Volvo just debuted its all-new midsize wagon, the 2019 Volvo V60, and yes, it’s as pretty as we suspected. But more importantly, it offers a 390 horsepower plug-in hybrid powertrain—you know, in case you want to hoon sensibly.
I’m in Stockholm, Sweden, where Volvo is debuting its V60 mid-size wagon in the driveway of a suburban home (the car’s “natural habitat,” Volvo admits). While I haven’t yet seen the car in person, the official press pictures show a beautiful V90-esque profile with “Thor’s Hammer” headlights, an aggressive lower fascia, and an elegant, low-slung side profile.
Like the XC90, XC60, S90, V90 and V90 Cross Country, the V60 will be built on the company’s Scalable Product Architecture, and will offer a number of common powertrains including a powerful T8 “Twin-Engine” plug-in hybrid.
That T8 hybrid powertrain is similar to the one found in the XC90, S60 and XC60 sold stateside. In those applications, the front wheels are driven by a 313 horsepower supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, which has an Integrated Starter Generator sandwiched between it and an eight-speed automatic (the ISG charges the battery and cranks the engine during start-stop events). In the new V60, this setup is largely the same, except power output drops 10 HP to 303.
The rear wheels, like in Volvo’s other T8 offerings, get power from a 65 kW electric motor mounted to the axle. This, combined with the twin-charged engine up front, yields an overall output of 390 HP (versus 400 in other applications).
Also available on the new V60 will be a 340 HP T6 Twin Engine AWD plug-in hybrid, a 310 HP T6 AWD gas option, a 150 HP front-drive D3 diesel and a 190 HP front-drive D4. A regular front-wheel drive T5 gas car will also be an option, though Volvo doesn’t mention output (for reference, in other Volvo products, the T5 makes roughly 250 HP).
The company hasn’t made it clear exactly which of the hybrid powertrains will come to the U.S. (we know the T5 and T6 gas cars will be coming, but the diesels—which are the only powertrains to offer a manual trans—will not), though Volvo’s spokesperson tells me he’s doubtful it will be the T8. (We’ll update this story when we find out).
Of course, with this being Volvo, the press release mentions a number of standard safety features common with those found in the XC60 and the 90 Series, including City Safety (which can recognize cyclists, pedestrians and animals and now actually apply the brakes to avoid a crash), Pilot Assist (which helps with steering, acceleration and braking on “well-marked roads” up to about 81 mph), Run-off Road Mitigation (which helps the car stay in the lane) and Oncoming Lane Mitigation (which prevents crashes with cars in the oncoming lane).
The new V60, and especially this whole “Welcome To Suburbia”-themed event is definitely very Volvo. But that’s not a bad thing. With a 390 horsepower engine in a relatively small package (it still weighs around 4,600 pounds all loaded up—not light, but still less than the XC90 that shares essentially the same top powertrain), the V60 has the potential to be a lot of fun. Hopefully Volvo gets back to me with good news; Americans need a 390 HP mid-size wagon in their lives. Everyone does.