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Old 01-03-2020, 07:19 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default 2020 Volvo S60 400hp 500Tq. 0to60 5.4 No Diesel





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Since the turn of the millennium, Volvo has changed out of sight. Some may continue to think of the now Chinese-owned firm as a purveyor of boxy Swedish estates, but the situation on the ground couldn’t be more different.

Catalysed by the arrival of the XC90 in 2002, Volvo’s growth has been built on an expanding range of suave, sophisticated SUVs. A look at its 2018 annual report confirms it: of the 642,253 cars sold globally last year, 56% wore ‘XC’ badges.

It’s interesting to ponder, then, just where the subject of this week’s road test might fit into that broader picture. Any premium car maker worth its salt needs to be represented in the compact executive saloon class; and while the S60 has always been a more leftfield alternative to rivals from BMW, Audi and Mercedes, that hasn’t stopped it from being a strong performer for Volvo.

However, as the second-generation S60 aged, it began to take a back seat, of the 50,319 Volvos sold in Europe in 2018, the S60 accounted for just 960. The weight of expectation placed on this new US-built, third-generation model to revitalise those sales will be significant.

The more workaday variants of this latest S60 will likely account for the lion’s share of those sold. But with the latest BMW 3 Series reaching new heights of dynamic prowess, it’s this performance-oriented S60 T8 Twin Engine Polestar Engineered that’s piqued the interest of the Autocar road test desk enough to lavish our weekly battery of performance and handling tests upon it.

Time to find out how worthy this range-topping, uncompromisingly engineered performance plug-in hybrid really is.

Volvo’s bold decision to gradually phase out diesel engines from its model ranges means, unlike in the closely related V60 estate, there is no diesel engine option in the S60 range. That truncates the choice at least for the moment, with only the 2.0-litre turbocharged, front-driven T5 and plug-in hybrid T8 in the range – although the latter can be found in cheaper and less performance-biased R-Design Plus trim. Inscription Plus trim sits above R-Design Plus on the T5 option, adding standard equipment.

Power 400bhp
Torque 494lb ft
0-60mph 5.4sec
30-70mph in fourth 6.2sec
Fuel economy 34mpg

OUTSIDE
If this section were judged on looks alone, the S60 would walk away with a five-star endorsement. Alas, things aren’t quite that simple, but few testers could deny how well Volvo has translated its current design language onto the canvas of a fairly compact modern car.

As with almost every other car Volvo now makes (the XC40 is the sole exception), the firm’s Scalable Product Architecture – SPA – sits beneath the S60’s striking exterior. Diesel engines have been removed from the line-up, with Volvo instead choosing to focus on a range of turbocharged petrol (T5) and petrol-electric (T8 Twin Engine) powertrain options, all of which are based around a turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder ‘Drive-E’ block and an eight-speed slushbox.





Suspension damping is adjusted via gold knobs found under the Hood, on the top of each front strut. Tuning the rear dampers require lifting the rear of the car.

In standard T5 guise that engine makes a fairly modest 247bhp, which is sent to the front wheels. However, the further addition of a supercharger and some other special internals raises that figure to 299bhp in the T8 Twin Engine, while Polestar Engineered software and hardware tweaks see it pushed even further here, to 314bhp. With an entirely separate electric motor driving the rear axle, the combined system outputs of our test car are a fairly hefty 400bhp and 494lb ft. That said, with only four cylinders, it seems unlikely that the S60 will be able to match the six-cylinder performance character of the BMW M340i or Mercedes-AMG C43 – but we’ll see.

Not easy to justify for BMW 330i M Sport money, but likably understated and...
There is, of course, an associated weight penalty to consider: on our scales, the S60 came in at 2013kg, while a competitive figure for a modern sports saloon would be closer to 1700kg. The mass is accounted for by those batteries and the electric motor, along with all of its high-voltage electronics. The benefit is that, unlike the BMW or Mercedes, the Volvo can travel on electricity alone for a claimed 27 miles and has far better economy and CO2 figures.

More impressive than any software tweaks, however, are the mechanical modifications that have been introduced for this Polestar-branded range-topper. An aluminium strut brace has been installed in the engine bay to improve rigidity and sharpen front-end response, while larger Brembo brakes have also been fitted.

