Eurotuner
Newsletter

2012 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design - First Drive

We take to the track in the most powerful Volvo ever produced.

As a kid I remember rolling around in the wide back seat of my mum’s Volvo 164 as she made the ten-mile trek to school in 10 minutes every day. It was a barge but had a surprising turn of speed.

The car was bought for its dependability and safety, just as all older Volvos were. It was eventually totaled after finding a farm tractor across a country lane. And while shaken up, the occupants emerged from the head-on collision unscathed.

Yet ever since we started taking Volvo’s safety record for granted, the Swedes have been determined to also entice us with performance. All-time greats like the Volvo 850 T5R made people look at the Scandinavians in a different light, especially when the wagon variant lined up on the British Touring Car grid.

Every subsequent performance model has been leading up to this: the new S60 R-Design. With 325hp from its 3.0L straight-six turbo motor, it’s the most powerful Volvo ever: with more grunt than a BMW 335i. And it hits 0-60mph in 5.5sec!

In the past, R-Design involved cosmetic upgrades only, but this North American car is different. Unlike other markets, this R-Design has new ECU software from Polestar, the company runs Volvo’s European racing activities. They added 20% more boost over a regular S60 T6 AWD, giving the R-Design 1-bar of pressure, recalibrating the fuel and ignition to suit. However, official economy figures remain the same at 18/26mpg. It also gets larger twin 3.5" exhaust tips on a sportier muffler.

To visually differentiate the R-D, it gets new front and rear spoilers, a rear diffuser, black grille plus active Xenon lights as standard. The chassis sits 15mm lower and is 15% stiffer thanks to new springs. It also gets monotube rear dampers for faster response as well as stiffer rear bushes, a larger front sway bar and strut brace. Add its 18x8" Ixion wheels with 235/40 Conti CSC3 tires and it has the ingredients for a corner carver.

Inside you get sports seats with additional bolsters, textured panels, logos and stitching as well as new trim, blue instruments, a sportier steering wheel and shift knob. You also get City Safety as standard for low-speed accident avoidance, which IIHS found to reduce collisions by 30%.

These ingredients are what a tuner would typically add to their own car. As such, Volvo has created an impressive package, but how does it drive?

Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!
0 comments
eurotuner