Road Test

Road Test: 2011 Volvo S60 2.0T

November 15, 2010

Volvo S60 2011_01Now Volvo has built something really fun for us. And that’s the completely new S60. From the outside it looks much sportier than before. The front of the car has a stronger appearance with bigger head lights, grille and air intakes. Larger iron mark on the grill makes sure that you know that it is still a Volvo. The roof line starts to drop early, with stretched C-pillar continuing almost all the way to the end of the car. Short boot lid and strong C-pillar create a bit of a coupe-like roof line although S60 is still clearly a sedan. Tail lights have a more visual form, but the basic shape of the tail lights are similar to the previous model.

S60 may look good, but what really makes an impression, is how it drives. The difference compared to the previous model is outstanding. This all-new sedan is 4630 mm long, with a wheelbase of 2780 mm. The track is 1590 mm both front and rear.Volvo has put an effort on the chassis development, to make the new S60 the most dynamic Volvo so far. To keep everyone happy Volvo didn’t want to compromise, but developed two chassis for the S60. On the European market the dynamic chassis is standard. Most markets in North America and Asia have the comfort chassis as standard and the sport variant available as an option. The differences between these two chassis are in the dampers and in the front and rear subframes. The comfort variant has a softer setting to give a smoother ride on poorer road surfaces, while this dynamic chassis offers more sportier feel.

The front spring struts have thicker piston rods compared with the sports chassis in the Volvo S80. The 47 percent increase of stiffness means that the structure is better able to take up lateral loads. The springs themselves are shorter and stiffer than before. The bushes are generally stiffer than in Volvo’s current sports chassis. At the front spring strut mountings, stiffness has increased by 50 percent. The subframe bushes front and rear are up to twice as stiff compared with previous models. The link arm bushings have also been optimised for sporty driving with full control. The damper mountings at the rear are made of PUR (polyurethane) instead of rubber, a solution that provides better balance between comfort and dynamic control. The steering gear ratio has been made 10 percent faster than in previous models to give sharper response. The steering column’s thicker tubing and stiffer bushes increased torsional rigidity by 100 percent. The steering feel is much better than in any other Volvo so far. With a nicely working chassis, the new S60 is quite a joy to drive as a front-wheel drive.

This new four-cylinder 2.0T GTDi (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) engine produces 203 horsepower and 300 Newton metres of torque from the displacement of two litres. With new in-house-developed turbocharged technology, direct injection and twin variable camshafts it provides a combination of lower fuel consumption, lower emissions and a broad performance range in a very compact format. The turbocharger is the market’s smallest in relation to the engine’s maximum power output. Another new feature is that the exhaust manifold and turbo are made of sheet steel rather than a heavier casting. Steel is lighter, easier to form and the system has lower heat radiation thanks for the layer of extra insulation. This permits high temperature in the gas flow and thus more efficient combustion without noticeably raising the engine compartment temperature.

The 2.0T GTDi is also available as a bitr more powerful  T5 version, producing 240 hp and 320 Nm. A GTDi engine with a smaller 1.6-litre displacement is available in two versions; 150 hp (T3) and 180 hp (T4). The most powerful is the T6, which produces 304 hp and 440 Nm from the displacement of 3.0-litres. T6 has six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as standard, while all the GTDi engines can be chosen either with a Volvo’s automatic six-speed Powershift transmission or with a six-speed manual gearbox. Our car was equipped with a manual gearbox, which is a great partner for this engine. When the best torque is available on considerably wide rev range from 1750 to 4000 rpm, driving with manual is a real joy and the performance gets only better when you give it a bit more revs. The manual gearbox gives you the change to get the most out of this engine’s performance. With 203 horsepower and 300 Newton metres of torque and with manual gearbox, this S60 2.0T is surprisingly playful family sedan and gives you surprisingly much fun as being a Volvo.



  • Petrol
  • 4-cylinder
  • 1999cc
  • Turbocharger


  • 149 kW (203 hp) / 6000rpm


  • 300 Nm / 1750-4000rpm


  • 6-speed manual
  • FWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 7.7 seconds

Top speed

  • 230 km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 8.1 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 189 g/km

Volvo S60 2011_03