But it’s the adjustable dampers from Swedish suspension specialist Ohlins that are the most intriguing aspect of this car. They employ dual-flow valve technology, which allows the damping fluid to behave in the same way during rebound as it does during compression. The result, it’s claimed, is that the wheels maintain more consistent contact with the road, improving handling, traction and ride quality versus what you’d expect from a conventional strut. Each strut has 22 presets for damper rate, although you’ll need to make adjustments manually via a dial that protrudes from the top of the strut tower, which is easy enough to get at. To find the dials for the rears, however, you need to jack the car up and remove the back wheels.

INSIDE

If anything is missing, it’s the sense of occasion you get when you slide on board a sporting option that makes its abilities more apparent. That said, an appreciation of the art of understatement is nothing if not a reasonable expectation of the driver of a fast Volvo.

While most S60 drivers will get a 442-litre boot, that figure is cut to 390 litres in the case of these Twin Engine hybrid examples as a result of the necessary packaging of the rear axle drive arrangements. Unlike with the old diesel-powered V60 plug-in hybrid, however, you’re unlikely to notice much in the way of missing capacity this time around: the new S60 T8 provides good loading length, width and depth, and it really only misses out due to the absence of underfloor storage space.

All S60s come pretty well-equipped as far as on-board infotainment features are concerned. Navigating the firm’s 9in portrait-oriented Sensus Connect touchscreen display now seems more intuitive than it used to, the lateral-swiped menus having become more typical of other manufacturers’ systems than ever it used to be. You get navigation and some connected functionality as standard, as well as onboard wi-fi with a year’s worth of data included.

Polestar Engineered trim upgrades the standard audio system to Volvo’s Harman Kardon premium setup, which has all the power and clarity you’re likely to want and brings with it smartphone mirroring for both Apple and Android phones (a feature which really ought to be standard across the range, in our opinion). You can upgrade again, though, to a Bowers & Wilkins system with 1100W of power, for a further £1675, should you want to.

Until the arrival of the 850 T5 in the mid-1990s, memorable performance was something of an abstract concept for Volvo. The boxy new five-cylinder saloon and estate models changed that, supplementing the demure looks with a serious turn of pace.

With a ‘combined’ 400bhp produced by its petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain, meanwhile, the S60 Polestar Engineered could never be described as ‘slow’ – although it is in danger of pulling off the same trick as its forebears, albeit to opposite effect. Against the stiff asking price, muscular looks, Pirelli P Zero tyres and gold brake calipers, our tested 0-60mph time of 5.4sec looks underwhelming and is some way shy of the more impressive 4.4sec to 62mph that Volvo claims.

Thereafter, however, it struggled to deliver truly strong acceleration, and the drawbacks of the car’s powertrain layout became plain. Upshifts are suitably slick, but as your speed increases and the tachometer needle is kept usefully within the middle of the rev-range – a point at which the powertrain’s generous combined torque output should really be making itself known – the car’s apparent force of acceleration dwindles slightly.

At times it can seem as though the gearbox has failed to engage fully whenever a new ratio is selected, although moments of axle tramp suggest that the car’s chassis electronics may be intervening in order to maintain the best possible traction and prevent progress from becoming too ragged. In the dry this frustrating characteristic never manifested itself, but even in the damp we would expect any £60,000 performance saloon with four-wheel drive to accelerate with more panache than your average 300bhp hot hatch.

And it is the cost and the implied character of the car by which this powertrain should be judged. While it works well in casual driving, during which it gently slips into and out of pure-electric operation, buyers at this level have a right to expect more – and they frequently ask for it.

To this end, although the electric motor is always quick to respond, in general the S60’s power delivery lacks the precision and linearity of non-hybrid alternatives. The Volvo’s hybrid rivals, meanwhile, including cars such as the BMW 330e, which channels the totality of its efforts through one transmission, also seem to offer more linear responses and better drivability.

Under load, this Volvo powertrain also lacks a quality which is abundant elsewhere in the S60 Polestar Engineered package: audible character.


Bluntly put, this S60 falls some way short of the dynamic mark set by the usual super-saloon suspects. It lacks the steering alacrity and outright grip of rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG C63 and BMW M3 Competition. Being the only car in this clique whose powertrain leads from the front, the Volvo also lacks the balance inherent even in far less powerful rear-driven saloons.

