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Volvo XC60 T6 AWD R-Design: Charisma, confidence and class

By Ghaith Madadha - Jan 02,2018 - Last updated at Jan 02,2018

Photo courtesy of Volvo

Volvo’s follow-up to its popular premium mid-size SUV, the new XC60 is the third in a new generation of high tech Volvos that place just as much emphasis on design, drivability, dynamics and aesthetic as the Swedish maker has always placed on safety. Launched regionally back in September — just weeks before Volvo officially relaunched in Jordan — the XC60 is available in three trim levels and with two petrol engine options, including the range-topping T6 AWD R-Design model, as driven on southern Turkish roads, not too dissimilar from Jordanian conditions.

 

Stylish Swede

 

Hot on the heels of its larger XC90 SUV and S90 saloon sisters, the new XC60 shares the brand’s new Scalable Product Architecture platform, and the same sharp, classy and fresh design language. Longer, lower and wider than the previous XC60, the new model has a greater sense of presence and momentum to its wide and urgent stance, and features a jutting tailgate framed by slim vertical lights. Its long bonnet and long ratio between wheelarches to rakish A-pillars lends it a sportier and more premium profile.

Distinctly Scandinavian in its design, approach to luxury and character, the XC60’s fascia is dominated by a wide and jutting grille, flanked by slim and browed headlights stylishly bisected by Volvo’s current “Thor’s hammer” LED signature. With sculpted bodywork and a sharply angled kink at the rear of its waistline, the XC60 is at its aesthetic best in sportier R-design specification with slim and wide dual tailpipes, bigger more aggressive bumpers, and silver mirror backs, in addition to other details, including vast 255/40R21 tyres to fill out its wheel-arches.

 

Consistent and confident

 

The third model line built on Volvo’s versatile and new, the XC60 is built on a lightened, yet, more rigid frame. Its platform is a transverse front engine layout, yet enjoys a luxurious cabin-rear design with long bonnet, short overhangs and big footprint for stability, space and comfort. Powered exclusively by compact forced-induction two-litre four-cylinder engines, the XC60 petrol range includes the turbocharged T5, range-topping T8 hybrid and mid-range T6 with both turbo and supercharger for instant low-end responsiveness, meaty mid-range and punchy top-end delivery.

Refined and responsive, the XC60 T6 launches eagerly from standstill, with its mechanically driven supercharger eliminating turbo lag and ensuring consistently progressive yet prodigious delivery. 

Meanwhile, an exhaust gas driven turbocharger build up boost and power, and allows for an urgent top-end delivery. Producing abundant 295lb/ft torque throughout a broad 2200-5400rpm range and 316BHP at 5700rpm, the T6 is effortlessly versatile, with slick 8-speed automatic gearbox aiding performance, flexibility, refinement and efficiency. Capable of 0-100km/h in 5.9-seconds and 230km/h, the T6 AWD returns restrained 7.7l/100km combined cycle fuel efficiency.

 

Composed comfort

 

With 30 per cent stiffer springs and thicker anti-roll bars, the sportier R-Design specification XC60 well-manage its height and weight through corners. More agile vehicle than its size suggests, the T6 R-Design turns tidily into corner with direct steering. Rides on double wishbone front and integral-link rear suspension with optional adaptive air suspension, as tested, it is smooth and refined with good body control through corners. 

Four-wheel-drive ensures tenacious traction at launch, and allocates power between front and rear reassuring on the move road-holding. 

Stable at speed, capable through switchbacks and comfortably fluent on smooth roads, the R-Design’s optional 255/40R21 low profile tyres were somewhat firm but offered improved grip and a sportier drive in theory. However, in practice, and on rougher rural roads during test drive, one found that the slimmer 235/55R19 base R-Design tyres were more suitable. Well complementing air suspension, the slimmer tyres with higher sidewalls proved noticeably more forgiving, comfortable and supple, and with better steering and road feel communication — if not better outright grip — allowed for more intuitive and confident driving.

 

Sporty and classy

 

Composed, settled and refined, the XC60 is classy, elegant and stylish inside, with a distinct design sensibility and attention to detail and use of quality metals, leathers, suedes and soft touch plastics. With darker tones, chunky steering wheel, contrast metallic trim and supportively body hugging, yet, comfortable and highly adjustable seats, the R-Design has a sportier ambiance. Well-packaged and ergonomic, the XC60’s driving position is high but car-like and offers good visibility, but its driving mode selector is position somewhat far back in the centre console.

 

A practical SUV with good storage and cargo capacity, the XC60 also offers good passenger space, including generous rear head and leg room. Well-equipped, features include nine-inch smartphone-integrated, voice-activated infotainment system with WiFi hotspot. An emphasis on technology and safety, the includes Pedestrian, Cyclist, Large Animal Detection, Run-Off Prevention, Blind Spot Information System with Steer Assist and Oncoming Lane Mitigation for preventing head-on collisions. Steer Assist, meanwhile operates with City Safety and can initiate steering input to avoid collisions at 50-100km/h, and can brake individual wheels at the same time for stability.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine: two-litre, supercharged and turbocharged, all-aluminium, transverse four-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 82 x 93.2mm

Compression ratio: 10.3:1

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection, variable valve timing

Gearbox: eight-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive

Ratios: 1st 5.25:1; 2nd 3.029:1; 3rd 1.95:1; 4th 1.457:1; 5th 1.221:1; 6th 1.0:1; 7th 0.809:1; 8th 0.673:1 

Reverse / final drive: 4.015:1 / 3.329

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 315 (320) [235] @5500rpm

Specific power: 160BHP/litre

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 295 (400) @2200-5400rpm

Specific torque: 203.15Nm/litre

0-100km/h: 5.9-seconds

Top speed: 230km/h

Fuel consumption, urban / extra-urban / combined: 9.7- / 6.6- / 7.7-litres/100km 

Fuel capacity: 71-litres

Length: 4688mm

Width: 1902mm

Height: 1658mm

Wheelbase: 2865mm

Track, F/R: 1649 / 1653mm

Overhangs, F/R: 872 / 951mm

Ground clearance: 216mm

Approach / break-over / departure angles: 23.1° / 20.8° / 25.5°

Aerodynamic drag co-efficient: 0.32

Headroom, F/R: 994 / 988mm (w/sunroof)

Legroom, F/R; 1055 / 965mm

Shoulder room, F/R: 1478 / 1430mm

Luggage volume, min/max: 505-/1432-litres

Unladen weight: 2002kg

Steering: Speed sensitive electric-assisted rack and pinion

Turning Circle: 11.4-meters

Suspension, F/R: Double wishbones / integral-link axle, active air suspension

Brakes: Ventilated discs

Braking distance, 100-0km/h: 36-meters

 

Tyres: 255/40R21 (optional)

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