Volvo S60 / V60


Debut: 2010
Maker: Volvo
Predecessor: S60 Mk1



 Published on 6 Jun 2010 All rights reserved. 

Claimed to offer one of the best dynamics of its class, will the S60 be just too Germanic ?

This is the second generation Volvo S60. The Swedish manufacturer boldly claims it has one of the best driving dynamics of its class, which comprises BMW 3-series, Mercedes C-class and Audi A4, among others. I repeat: one of the best driving dynamics of the class. Can you believe this is a Volvo ?

Frankly, such a claim worries me. Volvo appeals to me because of its Scandinavian flavour - simple yet elegant, well-built without flamboyant, ergonomical, practical, reliable and safe. The last thing I would want Volvo to be is to drive like a BMW or Audi. If so, Volvo would be no longer Volvo, and we would have no reasons to buy it anymore. However, I don't think many people share my appreciation for auto-diversity. These days most people seemed to bias towards the "advant-garde sportiness" of BMW and Audi. Anything else are difficult to register big sales numbers. This forced Volvo - as well as Mercedes, Jaguar, Saab, Opel and Ford - to follow suit.

Volvo's migration towards the sporty route started 9 years ago with the first generation S60. It was designed as a stylish four-door coupe (well before Mercedes did the same thing to its CLS). It received sportier chassis tuning than any previous Volvos. However, limited by the S80 platform on which it was based, it never quite matched its German rivals for performance and handling.


How is it possible for the coupe shape not to compromise rear seat space ?

This time is different. Although the new S60 is built on the EUCD platform of V70, S80 and Ford Mondeo, it was allowed to make extensive changes to the chassis. For example, its front subframe has been made much stiffer than the ones in other versions of EUCD platform. Its front strut mounts and suspension bushings are also stiffer. Larger diameter dampers contributes further to rigidity. As a result, its front suspensions are more resistant to distortion due to cornering g-force and road shocks, keeping their geometry close to ideal case in maneuvering. Besides, the steering column and its mounting have been greatly stiffened so that kickback is largely eliminated. This also allows the car to adopt a 10-percent faster steering rack to enhance sporty feel.

The pursuit of German sportiness goes further than a stiffer structure. Mirroring BMW's M-sport, Audi's S-line and Mercedes' Avant-garde suspensions, the new Volvo allows customers to choose between two suspension packages - the softer Touring or the stiffer Dynamic. The former takes care of traditional Volvo customers whereas the latter is designed to lure younger drivers from the German camp. Of course, customers with deeper wallets may enjoy the best of both worlds by opting for Four-C continuous adaptive damping, which is carried over from the old car. This device provides you three distinctive modes - Comfort, Sport or Advanced, one harder than another.

No matter how hard the aforementioned efforts are, Volvo S60 is still a front-wheel drive machine suspended on unsophisticated MacPherson struts up front, so how to tame its understeer and torque steer becomes critical. As before, AWD is standard on the most powerful (300hp-plus) T6 and optional on some other models. It continues to utilize a Swedish-built Haldex multi-plate clutch to transfer torque from the front axle to the rear axle in case of slippage. In addition, another multi-plate clutch device now provides torque vectoring between the two rear wheels. This should greatly reduce understeer at the limit. For those cannot afford the AWD system, don't worry, the new S60 has added Corner Traction Control, which is a brake-actuated electronic differential lock. Another new feature is Advanced Stablity Control. Compare with existing ESP systems, Advanced Stability Control adds a body roll sensor, thus it can react earlier and more progressively, suppressing understeer more naturally.

EUCD platform is stiffest in this form

The sporty theme continues on its exterior design. The new S60 was designed by Steve Mattin during his short stint as Volvo's design chief. Mattin was previously responsible for various Mercedes-Benz designs such as A-class, S-class, SL-class and R-class. From these cars you can see his preference on radical designs, no wonder the new Volvo looks so aggressive. Undoubtedly, it is a head-turning design, but isn't it a little too flamboyant, especially those headlights and alloy-effect underbody panels ?