So much, of course, many might expect of it; and none of which is to say the top-billing S60 doesn’t drive well. It does, with its sophisticated Ohlins dampers lifting the car’s character beyond the inoffensive security of typical Volvo fare and into a more entertaining dimension.

To cope with British roads, the Ohlins need to be set close to their most forgiving configuration. Thereafter they provide on-road vertical body control so deft it is perhaps unmatched by anything else in this class. Underlined by the succinct management of weight transfer that this suspension provides, the steering revisions are easy to detect, and those first few degrees of direction change are more involving and accurate than expected.
Consider also that the small, rear-mounted electric motor often helps neutralise mid-corner chassis balance, and what you have is a sure-footed sports saloon with just enough dynamic interest to warrant a keen style of operation.

That being said, the car never stops being a Volvo. In road driving, most forms of chassis rotation are quickly ruled out of the question, not least because the ESC can never be fully disabled. The car is unambiguous in stating how it wants to be driven: quickly and neatly. One tester put it well when he described the S60 Polestar Engineered as being an otherwise sensible car that will adequately enliven those five miles of your commute where the route gets interesting – and that feels like the beginning and the end of its dynamic ambition.

COMFORT AND ISOLATION

There are some boxes a modern Volvo saloon simply has to tick, and one is that which is marked ‘rolling refinement’. They haven’t forgotten this in Gothenburg, and so while the S60 Polestar Engineered falls short of more powerful, extroverted rivals as a pure driving event, it mostly surpasses them in its ability to isolate occupants from the outside world.

The sensation is enhanced by the high scuttle, deep seats and the cabin’s air of indestructibility, but our test microphone showed that noise from the engine, tyres and oncoming air are indeed less intrusive than for the equivalent AMG or M division wares. The last Audi RS4 Avant we tested did prove fractionally quieter on the move, however.

The Polestar-branded car treads a finer line regarding out-and-out ride quality. The Ohlins dampers are changeable through 22 positions – the higher the number, the softer the damping force – and on anything lower than position 18 they telegraph the road surface into the body too faithfully for comfort. Venture into single figures and at low speeds there is the same hyperactive jostle well-known to Lotus Exige owners, although equally, as speeds increase, so the flow dramatically smooths, as though by magic.

Impressive? Yes, but ultimately this lack of breadth is unbecoming of any four-door saloon whose sensibilities are more all-rounder than all-out attack. For daily driving, the Polestar Engineered S60 is therefore best left in its more conservative and absorptive suspension settings, where it rides with impressive poise and very little of the unecessary harshness found in many top-flight performance cars.

The S60’s powertrain might not be as characterful as that of a BMW M340i or a Mercedes-AMG C43, but it has merit – particularly from a fleet driver’s perspective. With a CO2 rating of 48g/km and benefit-in-kind tax at just 16% (dropping to 14% next April), this S60 would tempt those after a fast and engaging company car that, comparably speaking, won’t cost the earth to tax.

Its 27-mile electric range should mean you save money at the pumps, too. We saw an average of 33.9mpg – some way off its WLTP-certified 104.5mpg – but the return you’d see would depend entirely on use.

Standard equipment is generous, but it’s also worth noting that, as a plug-in hybrid, the Volvo is expensive to buy – and that high purchase price has as big an influence on BIK tax liability as anything. A BMW 330e is nearly £20,000 cheaper in its most basic form.

GOOD
Blend of rational and irrational appeal as a high-end fleet optionDuality of character both in town and out of itSuper-sophisticated, closely damped ride and first-rate body control

BAD
Four-cylinder engine could be better integrated with hybrid driving experienceNot quite characterful, fast or balanced enough to count as a great super-saloon

Consider the marketing power of Mercedes-AMG and similar performance sub-brands and nobody should be surprised to see Volvo attempt to join that clique with Polestar Engineered. This initial product has plenty going for it – not least some inspiring design and excellent body control. There is also the versatility of its plug-in hybrid powertrain, which is unique among cars of this ilk, and the easy-going driveability and rolling refinement for which modern Volvo is known.

And yet for all that, the S60 T8 Twin Engine Polestar Engineered is not quite the drivers’ car it aims to be. The precision and control in the handling and steering are new benchmarks for the brand but still fall well short of truly sporting rivals. The four-cylinder powertrain offers neither the performance nor the character that so often defines quick saloons, and its complexity can render progress unintuitive and lethargic.

