The wait for the all-new, third-generation Volvo S60 has been a fairly long one. It debuted in June last year, and while it was expected to be launched in India sometime this year, the new S60’s India arrival has been delayed. Now, however, we know the new Volvo S60’s India launch will take place in 2020, and the big news is that it could be locally assembled from Day 1.
Speaking to Autocar India, Charles Frump, Managing Director at Volvo Car India, confirmed the company is currently evaluating the possibility of assembling the new S60 at its plant, in Bengaluru, right from launch. Currently, Volvo assembles the XC60 and XC90 SUVs and the S90 sedan in India, and locally assembled models account for 60% of its total sales.
“We are considering local assembly (for the new S60). That’s the decision that has taken us a bit of time to sort out, but we haven’t made a final decision on that as yet”, said Frump.
The decision to assemble the new S60 locally right from the start is also influenced in part by India’s ongoing trade-related issues with the USA, which is where the S60 is currently manufactured. Volvo’s plant in Charleston, South Carolina is the global production site for the new S60, and the trade issues that have cropped up could present logistical problems for Volvo if it chooses to import the S60 from the USA to India. But regardless of the route the company takes, Frump said the S60 will be launched in India in 2020 as there is strong demand for the car.
“We may even have to bring the S60 in as a CBU first, but we’ll get it here next year one way or another”, said Frump.
Built on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, the new S60 is available with a sole petrol engine option –a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit that’s offered in different states of tune. There is no diesel engine available for the new S60 globally. Power output ranges from 190hp for the front-wheel drive, turbo-petrol T4 all the way up to 390hp for the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid model. The T8 combines a 303hp, supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine driving the front wheels with a 65kW electric motor powering the rear wheels. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard for all models. An interesting thing to note is that Volvo will start assembling the XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid in India later in 2019, and could offer this powertrain on the new S60 in India as well.
But regardless of how powerful the new S60 is, its top speed will be limited to 180kph. This is in keeping with Volvo’s decision to limit all its cars and SUVs sold globally to 180kph starting 2020, motivated by the company's aim to ensure no one is killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by next year. The top speeds of Volvo's current models range from 190kph to 250kph.
Whether it’s locally assembled or imported, the new Volvo S60’s price should be competitive regardless, as Volvo has always priced its models keenly, even when they were shipped in as CBUs. The new Volvo S60’s price in India should start from under Rs 40 lakh for the entry-level version, and under Rs 50 lakh for the top-spec T8.