Anyway, the new design does look attractive in the fresh, and it is compatible with a good drag coefficient of 0.28. The "four-door coupe" shape is preserved and enhanced further. The fast rear window seems to compromise rear headroom, but in fact it does not. Yes, entering the rear seats takes some precaution to avoid hitting the C-pillars, but once entered, people up to  6 feet tall will find enough head and leg room. How is this made possible ? If you compare the side profile of the new car with the old one, you will find its wheelbase has been stretched by 50mm, which contributes to 30mm extra rear knee room. Its roof has been raised by 56 mm, the rear screen is set further back and the combination of higher boot lid level and rising waist line also contribute to visual sleekness without actually eating into cabin space. Volkswagen Passat CC also uses a similar trick, but I would say Volvo's execution is cleverer and the overall effect is more stylish.

Don't get me wrong, the S60 is no where as spacious as Ford Mondeo or Skoda Octavia. Its interior space is just competitive against its target rivals BMW 3-series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-class. Like them, it is better served as a 4-seater as the center rear seat cushion is narrow and hard.


The interior design is easy on the eyes. There is an air of quality and solidity yet the overall theme is warm and understated. The trademark floating console is now angled towards the driver. Above which is a built-in LCD screen, which has become class norm. The screen is positioned high to avoid distracting your vision from the road. The same cannot be said to the controls on center stack, which are placed too much lower than eye level. Driving position is excellent, whereas the chairs are supportive yet very comfortable for long journey.

Safety has always been the strength of Volvo. Although other car makers have largely closed the gap in the past few years, the S60 still has one advantage - Pedestrian Detection system with Full Auto Brake. It uses radar and camera to detect pedestrians in front of the car, then warns the driver with beep and flash lights at the head-up display, and simultaneously pre-charges the brake booster. If the driver fails to react, it will brake the car to full stop automatically. As long as the vehicle speed is no more than 35 km/h (22 mph), S60 can avoid hitting the pedestrian. Above that speed, the system can still greatly reduce impact force hence the injury caused to the pedestrian.


The engine range of S60 seem competitive. Although Volvo is now in the hands of Chinese, it still gets the latest "Ecoboost" engines from Ford. At the bottom of the range is 1.6 GTDi in two states of tune (150hp or 180hp). Both employ full variable valve timing, direct injection and turbocharger. The same technology can be found on the two 2.0 GTDi engines that produce either 203hp or 240hp. We have seen the lower power version in Ford Mondeo and it impressed us with good response and linear power delivery. The higher power version is not available at the time of writing. It will be badged as T5 and serve as a greener replacement to the long-serving Volvo five-pot engines.

The characterful five-pot still lives in the form of diesel. The 2.4-liter D5 employs a sequential twin-turbo system with different size turbines to achieve 205 horsepower at minimum lag. Its problem is excessive noise under hard acceleration, so the entry-level D3 may be a better choice. The latter is downsized to 2.0 liters, employs a conventional VTG turbo and produces 163hp. It loses little real-world performance to the larger engine because its maximum torque is only 15 lb-ft down.


Dynamically, see it as a beefed up Ford Mondeo and it won't be far off...

At the top of the range is T6, powered by Ford's turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six built in Wales. Thanks to reduced internal friction, its output is lifted from 285hp on V70 / S80 to 304hp here. Its maximum torque is 30 lb-ft higher than that of BMW 335i.

All these sound promising. However, on the road the S60 never feels as quick as it should be. One of the reasons is its hefty weight - in front-wheel-drive form it tips the scale at about 100 kg more than a 3-series or C-class, or close to 200 kg in the case of T6 AWD. Moreover, the Aisin-built Geartronic 6-speed automatic transmission is not quite the best around, no matter response or efficiency. A narrower ratio spread means the cars with Geartronic return significantly higher fuel consumption and carbon emission than those with manual gearbox. Worse still, Geartronic is compulsory on the T6, whereas most other S60s are also likely to be sold with Geartronic.

Dynamically, the S60 isn't in the league of BMW and Mercedes yet, but it has taken a leap forward and is now on a par with Audi. See it as a beefed up Ford Mondeo and it won't be far off. Its chassis feels solid and is reasonably well balanced. Its body control is tidy. AWD provides plenty of traction and grip. Torque vectoring improves its agility at the extremis, though in normal driving it still feels nose-led. Its biggest weakness is steering, which is too light and numb. On the positive side, the S60 will be praised for a refined ride. Even on optional 18-inch wheels and 40-section tires it still leaves enough compliance on any surfaces - the same cannot be said to its German rivals with sports suspensions. Meanwhile, the float of the old car has been replaced with great body control, which translates into high level of composure. The lack of road and wind noise enhance the refinement further.

