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Volvo S60 unveiled – with its new US factory

The much-trailed new Volvo S60 has been revealed, at the brand-new American factory where it will be built.

The new mid-sized model, which will join its already launched V60 estate sister in showrooms, will be the first Volvo manufactured in the USA, at a new plant in Charleston, South Carolina. The plant will begin production in the Autumn and from 2021 will also build the next-generation XC90.

The S60 will also be the first Volvo in the modern era that will not be offered with a diesel engine option. Volvo says this is a clear demonstration of its commitment to electrification and a future beyond internal combustion engines – the brand announced last year that all its cars offered from 2019 will be electrified in some form.

Four engines, two hybrids

Buyers will choose between the traditional T5 and T6 petrol engines and a pair of hybrid petrol units with both turbocharging and supercharging – the T6 Twin Engine all-wheel-drive hybrid produces a combined 340hp, while the T8 Twin Engine version, familiar from the Volvo 90 series, offers 400hp. However, the brand is not yet saying whether all four engines will be offered in UK 60 models.

Described as a ‘sports saloon,’and set to rival the mass-selling BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, the new S60 provides few surprises with its styling, both due to its estate sister already being on sale, and the fact that it is effectively a smaller version of the highly successful S90 series.

Both the S60 and V60 are built on Volvo’s versatile Scaleable Product Architecture (SPA) platform and share their safety tech and infotainment systems – which again are all lifted from both the XC60 SUV and the 90 Series. Autonomous emergency braking is standard, and Volvo adds that its City Safety with Autobrake technology is the only system on the market to recognise pedestrians, cyclists and large animals.

The Sensus Connect infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G smartphone compatibility on a tablet-style screen.,

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The S60 can also be specified with the Pilot Assist system, which can take a degree of steering, acceleration and braking from the driver at speeds up to 80mph. Volvo says this has been upgraded for the S60 with improvements to its cornering performance.

Prices for the S60 are expected to be announced closer to its UK market launch likely early in 2019. It will also be available on the ‘Care by Volvo’ subscription scheme recently unveiled with the XC40 – this puts drivers in the car by means of a monthly flat-fee subscription, with no down payment, rather than ownership. The brand describes Care by Volvo as “making having a car as transparent, easy and hassle-free as having a phone.”

 

Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.
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