This remains an esoteric concept. With low emissions and strong if not outstanding performance, it will appeal to company car drivers in search of a special saloon, but for now, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and the others needn’t be too concerned.











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Old 01-03-2020, 09:25 AM   #2
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great-looking car, but too heavy, slow, and expensive.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:57 AM   #3
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our tested 0-60mph time of 5.4sec looks underwhelming and is some way shy of the more impressive 4.4sec to 62mph that Volvo claims
must be using the wrong gas.

road looks wet though... Still not great for a hybrid awd setup...
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:20 PM   #4
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Hybrid weight is dumb. Dumb dumb dumb. More dumb to come.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:46 PM   #5
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Power 400bhp
Torque 494lb ft
0-60mph 5.4sec

She THICCC tho....
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Old 01-04-2020, 07:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SVX WRX View Post
great-looking car, but too heavy, slow, and expensive.
yeah even the base car is really heavy, need a to find a way to shave off like 200 pounds to be near the germans weight, fix the transmission tuning to be more aggressive in dynamic and polestar modes

pros easy to get the awd t6 rear end to step out
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by shake-rattle-n-roll View Post
yeah even the base car is really heavy, need a to find a way to shave off like 200 pounds to be near the germans weight, fix the transmission tuning to be more aggressive in dynamic and polestar modes

pros easy to get the awd t6 rear end to step out

i test drove a 2019 S60 R-Design w/Polestar upgrade. interior was *fantastic*, but driving it was just kinda mediocre. kinda pricey, too, and was a little hesitant about a somewhat new turbo/supercharged engine's reliability. maybe when im a little older, but i still enjoy some enthusiastic driving. didn't really have a need for a 4-door, either. settled on a Q60 Red Sport.
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SVX WRX View Post
i test drove a 2019 S60 R-Design w/Polestar upgrade. interior was *fantastic*, but driving it was just kinda mediocre. kinda pricey, too, and was a little hesitant about a somewhat new turbo/supercharged engine's reliability. maybe when im a little older, but i still enjoy some enthusiastic driving. didn't really have a need for a 4-door, either. settled on a Q60 Red Sport.
Isnt the Q60 red sport more expensive than the volvo? The volvo feels like a big boat similiar to my old monte minus the v6 engine especially when alternating with the wrx which seems so nimble with steering feel and less weight. Wished they still offered their 6 cylinder turbo because the supercharger/turbo seems to be lacking especially paired with that 8 speed transmission although it really easy to produce supercharge whine
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:06 AM   #9
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Isnt the Q60 red sport more expensive than the volvo?
the "new" S60 was just released, so only new ones were available, and dealers weren't budging on the $54k-ish price for a T6 AWD R-Design with the options i wanted.

bought a CPO 2018 Q60 RS AWD fully loaded with 17k miles for $42k (stickered for $65k ). they take a massive depreciation dive

a "new" 2019 S60 now seems to be in the $42k-$45k range 6 months later.
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Old 01-09-2020, 01:57 PM   #10
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Mmmm nice power, but the car doesn't look as good in those pics as it does IRL. Still, lust for a v60 polestar over the s60. Give me the wagon or give me death!
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:28 AM   #11
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Default 2020 Volvo S60 T5 FWD Driven




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The Volvo S60 is visually appealing and boasts outstanding road manners.

The reborn Volvo Car Co. began building cars in the United States less than two years ago and the product that rolled off the assembly line first was handsome, tech savvy sedan that broadened the company’s product offering in the United States.

The Volvo S60 is a comfortable, four-door sedan with excellent road manners, plenty of features and a full array of technology that enhances the vehicle’s ease of operations in a variety of circumstances.

It also comes with Volvo’s traditional emphasis on safety and a clean, simple design language that has been one of the major hallmarks of the Volvo brand for decades and ensure the S60 makes a good impression standing at the curb or while it is in motion.



For starters, the exterior design of the S60 utilizes the clean lines that have made the company’s car easy to recognize out on the road or even on crowed streets. The 2020 S60 also features the distinctive grille that has become a Volvo signature with a black glass as the hard to Thor’s hammer daytime running light and LED headlights.

The Volvo S60’s exterior features clean lines and the distinctive grille that makes the Swedish vehicles easy to discern from competitors.

