2023 Volvo S60 Recharge Black Edition
Super Sleeper Sedan
For 2023, all Volvo cars sold in the US are either hybrid gasoline-electric or fully-electric. That sounds like a bright idea to us, but in order to dig deeper, we’ll have to turn to the dark side with a test of this Volvo S60 Recharge Black Edition.
While this particular 2023 Volvo S60 sedan is labeled a Black Edition, it’s actually dressed in all white, giving it a White House Black Market vibe. But we’re not mall-walking past Foot Locker on the way to Cinnabon here, we’re cruising in luxury and style in Volvo’s latest Ultimate all-wheel drive sedan, and doing it quite efficiently, as it retails Volvo’s latest T8 Recharge plug-in powertrain.
Pairing Volvo’s now familiar 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine with a larger 107-kW electric motor mounted in the rear means standard all-wheel drive and an impressive, combined output of 455-horsepower and 523 lb-ft. of torque. It all works seamlessly through an 8-speed automatic transmission, and not only does it recapture energy through regen braking like most battery assisted vehicles, but Volvo has even incorporated EV-like One Pedal driving.
41-miles of all-electric driving is possible from an 18.8-kWh battery. Now the most we saw was 38, but our overall average of 31.7 is consistent with the Government Fuel Economy Combined rating of 31; with the MPGe rating at 74-Combined. And that’s a great Energy Impact Score, using only 3.1-barrels of oil annually, with 1.6-tons of CO2 emissions. Standard powertrain is now known as B5 and is a mild-hybrid version of the 2.0-liter turbo with 247-horsepower.
Available only in Onyx Black or this Crystal White, Black Edition adds to the already present glossy black trim with fully blacked out grille, unique badging, and 19-inch alloy wheels in black, of course. This is on top of a slightly redesigned front end for all S60s, now using the logo to integrate the forward pointing camera and radar. The rear bumper is also reformed, with no visible exhaust pipes showing, and new wheel designs are available across the lineup.
This 3rd generation S60 has been on the road since 2019 and is the smaller of 2 remaining sedans in the Volvo lineup.
Changes inside mostly revolve around the center stack where the vertically oriented 9-inch infotainment touchscreen has been upgraded to the Google-based system we’ve experienced in the XC60 as well as the Polestar 2 EV. Black Editions are outfitted with charcoal leather, but vegan options are available. There’s also unique charcoal material for the headliner to go along with notable existing S60 elements such as the crystal gear selector, glossy black trim, 12-inch digital driver display, and panoramic moonroof.
But it was our trip to Mason Dixon Dragway that impressed us most.
523-lb-ft. of torque is no joke, and the S60 is perfectly tuned to handle it, launching aggressively to 60 in a scant 4.3-seconds.
Not too many family sedans get it done that quickly, and being able to win just about every stop light grand prix in a humble looking Volvo sedan is sweet indeed, making it possibly the ultimate sleeper machine on the road right now. Sign us up! Shifts were silky smooth with no power loss in between gears. We finished out the ¼-mile in 12.8-seconds at 111 miles-per-hour.
When in EV mode, the S60 is strictly a rear-wheel drive car, though handling remains more competent than exciting, as Volvo does prioritize safety above all else; so, it will only let you get away with just so much fun. But by keeping our inputs ultra-smooth we were able to carry surprising speed through our cone course with hardly any body roll. Braking was also quite good as expected, stopping us from 60 in just 112-feet with consistent results and great stability.
Finally, Volvo has adjusted their packaging for this year, incorporating more standard content like wireless phone charging into what is now the base Core model which starts at $42,395 with the B5 powertrain. Ultimate is the new top tier, with Plus in between, which puts this Recharge T8 Ultimate at $57,795 to start, and $59,045 for the Black Edition.
Surprising acceleration, great EV-only range, luxurious accommodations, and sensible pricing all make this 2023 Volvo S60 Recharge Black Edition a plug-in hybrid winner; and its sleeper performance sedan attitude makes it something truly special.
So, it is sad to us that Volvo is ramping down production of all internal combustion engine cars, as this one can also play the role of a true EV for extended periods of time. It’s perfect for those looking to go electric now, but don’t want to have to plan their next weekend getaway around finding a plug.
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbo-4
- Horsepower: 455
- Electric Range: 41 miles
- 1/4 Mile: 12.8-seconds at 111 mph
- EPA: 31 Combined MPG | 74 Combined MPGe
- Battery: 18.8-kWh
- Torque: 523 lb-ft
- 0-60 mph: 4.3 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 112 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 31.7 MPG