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HMMWV 30th June 2011 12:15 AM

Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review
The Swedes have landed, on all fours this time. With the S80 and XC90, their (honestly) half-hearted attempt fell through with hardly any takers. Numbers weren't justified as well, as the marketing was more nether ye, and far from even average. Then came the XC60, and the tides turned. Of course, with the XC60 came all the tech and equipment that was missing on the initial models. The XC60 did, and is still doing very well, notching up consistent numbers, and carving out it's share in the luxury crossover segment.

Enter the sedan. The S60 is the latest salvo from the Swedish manufacturer - complete with top-of-the-line turbo-petrol and twin-turbo oil-burner, and segment-first (and also some India-first) driver-aids and safety technology. Clearly, this time Volvo have let form flow alongside function. Bold, curvaceous lines lend a distinct, yet naughty charm.

The S60, especially the Flamenco Red T6 petrol, exudes an aura of excitement and thrill that can only be satisfied by jumping in and pressing the Start button. As the big six-pot engine growls to life revving straight up to 1400rpm (to heat up the cats), the dual xenons upfront power on, dip and adjust themselves, the collision warning LEDs glow orange, then red, and disappear from sight, as the engine settles to a mellow idle, barely audible on the inside.

The AWD system is the intelligent Haldex coupling - with a 90% front bias - but with the InstantTraction feature, this will vary torque distribution to upto 50% to the rear, depending on the situation. This of course, aids fuel economy, and returns substantial steering feel, though torque steer is kept to a minimum.

Onto the drive, the response from the throttle pedal is nothing short of hair-raising (bad for old self-driven businessmen, good for the young enthusiast) as the car lunges forward with every misstep on the pedal. Yes, it takes a while to get used to that engine which delivers torque in dollops (440Nm at 2100rpm all the way to 4200rpm) and by then most of the 304 horses have been set free, with full gallop achieved at 5600 revs. A sub-7 second 0-100kph dash is a given, no matter you and your companion weigh, but more importantly, the 40-70kph roll-on takes barely over a second, with 60-120kph happening in under 4 seconds. These are significantly quick roll-ons and put in perspective the everyday practicality of this car. (Yes, really!)

Apart from the usual Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, the car has the gyro-sensor from the XC60, called Advanced Stability Control here, and this makes body roll non-existent. Handling is top-notch, precise and most importantly, predictable. The Torque Vectoring is very pronounced on the T6 AWD, and 150kph cornering is done with a swelling bubble of confidence even as the needle races past 200kph as you exit the corner (I can't tell you which corner that was done on, but it did it). Honestly, foot on pedal, 30-200kph is achieved with the needle climbing at a steady rate and apart from that red half-needle, there is no clue as to how fast you go fast. That and the blurring scenery.

Past 3500rpm, the T6 howls away to glory, with the six oozing power with every revolution. I must say, the updated, Euro 5 compliant T6 (up to 304 from the earlier 285 bhp) is the replacement for the mad yet serene 4.4L V8 which bid adieu in the closing days of 2010. Acceleration passes. Sound effects, I regretfully must say aren't anywhere close. Purely on performance though, the S60 T6 has every car this side of Rs. 80 lakh scurrying for cover. At 34 lakhs ex, this is a steal! Then there's the equipment list - but more on that later..

With great power comes the need for better control. Braking is handled by large 318mm ventilated discs up front and 308mm ventilated units at the rear. So shedding 200+ kph is not nerve-wracking in the least. The stopping is controlled, precise and without unnecessary drama time and again. The Fading Brake Support, Hydraulic Brake Assist, Adaptive Brake Lights and Ready Alert Brakes come in together in perfect harmony, reducing stopping distance and delivering a confident slowdown. Of course, the big 235/40 R18 ContiSport tyres play a big part in the whole scenario.

Again, equipment levels, large 18" wheels (with the new design called "Sleipner") lend a distinct edge. It looks the part, yes, and with all that performance on tap, it walks the walk too, or rather stomps it and burns rubber! On the lighter side, City Safety version 2, with Pedestrian Detection comes to planet Earth for the very first time. The laser and camera setup identifies cars, trucks, bullock carts, bikes, cyclists, fat people, regular people and even children above 80 cms in height. No, dogs or crawling babies are not recognised as of now, but knowing Volvo, City Safety version 3 should have that sorted.

Adaptive Cruise Control is standard as well, without you having to pay through the nose. (No car in this segment, or for that matter almost 2x the price offers it, the next in line with this feature is the Audi A7). This system, using the radar sensor on the front grille, and works from 0-200kph, (Yes, you read that right..) Although it needs to be activated above 30kph, the QueueAssist feature will automatically brake to slow down, and stop as well, remaining stationery for upto 30 seconds, before it will accelerate itself to keep up the set distance to the car, or rickshaw, in front. Usually Cruise Control is dismissed as useless in India, even on the highway (what, with lane-cutters out in full swing). But this system is one-up on the regulars. It's great for a traffic jam!

