Russian doll styling means the no-diesel Volvo S60 looks like a downsized S90; the V60 estate has already been shown

The Volvo S60 has been shown in an image leaked onto a Swedish car site, with the car's rear - with similar design to the divisive S90 saloon - exposed.

Due to be revealed in the summer, Volvo's BMW 3 Series rival will be built at a new factory in South Carolina, brand boss Håkan Samuelsson has revealed.

A single official shot from Volvo previewed the S60's front end, which remains unchanged from the recently revealed V60 estate. This is the first glimpse we've had at the compact executive saloon, however, ahead of its on-sale date after the V60, but before the end of the year. The plant, a new facility in South Carolina, will begin construction of the S60 in late 2018, although the plant itself has been under development since January 2016. All S60s will be built at the plant, which has a maximum capacity of 100,000 cars per year. The next XC90 will also be built there.

Volvo V60 estate unveiled 

Unlike the V60, the S60 will not appear at the Geneva motor show, but will be shown at a later date. Volvo remains tight-lipped on exactly when, but it's likely to be revealed in a few months' time, given the heavy camouflage in the pictured development car. It'll be built on the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) as Volvo's other larger cars, as well as the V60.

The V60, the 'Versatile' estate version of the S60 was leaked ahead of its official Geneva motor show launch, showing the car's side-on and rear-end styling. The front styling of the S60 and V60 will likely be identical. The leaked V60 images first appeared on Bosnian site AutoMotoSvijet.

In shots of the development car, the V60’s design was clear to see through the heavy camouflage, with obvious reference to larger models in Volvo’s line-up which were styled by former Volvo head of design - now Polestar CEO - Thomas Ingenlath.

Specs will mirror that of the XC60, with Momentum spec at the entry level and R-Design Pro at the top. Inscription will be in the middle. Petrol engines will match those of the V60, with a 242bhp T5 sitting above three-cylinder units likely to be shared with the XC40, while the range will be topped by a 335bhp T6 Twin Engine plug-in, and a T4 petrol and mild hybrids later in the car's life cycle. No diesels will be offered; the first car to implement Volvo's no-diesel future.

Diesels made up 63% of Volvo sales between January and April this year - relatively high considering the public's shunning of the black pump, but considerably down on the 85% slice across the same period in 2015. 

Safety kit will match that of the XC60, meaning that when it hits the market in early 2019, it’s likely to be the safest car in the class. The XC60 was declared the safest car ever tested by Euro NCAP last year, achieving a 95% overall score. It is equipped with safety systems that are more advanced than Euro NCAP currently tests on cars. 

Prices are expected to start from £30,000 for the S60 - £6000 less than the XC60 in entry-level 2.0 D4 Momentum spec. This is an increase of more than £5000 over the previous car, but Volvo's move upmarket and the previous S60's long production run account for the jump. By comparison, the XC90 is more than £13,000 more expensive than the entry-level V90

With Volvo introducing subscription plans, named Care by Volvo for its models, starting with the XC40, it's likely that this will also be rolled out across the rest of the range, including the V60. 

While a V60 Cross Country variant is a shoe-in for production, the same can't be said for a follow-up to the S60 Cross Country - the model was discontinued in the UK in 2016, after the brand shifted only 34. 

Proving the slow-down in the saloon segment, as well as demonstrating how sales usually slow the older the car gets, Volvo S60 sales have declined over the last three years - having shrunk by around a quarter since 2015 to 1262 sales in 2017 in the UK. This is less than half the sales of the V60, which shifted 2956 across last year, although less than a tenth of sales of the XC60 - Volvo sold 16,302 examples of the mid-sized SUV last year. 

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Our Verdict

Volvo XC40

Volvo’s XC40 arrives in the crowded premium compact SUV segment and hits the right note with design, practicality and driving style

Join the debate


25 January 2018

"Volvo’s 'Russian doll' styling approach for its line-up has gone down well with buyers". And yet when Audi, BMW or Mercedes go for similar looks across their saloon range they often get criticised by some buyers and critics.

25 January 2018
Lanehogger wrote:

"Volvo’s 'Russian doll' styling approach for its line-up has gone down well with buyers". And yet when Audi, BMW or Mercedes go for similar looks across their saloon range they often get criticised by some buyers and critics.

It might be that the new Volvo looks is still fresh and, in my personal opinion, quite nice, whilst the current Audi image dates from 2005 and it's not very pretty.

25 January 2018

Such polite swedes, showing the M finger several times on the images, maybe they should stick them up their ****. What do you expect going public with an heavily camouflaged car?1 LOL.

25 January 2018

Don't have a problem with good design being resized, it gives the consumer choice. Hopefully be an end to all boring posts about German car companies design approach, afterall it can't be easy when you've got approx. 10 model range with no cross over design! 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

25 January 2018
It's likely to live in the shadow of the XC60 (if the larger S90/V90 are anything to go by). Volvo only really hit it big with SUV's these days. I would be surprised if this breaks into the A4/3 Series/C-Class segment.

25 January 2018

Clearly Volvo have not got enough recognition in the emerging markets or they would abandon the Russian Doll styling just like Audi.

26 January 2018

Maybe the current design language just works, so it makes sense to capitalise on the very well received good looks of the V/XC90 and apply them to this segment too.  At least Volvo have made some effort to break away from the Russian doll theme potentially blanketing the range with the introduction of the XC40. 



26 January 2018

How Soft Roaders command higher prices and demand than they equivalent saloons/hatches. Mazda are the same with the 6 estate vs CX5, X5 vs 5 series etc. Somehow buyers are convinced that being higher and subjective prestige this affords outweighs normal hard metrics; higher fuel consumption, more weight, worse ride and handling. Its so strong they are willing to pay '000s more and not even consider an alternative. Its massive, illogical group think. Could it be its just differnet, new designs and fashion that at some point people will no longer pay a premium? Could it be there is a degree of price alignment between the manudactuers on this market for cars? Think Volvo, JLR ?

2 March 2018

jaguar are the worse for spotting the difference between models, followed by Audi. Mercedes for the most part I can tell them apart and same goes for BMW.


I hope the S60 does not have the S90 rear end as that is horrible

9 March 2018

Not quite Russian dolls.

There is one important distinction between the S90 & the S60, the larger car is a 6-light while the smller car is a 4-light design. 

As with the estate, the 90 saloon provides a strong shoulder/sill line uninterrupted from front to back. But the 60 simply follows the appalling trend of crease lines disappearing and going nowhere. Does it make the car appear less formal and more dynamic? I don't think so.


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