?Volvo?s S60 ? all new last year, offers three performance levels for 2012?
Yountville, CA – ?Volvo just introduced the S60 T6 R-Design for 2012 ? the latest of three performance levels for the venerable S60, which begs to be ?rode hard and put away wet?. The T6 R-Design AWD delivers more horsepower along with an increase in torque. It sits lower and sports a firmed up suspension for enhanced driving dynamics.
The three S60 levels for 2012 include: a T5 model powered by a 2.5-liter, DOHC, 20-valve, turbocharged, intercooled inline five-cylinder that generates 250 horses and 266 pound feet of torque; next up is a 3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve, turbocharged with intercooler inline six cylinder that makes 300 horsepower while generating 325 pound feet of torque; and finally, the cream of the Swedish crop, a tweaked 3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve, turbocharged/intercooled inline six-banger that pumps out an impressive 325 horsepower at 5,400 rpm while producing 354 pound feet of torque in a range from 3,000 to 3,600 rpm. The heightened power level of the R-Design S60 comes from performance tuning of the Engine Control Module (ECM) provided by Polestar, the Swedish racing and performance products company partnered with Volvo.
Engines for all models are transversely mounted forward and drive the front wheels in the case of the T5, or all four wheels of both the T6 AWD and T6 AWD R-Design. The AWD models feature Volvo?s Instant Traction, and all models gear power to the driven wheels through Volvo?s second-generation six-speed automatic transmission with ?Geartronic?, driver adaptive mapping and Sport Mode. All share the same gear ratios except for the final drive ratio, which is 3.20:1 (the AWD models have a final drive ratio of 3.33:1). Shifting may be done manually as well as automatically.
With the R-Design?s engine enhancements having been addressed, the chassis team was assigned to further refine both the car?s ride and handling characteristics. The goal was to bolster the dynamics without dramatically affecting the comfort level. An under the bonnet strut brace was fitted between the suspension strut towers for added stiffness and improved steering response. The R-Design features rear monotube dampers as opposed to the twin-tube variety utilized in the regular T6 S60. The monotube shocks feature compression and return damping through a singular valve, delivering shorter, faster fluid flow, which translates into quicker response. Both the front and rear springs were?shortened by 15 mm along with stiffening them an additional 15 percent. The front tie-blade bushing is a whopping 400 percent stiffer than that of the base S60, which aids in counteracting wheel bounce and shake.
Moving on to the R-Design T6 AWD S60?s visual appeal, it is set apart from the?vanilla S60 by a number of styling cues. The exterior displays an imposing redesigned lower front fascia featuring a grille painted in glossy piano black.? The sporty stance of the car is further enhanced by color-matched body components, matte finish details and a hexagonal pattern repeated both fore and aft.? Distinctive, 90mm twin exhaust tailpipes are incorporated within a sporty rear exhaust baffle, and Unique R-Design five-spoke 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels emphasize the car?s overall sporty stance and purpose.? An exclusive color for the R-Design is Passion Red but it will be available in four other colors as well. The S60 R-Design sports a rear trunk spoiler and standard active dual Xenon headlights, issuing a further statement of its performance intent.
There are also several new enhancements to the interior to further differentiate the R-Design from the regular T6 ? sport seats envelop both the driver and front passenger, with highly supportive backrests and an all-new seat cushion with deeper side bolsters.
U.S. automotive journalists were afforded the opportunity to put the new R-Design S60 through its paces by piloting it from Yountville, CA to Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, CA, then spending time lapping the challenging three-mile road course at speed without intervention, and returning to Yountville?s beautiful Bardessono Resort.
All the test vehicles sported the exclusive Passion Red exterior finish and Black interior, and all were equipped identically. The base price was set at $42,500 and all were equipped with the same option packages: the $800 Climate Package, with heated front seats, heated windshield washer nozzles, Rainsensor windshield wipers, headlight washers and Interior Air Quality System (IAQS); and the $2,700 Multimedia Package with Volvo?s Premium Sound System, Dolby Pro-Logic II ? Surround Sound, 650-watt amplifier, 12 premium speakers, MultiEQ XT Volvo Navigation System with Real Time Traffic, DVD map data and remote control Map C with two complimentary navigation updates and Rear Park Assist Camera. All S60 T6 AWD R-Design models are fitted with the Premium Package?and Dynamic Package as standard fare (a $1,500 value) which includes: a power glass moonroof, power passenger seat, active dual xenon headlamps, 18-inch summer tires mounted on ?Sleipner? 5-spoke alloy wheels, and the Dynamic Chassis with speed-sensitive steering and driver-selectable settings.
There are several stand-alone options available, as well as a $2,100 Technology Package which comes with: Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, Pedestrian Detection also with Full Auto Brake, Distance Alert, Driver Alert Control and Lane Departure Warning.
SUMMARY: The 2012 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design is artfully elegant and a pleasure to behold with its smooth flowing lines ? no more Uncle Olaf?s 3-box school of styling thank you. It is also a pleasure to drive ? or to simply ride in for that matter. It is exceptionally well balanced and extremely stable and planted in virtually every driving scenario.
There?s plenty of horsepower and torque instantly on call ? more than enough to please the avid enthusiast. The transmission operates smoothly and efficiently, whether set in automatic mode or shifting manually ? it features a kick-down that many manu-matics don?t offer. It is a true sports sedan, at home in both urban and suburban settings, no to mention on a racetrack road course.
?The handling characteristics are indeed sporty with on-center feel and positive input and the ride quality is firm but never offensively harsh. Throttle steer is highly effective in more spirited situations. I entered one decreasing radius turn a little too hot, initiating a four-wheel drift, but my trusty S60 R-Design pulled me instantly back on course simply by lifting on the throttle.
Factor in Volvo?s industry-leading Safe + Secure Warranty program and owning the new S60 T6 AWD R-Design becomes infinitely more attractive. Safe + Secure is a complimentary program that wraps a comprehensive list of benefits into one package, where?Volvo combines additional time and mileage limits on warranty repairs and roadside assistance coverage, and increases wear-item and factory scheduled maintenance coverage. Specifically, it provides: 5 years/50,000 miles of New Car Warranty; 5 years/50,000 miles of Complimentary Factory Scheduled Maintenance; 5 years/50,000 miles of Wear and Tear Coverage; and finally, 5 years/Unlimited miles of Volvo On Call Roadside Assistance.
A hearty Aquavit toast is order to this latest S60 R-Design from the Swedish fatherland, but only after the driving is over.