Remember the old S60R?
A 2.5-litre turbo 5-cylinder saloon with 300bhp, all-wheel drive and a 0-100km/h time of 7.5 seconds, it was the sportiest Volvo model a few years ago.
But being Scandinavian and all, it doesn’t shout about its performance potential, preferring to hint at it with chunky rims, unique blue instrument meters and a couple of “faster letter” Rs. The only loud option was the Flash Green paintwork – which wasn’t very flashy.
The new Volvo S60 T6 R-Design you see here is the closest thing today to a revived Volvo S60R. Volvo now prefers to call it R-Design, which suggests that designers did the work instead of engineers. But this newcomer has actually been modified to deliver a better drive, on top of looking like a touring car “lite”.
An under-bonnet strut brace and firmer bushings stiffen the body structure, monotube rear dampers improve cornering response, and shorter and harder springs sharpen the suspension as a whole.
Not exactly rocket science, but it’s “scientific” enough to make the S60 more nimble and enjoyable – even though said enjoyment is not quite on the same level as the accomplished Audi S4. Then again, the Volvo costs almost $40k less, yet it “looks” equally expensive.
The racy R-Design bodykit, “alloy” mirror housings and gunmetal 18-inch wheels make the swoopy Volvo S60 even more striking, while the cockpit has been jazzed up with “action” accoutrements – a sportier steering wheel, blue-faced gauges (perhaps inspired by those in the S60R), genuine aluminium trim, a gear knob wrapped in perforated leather, and sports pedals.
There are still no shift paddles to play with, however. The seats are clad in unusual upholstery (a mix of leather, fabric and a special textile called Flextech), but do not have bigger bolsters than the standard seats, which are already some of the industry’s best in terms of comfort and support.
Supporting the driver in other ways is an array of active safety devices, headlined by Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection. These will keep the exec smiling in his Volvo “Type R”.
Volvo S60 T6 3.0 (A)
ENGINE 2953cc, 24-valves, inline-6, turbocharged
MAX POWER 304bhp at 5600rpm
MAX TORQUE 440Nm at 2100-4200rpm
GEARBOX 6-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 6.5 seconds
TOP SPEED 250km/h
PRICE INCL. COE $249,000
Check out the Volvo S60