Well, its claim for best-in-class driving dynamics might be a bit over the top, but so what ? The most important is, while pursuing a sportier taste, the Volvo has not forgotten what made it special and successful in the past, i.e. comfort, refinement and safety. This is definitely one of the cars entry-level executive cars buyers have to consider.
Verdict: 

 Published on 1 Oct 2011
All rights reserved. 
S60 R-Design


Originally, R-Design is supposed to be a sporty look and suspension trim level at Volvo, just like BMW's M Sport package or Audi's S-line package. The S60 R-Design in Europe gets a more aggressive looking (if not functioning) front air dam and rear diffuser and a set of 18-inch wheels shod with 235/40 rubbers to distinguish from the regular trims. In addition, its suspensions are considerably stiffened, with 15 percent stiffer springs, 15 mm lower ride height, thicker anti-roll bars, stiffer bushings and a front tower bar to reinforce the structure. Regardless of models, sportier passive dampers replace the Four-C adaptive dampers. Inside, the cabin gets unique steering wheel, gear lever, pedals and trim materials. Normally, I don't write about such modest changes.

Unlike Europe, Volvo USA wants to give the R-Design label a real performance meaning so that it has something to rival Audi S4 and BMW 335i. Therefore, the US version of S60 R-Design is not only limited to the flagship T6 powertrain – which means 4-wheel-drive and turbocharged 3.0 straight-six – but it also enjoys a slight power boost. Turbo boost pressure is dialed up from 0.9 to 1.0 bar, lifting output by 25 hp and 30 lbft to 325 hp and 354 lbft. As the boost is modest, it needs no more than a revised ECU. No worry about hurting durability, as the same tuning has been well proven by Volvo's semi-official tuning arm Polestar.



The result is just as expected: a marginally faster and sharper S60. Its acceleration still can't match the aforementioned German rivals, mostly due to its immense weight of 1738 kg. The steering response and body control are better than the regular T6, but the chassis still feels front-heavy compare with the aforementioned German rivals, while the unchanged brakes are not up to the job of performance saloon. The electrohydraulic steering gets heavier but no more feelsome, sadly. On the plus side, the firmer ride is still smooth enough, and the cabin remains well insulated from noise sources.

Being promoted as a performance saloon, the US version S60 R-Design is inevitably disappointed. Its charm remains the same as the regular versions of S60, i.e. a combination of high refinement, unique style and trustable safety. This mean the best S60 is not the performance flagship model but the cheaper ones.
Verdict:
 Published on 25 Jun 2013
All rights reserved. 
V60 Plug-in Hybrid


Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is neither the first Plug-in hybrid car (that was BYD F3DM) nor the first diesel hybrid (i.e. Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4), but it is the first combining the best of the two. Under the bonnet is exactly the same 2.4-liter turbo diesel inline-5 as the regular V60 D5, which drives the front wheels only. At the rear axle, there is an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor that drives the rear axle. The battery is large enough to offer a pure electric driving range of 50 km (31 miles) if you are light on throttle. That means, for your regular commutes between home and supermarket, you don't even need to fire the engine once if the battery is fully charged at home. For longer journey, the car drives much more like conventional hybrids, but still its diesel engine should give better combination of fuel economy and real-world performance.

And what a performance. The V60 Plug-in Hybrid sprints from rest to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds. Its diesel engine produces 215 hp and 324 lbft of torque, while the motor supplies another 67 hp and 147 lbft. As the power and torque curves of diesel engine and electric motor match each other very well, the total is simply the sum of the two, i.e. 282 hp and 471 lbft. Admittedly, a large part of the electric power is used to offset the extra weight of 300 kg (including 150 kg of battery). Still, we can't think of any other non-electric cars in the world can do 0-60 mph in 6 seconds yet achieve an EU fuel economy of 155 mpg and carbon-dioxide emission of just 48 grams every kilometer. Mind you, the EU figures are somewhat deceived by the energy stored in the battery before test. However, in real world road test the Volvo can still easily beat the diesel BMW 330d, Audi A4 3.0TDI and Mercedes C300CDI for fuel consumption.



