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Volvo S60R

Broadcast dates : 4th December 2005
10th December 2005


Volvo’s design studio says it used a different approach with the S60R. The intention was to make a bolder statement than usual with the up-rated model, and this was the reason for the substantially re-designed nose.

Volvo being Volvo, however, the S60R is still no bling-baby with wild striping and massive air ducts.

In fact to recognize an S60R you really have to know the standard S60 well, and have good eyesight to pick up those subtle "R" badges.

The most obvious signs are the neat alloy R-specific wheels and low-profile tyres.

As for the engine, the R badging conceals a thorough re-working that not only includes new turbo plumbing, but reinforced internals such as pistons, conrods and a deeper, re-baffled oil sump.

Inside, the cabin gets quite an extensive makeover to go with the power boost, but again, it’s hardly in-your-face stuff.

The sports seats feature extra side-bolstering, there are brushed aluminum panels and blue-backed sports dials to go with the luxurious, but no-nonsense Scandinavian living area.

First Class Comfort is still king, but there are some interesting R-specific buttons that hint at serious performance.
The stability control levels are adjustable according to normal, comfort and sports settings, and this also adjusts the four-wheel-drive torque split at the same time.

What Clint is referring to is that, even when the traction control is fully dialed out, there’s still too much torque transmitted to the front wheels.

The four-wheel-drive system doesn’t transmit enough power to the rear wheels and so the safe option – understeer, is still a fact of life on the S60R.

Nevertheless Clint feels the Volvo is a competent handler.

The Volvo S60R remains an exercise in slightly blurred identity. Some years ago, Volvo had a sportier identity with a racing estate car programme and more overtly sporty large turbo models.

This is a quick motorcar, with a claimed 0 - 100 in under six seconds. But it has none of the crispness you get in a hot BMW, or the muscular extroversion of a V8 Merc.

Volvo S60R Six-speed manual
  • Engine: Five-cylinder petrol 2 521 cc
  • Power: 220 kW @ 5 500 rpm
  • Torque: 400 Nm @ 1 950 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, four-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 6,1 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 255 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 12,0 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R420 000

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