacturing prices immensely and enhance high quality due to the redundancy within the construct course of.
So in principle, the Charleston, SC, meeting plant the place the S60 is being constructed can assemble any Volvo. Proof of that’s manufacturing of the XC90, Volvo’s full measurement crossover, shall be moved to this plant which is Volvo’s first within the U.S.
What’s extra, I feel one of many causes that Volvo selected Charleston, the plant is in close by Ridgeville, is the port. This plant would be the sole supply of S60 and V60 manufacturing. In different phrases, a few of its 150,000 car capability shall be exported and it provides to Volvo’s international manufacturing footprint. The S60 goes on sale on the finish of the yr and the V60 goes on sale within the first quarter of subsequent yr.
I needed to depart to attend one other program so I didn’t get an opportunity to check drive the V60, the station wagon, thus, I’ll have to attend for that have. Nonetheless, the S60 luxurious sports activities sedan was loads of automotive that got here with a wholesome quantity of selection.
That is the third era S60. It’s longer and decrease than the mannequin it changed. What’s extra, the wheelbase is nearly four-inches longer and the automotive is barely narrower by zero.7 of an inch however we didn’t really feel cramped. So totally different is the styling that aside from the grille from the previous S60 it might be troublesome to inform that it’s the similar mannequin automotive. In different phrases, it isn’t an evolutionary design. And due to the longer wheelbase, the journey on the brand new S60 was clean and quiet, even on tough pavement. It had the identical silhouette because the flagship S90.
I all the time suspected that there was extra fluidity to Volvo’s new powertrain philosophy; 4 engines can be found on the 2019 Volvo S60. The T5 is front-wheel-drive and powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The T6 is all-wheel-drive and has each supercharger and turbocharger. It makes 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
Each T8 fashions are plug-in hybrids. The T8 Twin Engine AWD drive has the four-cylinder engine and two blowers and an electrical motor and makes a complete of 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. And the T8 Polestar Engineered makes a complete of 415 horsepower and 495 pound-feet of torque.
All of the transmissions are eight velocity automatics and each plug-in powertrains have lithium-ion batteries. I hadn’t observed earlier than, however Volvo listed zero to 60 mph occasions with these engines in addition to their EPA scores:
For the T5 it was 6.three seconds from a standstill to 60 mph and 24 mpg within the metropolis, 36 mpg on the freeway and 28 mpg mixed. The T6 can get to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.three seconds and will get 21 mpg within the metropolis, 32 mpg on the freeway and 25 mpg mixed. The T8 Twin Engine can do zero to 60 mph in four.four seconds and will get 27 mpg within the metropolis, 34 mpg on the freeway, 30 mpg mixed and it has a 72 MPGe score. The Polestar Engineered has the identical mileage score because the Twin Engine trim however it could actually do zero to 60 mph in four.three seconds.
We drove the Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered first. This automotive was comfortably highly effective. It didn’t have the brutish traits of a automotive that had 400+ horsepower. It was refined, refined and clean. However put strain on the accelerator and the automotive actually zoomed down the street.
We put it in B drive mode as we headed north on Pacific Coast Freeway. It held the gears a very very long time. That B stands for battery and it means the regenerative brakes are activated when the accelerator pedal is launched. In different phrases, you don’t have to brake to retailer energy within the lithium-ion battery.
However it felt just like the S60 was in sport mode as a result of it held gears so lengthy. And we weren’t the one ones to quibble about how aggressive the brakes have been. The Polestar Engineered had regenerative Brembo brakes all spherical; they have been a part of a regenerative braking system that stopped the automotive with authority.
We complained about how shortly and aggressively the brakes stopped the S60 at low speeds however I feel the complaints can be minimal, if any, at bringing the automotive to a halt from a excessive velocity. In addition to, brake-feel in addition to accelerator-feel drivers will modify to as they turn into accustomed to each.
Anyway, sight strains have been nice as a result of the hood had been lowered by roughly four-inches; that may be a lot. This trim line had contoured seats, gold brake calipers in addition to matching gold seatbelt straps. It had black chrome tailpipes, Polestar badging fore and aft and it had 19-inch alloy wheels.
We had the highest of the road audio system, 1100 watts and 15 audio system. However there are two others: one has 600 watts and a primary system has 300 watts. The processor on Volvo’s Sensus Join Touchscreen was upgraded. They stated it made altering purposes faster and it did appear quicker to me. Additionally they stated voice controls have been improved however we didn’t attempt that out.
