RIDGEVILLE, S.C. — The redesigned Volvo S60 compact sport sedan will claim two firsts when it goes on sale in the U.S. this year.
It will be Volvo's first U.S.-built passenger vehicle and the automaker's first new-generation nameplate to be sold without a diesel variant.
By jettisoning a diesel variant for the S60, Volvo is underscoring its pivot to a future beyond the traditional combustion engine. By 2025, Volvo expects fully electric models to account for half of its global sales. Starting in 2019, all new nameplates will be electrified, the automaker said.
The S60 will be offered with a choice of two turbocharged and supercharged plug-in hybrid gasoline powertrains with all-wheel drive: Volvo's T6 Twin Engine that generates a combined 340 hp, and the T8 Twin Engine that delivers 400 hp. Volvo's T5 and T6 gasoline engines will also be available at launch.
The inline four-cylinder S60 will be built at Volvo's new $1.1 billion factory here.
Production is to begin in the fall, with cars arriving in U.S. showrooms then and in Europe next summer.
The factory is part of a global production system, Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said at the S60 launch event last week at the plant. "We will export as many cars from this factory as we will import into the U.S.," Samuelsson said.
The S60 is playing in a highly competitive segment, going up against the BMW 3 series and Mercedes-Benz C class. Starting at $36,795 including shipping, the S60 skews toward a younger audience.
"It's not going to be a profit driver, but it's the entrance for new customers into the Volvo family and our technology," Volvo Cars of North America CEO Anders Gustafsson told Automotive News.
Electrified versions of the S60 offer a performance upgrade called Polestar Engineered, developed by Polestar, Volvo's stand-alone brand for electrified performance cars.
The Polestar Engineered package, available on the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, upgrades the car's wheels, brakes, suspension and engine control unit, boosting the S60 T8's combined output to 415 hp.
The base T5 model accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while the top-of-the-line T8 Polestar Engineered variant can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.
The S60 shares Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture platform, safety technology and infotainment system with the V60, XC60 crossover and the 90-series family. The S60 will be available in Momentum, R-Design and Inscription trim levels.
Momentum offers standard equipment including City Safety with steering support, which works to reduce or prevent accidents at intersections and with pedestrians, cyclists and large animals.
Inscription adds bright chrome window trim and grille accents, driftwood inlays, four-zone electric climate control, power front seats with lumbar support and power cushion extensions.
R-Design adds a high-gloss black window trim, mirror caps and grille. A metal mesh inlay joins the R-Design perforated leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, nappa leather sport seats and an R-Design leather-wrapped gear shifter.
The S60 will be offered via Care by Volvo, which offers car access with no down payment via a monthly flat-fee subscription.
Douglas A. Bolduc contributed to this report.