VOLVO

VOLVO S60 SALOON 2.0 T8 Recharge PHEV R DESIGN 4dr AWD Auto

Fuel

FuelPetrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph4.6s

EC Combined (mpg)

EC Combined-

Volvo's S60 Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid is a really quick mid-sized premium badged saloon, but this fast four-door isn't just about performance. Here, turbocharging, supercharging and electrification are combined not only for rapid point-to-point power but also for potentially astonishing efficiency returns, despite this ambitious Swedish model's huge engine output. There's a significant price to pay for this technology and you'll need to tailor your motoring life to suit what this car can offer but if you can deal with these caveats, then this is a potentially very likeable package.

POWER POINT

Volvo's S60 Recharge T8 offers a quicker, cooler option amongst premium mid-sized plug-hybrid saloons. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Review

Volvo's S60 Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid is a really quick mid-sized premium badged saloon, but this fast four-door isn't just about performance. Here, turbocharging, supercharging and electrification are combined not only for rapid point-to-point power but also for potentially astonishing efficiency returns, despite this ambitious Swedish model's huge engine output. There's a significant price to pay for this technology and you'll need to tailor your motoring life to suit what this car can offer but if you can deal with these caveats, then this is a potentially very likeable package.

Background

If you're looking at a mid-sized premium-badged saloon and want the convenience of plug-in hybrid power, there are two obvious market choices, BMW's 330e and the Mercedes C 300 e EQ Power, with both cars requiring a starting budget of around £40,000. Volvo's S60 Recharge T8 Plug-in Hybrid requires a slightly higher budget than that (£45,000-£50,000) but it offers more power, lavish equipment and the appeal that comes with a car that's just that little bit more unique and different. Plus of course, the usual PHEV virtues feature here and as with the brand's other designs, this car's technology is based around the 2.0-litre four cylinder engine block that the company's been using for the last decade. Here though, you get it in the most sophisticated form the marque can offer.

Driving Experience

By the time this third generation S60 model was launched, Volvo had refined its PHEV powertrain quite a lot, primarily through the introduction of a larger 11.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack, making up to 36.7 miles possible on battery power alone. But the basic plug-in set-up remains much as we saw it when it was first introduced in the XC90 SUV back in 2015. So there's a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine which is mated to an 87hp electric motor sited on the back axle. The main powerplant comes in two levels of output: 303hp for the standard Recharge T8 and 318hp for the top Recharge T8 'Polestar Engineered' version (which can go up to 27.3 miles on battery power). In each case, the set-up is aided by a 25bhp starter motor/generator that pitches in from time to time to smooth any gaps in torque delivery between the two main power sources. It's all enough to deliver a set of stats that it's rather hard to get your head around. In the case of the standard T8 variant that most S60 Plug-in hybrid customers choose, a big combined power output of around 400hp offsets the extra weight of all these mechanicals, so 62mph from rest can still be dispatched very rapidly indeed in just 4.6, though top speed (as with all current Volvos) is limited to 112mph. The 'Polestar Engineered' variant includes a set of adaptable Ohlins DFD dampers and its handling's improved courtesy of 5% stiffer springs and 245-section Pirelli P Zero tyres. With both the Recharge derivatives, you've to put alongside all this performance capability the potential for the kind of fuel and CO2 readings that theoretically could equal those of a frugal supermini. Which of those two extremes you reach in a Recharge S60 Plug-in model will depend on your choice between the five driving settings that owners of all Volvo Plug-in hybrid models are offered. Ultimate speed is delivered by a 'Power' mode that sees both petrol and electric units permanently working together. Alternatively, there are four other drive choices: a 'Hybrid' setting that sees the two engines cutting in and out as necessary: an 'AWD' mode that gives you permanent 4x4 traction: plus a 'Pure electric' setting that only uses the battery power. In both variants, there's even a 'Save' option so that on a longer trip, you can hold that charge until you get to the city driving you might have to do at the end of the journey.