Volvo is wise to take the V60 as the basis of the technology, because its larger cargo room can afford the loss of 125 liters due to the battery. Inevitably, the extra weight causes its handling to feel less agile, but for a Volvo that is not a fatal fault. Most important to its buyers, it remains to be a solid, stable, refined and safe handling car.

The e-4WD concept is similar to Peugeot's Hybrid4. In zero emission mode, the car is RWD. In contrast, power mode engages both engine and motor to deliver maximum propulsion while the car is driven by all wheels. You can also deliberately engage 4WD mode if you need the extra traction it provides, say, to tow heavy load. However, most of the time the car is likely to operate in hybrid mode, where computer decide which power source to engage depending on power needs and battery level.

The drawback is price. Powerful diesel engine is expensive, even more so is the hybrid system, especially the large lithium battery that plug-in hybrid needs. As a result, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid costs 20-25 percent more than the regular V60 D5. Fortunately, a large part of the premium can be offset by government grant and tax cut in many countries, while the rest could be recouped from the fuel saving. Volvo developed the car at a budget of £280 million, half of which was subsidized by Swedish power company Vattenfall, therefore it is unlikely to lose money.
Verdict:
 Published on 3 Oct 2013
All rights reserved. 
S60 / V60 with Drive-E engines


In the past decade Volvo has been relying heavily on engines supplied by Ford. These include the 1.6 and 2.0 turbo four, 3.0 turbo straight-six as well as the Ford-PSA 1.6 and 2.0 turbo diesel. When Ford sold Volvo to Geely in 2010, it agreed to continue supplying engines for a few more years. However, in longer term the prospect is not so clear. Even if it manages to have the contract renewed, the prices won't be as favourable. Therefore, Volvo decided to build its own engines again. Being a relatively low volume manufacturer, it could not afford to develop a full range of small and large engines like BMW or Mercedes. To reduce development and production costs, it made a brave decision to equip all its future cars with the same family of four-cylinder engines, abandoning the trademark straight-5 and the T6 straight-six engines it is now using. This will happen within 2 years. It might sound terrible, but those old enough to remember the pre-PRV era (up to the early 1980s) might say an all-four-cylinder Volvo lineup would not hurt its image the slightest. On the contrary, it might bring a clearer message about green and practical.

To rebuild its own powertrain R&D expertise must be challenging. After all, Volvo had practically stopped developing new engines for a decade. Fortunately, veteran powertrain boss Derek Crabb is still there (he must be bored by the daily work of tuning, adapting and certifying engines in the past few years). With budget assigned, he rebuilt the development team and facility in Gothenburg. Meanwhile, the engine plant in Skovde that is still building the 5-cylinder engines has a lot of unused capacity. Eventually, it will build 500,000 four-cylinder engines annually.



The new Drive-E engine family is unusual. It includes both petrol and diesel versions, sharing the same aluminum block but with different heads, reciprocating parts, exhausts and fuel systems etc. It will eventually have 8 variants with output spanning from 120 hp to 306 hp, but all versions will displace the same 1969 c.c. This can be achieved by different kinds of forced induction.

The petrol engines feature direct injection, high-speed continuous variable valve timing, friction-reducing ball-bearing on camshafts and on-demand variable water cooling system. The first production versions produce 245 hp and 258 lbft on T5 models, or 306 hp and 295 lbft on T6. The former employs a single twin-scroll turbo, while the latter uses both a supercharger (which works at low rev) and a large turbo (takes over at 3500 rpm) like Volkswagen's Twincharger. This guarantees an excellent low-end response and simultaneously very high output. It matches nearly the current 3.0 turbo six but returns much better fuel economy (44.1 mpg versus 28.5 mpg EU combined) and remarkably low emission (149 g/km vs 231 g/km) on the new S60 T6. Thanks to reduced weight and a new Aisin automatic transmission with 8 ratios instead of 6, performance is also improved.

