Volvo S60 is First Produced
The Volvo S60 is a compact executive sedan produced by the Swedish automaker Volvo from 2000.
A new S60 is expected for the 2010 model year.
The S60 marked a clean break for Volvo from the boxy design that many associated the brand with in the 1980s and 90s. Its design, done by a design team lead by Peter Horbury, built upon the styling of the S80 and was the most marked departure from traditional Volvo styling since Horbury joined the firm in 1992. Accordingly, Volvo marketed the car as heralding a “Revolvolution.”
It was built upon Volvo’s P2 platform, which was shared with three other Volvo models: the S80, the V70 and the XC90.
The S60 was refreshed in 2005. The exterior was updated with body-colored side moldings and bumpers, as well as new headlamps. The T5 engine received an increase of 10 bhp.
S60 Police specification (UK & EU)
Police specification models came about through Volvo’s extensive work alongside the users of the vehicles and Police Fleet Management departments. As a result the Police specification vehicles have a striking difference from original showroom model. Firstly the suspension was up-rated to deal the demands of Police work; this included fitting the front suspension of the D5 model variant (as the suspension was designed to deal with the heavier diesel engine). Nivomat self-levelling suspension was also fitted to the rear to ensure correct geometry of the vehicle, regardless of the weight carried. On early models, the clutch was also replaced with the stronger D5 unit.
A larger specification battery and 110A alternator was also fitted to run all the extra equipment, along with a dedicated Police fuse box in the boot. Extra wiring looms are also fitted specially for the Police radios and other equipment, including CCTV cameras. Additional electrical noise suppression has been added so as not to interfere with the sensitive electronics the police use.
The speedometers in the vehicles are calibrated from the factory and do not require recalibration unless the wheel and overall rolling diameters are changed.
305 mm (12.0 in) vented front disc brakes were also fitted alongside special brake pads (and wear indicators) specially designed to cope with high-speed pursuits.
From 2001–2004 the 2.3 T5 engine was used and 2005 onwards the 2.4 T5 engine is used. Also beyond common speculation and myths, the engines are not chipped or modified specially for police use: they are complete factory spec but in 'exceptional cases' the speed limiter (250 km/h) may have been removed.
First introduced in 2003, Volvo's S60 R boasted AWD (Haldex) mated to a 300 hp (220 kW) / 295 lb·ft (400 N·m) engine. 2004–2005 models came with a 6-speed manual transmission, as well as a 5-speed automatic which allowed only 258 lb·ft (350 N·m) torque in 1st and 2nd gears. 2006–2007 models were available with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The 2006-2007 Automatic Transmission allowed for the full torque of 295 lb·ft (400 N·m) in all gears. Other aspects which drew the R apart from standard S60's were the four piston brakes (BREMBO) front and rear, optional 18" 5 spoke "Pegasus" wheels, blue faced "R" gauges, standard HID headlights, as well as the 4C suspension system. (4C stands for "continuously controlled chassis concept") The 4C feature allowed the user to select from three modes; Comfort, Sport, and Advanced. This tightened the suspension progressively, and also made for a more aggressive throttle response when in "Advanced" mode. This is easily accomplished due to the fact the throttle is drive by wire, meaning the throttle is connected to the accelerator pedal via electronics instead of a traditional cable design. This allows for different throttle maps to be in place, which can be electronically altered to give a different feel when the accelerator is depressed. The S60 R continued the tradition of "R" cars for Volvo beginning in 1995 with the introduction of the 850 T-5 R.
Top Gear reviewed the car in episode 9 of series 2. They panned the overly complicated and intrusive traction control system, and it set a slow lap time of 1:35.0. But they also found it to be very comfortable and civilized, and especially recommended the estate version. Jeremy Clarkson noted "More like a miniature version of the Rolls-Royce Phantom than a serious competitor to the BMW M3.
The Volvo S60 is an established yet unconventional member of the entry-level luxury sedan segment. It competes in a class dominated by cars with normally aspirated six-cylinder engines and bucks the trend by offering a choice of three turbocharged five-cylinder engines instead. Styling is another area in which the Volvo S60 is unique. Even after a remarkably long production cycle, this midsize sedan's body lines retain a modern and pleasing Scandinavian distinctiveness. Inside, the S60 strikes one as more functional than luxurious in its ambience, but it's hard to find fault with its carefully considered ergonomics and orthopedically designed seats.
