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Volvo has electric dreams

The reason being this S60 is the primary Volvo to be produced and developed with no diesel engine.

As a part of step one in the direction of the total electrification of its vary, Volvo has ditched diesel for its new mannequin ranges (they are going to nonetheless be out there in current vehicles till they’re changed) which means that every one new vehicles like this S60 will solely be out there with petrol or petrol-electric hybrid energy.

With gross sales of latest diesel vehicles in freefall at current which may appear to be a correctly prescient transfer on Volvo’s half however on the similar time the hybrid market remains to be in its relative infancy (making up simply six per cent of gross sales).

And it is a automobile primarily geared toward enterprise drivers who nonetheless largely desire diesels resulting from their larger mileage and decrease tax charges.

It’s a determination with one eye already trying to the long run however on the similar time that future has but to completely materialise.

Within the brief time period at the least, Volvo’s preliminary gross sales of this new S60 may endure, particularly till the hybrid and petrol market is totally established.

At the very least the S60 appears to be like the half then. Volvo’s design division has been producing a few of the best-looking new vehicles in showrooms of late, particularly the S60’s sister automobile, the V60 property – and this newest isn’t any totally different.

We just like the dominant entrance with the over-sized grille and “Thor’s hammer” entrance LED headlights and the sporty crease strains alongside the automobile’s flanks.

The new Volvo S60

The brand new Volvo S60 (Picture: NC)

The rear, echoing the C-shaped lights of the bigger S90, would not look fairly so good to our eyes however total the automobile boasts a particular fashion that stands out and is enjoyable to the attention.

It’s actually extra recognisable from a distance than the likes of the Audi A4, BMW Three-Sequence or Mercedes C-Class.

With that lack of a diesel, underneath the bonnet there’s a alternative of 4 engines, two turbo-petrol and two petrol-electric plug-in hybrids.

All S60s come fitted with computerized gearboxes with no handbook out there. The 2 normal petrols within the T4 and T5 are each 2.Zero-litres with both 190bhp or 250bhp.

Within the latter type this offers the T5 a Zero to 60mph time of 6.5 seconds with a 149mph prime pace, whereas on the similar time returning 47.8mpg common gas economic system (on paper at the least) and 152g/km emissions.

A 3rd petrol referred to as T6 additionally will get a supercharger and four-wheel drive with 310bhp and is being thought-about for a late 2019 arrival.

Volvo s60 interior

Volvo s60 inside (Picture: NC)

The S60’s large information nonetheless is not simply that absence of a diesel possibility but in addition that the flagship fashions are a pair of plug-in hybrids, badged as T8, with 2.Zero-litre turbo petrol engines plus a 10.4kW battery boasting both 390bhp or, in Polestar type, 405bhp.

As Volvo’s nonetheless comparatively younger efficiency model, the Polestar mannequin is actually not for any shy and retiring varieties. Each T8 fashions boast four-wheel drive and handle the Zero to 60mph dash in underneath 5.Zero seconds with a 155mph prime pace.

The Polestar model provides to that with uprated suspension, brakes and dealing with to stay as much as the model’s sportier picture.

Intelligent hybrids apart, the S60 has some stiff competitors within the type of the forthcoming new BMW Three-Sequence, particularly when even the present outgoing Three is hardly a slouch.

On the street the S60 actually feels refined sufficient when cruising, with an excellent street stance and sharp, direct steering.

The T8 can also be devastatingly quick each from a standing begin and notably mid-range when overtaking due to that battery pack.

The unhealthy information is that whereas providing a 21-mile electric-only vary, the battery pack additionally provides a big 31 stone to the burden of the S60.

Whereas that weight feels low down and is controllable, the automobile would not really feel as manoeuvrable via tighter turns with fast path adjustments in comparison with the likes of the Three-Sequence.

However there’s creditably little physique roll and on longer extra flowing bends the Volvo feels extra planted and controllable, enabling you to actually lean on the grip offered by the tyres.

The good and responsive gearchange paddles behind the steering wheel make it easier to to maintain up an excellent rhythm too.

That mentioned, whereas this S60 undoubtedly drives higher than many current Volvos (and bodes nicely for the stand-alone Polestar coupe automobile due subsequent yr), there’s nonetheless room for enchancment with extra concerned steering and higher suspension management over undulating surfaces.

Whereas it sits on massive 20in wheels, the journey high quality is way too fidgety over damaged surfaces as nicely.

S60 is the first Volvo to be produced and developed without a diesel engine

The S60 is the primary Volvo to be produced and developed with no diesel engine (Picture: NC)

When switching between regenerative braking to cost the on-board batteries and friction braking with the precise pads themselves, the brakes is also rather a lot smoother and extra progressive at low pace.

Drive the non-hybrid S60 and the variations are noticeable, with that lack of battery weight displaying apparent enhancements to the automobile’s really feel on the street, though the journey remains to be on the firmer aspect.

Inside is the standard portrait-style upright central display screen on the dashboard with its very intuitive infotainment system just like a pill. The entrance seats are very comfy with adjustable lumbar and under-thigh assist.

Within the rear there’s additionally loads of head and legroom, though a 3rd central passenger won’t thanks for any longer journeys because the central transmission tunnel, housing the batteries is massive and intrusive and takes up legroom.

The boot in the meantime is an honest 442 litres and the rear seats fold for further house.

Like its V60 property brother, total it’s arduous to not step out of this new S60 pondering that it might be an easy automobile to stay with day-to-day.

Instead non-German alternative too, it’s a much better all-rounder than the likes of the Lexus IS, though Jaguar’s XE gives stiffer competitors.

The shortage of a diesel engine within the vary might nicely hurt its potential success within the shorter time period however within the lengthy view the truth that lots of its rivals have both briefly dropped or don’t provide a plug-in hybrid at this stage means this S60 already has a head begin.

That expertise, plus the Volvo’s consolation and styling imply we expect it positively deserves to be on the purchasing listing of anybody after a small govt automobile.

For an organization usually famed for its estates, this could possibly be the most effective saloons that Volvo has ever produced.

● Mannequin: Volvo S60

● On sale: April 2019

● Value vary: est £37,000- £52,500

● Engine vary: Turbo-petrol – 2.Zero, 2.Zero-litre 250bhp; Petrol-electric – 2.Zero plus 10.4kWh battery, 2.Zero-litre 405bhp

● Energy: Zero to 60mph in four.7 seconds, 155mph prime pace (2.Zero hybrid 405bhp)

● Common gas economic system: 47.8mpg (2.Zero)

● CO2 emissions vary: 44- 169 g/km

● Rivals: Audi A4, BMW Three-Sequence, Jaguar XE, Mercedes C-Class

● Ranking: ★★★★★★★★★✩

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About Alejandro Bonaparte

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