Volvo has turned its back on diesel for good. The Swedish manufacturer will no longer launch cars powered by the fuel, starting with the BMW 3 Series-rivalling S60 saloon, which is due in early 2019.
The brand already announced that every car it develops from 2019 will be either electrically powered or assisted, and the decision not to offer diesel in what should be a popular model represents a significant step towards that goal.
The move follows a slump in demand for diesel cars in the wake of exhaust emissions scandals. The diesel doldrums have doubtless been exacerbated by harsher tax levies, for both initial road tax and Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax for company-car users – many of whom might have the S60 on their shopping list.
Porsche dropped diesel engines from its Macan SUV earlier this year, but hasn"t turned its back on the fuel for good. When it goes into production, the new Volvo S60 will initially be offered with four-cylinder petrol engines that use the brand"s latest Drive-E technology to increase fuel efficiency. Plug-in hybrid versions will also be offered, using technology proven in models like the Volvo S90 T8 TwinEngine SUV. Mild-hybrid electrified petrol versions will be offered in the year following S60"s launch.
The S60 saloon will share its style, engineering and features with the latest Volvo V60 estate. Production begins later this year at a factory in South Carolina in the US – the sole location for S60 manufacturing.
Scheduled to reach European markets in early 2019, the S60 is expected to be priced just below its V60 estate sister model, which starts at a little under £32,000.