Sensus Join is distinguished by its 9” touchscreen that works by way of infrared know-how, which suggests it really works once you put on gloves. We didn’t attempt that however the patent four-tile homepage retains navigation, telephone, media and purposes accessible always. And it may be swiped left or proper identical to an iPad.
Volvo is branding its security system as Metropolis Security. It options collision warning with full automated braking, pedestrian warning, bike owner warning and enormous animal detection. Our T8 had all these features.
Our check automotive was additionally outfitted with Pilot Help II. It’s a driver’s help that assists with steering, acceleration and braking. It featured a hands-on-the-wheel semi-autonomous driving system the place the driving force is chargeable for monitoring the street circumstances and reacting if crucial. It really works on highways and at speeds as much as 80 MPH, not requiring a automotive in entrance of it to comply with. The system is greatest used to scale back the stress drivers typically report in stop-and-go commuter visitors. My driving companion couldn’t get it to work and I didn’t attempt.
And that was simply a few of the alerts. There was cross visitors alert, blind spot alert, adaptive cruise management, LED headlights, in addition to Thor Hammer DRLs and LED taillights and it had run off the street mitigation.
The S60 is a driver’s automotive. There have been 4 driver’s modes and the B mode makes 5 for the T8s. The T5 and T6 have consolation, dynamic eco and particular person. The driving force can even choose from three ranges of general energy help for steering. The facility steering continues to be progressive, however relying on the setting, the help is stronger or weaker proper by way of the whole velocity vary.
I assumed it fascinating that cease and go might be shut off and would keep off even when the automotive was turned off after which restated. We didn’t check it however that’s what they stated.
We went into Malibu Canyon Street that clearly runs by way of Malibu Canyon. In the event you’ve by no means been there it’s a winding ascending two-lane freeway the place the highest velocity by no means tops 50 mph. That’s as a result of it’s rift with sharp turns, switchbacks, and brief straightaways with little room for passing. I’ve been on these canyon roads right here innumerable occasions however I’d hate to be on one at night time; no road lights.
We went via right here aggressively. The brakes slowed the S60 well, steering was exact and the suspension was spot on. There have been no deeps or yaws; the suspension stored the automotive degree and there have been no squealing tires.
The brand new Volvo S60 could be ordered with the 4-C electronically managed damping system that replaces the normal dampers/shock absorbers. The digital management adjusts the damping traits constantly and instantaneously. We had it.
The traditional suspension was a double wishbone within the entrance with coil springs, hydraulic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar. The rear has an integral axle with transverse composite leaf spring, hydraulic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar or non-compulsory lively shock absorbers.
The all-wheel-drive system was a compact and light-weight coupling that distributed the engine’s energy between the entrance and rear wheels. Beneath regular, dry circumstances, which we had right here, virtually all the energy was distributed to the entrance wheels. The system always calculated the necessity for torque and will immediately redistribute as much as 50 % of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. When at a standstill, full all-wheel drive is all the time engaged to organize for max traction throughout acceleration.
I climbed into the again seat and located loads of head room within the rear and plenty of hip room for 2 individuals. A 3rd individual would discover it troublesome to straddle the hump, no less than within the AWD T8s.
The S60 is a variety of automotive. Heck, it is going to even tow as much as 2,000 lbs. And because the previous saying goes, Volvo appears to have a 2019 S60 for almost each midsize luxurious automotive shopping for pocket guide. The S60 T5 begins at $35,800, the S60 T6 AWD begins at $40,300 and the S60 T8 Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid begins at $54,400. There’s a $995 freight cost. No worth was listed for the T8 Polestar Engineered; it could actually solely be acquired by way of the subscription program.
The 2019 S60 falls beneath the aegis of Care by Volvo which is a subscription. For a flat payment of $1,100 per 30 days you possibly can drive an T8 Polestar Engineered S60 for 2 years and alter to a different trim line in 12 months. That month-to-month charge covers every thing together with insurance coverage, upkeep and extra put on. In a approach, the one further value is for gasoline which you’ve acquired to provide your self. There’s a 15,000 mile allowance per yr and you may subscribe on-line, or by way of an app utilizing your smartphone. Buying a brand new automotive doesn’t get a lot simpler. Care by Volvo begins at $775 per 30 days.