The tall roof line also gives the car excellent visibility from the driver’s seat and more headroom than in a sedan with a more conventional design. The S60 shares the Scalable Product Architecture or SPA platform with the award-winning XC60 and 90-Series cars. It features a luxurious interior, increased levels of space, which has the effect – to me anyway – of making the car more practical.

The basic architecture also is quite sturdy, earning a five-star crash rating.

The interior of the S60 features the 12-inch screen that has been part of the cabin design of Volvo vehicles in recent years and it is inset into an artfully shaped dashboard that emphasizes the width – and roominess – of the S60s cabin, which features a nice mix of varied textures and materials, including wood and brightwork.



The interior design places an emphasis on the S60s technical features, including its connectivity with Bluetooth, an impressive entertainment system with both satellite and HD radio and a 360-degree surround view system that illuminates what directly around the car and make it easier to maneuver while getting into and out of tight parking situations.

Volvo Cars’ Sensus Connect infotainment system is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G standard, and keeps drivers connected at all times. The intuitive control is a tablet-style touch screen interface that combines car functions, navigation, connected services and in-car entertainment apps.

Volvo S60’s powerplant was a 2.0-liter 5-cylinder putting out 250 horsepower.

Volvos also are still designed in Sweden and cold weather still plays a big role in the company’s design and engineering philosophy so there are heated seated, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, heated windshield wipers and system for cleaning off the headlights, which, as anyone who has every driven on snowy or even muddy roads in the dark, is quite useful. The S60 is also equipped with headlights that bend as the vehicle is turned to illuminate the road ahead.

In addition to the advanced connectivity, plus Volvo Cars’ latest driver support systems and other safety technology, including lane keeping assist, which as I found out one night in heavy snow, really work at keeping the car on the straight and narrow.

The 2020 S60 I was driving was equipped with optional Pilot Assist system – which supports the driver with steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 80 mph – has been upgraded with improved cornering performance. The S60 also includes Run-off Road Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation and other steering assistance systems.

The optional Cross Traffic Alert with autobrake further enhances safety for people inside and outside the car and Volvo has limited the top speed of its car to 112 mph, which in my estimation is plenty fast for American road. In fact, faster speeds in any car on any road or surface could deadly in an instant.

However, at lower speeds. the City Safety with Autobrake technology on the S60 T5 I drove assists the driver in avoiding potential collisions and is the only system on the market to recognize pedestrians, cyclists and large animals. In a world first for the midsize sedan segment, City Safety now also engages auto braking to mitigate oncoming collisions.

The interior of the new S60 features the brand’s “Sensus screen.”

Superior ride and handling, however, don’t really work without an adequate powertrain to support it. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the S60 I drove delivered 250 horsepower, which was more than enough for everyday driving or even if you want to take what is basically a sport sedan out for a spin for fun.

The engine is matched to an eight-speed transmission and with front wheel drive and the whole power train was equipped with a selector switch to set different modes of operations such as sport or normal.

All this was a car, and it definitely was a car, that was fun to drive and seemed to fit effortlessly into an American environment. One drawback the manufacturer’s suggested retail price on the car is $46,240 and there are an awful lot of really good vehicles in the $40,000 to $50,000 price range these days.
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:13 AM   #12
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Volvo is giving away up to $1M worth of cars to people that go to their website, configure a car, and save it in their contest... if any team gets a Safety during the superbowl.

I know it's dumb, but I configured a full-up T8 V60. The taxes on it would be astronomical.

--kC
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:18 AM   #13
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I accidentally discovered their contest yesterday just because I was curious about my V60 Cross Country rental. Lol Of course I submitted an entry!
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:56 AM   #14
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Thanks KC.
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:13 AM   #15
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Volvo is giving away up to $1M worth of cars to people that go to their website, configure a car, and save it in their contest... if any team gets a Safety during the superbowl.

I know it's dumb, but I configured a full-up T8 V60. The taxes on it would be astronomical.