On the inside, Volvo Sensus - the smart infotainment system takes pride of place - with the 7" high-resolution color LCD screen showing your car settings (yes, you can turn of the DSTC here..), media, radio, telephone, ParkAssist, and a DVD movie (only in Park mode), and also, realtime view from the optional rear and front cameras. The seating is nothing short of brilliant. The seats are very well contoured and wrapped in Scotland's finest hide, at no extra cost mind you. The cushion height and seat height play a critical role in driver comfort - I prefer the seat lowest, with the cushion highest, a luxury bucket if you will. 3 memories help the cause even more. The steering can be adjusted to precision as well, and the wheel is a chunky sports one. Good grip that makes you wanna hold on and just go and exploit every drop of performance from that massive 3.0 twin-scroll turbo powerhouse. The gear lever, wrapped in leather, feels adequate, and is fun in Geartronic (sport) mode as it lets you hold the revs all the way to the redline (unlike most of the "competition") and will only up/down shift at critical red, or stall point respectively. Fun then! There's also the usual dual-zone auto climate, air quality system and standard 8-speaker 4-channel sound system. The nice bit is, the aux-in and USB port are in the centre arm-rest so your 16-gig thumbie is snug and safe in there with days of music.

The deceptive roofline apart, this car is comfortable even in the back. Low, dipped seats offer massive head and shoulder room. No wonder, this is the widest car of the lot at 1899mm across. Rear legroom is also quite good. Though 3 above average sized persons together will find it a bit cramped. The AC vents in the B-pillars help keep sides and that leaves everyone happy. Before you ask about a four-zone, remember this is a 34 lakh car we're talking about, and even that has more standard kit than all the cars twice it's price..

Okay, the rear. On the back are exciting new LED tail lamps, that stay on during all runs, apart from the brake lamps. The T6 also gets a bootlip spoiler as standard. The boot itself, is adequate for a few bags, and if you fold down one of the split seats, junior and the big doggie will be fine as well. There's also a tyre repair kit below the floor. Volvo has eliminated the donut spare on the S60 (and this practice will follow on the new S80 as well). However, the sealant can and compressor make quick work of a puncture.

That covers most aspects about the car you would be interested in. Ok, yes, in the interest of coverage, the fuel economy is anywhere between 6-9 kpl in the city and 10-14 kpl on the highway, depending on how hard you have your foot to the floor, and how many fat people (or bags) you have in the car. Pretty good then!

That about rounds it up.

Volvo S60 T6 AWD

Twin-scroll turbocharged MPFi petrol
6 cylinder inline, transverse, front
304 bhp @ 5600 rpm
440 Nm @ 2100 - 4200 rpm
6-speed Geartronic Automatic with All-Wheel-Drive
LxWxH (mm): 4628 x 1899 x 1484
Wheelbase: 2776 mm
Wheels: 235/40 R18 V
Top speed: 250 kph (electronically limited)
Tank capacity: 68 litres
Dry Weight: 1680 kgs

Price: Rs. 34.00 lakh ex-showroom (+57500 for Metallic paint, which is all that is available.)

(+) Smooth, responsive engine
(+) Confidence inspiring and precise handling
(+) More equipment than some 8-digit price tag cars
(+) Supremely comfortable seats
(+) Built like a safe
(+) Best price to horse ratio in it's class (250+ bhp cars)
(+) Free service package includes oil, labor and all consumables

(-) Needs a minimum of 91 octane petrol (98 is recommended)
(-) Cabin insulation could have been better
(-) No central locking control on front passenger door like other Volvos.
(-) No spare wheel, or space for one. (Eats into boot space).
(-) 18" 40 profile tyres not suited to Indian road conditions.

350Z 30th June 2011 12:43 PM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review
Amazing start, Jim. Let be the first to welcome you to The Automotive India and congratulate for an excellent review. No doubt, any car of the same segment will run for a cover in front of S60, or any Volvo for that matter when it comes to safety aspect. Enjoyed reading the minute feature description and quick pros and cons. Although, this review highly demands for a set of beautiful pictures and we hope that you will bring them soon![thumbswink]

PS: Needless to say, this deserves five star thread rating.

Drive Safe,

dodge_v1per 30th June 2011 12:50 PM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review
wow great write up dude!! [clap] are u thinking to get one??

HMMWV 30th June 2011 12:52 PM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review

Originally Posted by dodge_v1per (Post 84800)
wow great write up dude!! [clap] are u thinking to get one??

Thanks a lot! No, can't afford one of those right now, but working with them puts a big smile on my face! :)

dodge_v1per 30th June 2011 12:54 PM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review
hmm...then review XC60 also!! [;)]

HMMWV 30th June 2011 01:02 PM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review

Originally Posted by dodge_v1per (Post 84803)
hmm...then review XC60 also!! [;)]

Definitely in the pipeline, alongwith the other Volvo models available in India.

