Redesigns can be tricky. Most reflect a gradual evolution but retooling an entire lineup from one generation to the next requires more courage. Volvo took that leap, starting with the 2016 XC90. Distinguished by its Thor’s Hammer headlamps, Volvo’s new DNA is now embedded throughout the lineup with the addition of its latest models, the 2019 S60 sedan and V60 wagon. Latino Traffic Report attended the launch of the redesigned versions of both in Santa Monica, CA. Like their remade siblings, the new sedan and wagon should excite fans and gain new ones.
The tested trim levels at the launch included the S60 T6 R-Design, S60 T8 Polestar, and V60 T6 Momentum—the entry-level T5 trim wasn’t driven.
Volvo has not only embraced a new look for its vehicles, but also new, greener technology, starting with turbo and supercharged four-cylinder twin engines matched to an eight-speed transmission with power and responsiveness that continue to amaze.
On the T6, the turbo and supercharged four-cylinder should produce 316 horsepower and 295 ft.–lb. of torque and achieve an EPA estimated fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The version developed for its new Polestar T8 twin engine plug-in hybrid cars (above), should produce 415 horsepower, 494 ft.–lb. of torque, and achieve 27 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and an electric range of 21 miles. At the launch, the average fuel economy hovered at 30 mpg.
Additionally, the T8 Polestar gasoline-electric hybrid keeps Volvo on track to become the first manufacturer to offer electrified models throughout the lineup in 2019. The new S60 is also the first Volvo to be sold without a diesel option.
While the S60’s exterior may follow in the footsteps of its siblings with subtle tweaks here and there, like on the headlamps, it does stand out as the first Volvo model built at the American manufacturing plant outside Charleston, South Carolina. It’s also the only sedan in the segment with a standard panoramic roof and available massage function. The T8 Polestar also includes the super posh Orrefors crystal shift knob (above).
Longer than the outgoing model, the third-generation S60 incorporates a few striking features from its siblings on the inside, like driftwood inlays, the Sensus infotainment system with a tablet-style touch screen, and leather seating. The T8 Polestar also features bright yellow seat belts and accent stitching to match its brake calipers. A less impressive feature also found on its siblings, the tilting and telescopic steering wheel that adjusts manually, is included on the S60.
Volvo’s commitment to offer electrified powertrains throughout its line-up by 2019 leads the manufacturer’s green commitment but the S60 also incorporates Volvo’s pledge to eliminate single-use plastics on its vehicles, also by 2019.
No discussion about a Volvo can exclude safety. Standard on all Volvos, the City Safety package includes technology that combines automatic braking and collision avoidance systems to detect pedestrians, cyclists and large animals—the only system to do so—to avoid an accident.
Innovative technology like the Blind Spot Information System is standard on the Polestar but remains optional on other trim levels.
One of the first manufacturers to offer a subscription service, Volvo will include the new S60 under its Care by Volvo monthly flat rate program with no down payment.
Pricing for the T5 FWD, T6 AWD and T8 Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid starts at $39495, $41295 and $55,395 respectively.
V60 Reflects Volvo’s Ongoing Love for the Wagon
The 2019 V60 wagon was also on hand at the S60 launch. Like its sibling, the wagon will share the same platform and therefore much of the same features, including the turbo and supercharged powertrains, Thor’s Hammer headlamps, City Safety, and Sensus infotainment system. Unlike the S60, however, there will be a diesel option for the V60.
At the launch, Volvo brought the T6 Momentum version of the wagon that distinguished itself from the sedan with an interesting seventies retro-option for upholstery called city weave (right). While it could be polarizing, it definitely makes a statement, in a normally demure segment.
The V60 also offers more cargo capacity than the sedan with 50.9 cubic feet of space with the back seat folded flat.
There will be two trim levels for the wagon, the T5 FWD and T6 AWD in three grades, Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription.
Pricing for the 2019 V60 starts at $39,895.