--kC
Same - 71k MSRP or something like that.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:02 PM   #16
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Same - 71k MSRP or something like that.
I’m convinced these are lease only, buy CPO vehicles.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:07 AM   #17
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Default Car/Driver 2020 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar

2020 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar Engineered Is a Proper Boss Wagon

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...y-the-numbers/


Michael SimariCar and Driver

Transforming Polestar from the performance-tuning arm of Swedish automaker Volvo into an EV-focused brand is the master plan, but we're happy to report that Polestar is still up to its old upptåg, tuning Volvos into powerhouses. The latest effort is the 2020 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar Engineered station wagon and, like its SUV-equivalent—the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered—it's a practical package with a heavy dose of performance.

Our stance on the fuel-economy and handling benefits of station wagons over SUVs is well known. We also don't need to keep harping on how much better wagons look, especially one that looks as good as the V60. Letting Polestar serve as the V60's personal trainer only deepens our love of the long-roof car.

image
Michael SimariCar and Driver

HIGHS: Electrified acceleration punch, handsome styling inside and out, achievable claimed all-electric driving range.

A wagon like the $68,295 V60 T8 is a sort of anti-SUV statement, and from the 240 Turbo Wagon to the previous-generation V60 Polestar, Volvo has a long history of building fast wagons. The new V60 is built on Volvo's scalable architecture that underpins its entire lineup. Polestar has been developing its own lineup of hybrid and EV vehicles, so while the old V60 Polestar was a gas-only affair, the new model leverages the brand's newfound expertise in electric motors, batteries, and EV engineering to make things both quicker and more efficient.

Differentiation from lesser V60 models is subtle. Look closely and you'll notice gold brake calipers, unique 19-inch wheels, yellow seatbelts, and a chalk-white Polestar liftgate badge. It's enough to be handsome, but not so much as to tip anyone off as to what this Volvo wagon is packing.

image
Michael SimariCar and Driver

Two Powertrains

In the T8, Volvo's turbo- and supercharged 2.0-liter inline-four is assisted by an electric motor. Together the engine and motor combine to put out 415 horsepower and 494 lb-ft of torque. The gas-burning engine runs through an eight-speed automatic transmission and powers the front wheels. An electric motor in back sends power to the rear wheels. At the test track, this arrangement recorded a 4.4-second blast to 60 mph and a 12.9-second quarter-mile pass at 107 mph.

LOWS: Not as quick as the last-generation V60 from Polestar, firm ride, uneven handoff between electric and gasoline power.

Those numbers mean that the V60 T8 Polestar is quicker than some of our other favorite wagons, including our long-term Mercedes-Benz E450 wagon (4.7 seconds to 60 mph) and the Jaguar XF Sportbrake (5.0 seconds.) It's quicker than the XC60 T8 Polestar SUV, too, which delivered a 4.8-second zero-to-60-mph time and ran a 13.4-second quarter-mile at 105 mph. Despite a lack of electric propulsion and a 53-hp deficiency compared to the 2020 model, the 2017 V60 Polestar we tested was quicker still, running to 60 mph test in just 4.2 seconds. Blame the weight of the new V60 T8, which, at 4522 pounds, is a significant 556 pounds more than the 2017 version.

image
Michael SimariCar and Driver

So, the old one is quicker. Out on the road, the new V60 will easily frighten any passengers with its acceleration, particularly with a full charge of its battery and running in the Polestar Engineered driving mode. Put your foot in it, and the instantaneous response from the electric motors provide the kind of EV-car shove that Tesla drivers enjoy. The acceleration is accompanied by a faint supercharger whine as the four-cylinder engine hits its stride and both powertrains combine forces to get the V60 moving quickly. In the Polestar Engineered driving mode, the four-banger provides a sonorous burble, but never relies on farts, crackles, or pops to announce its status as a performance vehicle. While it is quick, in more sedate driving the interplay between electric power and a gas engine with a supercharger and turbocharger leads to occasional surges and delays. While it doesn't amount to much, it's there.

Polestar hasn't just added power, though. The V60's suspension has also been massaged. Pop the hood and you'll see gold nubbins protruding from the suspension towers. The nubs are how the standard Öhlins dampers are adjusted, and you have to do so manually. That kind of DIY modification is all but unheard of in production vehicles, let alone a luxurious station wagon. The setup is also offered on the XC60 T8 Polestar and even the Polestar 1. It's unlikely the average buyer will fuss with the dampers. But you know who will? Wagon-loving enthusiasts like us, wrenches in hand, ready to dial in the suspension to how we like it.

image
Michael SimariCar and Driver

Plug-In Efficiency

On the other efficiency side of the spectrum, the electric motor and 11.6-kWh battery pack allows for an EPA rating of 22 miles of purely electric driving. In our experience, that range number seems realistic; our test vehicle motored for 21 miles at 75 mph on battery power before firing up the gas engine. On our 200-mile highway-fuel economy test, the V60 T8 Polestar delivered 31 mpg overall, beating the non-hybrid V60 T6 all-wheel-drive model's 29 mpg and the XC60 Polestar's far worse 23 mpg in the same test.

