2011 Volvo S60 R-Design
2011 Volvo S60 R-Design – Click above for high-res image galery

Volvo has been so kind as to give us an inkling of what to expect from the company when it arrives at this year's Paris Motor Show. The Swedish carmaker will display new R-Design versions of both the S60 sedan and the V60 wagon. According to the press release, both cars will receive the usual go-fast treatment, starting with a few aesthetic changes outside. The R-Design cars will wear a more aggressive fascia up front, unique 18-inch alloys, revised sports seats inside and a few suspension tweaks to help everything stay planted through the twisties.

That means firmer bushings all the way around, a strut-tower brace up front and lower, stiffer coils on all four corners. The icing on the cake is a new corner traction control system that uses a torque-vectoring system to make for smoother cornering, a compelling feature that we just tested on the plain-jane S60 T6 all-wheel drive. Don't look for any extra horsepower under the hood, though. Volvo has left the usual array of engines completely untouched. Both the R-Design S60 and V60 will debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show next month. Hit the jump for the full press release.


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[Source: Volvo]


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THE NEW VOLVO S60 AND V60 R-DESIGN - THE MOST DYNAMIC VOLVO JUST GOT MORE DYNAMIC

Volvo Car UK has announced the launch of the all-new S60 and V60 R-Design models - created to deliver a dynamic driving experience in a coupé-style saloon or versatile Sportswagon. Featuring a specially developed chassis, the new R-Design models ensure that the driving experience matches the car's sporting appearance.

With R-Design models accounting for up to 60 per cent of some model lines, and 25 per cent overall, the UK is expected to be one of the largest markets for Volvo's new S60 and V60 R-Design models and they are set to appeal to those British buyers who appreciate the sporting driving characteristics and enhanced styling offered.

Wide range of engines, with new petrol and diesel engines

R-Design is available across the S60 and V60 range - not just the higher-spec variants. Customers can opt for an economical, efficient 2.0-litre D3 all the way through to the high-performance T6, with all cars benefiting from the sportier looks of the R-Design variant. In total, customers can choose from a total of four petrol and two diesel units, with all engines designed to meet high expectations of driving pleasure combined with competitive fuel consumption.

Sports seat with new seat cushion

On the inside, the driver and front passenger sit in sports seats in which the backrest from the S60 and V60 is matched by an all-new seat cushion with even closer side support than before.

Redesigned nose

The all-new Volvo S60 and V60 R-Design come with a range of specially-developed design details both outside and in.

On the outside, the cars have an imposing redesigned front valance while a distinctive diffuser houses twin exhaust tailpipes. To finish, unique five-spoke 18-inch Diamond cut wheels emphasise the sporty overall appeal.

The special leather/textile upholstery is available trimmed in off-black and ceramic light, or in an all-black variant, both with contrasting stitching. The interior also features an R-Design steering wheel, gear selector, sports pedals and floor-mats.

Strut brace gives more direct steering feel

The chassis team has fitted a strut brace under the bonnet to stiffen up the body structure and at the rear, the S60 and V60 R-Design feature monotube dampers. Unlike the twin-tube dampers previously used, the monotube system features compression and return damping via the same valve. This gives shorter, faster fluid flow, which in turn means the damper responds more quickly.

"This higher operating speed takes care of the initial roll tendency which can be felt just as you turn the steering-wheel. It's an effective way to improve the response and the connected feel," says Stefan Sällqvist, manager of vehicle dynamics at Volvo Cars.


Shorter, stiffer springs
The front and rear springs have been shortened by 15 mm and spring stiffness is 15 per cent higher compared to the standard-fit dynamic chassis in the S60 and V60.

"This makes the car easier to control and reduces any tendency to lurch. This is an area that requires true fingertip sensitivity in order to find the right blend of dynamics and comfort. If you go too far the car feels bumpy even on smooth surfaces. We've invested a lot of time and effort in finding the ideal balance," confirmed Sällqvist.