A rival to the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the S60 will be unveiled in the coming weeks as the sister car to the V60 estate and available with a range of four-cylinder petrol engines and two plug-in hybrid versions, while mild hybrid options will appear in 2019.
Meanwhile, the V60 comes in petrol and plug-in hybrid variants, as well as two diesel options badged D3 and D4.
Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson said: “Our future is electric and we will no longer develop a new generation of diesel engines. We will phase out cars with only an internal combustion engine, with petrol hybrid versions as a transitional option as we move towards full electrification. The new S60 represents the next step in that commitment.”
Diesel sales have fallen sharply following the Dieselgate emissions scandal, with governments and the media calling into question diesel's lower emissions and greater fuel economy. Between January and April 2015, 85% of Volvo's UK sales were diesels, where today diesels make up just 63%.
The S60 decision is part of Volvo’s strategy to lower emissions, starting with its abandonment of any internal combustion engine above 2.0 litres in capacity earlier in the decade.
Volvo’s announcement in 2017 that all of its cars from 2019 will be electrified lit the touchpaper in the industry, leading to other manufacturers following suit and confusion in the press about the meaning of the word 'electrification'. The UK Government later announced that the sale of new cars with only internal combustion engines will be banned from 2040, making hybrid powertrains compulsory across the country.
Volvo’s electrification plan is one of the industry’s more aggressive ones; the brand plans for 50% of its worldwide sales to be fully electric cars within seven years. Volvo’s first electric car, a hatchback, will be swiftly followed by an EV variant on the XC40; both will arrive in 2019. Its new spin-off Polestar brand will produce only one car with an internal combustion engine - its first, the plug-in hybrid Polestar 1.