I have long contested over the now nearly 16 years of BangShift’s existence that large sport sedans are the perfect cars. Well, they are the perfect cars for me. As an admittedly chunky guy, I never feel like I should be in a really cool sports car. They just don’t seem to fit my own personal aesthetic well and honestly it always makes me feel kind of dorky in the really small cars. I’m just not that cool. But high performance sedans? Oh yes. ALL of that.

For these reasons I was excited to get into the Volvo S60 Recharge T8 Ultimate Black Edition. This is a fully blacked out from the factory, 445hp (gas and electric combined), mid-12 second rocket ship that is interestingly tech heavy on some ends but is really a gracefully aging platform in other respects. We’ll get to all that here as we talk about this car, but understand one thing right off the bat. The price of right around $60,000 gets you performance, attitude, and that both stealthy and menacing presence only an all black sedan can derive for a boatload less than a German badge on the front would cost you.

This is a bad ass Swede and I am here for it.

If there is one thing we can say about the Volvo brand and its styling it is that through their whole history they’ve not exactly been risk takers or adventurers when it comes to busting out daring lines. The cars have, at least since the total box era of the 1980s, maintained a shapeliness that is classic and in my opinion ages well. It’s a very difficult exercise to call a Volvo “ugly” from almost any era. When it comes to the large sedan category we can perhaps lay the same claims across the board to companies like BMW and Mercedes. Audi has been the most stylistically forward of the companies in this space in my opinion whereas Volvo has been the most reserved and in both cases it has served the companies well. The S60 is large without feeling slabby, its ends are both blunted and rounded off, and the roofline does sacrifice some sexiness for interior functionality, allowing passenger comfort for even the tallest occupants. The rear plunge begins in the proper place as to not cause taller riders to feel the roof is coming down on top of them at all times.


In my opinion there are very few styles of cars that actually look good blacked out like this. Pickup trucks, SUVs, CUVs, etc never seem to look quite right when it comes to an all black motif. A big, low-slung sedan though? That’s where it’s at. The blackout of the front end makes the Thor’s Hammer style headlights really jump out when you see the nose of the car. The wheel and tire package fits the stance so well there are no large gaps to break up the all black visual and what seems to be a light smoke tint on the windows ties the whole thing together well. I’d not say the car looks intimidating but it does carry a highly enhanced sense of cool far beyond a typical white, beige, or perhaps gunmetal gray look.

Let’s talk about some of the practical stuff. The trunk is massive as you’d expect it to be in a sedan of this size. Any luggage, clubs, boxes, crates, whatever, the S60 will swallow them whole. Also, in the handy stuff to know department, the lift-over angle into the trunk is extremely low, making loading and unloading no problem at all. It’s a trunk, what more can I say?

Let’s move inside. I mentioned at the top of this story that there are elements of this car that are aging gracefully. Volvo interiors are one of those things. They are highly comfortable, they are roomy. As you can see here, leg room for days. You can also see there is headroom a plenty up there. As you know my regular passengers in the rear are both over six feet tall and they enjoyed the room they had to work with in the back of this car. The interior is not going to strike you as modern chic or cutting edge. If that is what you are looking for, the German cars tend to push harder on that. Let’s move to the front and I’ll tell you why I kind of like Volvo’s position here.

If you are looking for loads of whiz-bangery and widgets, buttons upon buttons, touch pads, you have come to the wrong place. If you are looking for what are almost inarguably the most comfortable seats in this class of automobile, an almost elegantly simple dash layout with minimal clutter, and max ease of use, you have arrived in the right place. This dash does look “old” when we compare it to things like Mercedes with incredible LED screens that wrap end to end and other luxury models that almost seem to be running out of ideas to improve their stuff beyond the visual gadgets and gags they can cram into the inside.

I think it is fair to say that sitting in a Volvo about 10 years ago would give you a very similar interactive experience with the screen, the dash, the console, etc. If you have never driven one of these cars or interacted with this dash layout know one thing, the radio/HVAC/media interface is STILL one of the best in the industry and it was when it debuted. Keeping things simple in an evermore complicated world makes you stand out anymore and this, for me, stands out in all the right ways. Usable, simple, and verging on the timeless.

A couple more looks at the operator’s area of the S60.

The real fun of the Volvo S60 Recharge T8 Ultimate Black Edition lives under that big engine cover and there are a couple of hints as to what lends it aid with the orange connectors under there as well. The engine, under that tightly secured cover is a 2.0L four cylinder that is both turbocharged and supercharged. When the engine power and an additional 143 electrical hp are applied, the total output of the S60 Recharge is 455hp and 523 lb-ft of torque. All of this goes through an eight speed automatic transmission and what it all translates to is a 4.3-second 0-60 time and a quarter mile clocking in the mid 12-second range. Out of a Volvo sedan that no one would ever see coming.

The power delivery is relentlessly flat. You hammer the gas and the car just pulls and pulls and pulls. The combo of the turbocharger, supercharger, and electric enhancement means seamless delivery that is enough to put a smile on the face of any gearhead. Handling wise the chassis is tight but not overly so. We’re talking sport tuned but not at all rock hard or jarring. The 19″ wheel and tire package provides nice grip for sported driving and with our typical on-ramp and off-ramp testing the car always felt planted and composed even when we managed to push the rubber to the point of talking back to us.

So in the end, it is always a value question, right? For the $61,000 asking price for this car, you are getting a machine that would run you $80,000 and deliver similar results with a german badge. You are getting a more (in my opinion) unique, interesting, and driver centric car than any of the Asian large sedan offerings which are usually festooned with more gadgets and visual enhancements than is necessary.

This is sleek, this is safe, this is fast, this is a sleeper par excellence and one that you’d likely keep in your family for years to come as Volvo’s vaunted reliability is still among its greatest strengths along with an unassailable safety record.

Loved it.

The post We Drive It: The 2024 Volvo S60 Recharge T8 Ultimate Black Edition – Cutting Edge In Places, Aging Gracefully In Others appeared first on BangShift.com.