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Swedespeed has asked the question that anyone who follows Volvo is thinking: Will R cars return? After a tumultuous last couple of years that saw the Swedish brand suffer falling sales amidst parent company Ford's effort to sell the brand to the highest bidder (it's looking like Chinese automaker Geely at the moment), Volvo has gotten as far away from producing performance automobiles as a brand can. All the while, its competition from Germany, Japan and the U.S. have augmented their luxury lines with mid-level or super high-performance cars like the BMW 335i/M3, Audi S4/RS4 and Cadillac CTS-V. Volvo, meanwhile, put all its egg into a basket that touted refined design and safety. Unfortunately, every player in these segments has upped the ante with their designs and superior safety is no longer an island on which Volvo finds itself alone.

So back to the R cars. Volvo had some success with the 850R in the mid-Nineties, which was a mildly hotter version than the standard box sedan on which it was based. After that, the P2-gen S60R and V70R were downright scorchers with a complex Haldex all-wheel-drive system, 300-hp motor, adjustable 4C suspension and Brembo brakes. But then the R cars disappeared and were replaced by "R Design" packages that offered all of the visual potential for high performance but little else.

Swedespeed decided that proper R cars should return with the arrival of the all-new S60, and rather than being blow-the-doors-off quick, should offer mid-level performance like the original 850R did. What you see above is their rendered speculation of a reborn S60R. Click here to read more about it and catch an extra view. We think they're spot on and would love to see Volvo return to building R cars that make us think of more than safety and design when we're behind the wheel.

[Source: Swedespeed]


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  • 28 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Volvo "R" has a lot of catchup work if they want to play with Audi / BMW / Caddy...

      I can't see them doing it and retaining their "safety" brand image.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I totally agree. They are at this point too family-friendly to go this route.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the practical family wagon image actually helps when they do an R model because its so ironic. Back in the 90s when they did the 850R wagon it was like jekyll and hyde, most 850s were soccer mobiles but the few bright yellow Rs were total sleepers and absolute beasts. I'd love to see a return of the R, won't be as good as an M3 or an S4 but but it will be just as awesome purely because its practical and boring Volvo getting crazy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Of course, that was supposed to be the GS' job...

        Still, at least Lexus is trying.

        And Lexus has resources and volume that Volvo simply lacks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        that's what they said about Lexus too, and along came the IS-F and LFA....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think it would be a cool model, I am digging the new S60. Lower it, put some nice 18 inch rims that are blacked out, and de-chrome it with the I-5 Turbo motor and AWD, lets go.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The current S60 is so much better looking than the new one.
      scottn941
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford is really not winning friends by auctioning off Volvo to the Commies. This is how Ford does business? They rape Volvo of its designs, safety, engineering, to improve its own cars and then dumps a once-proud Swedish brand into a Communist country.
      • 5 Years Ago
      When Lexus does a sport division you know it's time for your brand to do it .......
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was talking in the context of luxury brands.

        The IS, GS, and SC were never in the league of a performance division such as M, AMG, S/RS, F-Sport, or the like.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't expect to see more Volvo on the road.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As long as Edward Cullen stays away from it, I'm sure it'll be awesome.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is a pretty massive R badge on the fender in this rendering. But I guess all of the Volvo front grill badges are now the size of dinner plates - so it seems on par. Unfortunately.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like how that Volvo looks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd consider another R if Volvo doesn't wind up in the hands of Geely (or another Chinese manufacturer). I absolutely love my current P2 S60R but if they do end up in Chinese hands I'll probably look to Audi (S4/S5), BMW (335xi) or Saab (if they bring out another TurboX) to replace my Volvo. Lexus' and MB's sportier offerings don't come with a manual -- too bad. I just don't have any confidence in the Chinese (yet) when it comes to manufacturing automobiles, and that is especially true of a government owned manufacturer (i.e., Geely).
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love the volvo R... especially wagon R. Its just a nice sleeper that can haul and be fast at the same time... THANK VOLOV IF THEY BRING IT BACK...
      • 5 Years Ago
      The roof profile kind of looks like a MB CLS...
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