Test Drive Volvo S60February 27, 2019
Volvo invented the phenomenal hybrid-supercar, which is close in dynamics to the best models from Porsche and BMW. Everyone ruined the rules of the road in South Carolina
The road signs seem to be mocked: in front of a 400-strong car, and ahead of you there are restrictions of 25, 35, 50 mph. Now the navigator shows ahead a purple plug. Later it turned out that the aircraft of the Second World War, with crosses on its wings, crashed and crashed onto the highway. For the rest of the way, we rolled on silent electric and wondered: where to apply the Volvo S60 T8 sedan with the tuning from Polestar all its outstanding athletic talents?
The S60 Sedan is the first Volvo to take on the production line in Charleston, South Carolina. After going under the wing of Geely, the Swedish brand has become a global player. She retained her main national trait – security, but her ambitions increased. Volvo seems to be aiming for rivalry with the Germans. The new S60 with all its appearance demonstrates the intention to invade the territory of the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Otherwise, why a front wheel drive sedan with a transverse engine so long hood? Under this easily fit longitudinally rowed “six”.
However, this is not news: the older Volvo S90 is also tattered, and the new S60 behind it repeats designer finds, right down to the characteristic break of the subwindow line. The main difference is in silhouettes. The Sixties do not want to look like a four-door coupe, it has a pronounced boot step. On the one hand, this gives the car a somewhat conservative look, on the other – a joke about the fact that the Volvo index indicates the age of the owner does not hit the target.
The car looks bright, and a fold above the rear wheel arch gives it extra swiftness. And by the way, the boot lid designers S60 succeeded better – not cumbersome and does not look as if assembled from Lego.
The interior seems to be made of a designer with a set of identical parts: a steering wheel familiar from other Volvo models, a characteristic “canopy” panel, air ducts stretched vertically and a display “I want to be Tesla” between them, armchairs with complex relief. The few handles and twists of a bizarre form glitter, like jewelery.
The back row of the previous S60 was spacious, despite the sloping roofline. The new sedan is longer, the wheelbase is larger, and in width it is inferior and much lower. Places in the legs and shoulders have increased – the Chinese will like it, and not the fact that they also want an extended version. There is still no handrail on the doors, but now its dual-zone climate unit is now available on the second row.
The trunk has become more spacious and deeper, but there is no special fastener in it, and the upholstery is budget and flimsy – the case when you should not take an example from Asian automakers.
The S60 is the first Volvo car that cannot be ordered with a diesel. Volvo decided to finish with this type of engine, switching to gasoline and electricity. To set up on an ecological basis, each participant of the premiere test drive was given registered bottles for water from biodegradable plastic.
It is strange to talk about ecology when your hybrid develops 400 hp More precisely 415 hp and 670 Nm in a version refined by Polestar. What can rejoice ordinary hybrid, in addition to savings? And this Swedish monster easily accelerates to 100 km / h in 4.7 s, that is, it is quite comparable in dynamics with Porsche. At the same time, Volvo has no other option than using electricity for the benefit of the sport – the new platforms are designed to install only 4-cylinder internal combustion engines.
An electric motor mounted on the rear axle makes the sedan all-wheel drive and also allows you to move on electric, although not for long – a full battery charge is enough for 40 km. The declared average consumption of the new WLTP cycle is less than 3 liters per hundred. In this case, the battery can be charged from the network, depending on the current, it will take 3-7 hours.
In Power mode, when the gasoline and electric motors run at full power, the car accelerates very well. And it brakes well thanks to Brembo monoblocks – this is another feature of the T8 version with the Polestar Engineered nameplate. Even too much: if you stomp on the gas pedal abruptly, the car still jerks, apparently considering this situation an emergency. The rest of the slowdown is quite predictable, which is rarely seen in hybrids with their energy recovery systems. To realize the full potential of the machine all the time something interferes. First of all, speed limits, forcing to crawl on the cruise control.
On the desert road, you can finally open up, but then the settings of the car are puzzling. The sound of a gasoline engine is dim, and riding in silence, on an electric rear wheel drive, is also far from driving. Despite the stretch between the pillars and Ohlins shock absorbers with fine adjustment of the rebound stroke, the car goes into corners not as precisely as you expect from it.
Yes, and the steering wheel is overweight – tired of fighting it, I stopped and it’s helpful to look for an individual mode. If you leave everything in the “sport”, and the electric power translate into “comfort”, you begin to feel the car better. Yes, this is probably the most driver’s hybrid, but you expect a bit more from the combination of such famous sports brands.
Regular petrol S60 in the most powerful version of the T6 is better in all respects, although inferior in numbers. It is less powerful: a gasoline engine, with a combined supercharging — a supercharger plus a compressor — develops 316 hp. and 400 Nm of torque. It is less than a second in acceleration to hundreds and, of course, consumes much more gasoline (8-9 liters in the combined cycle). But the dynamics are quite enough, and the car is going bright and energetic. Not less emotion and in the sound of the engine, although breaking through a good sound insulation of the cabin is not easy.
In the corners, the petrol sedan is again better, the effort on the steering wheel is almost exemplary. The suspension with conventional passive shock absorbers at the rear is tightly adjusted, but does not report every crack, as is the case with the hybrid. However, the wheels are 19-inch, that is, an inch smaller. The senior sedan S90 seems after the “sixties” too soft and relaxed.
Even such a trifle as the usual lever of the “automaton” adds T6 points instead of a non-fixed joystick. If anything would be worth borrowing from the Polestar version, it is the brakes, although it is quite enough for stock retreats for confident decelerations.
And yet I’m going to time with the criticism of the car from Polestar – the tuning project is needed in order to fine-tune the car. And Volvo’s court division has enough time to correct minor flaws. Moreover, the delivery of tuned versions to Russia is not planned yet, and the usual S60 will arrive next autumn. Here they are just ready.
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