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2019 Volvo S60 heralds 'dynamic' powertrain changes

The S60, which starts at $ 36,795 including shipping, targets a younger audience. Photo credit: Urvaksh Karkaria

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The redesigned Volvo S60 compact sport sedan, revealed Wednesday, will be Volvo’s first U.S.-manufactured vehicle and its first new-generation model to be sold without a diesel variant.

The car “gives us a strong position in the U.S. and China sedan markets,” Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement.

The inline four-cylinder S60 will be manufactured at Volvo’s new $ 1.1 billion factory near Charleston, S.C. Production is set to begin in the fall, with cars arriving in U.S. showrooms then and in Europe next summer.

The S60, which starts at $ 36,795 including shipping, targets a younger audience. Volvo hasn’t announced European prices, but the sedan’s wagon sibling, the V60, starts at 41,100 euros ($ 47,600) in Germany. A company source expects the S60 to be priced about 1,500 to 2,000 euros below the V60.

“If you look at the customer base, it is much younger for smaller sedans,” Samuelsson told Automotive News at the Geneva auto show in March. “I think you should expect that with big sedans [such as the S90], the customers would be more geared toward our [top-level] Inscription line, which offers a bit more luxury, but I believe the S60 buyers will want something more dynamic.”

By jettisoning a diesel variant for the S60, Volvo is underscoring its pivot to a future beyond the traditional combustion engine. By 2025, Volvo expects fully electric models to account for half of its global sales. Starting in 2019, all new models will be electrified, the automaker said.

The S60 will be offered with a choice of two turbocharged and supercharged plug-in hybrid gasoline powertrains with all-wheel drive: Volvo’s T6 Twin Engine that generates a combined 340 hp and the T8 Twin Engine that delivers 400 hp. Volvo’s T5 and T6 gasoline engines also will be available at launch.

Powertrain

The T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid is available with a performance upgrade called Polestar Engineered — developed by Volvo’s stand-alone brand for electrified performance cars, Polestar.

The Polestar Engineered package upgrades the car’s wheels, brakes, suspension and engine control unit, boosting combined output to 415 hp.

The base T5 model accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while the top-of-the-line T8 Polestar Engineered variant can do 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.

The S60 shares Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture platform, safety technology and infotainment system with the V60, XC60 crossover and the automaker’s 90-series family, which comprises the XC90, V90 and S90.

“The active chassis and drive modes deliver excellent control and an engaged performance that makes this a driver’s car,” Henrik Green, Volvo Car’s senior vice president for r&d, said in the statement.

Trim levels

The S60 will be available in Momentum, R-Design and Inscription trim level.

The Momentum trim offers a suite of standard equipment, including City Safety with steering support, which works to reduce or prevent accidents at intersections and with pedestrians, cyclists and large animals. The Inscription trim adds bright chrome window trim and front grille accents, driftwood inlays, four-zone electric climate control, power front seats with lumbar support and power cushion extensions.

R-Design adds a high-gloss black window trim, mirror caps and front grille.

The S60 also will be offered via Volvo’s subscription service Care by Volvo, which offers car access with no down payment via a monthly flat-fee subscription. The starting Care by Volvo price for the S60 is $ 775 a month for the Momentum trim line. An S60 with Volvo’s sporty R-Design trim is $ 850 a month. Both prices exclude tax and registration.

Douglas A. Bolduc of Automotive News Europe contributed to this report.

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