Design and Build

This Recharge Plug-in hybrid model looks pretty much identical to the more conventional petrol and diesel variants lower down the range. The eagle-eyed will spot special badging and an extra charging flap but that's about it. This is one of the best looking Volvos we've seen for a good few decades and it's also notable for being the first model the brand has made at its American plant in Charleston, South Carolina. Style-wise, there are elements in the design of the larger S90 saloon, but with this mid-sized model, there are much shorter overhangs, a lipped boot lid and a racy standard body kit to emphasise the point that this Volvo is aimed at people who enjoy their driving. Under the skin, as expected, sits the same sophisticated 'Scalable Product Architecture' (SPA) platform that we've already seen, not only in this car's V60 estate showroom stablemate but also in all the brand's other most recent mid and large-size models. At the wheel ('the most important part of any car' according to Volvo's Head of Design) it's all very nice indeed, with a premium feel right that you only really get on the more expensive versions of BMW, Audi and Mercedes rivals. The brand says that when creating interiors, it applies the same principles that you would when designing a living room. High-quality materials, intelligent use of space and attention to detail work together to create a distinctly Swedish interior that's simple and elegant. As you might expect, the cabin directly mirrors that of this model's V60 estate stablemate, with a neat dashboard highlighted by a smart and sharp looking 9.3-inch portrait central touchscreen. There's comfortable space for a couple of adults to sit at the rear. But as usual with a PHEV, boot space is compromised by battery placement, here falling from 436-litres (which is what you get in a conventional S60 B5) to 390-litres (though that's still 15-litres more than you get in a rival BMW 330e).

Market and Model

You'll have expected there to be a price to pay to add in sophisticated plug-in tech to the S60, but you might not have expected it to take the price of this Volvo right up into the £45,000 bracket. But that's the reality here. This is the cost of the T8 R-Design version of this Recharge model with its 303hp engine. You'll need more like £50,000 for the Polestar Engineered version which has an uprated 318hp version of the same 2.0-litre unit. To give you some market perspective, this S60 Recharge model's closest two rivals, the BMW 330e and the Mercedes C 300 e EQ Power, cost from around £40,000 but those models are slightly less powerful. At least every version of this S60 PHEV is very well equipped. As standard, the 'R-Design' variant comes with leather-faced upholstery, LED headlights with active high beam, two-zone climate control with a 'CleanZone' air-filtration system, heated front seats, a powered tailgate and alloy wheels of at least 18-inches in size. Volvo's Sensus infotainment system is also standard. This brings a 9" portrait-style touch screen, satellite navigation and an intuitive voice-activation system. It also provides access to the internet and a range of cloud-based apps such as Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher and Yelp. Volvo's City Safety system is fitted to every S60. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, and the world-first application of Steer Assist. This feature helps to avoid or limit the severity of collisions at low speeds by assisting with the steering in an emergency, such as when swerving to miss an obstacle. There's also Pilot Assist, Volvo's innovative semi-autonomous drive feature. This assists with the steering (up to 80mph) and takes care of the acceleration and braking required to keep the car within lane markings and at the desired cruising speed or distance from any vehicle in front.

Cost of Ownership

The Recharge T8 plug-in S60 variant achieves a WLTP-rated all-electric driving range of up to 35.4 miles, a figure which assumes that the car is driven in its 'Pure' all-EV mode. As for the WLTP fuel and CO2 stats, well the Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid manages up to 166.2mpg and up to 38g/km. And the Polestar Engineered Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid manages up to 134.5mpg and up to 48g/km. As with any plug-in hybrid, there's little point in purchase unless you establish a regular recharging regime for the battery pack, which in this case is 11.6kWh in size. Customers will be able to buy a wallbox from Volvo that will charge their cars on 16-amp power in about two and a half hours. If you're out and about and find a 10-amp pubic charging point, the charging time will be slightly longer - three and a half hours - while connecting up to a normal domestic three-pin 6-amp supply will take six hours. The important thing of course, is that the government believes the fantasy-land CO2 stats, so business users will be able to enjoy a BiK tax ration rating of 10% (it's the same for the Polestar Engineered T8 version); to give you some perspective on that, a standard S60 B5 petrol auto has a BiK rating of 33%. If you're a business buyer browsing in this segment, these are figures that'll reward a bit of thought if you're just about to blindly sign on the dotted line for a conventional six cylinder diesel model from a rival brand.

