Supercharged, turbocharged Volvo S60

Strong 4-cylinder power has been added to the 2015.5 T6 Drive-E Volvo S60. (Bud Wells photos)

Strong 4-cylinder power has been added to the 2015.5 T6 Drive-E Volvo S60. (Bud Wells photos)

What’s preferable for power-boosting – supercharging or turbocharging? The difference, of course, in the added air-induction system into the cylinders is that a supercharger is belt-driven, a turbocharger is exhaust-driven.

As for which is the better process, Volvo says that is a moot point in its new 2015.5 S60 T6 Drive-E sedan. The Swedish auto firm has installed both supercharging and turbocharging in its 2.0-liter, direct-injection 4-cylinder engine.

Under the hood in the Volvo are both supercharging and turbocharging.

Under the hood in the Volvo are both supercharging and turbocharging.

That’s right, a 4-cylinder, though the T6 designation might lead to other assumptions.

With the dual power-boosters at hand, the small block kicks out an astounding 302 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque tied to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The supercharger is working from the initial takeoff and is effective for low-end thrust, then goes into idle mode as the exhaust turbines force the turbocharger into action all through the higher rpm.

A benefit beyond the high-power net is that, with only 4 cylinders at work, the S60 midsize four-door rolls up fuel mileage figures into the 30s. I averaged 31.3 miles per gallon with an S60 review model, even while enjoying the super/turbo perks. The car’s EPA estimate is 24/35.

The charged-up 4-cylinder with the 8-speed transmission is available for now in the S60’s front-wheel-drive sedans; the all-wheel-drive models still rely on power from the Volvo’s 5- and 6-cylinder engines. Eventually, the 4 will be under the hood of both configurations.

The fact this model is known as T6 Drive-E is confusing; it gets its 4-cylinder power from the super/turbo chargers, while another version called the T5 Drive-E has the 4-cylinder with only turbocharging.

The performance of the duo-boosters will sell the S60, even though, occasionally in sport mode at midrange the power seems to linger and jump back and forth momentarily.

A Platinum options package added a Harmon Kardon premium audio system with excellent speakers and boosted sticker price to $47,575. The rearview camera can be switched from full view to a closeup of the right side for parking the vehicle.

For years, the S60 four-door has been a bit short on legroom, and trunk space measures only 12 cubic feet.

Here are the specifications for the 2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E:

  • Capacity 5-passenger sedan
  • Wheelbase 109.3 inches
  • Length 182.5 inches
  • Width 73.4 inches
  • Height 58.4 inches
  • Curb Weight 3,472 pounds
  • Track 62.1 inches front, 62 rear
  • Ground Clearance 5.4 inches
  • Turn Circle 37.1 feet
  • Drivetrain Front-wheel-drive
  • Engine 2.0-liter supercharged, turbocharged 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower/Torque 302/295
  • Transmission 8-speed automatic
  • Steering electronic power rack-and-pinion
  • Suspension MacPherson strut front, multilink rear
  • Fuel mileage estimate 24/35
  • Fuel mileage average 31.3
  • Fuel Tank 17.8 gallons, premium
  • Wheels 19-inch
  • Tires Pirelli Cinturato 235/40R19
  • Cargo Volume 12 cubic feet
  • Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles basic, powertrain

Competitors Cadillac ATS, Mercedes-Benz C350 Sport, Audi A4, Lexus IS250

Assembly Plant Ghent, Belgium

Parts Content Belgium 32%, Sweden 21%, U.S./Canadian 1%

  • Base Price of Lowest Model $33,300;
  • Base Price of Review Model $39,000;
  • Destination Charge $925;
  • Sticker Price $47,575.