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Volvo to eliminate diesel entirely from its new S60 saloon

The luxury saloon will be the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine.

Image: Volvo

THE NEW VOLVO S60 saloon, which goes into production later this year, will be the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine variant.

This move highlights Volvo’s commitment to a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine. In fact, Volvo was the first traditional car maker to commit to all-out electrification in July 2017 and last month the Swedish car manufacturer reinforced its electrification strategy by stating that it aims for fully electric cars to make up 50 per cent of its global sales by 2025.

From 2019 onwards, all new Volvo models launched will be available as either a mild petrol hybrid, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or battery electric vehicle. The phasing out of diesel powertrains is beginning with the S60 saloon.

Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars, 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.

Samuelsson elaborated saying the company feels that mild-hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies have overtaken diesel not just in terms of reducing emissions, but also in terms of cost, both at the time of vehicle development and when the vehicle is in use.

Samuelsson acknowledged that the major advantages of diesel powertrains are long driving ranges and low fuel consumption. However, he then went on to say that the same benefits could now be achieved by the new generation of 48-volt mild-hybrids, which use an electric starter-generator motor to help power the car’s engine for short bursts, but come without the weight and complication of conventional hybrid powertrains.

Volvo will continue to sell the diesel engines currently on sale in its range, but these will be progressively phased out in favour of hybridisation. Investment in new diesel engines will cease.

The new S60 will initially be available with a range of four-cylinder Drive-E turbocharged petrol engines, in 2.0-litre and 1.5-litre forms. There will also be two petrol plug-in hybrid versions; a 340hp T6 and a 400hp T8. Mild-hybrid versions will follow next year.

Production of the new S60 will start this autumn at Volvo’s brand-new manufacturing facility outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The Charleston plant will be the only manufacturing location for the new S60, meaning American-built S60s will be sold in the US market as well as overseas. This is part of a process of moving some of Volvo’s production out of Sweden. Last year, production of the S90 saloon for all markets was moved to China.

Production of the S60 starts this autumn and should be available in Ireland in the first quarter of 2019.

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About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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