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2011 Volvo V60 and S60 R-Design – Click above for high-res image gallery

We recently drove the 2011 Volvo S60 in the wilds of Oregon and came away rather impressed with both its performance and in-person aesthetics. That said, we generally don't begrudge a bit more visual aggression, and to that end, Volvo has obliged with a pair of new R-Design models here at the Paris Motor Show that includes the S60 sedan and its not-for-North-America V60, a wagon so attractive that we couldn't help but lead off our live coverage with it.

In either case, the well-integrated R-Design package consists of a distinct front fascia, rear bumper cutout with diffuser and bespoke 18-inch alloys in a fetching smoked finish. While there isn't any more power under the hood, the 300-horsepower 3.0-liter inline turbo six should fit the bill rather nicely, especially with its generous 325 pound-feet of torque. No word on any shift-map changes for the six-speed automatic gearbox, but what we'd really like to see for this sportier S60 is a set of paddle shifters.

That aside, R-Design models ought to handle a bit better than their more common brethren, as they hug the ground a bit more closely thanks to shorter, stiffer coils and monotube shocks. The rest of the suspension gets beefed up, too, with firmer bushings and a front strut-tower brace. Check out our from-the-floor images below and the official press release after the jump.

  • 2011 Volvo S60 R-Design
  • 2011 Volvo S60 R-Design
  • 2011 Volvo S60 R-Design

Live photos copyright ©2010 Chris Paukert / AOL

[Source: Volvo]
Show full PR text

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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Isn't anybody EVER going to tell Volvo their tailights are UGLY? Plz, someone give them a hint.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think their taillight design is one of the most original and stylish on the market. That fact that some dislike it means their designers are doing a good job.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thats funny, I like thier new taillight designs. Nice to see someone trying something different instead of copying BMW or Lexus.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The side image of the sedan version looks like its breaking really hard. a bit too much I think ...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I scoff at your flappy-paddle shifters and raise you a real manual transmission with a clutch pedal.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now THAT is how you do a wagon roofline! Bravo!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd take a V60 R design in a heartbeat if it came here. 300 hp AWD wagon, yes please.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think the styling is going in the right direction, especially for the sport wagon, although I occasionally think that they should've used the thinner LED 'waterfall' brake light design found on the XC60 for the V60.

      Just hope they tone it down a little for the next-gen S80.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If Volvo can't market a wagon in the US, then the US market for wagons really is dead. Shame, since this is a very cool-looking update of the Volvo design language.

      I do wonder, though, about rear visibility and cargo space under that tapered fanny.
        • 4 Years Ago
        V60 AWD T6 al the way!

        Bring it to Canada first to test the N.A. market! ;-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not sure I'd call anything on the "R" models "bespoke" (though I do think it's funny that a description of a sport wheel inadvertently mentions "-spoke").

      "Bespoke" has it's origins in Savile Row tailoring shops, in which a particular fabric and pattern "has been spoken for" by a client and is his, and only his. That is, it's customized to the customer, not to be sold to anybody else; That, in fact, would be a major breach.

      Another way of looking at it is as a "one-off". Even the various individual programs at luxury brands have a certain amount of repeatability built into them for the sake of ease & economy of scale. It's true that you could order a truly "bespoke COMBINATION" but once it's been built, there's no limitation to it ever being built again. So, again, not "bespoke".

      Coachbuilders are as close as you get to truly "bespoke", with the Glickenhaus Ferrari truly "bespoke". Likewise, the Sultan of Brunei is a client of "bespoke" coachbuilt cars.

      Why the fuss? Because, as someone in the industry who has given presentations on Luxury products and has provided clear, history-based definitions of the various levels of mass-production, personalization & customization, so my company can make valid decisions, "bespoke" becomes a polluted and/or diluted term when it's co-opted to mean "different" (but not exclusively "one-off"). I've already changed one presentation to include the misapplication of the term by media such as AB as a sign that there's high interest in and association of "personalization/customization" (which are mutually exclusive, by the way), but also a high level of ignorance of what it means... and cast the use of the term "bespoke" out of the presentation because it, so misapplied, now means virtually nothing. It's now just "marketing-speak" for something it never was before.
        • 4 Years Ago

        I appreciate your precision. By the way,

        it's = it is, or it has.

        it's is not the possessive form of it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks... It's something I've long struggled with and, especially when I don't edit myself (I don't have an on-staff editor), it's something that slips through... I hope you understand. Ultimately, I hope the meaning doesn't get lost.

        Thanks again.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Up-ratings all around: summazooma for his precision with regard to language, something that's far too rare, as well as his gracious reception of correction from Dave, and Dave for delivering said correction in collegial rather than adversarial fashion.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks... Have to say, I've stopped following some sites that, otherwise, had some value to me professionally, because they ended up being really uncivil.

        I know I post critiques of fact-checking gone wrong but, ultimately, I think AutoBlog is a very well-done site. I've been lucky enough to interact professionally with some of the writers here, though they don't and never will know me as summazooma (I'm careful not to post something that identifies me for just that reason). The bottom line is that the guys with whom I've interacted (i.e. Abuelsamid) are sharp. I don't want to come off as a jerk but feel that something has to be posted so AB continues to occupy a high-value position & continues to improve as a professionally-done site.

        BTW: After my post to Dave, I was afraid it might have come off as sarcastic. Glad to see it didn't.

        Thanks again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      THIS thing should be the poster child of the new S60/V60, not that awful brown/orange thing that's been floating around.

      The V60 R-Design looks fantastic!

      (Context: I own an '05 S60R)
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