Where the S60 does lag behind other entry-luxury sedans is on the performance front. The Swedish sedan's handling dynamics are a bit dull and unpolished compared to newer rivals. Standing starts in the 2.5T and T5 can feel a little sluggish when compared to most competitors featuring larger-displacement six-cylinder engines, and although these Volvos ride smoothly, they're just not as composed over bumps as many of their rivals. The S60 also suffers from a backseat that's lacking in legroom. This midrange Volvo could be worth a look, especially as a used model. But the car's long time on the market without a redesign has made it an increasingly poor choice for a new car compared to newer competitors.
Current Volvo S60
There are two Volvo S60 trim levels -- 2.5T and T5. The base 2.5T is reasonably well equipped, while the T5 is a bit more athletic, thanks to an extra helping of horsepower, bigger wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. Important options for the S60 include a navigation system and a 13-speaker Dolby sound system. As you might expect, all Volvo S60s are protected by an umbrella of Volvo safety features -- including stability control, anti-whiplash seats and full-length side curtain airbags -- and have performed extremely well in crash testing.
Each S60 model has its own engine. The S60 2.5T comes with a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder rated for 208 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission routes power either to the front wheels or all four on all-wheel-drive (AWD) models. The S60 T5 features a slightly smaller 2.4-liter inline-5 but uses a higher-boost turbocharger to produce 257 horses and 258 lb-ft of torque -- and a fair amount of turbo lag and torque steer, too. Unfortunately, the T5 is front-wheel-drive only, but buyers have their choice of a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox.
The Volvo S60's cabin is functional but doesn't feel especially upscale unless you order the leather upholstery and premium audio system. The controls are nicely weighted, but the pictograms placed on the various functions can be difficult for the uninitiated to understand. There's generous seating for four -- five in a pinch -- though rear passengers will find the legroom tight. Trunk capacity measures nearly 14 cubic feet, and the 60/40-split rear seat folds to handle extra-long cargo.
In reviews, we've found that the S60 offers a ride biased more toward comfort than speed. Handling is adequate, but the limits are modest on 2.5T and T5 models. Judged on its own merits, the Volvo S60 would be satisfying to own. However, with so many newer, more refined rivals crowding this segment, it's a good idea to check out some of the S60's competitors before you buy.
Used Volvo S60 Models
The Volvo S60 debuted in 2001 as a replacement for the S70. There have been numerous changes to the S60 since its long-ago debut. Initially, it was offered in base 2.4, midlevel 2.4T or range-topping T5 trim. The S60 2.4 came with a 2.4-liter five-cylinder engine that produced 168 hp. The turbo 2.4T had 197 hp. The most powerful engine was the 247-hp 2.3-liter five-cylinder in the T5. An all-wheel-drive model called the 2.4T AWD joined the family in '02, and all models received enhancements to traction control and engine management systems, resulting in improved response.
In '03, the AWD sedan switched to the current 208-hp 2.5-liter engine, prompting Volvo to rename it the 2.5T AWD. In 2004, the hot-rod 300-hp R was added to the mix, sporting a sport-tuned adaptive suspension, 18-inch wheels, performance tires and bi-xenon headlights. All S60 Rs were all-wheel drive, and buyers could choose between a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. Also that year, the front-drive S60 2.4T became the 2.5T, as it, too, picked up the 2.5-liter engine.
For '05, the Volvo S60 received an exterior and interior refreshing. The T5 got a bump in hp to 257 and a few other upgrades. In '06, Volvo dropped the base 2.4 model and upgraded the 2.5T AWD model with a new all-wheel-drive system for enhanced traction. All '07 S60s received revised front fascia styling. For 2008, the high-performance R model was dropped.
Buyers interested in a used S60 should keep these changes in mind, as older S60s may lack some desirable features. Also, the swift S60 R is an interesting and highly capable used option for enthusiasts looking for something a little different.