Summary

The S60 Recharge T8 will be a vanishingly rare sight on our roads. The market for plug-in hybrid premium-badged mid-sized saloons is still pretty small and those who do want such a thing are more likely to want to save a bit and opt for a rival BMW 330e or Mercedes C 300 e EQ power model instead. But with a few extras on those two cars, you could easily be paying the kind of money Volvo is asking here - and ending up with less performance and an arguably less complete all-round product. Having tried various versions of this third generation S60, this is the one we like best. On the other hand, the asking figures are substantial and in an era where government assistance is absent, you'd have to be very sold on the plug-in remit here to opt for this Recharge model. After all, if you merely want your premium mid-sized Volvo saloon to be in some way electrified, the brand now offers very acceptable mild hybrid petrol version of this car lower down the range. We think that B5 variant might be a better pick for most customers. But if you have to have technology superiority in your S60, only this Recharge variant offer it. If only it was that bit more affordable.

  • Front and rear power windows
  • Rain sensor with automatic windscreen wiper activation
  • Heated aqua blades

  • Vehicle deceleration control with Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Brake Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist
  • Stability and Traction Control with Spin control, Engine Drag Control and Corner Traction Control
  • Power parking brake with auto hold function
  • Hill start assist

  • Floor mats

  • Electric rear axle drive

  • Voice activated control for key functions
  • Volvo on call
  • Bluetooth handsfree system

  • Speed limiter
  • Adjustable steering wheel force
  • Speed sensitive steering
  • Drive mode settings
  • Driver alert control with lane keeping aid
  • Oncoming Lane Mitigation

  • Hands free boot opening

  • Sensus navigation with European mapping and traffic information
  • 9" centre console touch screen
  • Trip computer
  • Service interval indicator
  • 12.3" Active TFT crystal driver's information display

  • Electric folding and heated door mirrors
  • Automatic dimming interior mirror
  • High gloss black door mirrors and window surround

  • Metal mesh inlays

  • Lithium-ion battery

  • DAB Radio (Digital Audio Broadcasting)
  • Fresh air subwoofer

  • Visible VIN plate
  • Recharging port located in nearside front wing
  • Dual integrated exhaust pipes with high gloss black surround
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Roof antenna
  • High gloss black mesh front grille with high gloss black surround
  • Recharge aluminium tread plates

  • Automatic active bending LED headlights with adaptive shadow technology incorporating day running lights
  • Active high beam
  • Home safe and approach lighting
  • Puddle lights
  • Headlight cleaning system
  • Adaptive brake lights with high level LED brake lights
  • Automatic headlight levelling system

  • 2 zone electronic climate control with Clean zone air quality system + pollen filter
  • B Pillar ventilation
  • Auxiliary fuel fired heater with pre conditioning functions

  • Luggage compartment illumination
  • 12V socket in front tunnel console and cargo compartment
  • Luggage compartment net pocket
  • Black headlining
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Rear armrest with storage + cupholders
  • Sports pedals
  • High gloss black steering wheel remote infotainment controls
  • Glovebox compartment with illumination
  • Front/rear door pockets and front cupholder illumination
  • Contour sports seats with nappa leather/textile upholstery
  • Centre console cupholders
  • Charge cable bag
  • Sports leather gear knob

  • Tailgate illumination and ambient door lighting
  • Front and rear reading lights and centre armrest Storage Illumination
  • Multicolour theatre lighting
  • Front and rear footwell and side step illumination

  • Slippery road and hazard light alert
  • Mechanical child locks on rear doors
  • City safety with steering support with Pedestrian + cyclist + large animal detection + front collision warning with full auto brake
  • Seatbelt reminder and pretensioners for all seats
  • Run off Road Mitigation
  • Front seats SIPS airbags
  • IC (Inflatable Curtains) - Full Length
  • Passenger airbag cut-off switch
  • 5 x 3 point seatbelts
  • Run off Road Protection
  • Road sign information display
  • First aid kit
  • SIPS (Side Impact Protection System)
  • Warning triangle
  • WHIPS whiplash protection system - front
  • Dual stage Driver/Passenger Airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system

