Volvo S60

Carpedia

Oct 31st, 2019

Volvo S60

The Volvo S60 replaced the S70 in 2000. This new compact luxury sedan embodies Volvo's reputation for providing safety, comfort, high-quality materials and precise driving. A completely redesigned exterior removed any resemblance from Volvo's previous box-like cars but retained their distinctive grille and badge. 

The profile of the S60 is more akin to a coupe than a sedan giving it a sportier look but with comfortable seating for five adults.

First Generation Volvo S60, 2000-2009

Advanced active and passive safety features are all over this car, tastefully integrated into its luxurious interior. The Side Impact Protection System (SIPS), Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), three-point seatbelts, side airbags and inflatable curtains are still present. The integrated phone system on the centre console features an on-call emergency link that informs emergency vehicles about your exact location in the event of an accident.

The Volvo S60 came in different trim levels, designated as the Standard, S, Sport, SE Sport and SE Lux. There were several petrol and diesel engine options offered, which varied between the trim levels and regions that they were sold.

  • 2.5T petrol (223kW / 400 N⋅m) available with either the 6-speed manual or 5-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in all-wheel drive
  • 2.0T petrol (134 kW / 240 N⋅m) available with either 5-speed automatic or 5-speed manual in a front-wheel-drive gearbox
  • 2.4 T5 petrol (194 kW / 350 N⋅m) available with 5-speed Geartronic automatic or 6-speed manual in a front-wheel-drive gearbox  
  • 2.5T petrol (157 kW / 320 N⋅m) available with 5-speed Geartronic automatic or 5-speed manual in a front-wheel-drive gearbox  
  • 2.4 D5 modified turbo diesel (138 kW / 400 N⋅m) available with 6-speed Geartronic automatic or 6-speed manual in a front-wheel-drive configuration gearbox
  • 2.4 D5 diesel (122 kW / 340 N⋅m) available with 5-speed Geartronic automatic or 5-speed manual in a front-wheel-drive gearbox
  • 2.4D diesel (122 kW / 340 N⋅m) available with 6-speed Geartronic automatic or 6-speed manual in a front-wheel-drive gearbox

Second Generation S60, 2010-2018

Volvo improved the curvy exterior lines on this next-generation S60 with a higher rear and a more sloping front, giving a first glance impression of a coupe rather than a spacious sedan. Its improved interior comfort and luxurious trims integrated all the safety features that Volvo offers. Although by now, the Volvo cars have lost their top position as the safest cars in the world, they still provide advanced safety features either standard or optional.

New safety features that came standard now is Volvo's City Safety System and Pedestrian Detection, which stops the car if it senses the driver is not reacting to the situation that would result in an imminent collision. Sat Nav, parking sensors, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Cyclist detection and Cross-traffic alert also became either standard or optional equipment. Numerous trim versions were available depending on the marketing territory. With Ford selling its share of Volvo, the company was left with limited resources to develop a new platform and opted to continue improving on this line. 

In 2013, the limited production S60 Polestar became available in Australia. Based on the Polestar Performance Concept introduced a year before, this variant featured multiple engine high-performance upgrades on the inline-6 engine consequently producing 258 kW and 508 N⋅m of torque. Handling this increased power and torque is an upgraded AWF-21 six-speed automatic transmission with a launch control system. 

This performance package includes suspension upgrades featuring Ohlins 2-way adjustable shock absorbers, stiffer springs, improved stabilisers, and numerous other suspension components. The updates extended on the brakes, wheels, tyres, and interior and exterior trims. Polestar badging was incorporated throughout the car to identify this version. A further upgrade of the S60 Polestar in 2015 managed to increase the power of the inline-6 for an additional 15 kW of power and 20 N⋅m of torque. 

The Chinese Chengdu plant manufactured S60L, a lengthened version of S60 that featured extra legroom for the rear passengers beginning in 2015. Also, for that year, the S60L T6 PHEV (Petrol Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) was produced but sold exclusively in China. In 2015, Volvo released a rare version known as the S60 Cross Country, producing and selling only 500 units of this model worldwide.

A great variety of petrol and diesel engines were available to compete in different markets around the world. 

  • T3 petrol (110 kW / 240 N⋅m) available with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed Powershift automatic transmission in all-wheel drive 
  • T4 petrol (140 kW / 300 N⋅m) available with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in front-wheel drive
  • 2.0T petrol (149 kW / 300 N⋅m) available with the 6-speed manual 
  • T5 FWD DRIVe (180 kW / 350 N⋅m) available with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed Powershift automatic transmission in all-wheel drive 
  • T5 AWD petrol (187 kW / 360 N⋅m) available with 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in all-wheel drive 
  • T6 FWD DRIVe petrol (224 kW / 440 N⋅m) available with 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in all-wheel drive 
  • T6 AWD petrol (224 kW / 440 N⋅m) available with 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in all-wheel drive 
  • T6 R-Design petrol (242 kW / 485 N⋅m) available with 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in all-wheel drive 
  • Polestar petrol (258 kW / 500 N⋅m) available 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in all-wheel drive 
  • Polestar petrol (270 kW / 470 N⋅m) available with 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in all-wheel drive 
  • D2 diesel (84 kW / 270 N⋅m) upgraded starting 2015 (88 kW / 280 N⋅m) available with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed Powershift automatic transmission in front-wheel drive 
  • D3 diesel (100 kW / 320 N⋅m) upgraded starting 2015 (110 kW / 320 N⋅m) available with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in front-wheel drive 
  • D4 diesel (120 kW / 400 N⋅m) upgraded starting 2015 (133 kW / 400 N⋅m) upgraded again in 2017 (140 kW / 400 N⋅m) available with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in front-wheel drive. In 2017, the 8-speed automatic transmission became available.
  • D5 diesel (158 kW / 420 N⋅m) and another model (158 kW / 470 N⋅m) upgraded in 2015 (165 kW / 470 N⋅m) available with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission in front-wheel drive 

Third Generation S60, 2019 – Present

The third-generation S60 went in production in 2018 and became the first Volvo manufactured in the United States. It is a newly styled car with a very modern appeal. While technology is advancing rapidly toward self-driving cars, for now, Volvo has integrated all their research developments in an autonomous cruise control system that steers, accelerates, and brakes automatically in response to multiple sensors, cameras and radars. 

The exterior adopted some styling concepts from the XC90, most easily apparent are the headlights. The grill is now more pronounced than the previous generation. As with Volvo tradition, the interior is very well finished with modern features skillfully integrated. Electronic features abound, from the Sensus touchscreen to digital controls and instrumentation, and even a graphical head-up display. The display also gives access to a 360-degree view.

There are no diesel engine options for now. The T5 front-wheel drive (187 kW / 350 N⋅m) is available in Inscription, Momentum or FWD R-Design trims. The T6 all-wheel drive (236 kW / 400 N⋅m) is also available in the trims of Inscription, Momentum, or R-Design. The T8 Hybrid turbocharged and supercharged engine with electric motor (298 kW / 640 N⋅m, when electric and petrol are both utilised) is available in an all-wheel-drive configuration in either Inscription or R-Design trim. All engine variants are now coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission. In other regions, the T4 (142 kW) is also available.

Also available as options are Polestar-engineered versions, which incorporate upgraded suspension, brakes and exterior packages. The AWD package still only sends a portion of the power to the rear and is much more tuned to provide the best economy. 

It does seem that the S60 will be around for at least a few more years. The S60 has become Volvo’s mainstay model as their luxurious sedan, which exemplifies their commitment to integrating safety and the best available technology into their vehicles. 


- Jarad