Volvo’s new S60 executive range

21 March 2019

VOLVO has announced that its new S60 executive range will arrive here from May in the sportiest possible guise, with prices from £37,920.

It will be offered initially only in the most upmarket R-Design format with a powerful turbocharged petrol engine and a body style that is the sportiest the company can create.

The idea is to go head-to-head with high-performance German rivals for which punters are prepared to pay hefty premiums to get the sportiest image.

However, despite boasting that the emphasis of the American-made newcomer is firmly upon sporting prowess, it is to be limited to a top speed of just above 110mph.

This is in stark contrast to the likes of its Audi and BMW rivals that can do 155mph, and much more if they are chipped to bypass the electronic limiters.

Volvo says that all of its vehicles will be electronically programmed to refuse to travel at more than 112mph from next year, which could pave the way for Governments to force all car companies to follow suit.

Nonetheless, when the new S60 range arrives here from the States in May it will be in introductory flagship R-Design guise only, with a turbocharge 250bhp engine endowing the vehicle with acceleration to 60mph in just six and a half seconds.

Ironically emphasising the top speed restriction, the company says: ``Its performance focus is evident in its lowered sports suspension and a set of striking 19-inch alloy wheels with a contrast diamond cut and black finish.

``In the cabin, the heated sports front seats are upholstered in a combination of Nappa leather and high-quality fabric, while a black headlining and metal mesh interior trim add to the sporty ambience.’’

Premium features include a driver's head-up display, rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, a heated steering wheel and a 600W 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system.

The Sensus Connect system provides control of car functions, multimedia features, navigation and on-board connectivity via a central nine-inch touchscreen or voice commands. Smartphones can also be synced via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Advanced technology features include Pilot Assist, which controls the car's acceleration and braking and also assists with the steering to keep the S60 at the correct speed, at a safe distance from vehicles ahead and correctly positioned in its lane.

The introductory S60 R-Design Edition also comes with Blind Spot Information System and Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Collision Mitigation.

There will be no diesel versions, just a T5 turbocharged petrol engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Economy ranges from 35mpg to 40mpg, with CO2 emissions from 152g/km for front wheel drive versions.

The range is set to grow later this year with further trim levels and engine options, including petrol-electric hybrid and all-wheel drive.

Soaring sales have put the Swedish car company on course to hit its global target of 800,000 sales a year within two years, of which a record 60,000 will be in the UK.

The company’s other targets include one million electric models on the road by 2025, a quarter of each vehicle to be made from recycled materials, and not a single person to be seriously injured or killed by a Volvo within a year.

Having enjoyed incredible success with the XC60 and larger XC90 SUV ranges, the company says it is now struggling to meet demand for the smaller XC40 model despite increasing production to maximum capacity.

Such is the demand for its vehicles that Volvo is predicting matching the popularity of the rival Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class with the new S60 range.

The company’s European sales grew 13 per cent in the first two months of this year to 49,195 cars, compared with the same period last year. The growth came on the back of strong demand for the XC60 and XC40 SUVs, and the new V60.

In the UK, Volvo sold 1,705 cars in February, up 48 per cent on the same month in 2018. Volvo also retained its position as the fastest-growing premium brand in the UK, with a market share of 2.5 per cent for the month.