I have to admit, it never occurred to me that you could put a turbocharger, and a supercharger on the same engine, and I damned sure didn’t expect Volvo to be the one to do it. Yet, that is exactly what I find myself sitting behind this week.
Let’s look at the results of this combination called E-Drive; it is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, and it is putting out 302-horses. Let that sink in a minute. It was not too long ago that you had to invest in a V8 engine to top 300-horses. You also get 295 pound-feet of torque for fast starts if you wish, and the best is yet to come…I am averaging 30-miles per gallon combined, and I haven’t tried to maximize fuel economy. This car is doing 25 in town, and 35 on the highway consistently. Now I see why Volvo engineers came up with this engine, it is much improved from Volvo engines of the past.
E-Drive features low friction technology, innovative engine management systems, common rail direct fuel injection and combined super-charger/turbo technology are some of the secrets behind this utterly amazing engine. The super-charger gives more torque at low revs for a great throttle response, with the turbo boost kicking in at higher speeds. It’s actually quite brilliant because turbochargers tend to have a noticeable lag from a dead stop, while super-chargers do not. Lag problem solved! To make the driving experience even better, Volvo hooked an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters so you can better control the shifting to your liking.
Let’s talk about the car itself. First, the interior upgrades on the S60 are exceptional. The leather seats are very plush and incredibly comfortable. The dash layout for 2015 is terrific, and the configurable gauge cluster is among the best I have seen. Volvo kept the flow through center stack, which is unique and eye-catching. There is a nice amount of backseat room, and headroom is good for people up to about 6’2”, maybe slightly more. The view of the road from the driver’s seat is exceptional, and trunk room is more than I expected. Steering wheel controls are terrific.
My silver review car is loaded, including the Platinum Package, which gives you navigation with real-time traffic, premium audio, accent lighting, an integrated garage door opener, power retractable mirrors, a rear park assist camera, and grocery-bag holder for $3350. It also has the Technology Package, and for $1500 you get Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning with Full Auto Stop, Pedestrian/Cyclist Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Active High Beam, Road Sign Information, and other high-tech driver aids. The Blind Spot Information Package includes park assist, Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Change Merge Aid and adds $900. Heated seats add $500, active Xenon headlamps with washers run $800, 19-inch diamond-cut wheels, which make the car look great on the outside are $1250, and the metallic paint is an add-on of $500.
Standard equipment highlights include power sunroof, leather power seats, keyless entry and push-button start, rain sensing wipers, Bluetooth connectivity, and electronic emergency brake.
The S60 T6 E-Drive has start/stop technology, which means the engine shuts down at stops after it is warmed up. When you touch the gas pedal, the engine starts up again- but when stopped-you don’t lose the power accessories, air conditioning, etc. Generally, I find this option annoying, but there is very little vibration with this car, and I don’t mind it at all.
There are just a couple of things that keep me from giving this car a 5-Star rating. The controls on the center stack that control everything are not at all intuitive and there is a steep learning curve to get it all down. Second, Volvo needs to figure out how to eliminate torque-steer in this car. It will take a pretty hard left or right upon heavy acceleration.
Volvo stuck to its roots of building a super-safe car. S60 has a 5-star NHTSA rating in every category across the board, the only luxury car in America that can boast that, and it is a top safety pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The S60 T6 E-Drive handles great, it is very quiet inside, and it just feels sporty. It also looks sporty on the outside, especially with the addition of the 19” wheels. I am impressed with the engine performance, the technology in this car, and the outstanding interior.