Roughly a year after the introduction of the facelifted Volvo S60, Volvo Car Malaysia has introduced a new variant that will join the ranks as the flagship of the S60 range, the S60 T6 Drive-E. The focal point of the new car is of course the power plant that earns it T6 stripes.
Just like the XC60 T6 SUV, the S60 is now supplied with a supercharged and turbocharged, direct-injected 1969cc transverse-mounted inline-four yielding the following numbers and performance figures:
Power is transmitted to the front wheels via an Aisin eight-speed conventional auto. Service intervals have been set at 20,000km intervals. Being a Volvo, the suite of active and passive safety systems are extensive as you might expect:
In addition to active systems such as ABS, EBD, stability control, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Pedestrian and Cyclist detection with autonomous braking. The S60 T6 adds on this to include Lane Keeping Aid (LKA) and Volvo Park Assist Pilot.
The former adds to the system presently available in the XC60 T6 by offering up steering corrections when the array of cameras and sensors compute that the driver is straying into an adjacent lane. The system fitted to the XC60 T6 previously only offers a warning. It does this by torqueing the steering wheel instead of utilising the brakes to alter the directions of the cars heading like some other systems. The Park Assist Pilots as one might surmise is an aid when parallel parking. Previously, these systems were only available in the Volvo XC90 SUV.
The S60 T6 comes in five exterior colours - Ice White, Seashell, Ember Black, Saville Grey and Bright Silver priced at RM280,888 (OTR with insurance)
First Driving Impressions
A quick (five minutes to be exact) drive offered us a quick glimpse into the dynamic capabilities of the new S60 T6 Drive-E. Weighing in a 1649kg, it’s some 159kgs lighter than its XC60 T6 sibling which many will concur, is already a rapid machine. In the S60 T6, this sensation is amplified making the 5.9second 0-100kph time seem every bit as believable as the brochure suggests.
As it happens, the 0-100kph time is just 0.1seconds off the claimed century sprint of a BMW 330i M Sport taking the S60 T6 deep into sports saloon territory.
The Roots-type supercharger interfaces with the engine right from idle to 3500rpm before the turbocharger kicks in and supplements power all the way to the car’s limiter – on the road at least, the supercharger’s quick response delivers a very meaty low-end, much like a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated mill, before the turbocharger brings on the bulk of power right after 3500rpm. There is no supercharger whine, turbo-lag or punctuation in the power delivery as one might come to expect with such a complex system – the end result is a seamless wave of power across the rev range.
The eight speed gearbox is mostly refined under normal traffic and highway speeds. The shifts are precise and the overall operation smooth. Between the short bursts of accelerations we were allowed, the response was quick but more time is needed to explore the system, perhaps on a more challenging road.
The brakes felt a tad soft by the time we were handed the keys, perhaps due the constant bashing it received prior but nonetheless felt strong when leaned on to cull speed. Steering effort otherwise feels nicely weighted and the subsequent response from the front axle is rather quick. The car you see here is fitted with optional 18-inch wheels which adds a quantum of stiffness to the ride quality, the standard offer 17-inch items will be better suited for people who prefer a Volvo with a relaxed demeanour. Few will argue however that it doesn't deliver on style and substance in equal amounts.
This is one S60 that needs to be let loose on the open road - stay tuned for the upcoming in-depth review soon...