  • Heated front seats
  • Front head restraints
  • ISOFIX attachment on outer rear seats
  • Driver and front passenger seat cushion extension
  • Power driver seat with multi directional lumbar support and memory for seat and exterior mirrors

  • Private locking for bootlid
  • Key integrated remote control central locking including fuel flap with deadlocking system and auto open/close power windows
  • Care key with user defined top speed
  • Anti-theft alarm including immobiliser/volume sensor + level sensor
  • Keyless drive
  • Locking wheel nuts

  • 8 speed automatic transmission with start/stop + manual change functions

  • Illuminated vanity mirrors + ticket holder

  • Tyre sealant kit and compressor

  • WLTP - AER (km) - Comb - Min: 58
  • WLTP - AER (km) - Comb - Max: 49
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 57
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Min: 57
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Max: 50
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb - Min: 16.4
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb - Max: 17.3
  • WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 30.4
  • WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 36
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb - Max: 3.6
  • WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb - Min: 3.8
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 35.4
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 31.1
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 35.4
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 11.6
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion

  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 38
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min: 38
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max: 46

  • CC: 1969
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False

  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 1.7
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 2.1
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Min: 166.2
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Max: 134.5

  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 42E
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 390
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Coin Series: R DESIGN
  • Coin Description: T8 Recharge PHEV
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 8
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True

  • Engine Power - BHP: 390
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 4.6
  • Top Speed: 112
  • Engine Power - KW: 287
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 295
  • Engine Torque - NM: 400
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2200
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 40.8

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Front: 235/45 R18
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: 5 DOUBLE SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/45 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY

  • Length: 4761
  • Width: 1916
  • Wheelbase: 2872
  • Width (including mirrors): 2040
  • Height: 1437
  • Height (including roof rails): N

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 390
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.3
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1978
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2500
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 60
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2000
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 522

  • Dynamic chassis: Included
  • Active four-C chassis + four corner adaptive damper: £750

  • Rear park assist camera: Included
  • Front and rear park assist: Included
  • Cruise control: Included

  • 7m Type 2/mode 3 charge cable: £50
  • 7m Charge Cable with 3 Pin Plug: Included

  • Head up display in windscreen: £750
  • Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android auto: £300
  • Intellisafe-Blind spot system + steer assist, cross traffic alert with autobrake, rear collision mitigation and autodimming exterior rear view mirror: £625

  • Sensus Connect with High Performance Sound - connected service booking, 2 x Front Type A and 2x rear Type C USB, 10 speakers/170W: Included

  • Metallic paint: £675
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Premium metallic paint: £975
  • Power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof with sun curtain: £1,200

  • Luggage compartment load hooks: Included

  • Climate pack - S60: £450
  • Driver Assist pack - S60: £1,600
  • Power seat pack - S60: £400
  • Versatility pack - S60: £275
  • Lounge pack - S60 PHEV: £1,700
  • Tech - Harman Kardon sound pack - S60: £850
  • Tech - Bowers and Wilkins sound pack - S60: £2,500
  • Climate pack without heated front windscreen - S60: £450

  • Metallic - Osmium grey: £675
  • Metallic - Birch light: £675
  • Metallic - Pebble grey: £675
  • Metallic - Bright silver: £675
  • Metallic - Denim blue: £675
  • Metallic - Onyx black: £675
  • Metallic - Maple brown: £675
  • Metallic - Pine grey: £675
  • Metallic - Fusion red: £675

  • Solid - Black Stone: £0
  • Solid - Ice white: £0

  • Premium metallic - Crystal white: £975
  • Premium metallic - Bursting blue: £975

  • Power height adjustable passenger seat with multi directional Lumbar Support: Included
  • Fixed rear seat and headrests: Included

  • Contour sports seats with nappa leather/textile - Charcoal/open grid: £0
  • Contour sports seats with nappa leather/textile - Slate/light open grid: £0

  • 19" 5 Triple Spoke diamond cut matt black alloy wheels: £550
  • 18" 5 Double Spoke diamond cut/matt black alloy wheels: Included

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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