The diesel engine employs different-size sequential twin-turbo (small one for low rev and large one for high rev) like Volvo's existing diesel 5-pot, but what really shines is its innovative i-Art common-rail injection system, which not only works at a record-high 2500 bar of fuel pressure (500 bar higher than the latest rivals) but also has individual microprocessor, pressure sensor and injection actuator on each cylinder to precisely control the amount of fuel injected into each cylinder. The first version produces 181 hp and 295 lbft of torque and serves D4 models. Remarkably, it returns 67 mpg on the combined cycle and emits only 99 grams of CO2 on the S60 D4 manual. These figures are even better than BMW 320d EfficientDynamics while its performance is also stronger. Transmission is either 6-speed manual or that Aisin 8-speed auto.


In the real world, the D4 diesel engine is quite noisy at high rev, blame to the aluminum block that it shares with the petrol variants. However, it is pretty smooth and responsive. Thanks to the sequential twin-turbo, the torque spread is much more linear than the old 2.0-liter five-cylinder D4. The petrol T6 engine is also responsive and refined. Its transition between supercharger and turbo is nearly imperceptible. The power is abundant, but asking it to rival the turbo straight-six of BMW 335i or supercharged V6 of Audi S4 is just too much, because it lacks the low-end punch and the sound quality of its 6-cylinder rivals. It sounds stressed under push, and doesn't rev quite as creamy smooth. After all, a remarkable four-cylinder engine is still a four-cylinder. Besides, the Aisin 8-speed gearbox is not as responsive as its rivals' ZF auto, taking some edges off the acceleration.

The T6 is now available in front-wheel drive, but it does not employ any mechanical or active LSD to tame the power. Instead, it gets a more sophisticated traction control which alters fuel injection to cut power. This works reasonably well in practice, but the rest of the S60 chassis is not up to the job. Its suspension is over-firm at low speed and a bit floaty at higher speeds. The steering remains lifeless. The front-drive chassis is not as agile as its premium rivals. Understeer and body roll are more pronounced. Even though the Drive-E engine is lighter, the S60 shows little improvement in ride and handling. Perhaps Volvo needs to spend more time on the chassis tuning. Just a good new engine is not enough to make the S60 a class leader, although I still prefer its styling and interior.
Verdict:
 Published on 23 Apr 2014
All rights reserved. 
S60 / V60 Polestar


Volvo does not operate a performance division like BMW’s M or Mercedes’ AMG, but it has an official motor racing partner, Polestar, which started tuning Volvo road cars in recent years. The S60 and V60 Polestar are the first joint projects between the two firms. Their engineering and modifications were carried out by Polestar, while Volvo supports the production and is responsible for sales and marketing. Only 750 units of each model will be built, and their presence will be confined in 7 countries, i.e. Sweden, UK, the Netherlands, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. It is a small-scale experiment but the meaning could be big. If the partnership goes well, Polestar could be developed into the AMG of Volvo!

Derived from S60/V60 T6 R-Design, the Polestar models seem not to be very promising. Why? Because the T6 R-Design is seriously overweight at more than 1700 kg. Its nose is burdened with a transversely mounted 3-liter straight-six which hampers its agility. The single-turbo, port-injection straight-six is neither the most advanced nor the most willing of its kind, and its supplier Ford (the former owner of Volvo) is reluctant to update it. Still, Polestar did a respectable job to improve it. It gives the engine a larger twin-scroll turbo to lift the boost pressure from 1.0 to 1.2 bar. It also changes to a larger intercooler and large-bore stainless steel exhaust so that peak power and torque are lifted to 350 hp and 369 lbft respectively, whereas the extra flap in the exhaust system opens to a sporty howl at higher rev. Unsurprisingly, the old 6-speed automatic gearbox is retained, but Polestar remapped it to give faster gearshifts in sport/manual mode and adds the function of launch control. As a result, the 0-60 mph sprint is quickened to 4.7 seconds in the case of S60 or 4.8 seconds for the wagon. Compared with T6 R-Design, that’s an improvement of 0.8 second.




