Volvo hasn’t given the S60 a complete overhaul since the 2011 model year, so the compact sedan is overdue for an update. Given that the car’s wagon counterpart, the 2019 Volvo V60, just received a ground-up redesign, the S60 can’t be far behind. And it looks like the next-gen four-door will arrive soon, judging from this picture of an S60 prototype testing in winter conditions. The picture was posted by none other than Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars, on Twitter.
Unsurprisingly, the face of the new S60 looks very similar to that of the V60, which itself looks a lot like the V90 and S90. The 60 and 90 series models, which are both built on the Volvo SPA platform, share a grille design and Thor’s Hammer headlights. Needless to say, the new car looks very different from the old model, which featured a more rounded front end and less cab-rearward proportions.
Samuelsson confirmed the S60 will go into production in Volvo’s new factory in South Carolina. Last year, Volvo announced the new South Carolina plant will begin production of the next-gen S60 in the fall of 2018. Then, starting from 2021, the factory will build the next-gen XC90.
The exterior of the S60 looks like an improvement, but that’s just half the battle. Despite its high safety scores and comfortable seats, we noted the sedan was outdated and “outclassed at nearly every turn” in a recent Big Test. “Thoughtful updates have kept it on life support, but a new engine is no substitute for the comprehensive updates needed to make the S60 truly competitive,” we also noted in the test that placed the Volvo in last place. Fortunately, the new S60 should benefit from improved driving dynamics, in addition to semi-autonomous driving tech and a much more modern large infotainment screen as we’ve seen on other new Volvos.