Consider this, a front wheel driven Volvo with 306hp, 400Nm. Who knew, that a Swedish marque known for building safe cars would put that kind of power on the front wheels, and is that even realistic? We’ll come to that later.
In the same segment, the Mercedes-Benz C 250 AMG Line (2.0-liter turbo with 211hp/350Nm) is priced at RM287,888 and the BMW 330i M Sport (2.0-litre turbo with 252hp/350Nm) is retailed at RM297,800. With EEV incentive, the S60 T6 is priced around RM49k cheaper than the Merc, at RM238,888.
The German sedan duo are rear-wheel driven, which is undoubtedly alluring, but do you really need the complexity and higher maintenance of RWD in this segment? This S60 T6 tested here comes with the R-Design exterior package which consists of 18-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubbers (17-inch wheels on the base model), R-Design rear diffuser with twin hexagonal exhausts (trapezoidal exhausts integrated into the rear bumper on the base model) and a boot spoiler which visually makes the car look less dull.
1. Flooded by lots of passive and active safety features
2. Powerful but incredibly fuel-efficient
3. Neat R-Design exterior package (18-inch Ixion wheels and twin exhaust)
1. Uninspiring steering design
2. Engine and exhaust lack sound
Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E
2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged and supercharged
306hp at 5,700rpm
400Nm at 2,100 to 4,800 rpm
4,242mm (L), 1,778mm (W), 1,416mm (H)
The cabin of the S60 T6 is every bit of soft, plush and premium. You sit on a comfortable power-adjustable seat with 3 memory settings and then there's a nice leather-wrapped steering wheel ready to take command.
The fake oak tree finish on the dashboard looks lovely but just not too pleasant to the touch. However, on other more important surfaces feel nice, such as the toggles and buttons, leather surfaces on the interior door panels as well as the wood trim on the cascading centre console that’s inclined towards the driver.
As a C-segment sedan, the S60 contain 5 occupants comfortably with ample legroom and headroom for both front and rear seats. Rear passenger are blessed with business-like deals at the back, but the only let down here, especially in Malaysia’s climate, is the lack of cool air. The rear air-con seem insufficient for 3 rear passengers although it is cleverly channelled through the vents on both sides of the B-pillars.
Behind the wheel of the S60, NVH levels are impressively low, and is so well managed that it masks actual road drama and the sensation of speed is hardly felt, right until you glance at the LCD display speedometer and the constant blur on your side.
Compared to the S60 T5 with 240hp and 320Nm from its 2.0-litre engine, this particular S60 T6 produces 66 more horses and 80Nm of excess torque. Did I say the engine is force-fed by means of a turbocharger and a supercharger?
Yup, in this twin charged Volvo, the supercharger helps the engine gain that initial pulling power at lower end of the engine rev before the turbo takes over later. All that naughty power is transferred through an 8-speed automatic gearbox to the front wheels.
The Aisin-sourced gearbox manages gearchanges very pleasantly with minimal feel or jerk through the changes. The gearbox tries to engage the highest gear possible under normal driving to provide a quiet cruise and to maintain better fuel efficiency.
But bury the throttle, the car happily downshifts a gear or two, and the full 400Nm of torque pulls you at sports car rate. The acceleration is respectably quick for a car of its size, even beyond 140 km/h. To ask me how the S60 accelerate in 3 words, “It’s, very, rapid...”
On bends, the Volvo S60 T6 displays no body roll, handles remarkably well and is precise. Applying just two degree of steering input, you would feel the car’s chassis start to comply to your demand. There’s plenty of grip from the 235/40/18 Michelin Super Sport tyres and would need an absolute idiot to go beyond the car’s lateral limit. The tyres also work perfectly on wet as there’s almost no steering pull when one side of the tyre hit water at speed.
Apart from the optional R-Design package fitted to this car, the S60 T6 is pretty much a well-rounded car. It would barely stand out in traffic that surrounds it. But I have a sweet spot for sleeper cars. With this S60 T6 though, I think I have found an affordable candidate.
What’s a Volvo without Volvo safety features, this S60 has got the latest driver’s aid features like the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Collision Warning, Driver Alert, and Speed Limit Warning. These active features and many other car functions can be controlled by one of the four knobs on the centre console or by buttons and toggles near the steering wheel.
My favourite driver’s aid is Lane Keeping Aid where you can adjust the assistance mode (steering vibration or steering pull assist or both). Next would be the Active Cruise Control that works together with the S60’s front sensors and cameras to ensure the car is travelling within 1.5 to 2 seconds of safe distance from the car ahead. It automatically applies brake pressure when there’s a slower car within the safe distance and automatically accelerate to the pre-selected speed when the safe distance is clear.
Brilliant and talented is what the S60 T6 can be described as. It has the brain to remain composed as well as the muscle to get it going. The capability of the S60 T6 can give the German rivals, the C250 AMG Line and 330i M Sport a run for their money.
The car is efficient and convenient enough for your 9 to 5 work but at the same time, satisfy your weekend getaway needs. If you need a shoutier look, get one with the ‘Rebel Blue’ paint.