Last week Volvo Car Malaysia launched its sexy new S60 in a sole T8 Twin Engine R-Design variant that’ll be built in South Carolina, the United States of America. That’s a CBU Volvo with 407hp and it’s priced at just RM295,888.
The term “bang for your buck” gets thrown around in the industry rather generously during the current horsepower wars and in the most general of definitions, it refers to the best horsepower per dollar ratio; or how affordable it is for a one horsepower.
But before we get into the surprising results for the Malaysian market, we’ll recap the S60 T8 although you’ve probably read all about it.
Once the initial CBU units from North America are sold, local assembly will commence with identical pricing and specification.
The drivetrain is the familiar T8 Twin Engine setup comprising a Drive-E 2.0-litre twincharged inline-four petrol mill making 320hp and 400Nm of torque on its own to drive the front wheels with the Aisin eight-speed automatic sandwiched between. An electric motor with 87hp and 240Nm of torque drives the rear wheels. Combined output is the aforementioned 407hp and 640Nm of torque. The century sprint is dealt with in 4.4-seconds.
An 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery located in the transmission tunnel runs the rear motor and has a range of 49km. Plugging into a charging station with a 3.7kW output will get a full charge in about three hours.
That amazing price comes with a five-year/120,000km warranty and a service interval of 20,000km; or roughly once a year.
The S60 rides on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform like the S90 and adopts a distinctively sexier, sportier take on the Volvo design language. There’s the signature “Thor’s Hammer” LED DRLs integrated in the LED headlights.
Of course, the R-Design trim lends much of the exterior aggression. It consists of a front bumper with larger lower intake and blacked-out fog lamp trims with the same treatment for the mesh grille. Out back, you’ll find trapezoidal exhaust outlets with a body-coloured lower apron. It rides on 19-inch five triple-spoke diamond cut and matte black alloy wheels wrapped in 235/40 series tyres.
It’s pretty familiar Volvo fair inside with a similar dash layout to current Volvo models. There’s a 9.0-inch touchscreen as the centerpiece for the Sensus Connect infotainment system governing all function controls in the cabin. Expect some excellent music quality from the 14-speaker Harmon Kardon setup.
The instrument cluster is a 12.3-inch screen while the steering is a three-spoke R-Design item.
Seats are R-Design pieces trimmed in Charcoal Black Nappa leather and Nubuck fabric with power adjustability for the front two. You’ll also get metal mesh dash inlays, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, R-Design pedals and transmission lever as well as keyless entry and start.
Safety is impressive; comprising six airbags, City Safety autonomous braking, Pilot Assist, Lane Keeping Aid, Front & Rear Collison Warning with Mitigation Support, Driver Alert Control, Run-Off Road Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert, Park Assist Pilot and a 360-degree around view monitor.
Now let’s get to some numbers. As always, the S60 will have its sights locked on the usual suspects of the BMW 330i M Sport, Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line and the Audi A4 2.0 TFSI Quattro. Don’t tell us you forgot the Lexus IS300? We didn’t.
Our trusty office abacus was whipped out and it calculated that it costs RM727 per horsepower for the S60. Mighty impressive numbers. Now bear in mind that this is ultimately an exercise in futility that's just meant to put things in simpler perspective and have a bit of a laugh at the Germans.
The rest stack up as follows:
330i M Sport (CKD) – RM1,119/hp
C300 AMG Line – RM1,182/hp
A4 2.0 TFSI Quattro – RM1,269/hp
IS300 Premium – RM1,697/hp
Clearly the sexy Swede is in a class of its own against the competition. The cherry on top is the fastest century sprint time of the class as well.
However, it doesn’t quite seem like a fair fight against its peers, does it? So, we decided to cast out net into the deeper end of the ocean where the supposedly more apex predators lurk. It was time for Mercedes-AMG to get a serving of humble pie.
C43 4Matic – RM1,082/hp (slower to 100kph as well at 4.7-seconds)
C63 S – RM1,432/hp
What about some of the outliers? Well we roped them in too.
Kia Stinger GT – RM1,052/hp
Ford Mustang GT – RM1,376/hp
“How could you forget the hot hatches?” we hear you screaming. Finally, we’re getting somewhere and shockingly it took the French to overcome the S60’s ratio.
Honda Civic Type-R – RM1,078/hp
Volkswagen Golf R – RM1,026hp
Peugeot 208 GTI – RM672/hp
At long last, we have a worthier “bang-for-your-buck” deal. We know you’re wondering about that German-Japanese sports car built in Austria.
Toyota GR Supra – RM1,696/hp
Rather unsurprisingly though, the ultimate horsepower per dollar ratios were all located in the least likely places anyone would bother checking.
Honda Civic 1.5TC – RM706/hp
Nissan Almera – RM692/hp
Perodua Axia E – RM360/hp
Proton Saga MT – RM348/hp