Stylish, Sporty, Safe, Spacious, Sleek….. I really could go on about the S-Mode from Sweden.
Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has maintained a low profile in the Indian auto industry as far as the number of their offerings is concerned. This could be due to many reasons least of which revolve around the fact that Volvo makes vehicles that don’t generally fall in the economy bracket when it comes to price. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that the Indian market is cheap, but rather the frugal nature of Indians, coupled with the relatively higher price of Volvo as compared to its rivals, as well as lower fuel efficiency ratings all point to reduced sales. It is rather Volvo that has had to tailor its vehicle to suit the Indian market and this says a lot for about India as a global automotive player.
Volvo is not looking to increase its car offerings in India and has resorted to some aggressive methods to achieve this. How you ask? Well, Volvo India are planning on introducing up to three new models which will namely be the – XC60, S60 and V60 models. The XC60 and S60 are to be launched soon in India and will be quickly followed by the very impressive V60, which should pave the way for a new type of car in India. The XC60 is already doing very well in Europe as it is an awesome product but it is the S60 that should prove to be the most exciting of the lot.
Volvo is all geared up to change the rules with the introduction of the S60 as it is a completely new developed vehicle. You may wonder what being a new vehicle has to do with changing the game but one look at the S60 and all doubts will vanish. The S60 is totally new in terms of design and technology and you will only need the slightest glimpse to realize that this new Volvo is unlike anything they have offered before. The front end gets a daring, aggressive fascia with newer bolder headlights as well as a stylish, sleek grille that has the traditional diagonal strip symbolizing Volvo’s badging. These give the front end a very striking image and coupled with the newly designed bumper makes the S60 very attractive. Only the tail lights are reminiscent of previous Volvo models with the same cut and integration into the boot lid.
The interior of the Volvo S60 has also come a long way from the previous version. With the dashboard, centre console, gear shift, climate control knobs and other switches now getting a more tech-savvy, modern and most critically an uncluttered look. The front seats are low-slung and give the front occupants a snug feel while providing all the necessary cushioning and support. The low nature of the seats also gives the front cabin an added sporty look. Rear space is what Volvo hopes will give it the edge when it comes to its competitors and rear passengers will be very happy with the head room and leg room the rear cabin affords.
If you were to think that the revamped interiors and exteriors are the only things that make us gush about the new Volvo S60 you will have to think again. The way the new Volvo drives is up there with the attributes making it one of the most eagerly awaited Volvo’s ever. For the first time Volvo has taken into consideration the dynamics, sportiness and driving pleasure of a vehicle and focused on delivering on all counts.
The S60 definitely feels sporty to drive and hugs corners like a cat on a carpet. Although it may still fall short of its other German brother the BMW, in terms of sporty character, you can bet your house on the balance that Volvo have achieved between comfort and agility (although I spotted some youtube videos that proved it could actually compete with the BMW).
On a long drive in the countryside where there were lots of curvy corners and hilly sections there were minimal problems with the S60 when it came to traversing the bends and the car handles these with minimum of fuss. The Steering wheel feels nice and weighty and also very responsive and sharp. It is not as precise as a point and shoot type but is a huge improvement over previous Volvo models.
The Volvo S60 will be offered in two engine types one being the T6, which is a 3.0 liter petrol and D5, which is a 2.4 liter diesel engine. The T6 is for those drivers who are very enthusiastic about their driving and the six cylinder, turbocharged motor belts out a maximum power of 308 PS and a maximum torque of 440 Nm. The power of the engine ensures that the car moves in a smooth straight line giving good linear acceleration. The Volvo S60 Petrol also comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission along with a sequential manual shifter although there is no paddle shift option in the car. The Volvo S60 also comes with an all-wheel drive setup and this improves grip on the road and handling by quite an extent.
The D5 engine is the cleaner option offered by Volvo but this one is much slower than the T6 petrol. Being a diesel engine the torque output is similar to that of the T6 unit and this one give an impressive 420 Nm of maximum torque. The massive quantity of torque on tap allows for an enjoyable drive in the city but after a drive in the very impressive T6 fitted vehicle it is hard not to feel a tad bit disappointed with the slightly more sluggish performance of the Volvo S60 Diesel D5 installed car.
Volvo has always been synonymous with safety and their cars have always had some of the most innovative and modern safety technologies incorporated into them. The Volvo S60 does not disappoint on this front as well and comes with a few new gadgets in it that would put even the most distrust passenger at ease. Volvo intends to set an unprecedented safety benchmark in the segment with the introduction of the Volvo S60. It features new systems like the Pedestrian detection with full auto brakes and Queue assist to help the driver prevent accidents.
The Pedestrian detection with Collision Warning and Full Auto Brake system is of great use as it uses radar incorporated in the front of the car near the grille and a camera fixed near the outside rear view mirror. The radar helps to detect any obstructions in the cars path and the camera is used to identify if that is a human being. Once the object has been detected the car sends out a warning to the driver in the form of red flashing light that appears near the instrumentation panel. If this has been ignored by the driver the car then sends out a beep and if there is again no response in the form of braking from the driver, then the cars Full Auto Brake takes control bringing the car to a complete stop if the speed is below 35 km/hr. Any speed above 35 km/hr and the car will manage to slow itself down to the maximum extent possible to ensure the minimum of collision impact with the object be it a pedestrian or other.
The Volvo S60 comes across as a total package and has none of the traditional styling cues of Volvo vehicles. It is extremely stylish, powerful, spacious and technologically advanced. It also goes without saying that the Volvo S60 is equipped with some of the most technologically advanced safety features that will make it an attractive option for many buyers.
Expect the Volvo S60 to hit Indian markets by March of next year and the only thing that is going to stand in the way of it making good sales is its price tag. Initial estimates put the Volvo S60 at around Rs. 30 lakhs and this should be a good value for the vehicle to beat out any competition as the car has all the other requisites that would make it the most viable option to Indian buyers.
Volvo S60 Specifications
Vehicle Category: Sedan
Engines (petrol): 3.0 L, 6 cylinder, 304 HP, 440 Nm torque
Engine (Diesel): 2.4 L, 6 cylinder, 204 HP, 420 Nm torque
Drivetrain: Front engine, 5 passenger, 4-door sedan, AWD
Transmissions (standard): 6-speed auto with sequential shifter
Curb Weight: 1789 kg
0-100 kph: 5.2 secs (est.)
Mileage city/hwy: 9 / 13 kmpl
Price of Volvo S60: Rs30 Lakh (est)