Unfortunately, while such performance level matches BMW 335i and Audi S4, the Polestars are sold at a price level closer to M3 and RS4! To an unestablished performance brand this is absolutely nonsense. The only excuse is their rarity, but even with that in mind it is hard to persuade car enthusiasts to invest into the Volvos instead of the very desirable German cars, unless the Polestars ride and handle like a dream…

Well, they are not exactly a dream, but considering their mediocre basis the result can be described as a miracle. Polestar retuned the Haldex 5 AWD system to be more rear-biased in corners. It also overhauled the suspensions with 80 percent stiffer springs, 15 percent stiffer anti-roll bars, harder bushings and, most important, a set of racing-style Ohlins shock absorbers, whose dual-flow-valve technology allows 3 ways of oil flow for both compression and rebound to suit different speeds of impact. Besides, the larger 20-inch wheels are shod with grippier, 245/30ZR20 Michelin Pilot Super Sports and house larger, 371 mm front disc brakes with Brembo 6-pot calipers. Lastly, the chassis is reinforced with a carbon-fiber strut brace. Outside, deeper lip spoilers and extra boot spoiler cuts aerodynamic lift.

On the road, its ride and handling are really transformed. Despite of the absence of electronic adaptive damping, the sophisticated Ohlins dampers are surprisingly absorbent over a variety of road irregularities, including speed bumps on highway, larger bumps on country roads and large ridges in town, keeping the ride fairly composed. This suits the Volvo’s role as a long-distance express. They also deal easily with mid-corner bumps thus the car remains impressively stable in the twisty. Meanwhile, the stiff springs and anti-roll bars keep body roll well in check. They also make the unaltered steering feels sharper and more responsive to your commands. The grip and the brakes are up to the job, too. The chassis tuning of Polestar hits the sweet spot between control and comfort.

Comparatively, the engine is a bit weak. Its power is linear rather than explosive. Low rpm response is modest, whereas the top end is capped at 6500 rpm. Fortunately it is saved by an exhaust note which blends the sound of an old M3 straight-six with turbo wastegate whooshes. The automatic gearbox tuning is almost flawless, although downshifts can be smoother. Overall, the Polestar duo is an excellent effort just hampered by an outdated engine and a steep price tag. Now what can Polestar do to the new T6 with twin-charger Drive-E engine? I can't wait to see.
Verdict:
 Published on 20 May 2016
All rights reserved. 
S60 / V60 Polestar 2.0


2 years ago Volvo surprised us by launching a limited production run of S60 and V60 Polestar. They were pretty good but hampered a little bit by an aging engine, i.e. a 3-liter straight-6 turbo supplied by its ex-parent company Ford. Having finished the production of 750 cars each, Polestar returned to the workshop and started working on their updates. The result are these cars. They look virtually the same as the original, but their 6-cylinder engines have been replaced with the new Drive-E family 2.0-liter 4-cylinders. Despite of reduced capacity and cylinder count, the new motor is equipped with both supercharger (which works at low rev) and turbocharger (which takes over at high rev), and Polestar improved it further with new con-rods, camshafts, larger intake, larger exhaust and, most important, a larger turbocharger which lifts boost pressure to a maximum 2.0 bar. This liberates its output to 367 horsepower at 6000 rpm, versus 350 hp at 5250 rpm of the old engine, although maximum torque drops by 22 lbft to 347 lbft. Moreover, the 6-speed automatic gearbox is upgraded to an 8-speed unit, supplied by Aisin again. As a result, both cars take 0.2 sec less than before to accelerate from 0-60 mph, while fuel consumption and emission are cut by more than 20 percent. Doing more for less, who doesn't want?

On the road, it is hard to tell whether the Drive-E engine is stronger than the old 3-liter, but it does rev more eagerly towards top end, especially from 6000 to 7000 rpm where the old engine simply gave up. Both engines have a soft bottom-end response compared with the best German turbocharged engines, partly blame to the 1700 kg weight they need to haul, but the power delivery is progressive and tractable. The Drive-E surges a little more obviously from 3000 rpm as its big turbo intervenes. Even so, it is not to be called explosive. Inevitably, the exhaust note is less musical than the straight-6, and it loses a little bit smoothness. In my opinion, a 5-cylinder version of Drive-E could answer all these questions. Think about it, Volvo.



The 8-speed auto is more positive. Its gearchanges are smooth and quite swift, a big improvement from the old 6-speeder.