HMMWV 30th June 2011 01:39 PM

Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review - Visuals
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Attachment 22524

At first glance, the S60 makes you wonder. You look again at that diagonal slat to confirm that it is indeed a Volvo you are looking at. Gone are the boxy dated conservative lines, and in come sexy and sporty lines. Two words you would never use with Volvo in the same sentence. Two thumbs up for design then!

Attachment 22523

Viewed head on, it looks mean, but only from a limited angle, before the smile grabs your attention. Those LEDs up front are there because, you, the people buying this car, would like to have them there. Only in Scandinavia would you really need daytime lights. However, these aren't the in your face types, but rather elegant details added to enhance the dynamic new approach Volvo has adopted. These then, are called "Volvo DNA" lights.

The eyebrow line is pronounced in amber (a la the BMW E60 5-series, which in my opinion was one of the most beautiful cars ever made.). Setting the light dial on the inside to "Park" and you'll have the Xenon lamps off, and a very distinct amber and white front profile.

The front lip spoiler, from the R-design range of accessories can be ordered separately.

HMMWV 30th June 2011 01:49 PM

Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review - Contd
2 Attachment(s)
Attachment 22525

From the side, Volvo has adopted a double-wave design line, enhancing the low, squat position, lending it a thoroughly sporty look, with those flared wheel arches housing those sharp 18" Sleipners on low profile rubber.

The 4-door coupe look is accentuated and flows into the tapered rear, which houses an abrupt ending boot, well integrated into the massive C-pillars.

Personally, the lines remind me of a certain sportscar from an established British marquee.

Attachment 22526

Coming to the rear, you notice how large and wide the car actually is. The deceiving front and side give way to a contemporary rear profile, complete with twin exhaust pipes and unique LED tail lamps. Incidentally, the designer was stirring through some hot coal to heat up his beverage when he chanced upon the twin prong design. Distinct, definitely.

HMMWV 30th June 2011 02:05 PM

Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review - Inside
2 Attachment(s)
Enter the S60, and you notice the typically unique Scandinavian design is retained, albeit with a few technologically additions.

Attachment 22527

The elegant but bland interiors from the previous model make way for bold lines, with refreshed design elements. The dashboard has been inspired by the track layout of Spa-Francorchamps - Belgium's renowned Formula 1 race track. Fitting because the car is made a few miles away in Volvo's major plant at Ghent.

The steering wheel is chunky, with silk metal inlays that add a dash of charisma to an otherwise all-black-leather wheel. The Volvo iron mark is proudly emblazoned in the centre.

Attachment 22528

The center console houses many buttons and knobs, but fret not, don't let yourself be boggled because, in the end, it is a Volvo. Everything on the console is there to enhance the sense in simplicity aspect, and that's exactly what those buttons do - turn things on, or off. The console itself, is tilted to face the driver, to enhance the sport-oriented nature of the car.

Depending on the number of additions you choose to spec your car with, the number of buttons goes up proportionally. There's buttons for defroster front and rear, for ParkAssist, Lane Departure Warning, Collision Warning, which are standard; and should you choose the options, Camera and BLIS (BlindSpot Information System) as well. One little details I really appreciated was the little chrome plastic man adorning the console - air direction controls are not a knob, not in a Volvo.

Overall, function and form go hand in hand well, and the initial confusion is dismissed after spending barely 5 minutes in the car and just taking a look at what simply does what.

Volvo S60 T6 AWD

Exterior Colors readily available (T6):
Cosmic White
Ember Black
Savile Grey
Flamenco Red

Interior choices (T6):
Offblack single tone
Beechwood + Offblack dual tone

Front Blind View Camera (+40000)
Rear View Camera (+50000)
Rear Seat Entertainment (+260000)
Exterior Styling Kit (+120000)

Umang 30th June 2011 03:11 PM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review
welcome to TAI HMMWV and very exhaustive report buddy! it will be great to be working with volvo when you get to see these cars everyday!! [:D] can you post any real pics plz?

Nofate 30th June 2011 06:39 PM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review
Nice write up HMMWV. Rated *****

350Z 30th June 2011 09:14 PM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review
I'm not too attracted towards the rear-end design of S60 for some reason. How would you compare this car with its rivals, say Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4?

Drive Safe,

AMG 30th June 2011 11:03 PM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review
Holy grail

I didnt realize it looks so gorgeous till I saw your pics.
All the auto magazines make it appear like ****.
If I *EVER* start a magazine, you, my friend are going to be its photographer.

cooldhaya 1st July 2011 11:48 AM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review
Amazing write up HMMWV , loved reading your review! And just today i saw in paper that now this car is offered for 0% interest at Coimbatore , Tamil Nadu! A short review of the diesel variant if possible please for diesel lovers like me!

'venom' 6th July 2011 11:44 AM

Re: Volvo S60 T6 AWD Test Drive Review
Hi, Good experience. I am interested in S80. It is rare but can you tell your opinion on its maintenance as genuine dealer?

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