While Donald Trump and the European Union were fighting about trade tariffs in the automotive sector, a European car maker was busy revealing its first car that will be built right under Trump’s nose.
The fight is ongoing of course, including just how the tariffs might work on a European model built in the US and then exported back to Europe and the rest of the world. It’s a real problem and one which BMW is facing more than most with its X models made in Spartanburg.
But it was not BMW revealing a car this time, instead it was Volvo that has pulled the wraps off its latest S60 sedan while opening its new factory in South Carolina. We have said it before but it appears that Volvo can do nothing wrong at the moment and the S60 is the latest proof of that.
It will arrive in SA next year although Volvo SA says it cannot yet confirm which models or even exactly when, but what is clear is that it will be yet another stunner.
"The new S60 is one of the most exciting cars we’ve ever made," said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. "It is a true driver’s car that gives us a strong position in the US and China sedan markets, creating growth opportunities for Volvo Cars."
It is also the first model that the brand will sell without a diesel variant in the range after Volvo promised to drop diesels. But it will slip in before the other promise that it will only introduce electrified vehicles from 2019, which means regular petrol internal combustion engines in the form of the T4 and T5 turbocharged motors.
Locally the company is also considering the super and turbocharged T6 as well as the plug-in hybrid T8.
The S60 sits on the Scalable Product Architecture platform that was first used in the latest XC90.
As well as the style and safety that goes with the brand, the company says the S60 is also even more of a driver’s car, something emphasised by the announcement of a Polestar Engineered version to take on performance models from BMW and Merc.
It will be based on the T8 and will offer 305kW, but again, it is only under consideration by Volvo SA.
The interior is much the same as that in other models, particularly the XC60, meaning Swedish elegance combined with technology and space.
Traditionally the S60 has disappeared in a sea of German sedans, but we suspect the new one is going to make a much bigger impression.