2011 Volvo V60 R-Design
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.


Related Gallery2011 Volvo S60 and V60 R-Design

Related Gallery2011 Volvo S60 R-Design

Live photos copyright ©2010 Chris Paukert / AOL

[Source: Volvo]
Show full PR text
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.