We all know the engine and drivetrain make the heart and personality of a car. The Volvo people know this all too well, and therefore went to great lengths in designing their new E-drive engine range. Potent four cylinders, which power the present and future generation Volvos.
All this power and zest is combined with excellent economy and emission figures. The top op the range T6 engine, which develops 306 horsepower is the first combustion engine in this segment which develops over 2 horsepower per gram of CO2 emissions.
We drove here the T5 engine, delivering 245 hp, and emitting only 137 g of CO2 per km. What a beautiful unit it was... mating harmoniously with the XC60 drivetrain and making it into a very sporting and entertaining car to drive.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Smoothness and punch...
Stepping into the XV60 lets you enter right away in the Volvo world: one slides into excellent seats, the steering wheel fits absolutely right in your hands, all the controls are ergnomically correctly placed, with the feel and touch you come to expect. The “R Design” trim of our test car added a further sporting and very tasteful touch.
The engine is wonderfully smooth and powerful, developing a pleasant, purposeful exhaust note when one pushes the throttle a bit deeper and when reaching the higher rev ranges, say above 4500 rpm.
Not that you need to rev the engine at all. Torque is of course plentiful, with over 350 Nm being developed between 1500 and 4800 rpm, a very wide rev range indeed.
This 245 HP engine is coupled to an all-new 8 speed automatic gearbox, developed and built by Aisin. The box is up to its task in every chosen mode, and we must admit we left it all alone in "D" and it did all the good work.
The box changes wonderfully smooth and fast, and power delivery stays constant without any noticeable jerks or jumps even under hard acceleration. And accelerate this XC 60 does indeed. From 0 to 100 in some 7.2 seconds, need we say more? Top speed, by the way, is 210 kmh. Delightfully sporting, this Volvo.
The beauty of it is that suspension and drivetrain handle all this power superbly. The XC60 never feels twitchy or nervous, even under full power, and this even in the comfort mode. Like any modern chassis/suspension nowadays, the Volvo driver can choose between Comfort, Sport and Advanced.
The Sport and Advanced modes are very very sporting indeed, and the suspension feels truly tout with very lively and fast steering and throttle response.
One can then really throw the Cx60 about, as a true drivers' car should be able to. In this respect, the Volvo truly delivers, indeed, again in the good Volvo tradition. Nevertheless, one should not forget that the T5 is only available in front wheel drive, and that despite all the electronic assistance, some steering jerks are felt under full acceleration, without however ever becoming obtrusive.
When driven with somewhat more restraint, one can achieve consumption figures in the 7-8 litres range rather easily, using the power somewhat more lets you consume 9 litres or thereabouts, but then one is really having a go...
The T5 engine works of course under some healthy and effective turbo power, and shows in this respect some good engineering ingeniosity. For instance, the turbo is integrated in the all steel exhaust manifold, saving weight, cost and improving thermal efficiency.
We can only congratulate Volvo with its new engine family, and expectations for further models and versions are very high indeed, we will keep you posted in these columns!
Production start in China...
The XC60 is actually Volvo's best selling model, with sales having risen over the first three quarters in 2014 by not less than 20 pct to 98.309 units. In China, sales rose over the same period by 32 pct to 24.950 units. Quite understandibly, Volvo starts building the XC60 in this fast growing market, in its Chengdu plant, where since November 2013, the long wheelbase version of the S60 is built.
So the XC60 is now built both in Ghent and China, and is built there to the same exacting standards as in the swedish Torslanda factory…
Hans Knol ten Bensel