One benefit brought by the smaller engine and new gearbox is that the front axle is relieved by 24 kg. This makes the new car slightly keener to turn. Less weight hanging at the nose also allows Polestar to soften the front springs a little, thus improves low-speed ride. Other chassis modifications are just carried over from the old cars, such as the Ohlins adjustable dampers, Brembo brakes, Michelin Super Sport 245/35ZR20 tires and a specific-tuned Haldex 4WD system. The electric power steering has been reprogrammed by Polestar, and it feels more precise, if not more communicative.

Overall, the handling and ride are slightly improved from the old cars, but its character remains intact – it is a good balance between control and comfort. Certainly not as sporty as C63, M3 and RS4, but attractive enough to steal sales from the semi-high-performance C43, 340i and S4. The Polestar duo won’t steal too many sales though, because its production is limited to 1500 cars each.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
S60 D5
2010
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4628 / 1865 / 1484 mm
2776 mm
Inline-5, diesel
2401 cc
DOHC 20 valves
Sequential twin-turbo
CDI
205 hp (215 hp from 2011)
310 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
215/55R16
1610 kg
146 mph (c)
7.4 (c)
-
S60 T5
2011
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4628 / 1865 / 1484 mm
2776 mm
Inline-4
1999 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
Turbo
DI
240 hp
236 lbft
6-speed twin-clutch
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
215/50R17
-
143 mph (c)
7.1 (c)
-
S60 T6
2010
Front-engined, 4WD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4628 / 1865 / 1484 mm
2776 mm
Inline-6
2953 cc
DOHC 24 valves
Turbo
-
304 hp
324 lbft
6-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
235/40WR18
1740 kg
155 mph (limited)
6.2 (c) / 5.5* / 5.5**
13.4* / 13.9**




Performance tested by: *C&D, **R&T





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power

Max torque

Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
S60 R-Design
2011
Front-engined, 4WD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4628 / 1865 / 1484 mm
2776 mm
Inline-6
2953 cc
DOHC 24 valves
Turbo
-
325 hp / 5400 rpm

354 lbft / 3000 rpm

6-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
235/40WR18
1738 kg
155 mph (limited)
5.5 (c) / 5.3**
13.0**
V60 Plug-in Hybrid
2013
Front-engined, e-4WD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4628 / 1865 / 1484 mm
2776 mm
Inline-5 diesel + electric motor
2401 cc
DOHC 20 valves
Sequential twin-turbo
CDI
engine: 215 hp
motor: 67 hp
engine: 324 lbft
motor: 147 lbft
6-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
215/50R17
1955 kg
143 mph (c)
6.1*
17.2*
V60 D4
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4635 / 1865 / 1484 mm
2776 mm
Inline-4 diesel
1969 cc
DOHC 16 valves
Sequential twin-turbo
CDI
181 hp

295 lbft

6-speed manual
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
215/50R17
1610 kg
143 mph (c)
7.0 (c) / 7.6*
20.4*




Performance tested by: *Autocar, **C&D





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
V60 T5
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4635 / 1865 / 1484 mm
2776 mm
Inline-4
1969 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
Turbo
DI
245 hp
258 lbft
8-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
215/50R17
1614 kg
143 mph (c)
6.1 (c) / 6.2*
16.5*
S60 T6
2013
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4628 / 1865 / 1484 mm
2776 mm
Inline-4
1969 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
Turbo + supercharger
DI
306 hp / 5700 rpm
295 lbft / 2100-4500 rpm
8-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
Adaptive damping
235/40WR18
1612 kg
143 mph (c)
5.6 (c) / 5.4*
13.4*
S60 (V60) Polestar
2013
Front-engined, 4WD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4635 / 1865 / 1481 (1484) mm
2776 mm
Inline-6
2953 cc
DOHC 24 valves
Turbo
-
350 hp / 5250 rpm
369 lbft / 3000-4750 rpm
6-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
245/35ZR20
1691 kg (1759 kg)
155 mph (limited)
4.7 (c) / 4.5* (4.8 (c))
11.2*




Performance tested by: *C&D





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
S60 (V60) Polestar 2.0
2016
Front-engined, 4WD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4635 / 1865 / 1481 (1484) mm
2776 mm
Inline-4
1969 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
Turbo + supercharger
DI
367 hp / 6000 rpm
347 lbft / 3100-5100 rpm
8-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
245/35ZR20
1676 kg (1721 kg)
155 mph (limited)
4.5 (c) (4.6 (c))
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Performance tested by: -





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