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The driving gloves are off: Volvo takes on BMW & co in compact exec battle

By Paul Connolly

The gloves are off in the compact executive saloon wars – Volvo has unveiled a upgraded S60 that’s now truly ready to take on the likes of the BMW 3 Series.

With the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 also firmly in its sights, the sportier and tech-driven saloon has now completed Volvo’s journey from mid-spec car-maker to premium brand  manufacturer.

Volvo now offers a suite of premium models able to compete with the best of German engineering. With cars like the S and V 90s, XC 60 and XC90 and others, the Swedish company now has premium offerings in all main segments.

Unusually, every model of the new S60 car, including European and Asian versions, will also be made at Volvo’s hi-tech new plant in Charleston, USA.

Continuing Volvo’s reputation for premium innovation, the S60 will not offer diesel options; most petrol models will have plug-in electric assistance.

The S60 has a sister estate which goes on sale here in the summer, ahead of the saloon version, but Volvo says the saloon is the true driving experience.

“The new S60 is one of the most exciting Volvo cars we’ve ever made,” said company boss Hakan Samuelsson.

 “It is a true driver’s car that gives us a strong position in the US and China saloon markets, creating more growth opportunities for Volvo Cars.”

Volvo is boasting the car’s driving dynamics are best in class – a big boast that will be tested by the might of BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar.

“The active chassis and drive modes deliver excellent control and an engaged performance that makes this a driver’s car,” said company executive Henrik Green.

“It also brings the acclaimed technology from our 90 series and other 60 series cars into this segment, making it one of the best sports saloons on the market.”

Two turbocharged and supercharged plug-in hybrid petrol engines will be available: a T6 Twin Engine AWD plug-in hybrid that generates a combined 340hp, and the award-winning T8 Twin Engine AWD plug-in hybrid that delivers 400hp.

Customers can get the new S60 via Volvo Cars’ new premium subscription service, Care by Volvo, which offers car access with no down payment via a monthly flat-fee subscription rather than ownership.

Like all Volvos, safety is a priority. The City Safety with Autobrake technology assists the driver in avoiding potential collisions, and is the only system on the market to recognise pedestrians, cyclists and large animals, says Volvo.

In a “world first” for the mid-size saloon segment, City Safety now also engages auto braking to mitigate oncoming collisions, it adds.

The optional Pilot Assist system – which supports the driver with steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 80mph – has been upgraded with improved cornering performance.

The S60 also includes Run-off Road Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation and other steering-assistance systems. The optional Cross Traffic Alert with autobrake further enhances safety for people inside and outside the car.

Volvo Cars’ Sensus Connect infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G, allowing drivers to be connected at all times.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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