Sexy, speedy Swede


Volvo has a ‘naughty’ car? Well, its lines are racy enough, not to mention that it’s rather speedy.

WHAT? This is a 1.6-litre car? Sure or not?” was the unanimous response when I told those riding with me that the S60 Turbo T4 is powered by a 1,600cc engine.

Yes, the mighty Volvo S60 Turbo T4 is powered by an engine of seemingly humble capacity with four cylinders, but don’t let those technical numbers put you off.

To many of us, 1.6-litre engines seem more apt for the engine bays of smaller cars like the Proton Persona or Waja.

For a car with a bigger body like the S60, the initial consensus from my fellow passengers was that it needs a bigger engine.

That was until they learnt that S60 T4’s heart, which features Volvo’s latest Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection four-cylinder petrol engine, is capable of delivering 180bhp and a massive 240Nm of torque from 1,600rpm and all the way up to 5,000rpm.

An on-demand over-boost function further increases the T4’s torque to a massive 270Nm – making it among the most powerful 1.6-litre vehicles in Malaysia!

In fact, the T4’s engine is even more powerful than the majority of cars with a 2.0-litre engine on local roads. It sprints to 100km/h in nine seconds and has a maximum top speed of 225km/h.

Personally, I feel the car is still smooth and its quick acceleration made driving a real thrill. Floor the accelerator and power surges with hardly any noticeable turbo lag, a good prescription for a quick daily adrenaline fix.

If you’re concerned that all that extra power from the T4’s 1.6-litre engine means having to spend more money on fuel, worry not: The engine is mated to a fuel efficient dual-clutch (six-speed Powershift with Geartronic) transmission, and Volvo claims that the T4 has a measly fuel consumption of 7.4-litres for every 100km.

To aid fuel economy further, the T4 also comes with a “DRIVe” mode that decouples the engine from the transmission when the car is slowing or coming to a stop.

Doing this will allow the engine to have lower revs and save fuel.

The DRIVe mode can be activated or deactivated with a simple push of a button on the centre console.

Inside, the black leather upholstery gives a luxurious yet sporty ambience, while the accommodating leg and headroom with comfortable seats make driving the T4 a pleasure.

At a glance, legroom for the rear passenger does look deceptively limited but during our test drive, there were no complaints from those sitting at the back.

The T4’s sporty, leather-wrapped steering wheel allows the driver to control a number of features, such as cruise mode and audio.

The air-conditioning vents on the T4’s B-pillars were also a welcome feature for my rear passengers, especially on a hot day.

The ride was comfortable enough even on rough and pothole-riddled roads.

Around fast sharp corners, the T4 clings onto the tarmac tightly and confidently thanks to its sports-oriented suspension system and grippy 17-inch tyres.

Volvo bills the S60 as one of Volvo’s “naughtiest” cars ever. It does have some sex appeal courtesy of a coupe-like roofline and shapely shoulder contours.

The sexy lines come with a host of safety features – after all, it’s not a Volvo if it doesn’t emphasise safety. Standard in this variant is the City Safety feature which brakes the car if the driver does not react in time when the vehicle ahead slows or stops suddenly in city traffic. The system lessens or even entirely avoids low-speed, rear-end impacts at speeds up to 30km/h.

Another useful feature is the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), where lenses mounted underneath both side mirrors give the driver a visible alert when a vehicle in the rear has entered your blind spot. This means that every time a vehicle enters your blind spot, a small orange light at the front bottom corner of the T4’s windows comes on to warn you that it’s not safe to change lanes.

Other safety features include a whiplash protection system (WHIPS), an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD) and hydraulic brake assist (HBA), ready alert brake (RAB), fading brake support (FBS), Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) with Advanced Stability Control, traction torque vectoring and sport mode, and Pre-Prepared Restraints (PRS). The T4 also comes equipped with six airbags.

For a little extra, the T4’s appearance can be further enhanced with an accessory package that consists of a slew of add-ons for both the car’s interior and exterior.

Our test unit came with enhanced front and rear bumpers, bootlid spoiler and sports pedals.

Minus the accessories, the T4 costs RM220,000 (on-the-road, without insurance).

Given the goodies that already come with the car, it’s not difficult to understand the appeal of the T4, regardless of whether you’re a purist or not.

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