New models - Volvo - S60
Driven: Volvo lobs refreshed S60 range
A fresh face, more safety gear and readjusted pricing headline Volvo S60/V60 update
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16 Oct 2013
VOLVO Car Australia's push to become a serious player in the crowded premium market has been given a shot in the arm with the arrival of the refreshed S60 and V60 line-up this week.
The Swedish car-maker's local arm is gunning for top-selling German rivals including the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, as well as Lexus's rejuvenated IS with its new mid-size range that features a revised front-end design, updates to the cabin and the addition of new advanced safety features.
The update comes as a part of the biggest model overhaul in Volvo's history that will see the S60 range joined by a revised XC60 SUV later this month and the facelifted S80 sedan late this year or early next year.
Describing the S60 as “one of the best kept secrets” in the local premium car market, Volvo Car Australia managing director Matt Braid told GoAuto at the launch event this week that he was hoping for a boost in sales for the classy mid-size contender.
“We would like to see a 30 per cent increase next year over this year for S60,” he said. “With V60, the segment is not that great so whatever that car does, it’s going to be more natural, but with S60 we think there is certainly scope as far as volume is concerned.
“The segment is massive, the volume of direct competitors is massive. We are barely scratching the surface and we are not going to say we want to take on C-Class and take 7000 cars a year volume, but we just want our share.
“We would be happy with growth in that segment and to be a relevant competitor.
The car justifies it, but the sales history determines that it’s not quite there yet.” Mr Braid said the outgoing model enjoyed a successful conversion rate, with one in every two customers who test drove the S60 ending up buying one.
Most of the changes to the refreshed model are cosmetic, with Volvo leaving the mechanicals of the model that launched in 2010 basically the same, that is until the arrival of the light-weight and efficient new-generation Drive-E engines in the first half of next year.
Visually, the S60 carries the same shape as the outgoing model, but features a heavily revised front end that gives it a lower, more aggressive stance.
A larger grille, new headlight design and a restyled front apron give the impression of a wider vehicle, while new slim-line daytime running lights sit under the air dam.
The redesigned grille houses a much larger Volvo 'iron mark' badge, and Volvo has moved the windscreen washer nozzles under the bonnet that features more defined ridges flowing up from the edges of the grille.
At the rear, Volvo has restyled the already distinctive tail-lights, while the refreshed rear bumper now houses integrated dual tail-pipes.
Mild updates to the cabin include chrome surrounds on some dials, an illuminated gearshift knob, back-lit illumination in cool white, new sports seats and the inclusion of Volvo's Adaptive Digital Display that is also featured in the V40 hatch.
The system displays personalised information for the driver and has three modes featuring different colours and information, including Elegance, Eco mode in green with tips for more fuel efficient driving and Performance with red illumination and a rev scale.
Volvo's re-aligned specification levels bring it into line with the V40 and now kicks off with the entry level Kinetic, mid-spec variants now get the Luxury moniker replacing Teknik, while the R-Design remains the flagship.
A number of variants have merged into one specification while others have been dropped completely. In sedan guise, the cheapest T5 is gone along with the T6 AWD and T6 Teknik, leaving the T9 R-Design as the sole 3.0-litre option, while the wagon has lost five variants including the base 1.6-litre T4 models.
Volvo has adjusted pricing as well, with a number of sedan variants copping an increase of between $500 and $1500, while four V60 wagon variants benefit from a reduction of up to $1500.
Pricing for the simplified line-up starts at $49,990 plus on-road costs for the T4 Kinetic, a $500 increase, while the T4 Luxury maintains the same $54,990 price as the equivalent outgoing variant.
The D4 diesels start from $55,990 for the Kinetic and $60,990 for the Luxury, an increase of $500 and $1000 respectively. The T5 and T6 R-Design models remain at $60,190 and $75,140.
Reduced prices for the load-lugging version start with a $500 saving on the base T5 Kinetic from $54,990, while the diesel D4 Kinetic is down by $1500 to $56,990. As with the sedan, T5 and T6 R-Design remain the same as before.
Being a Volvo, safety is a key selling point for the S60 range, and the Swedish car-maker has increased the availability of safety equipment for the 2014 version and has even created the IntelliSafe sub-brand for all safety systems.
The S60/V60 range’s optional pedestrian detection system now includes cyclist detection that applies full automatic braking and a driver warning.
The updated Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) now features a cross-traffic alert system that warns reversing drivers of a potential hazard.
Along with the five-star ANCAP safety rating, both S and V60 models come standard with Volvo's City Safety system that automatically brakes the car to at speeds of up to 50km/h if the driver fails to react to a forward vehicle slowing or stopping.
A Driver Support Pack with blind-spot warning, cross-traffic warning, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and automatically dimming side and internal mirrors is available as an option on Luxury and R-Design variants for $5000, but Volvo suggests that it equates to $8000 worth of equipment.
The S60's engine line-up stays as is, starting with the T4 1.6-litre four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine driving the front wheels via a six-speed powershift automatic transmission, producing 132kW/240Nm and fuel economy of 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres. .
The T5 2.0-litre turbo-petrol that produces 177kW/320Nm, can dash to 100km/h in 7.5 seconds and uses 8.6L/100km, while the range-topping 3.0-litre 'Polestar-optimised' six-cylinder unit in T6 variants pumps out 242kW/480Nm for a 5.7-second sprint to 100km/h. This engine is the thirstiest of the range, with a 10.2L/100km figure.
Unsurprisingly, the D4 120kW/400Nm 2.0-litre five-cylinder diesel engine has the most impressive fuel economy of the range, with a combined cycle figure of 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres.
The D4, T5 and T6 engines powering the V60 wagons use 0.1L/100km more than their sedan equivalents.
Standard equipment across the S60/V60 range includes cruise control, rear parking camera and sensors, rain-sensing wipers, electric park-brake, tread plates, electrically adjustable driver's seat with memory, retractable heated door mirrors with puddle light, audio controls on the steering wheel, USB and auxiliary jack and Bluetooth phone and audio.
Options vary greatly depending on the variant, but top-spec R-Design models gain sports seats, branded floor mats, black roof lining, sports pedals and an R-Design body kit as standard.
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