Volvo's plug-in hybrid system is capable of charging itself using the four-cylinder as a generator, so if you use up all your electrons blasting through mountain passes, you can switch to the charging mode and replenish the battery.

image
Michael SimariCar and Driver

While the intention here was to make a fun-to-drive, performance-oriented car, the V60 T8 Polestar is refined enough to drive to the office every day or for puttering around on errands. In the Comfort driving mode, the uneven power delivery is subdued and the throttle response isn't as immediate. The ride is definitely firm, so firm it'll likely wake sleeping children, but if they're awake they can watch you fiddle with the dampers to improve the ride, something you can't do in the softer non-Polestar V60.

Volvo and Polestar have created a performance car with the practicality of a wagon and the potential efficiency of an EV, if only for 22 miles. We are thrilled it exists. Volvo could have easily just limited the T8 Polestar treatment to the XC60, but they didn't. They also gave it to this gorgeous wagon.

Specifications

Specifications

2020 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar Engineered

VEHICLE TYPE
front-engine, mid-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE AS TESTED
$68,940 (base price: $68,295)

POWERTRAIN
supercharged, turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 328 hp, 317 lb-ft; 2 permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors, 46 and 87 hp, 111 and 177 lb-ft; combined output, 415 hp, 494 lb-ft; 11.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack

TRANSMISSION
8-speed automatic, single-speed direct drive

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): control arms/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 14.6-in vented, grooved disc/12.6-in vented disc
Tires: Continental PremiumContact 6, 235/40R-19 96W VOL

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 113.1 in
Length: 187.4 in
Width: 72.8 in
Height: 56.6 in
Passenger volume: 93 ft3
Cargo volume: 23 ft3
Curb weight: 4522 lb

C/D
TEST RESULTS
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 4.4 sec
100 mph: 10.9 sec
130 mph: 21.7 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.8 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.4 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.4 sec
¼-mile: 12.9 sec @ 107 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 131 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 152 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.96 g

C/D
FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 20 MPGe
75-mph highway driving, EV/hybrid mode: 68 MPGe/31 mpg
Highway range, EV/hybrid mode: 21/490 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 30/28/33 mpg
Combined gasoline+electricity: 69 MPGe
EV range: 22 miles
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Old 01-26-2020, 12:26 PM   #18
4S-TURBO
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Quote:
Despite a lack of electric propulsion and a 53-hp deficiency compared to the 2020 model, the 2017 V60 Polestar we tested was quicker still, running to 60 mph test in just 4.2 seconds. Blame the weight of the new V60 T8, which, at 4522 pounds, is a significant 556 pounds more than the 2017 version.
If the hybrid weighs 4500 lbs, it's actually 750 lbs heavier than the 2017 Polestar and a whopping 1k lbs heavier than the 2016 Polestar. For such a small car, that's some craazy happening there.
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:20 PM   #19
heavyD
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Such a bland and boring looking car. If you put a Buick emblem on it nobody would blink as the car has a lot of GM styling cues. The daytime running lights are cringeworthy bad.
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:20 PM   #20
arghx7
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Tesla will sell 3 times as many cars in the corresponding segments than Volvo. Hybrid sportish sedans and crossovers time has passed.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:17 PM   #21
Angelus911
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Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
Such a bland and boring looking car. If you put a Buick emblem on it nobody would blink as the car has a lot of GM styling cues. The daytime running lights are cringeworthy bad.


I actually like the styling of the new Volvo’s. Was behind an S60 on my way to work and really liked how it looked. To each his own
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:47 AM   #22
subyski
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Originally Posted by Angelus911 View Post
I actually like the styling of the new Volvo’s. Was behind an S60 on my way to work and really liked how it looked. To each his own
I like it too. I liked that it was different and refreshing to see something different from the BMWs, Audis and MBs.
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