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R treatment for Volvo S60 and V60 (copyright image) (copyright image)

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29th September, 2010

The all-new Volvo S60 and V60 R-Design - designed with a sporty-car feel and featuring a specially developed chassis to ensure the driving experience matches the imposing appearance of both models.

Volvo Cars' chassis experts have taken a step towards the road to a exciting and rewarding driving experience. "In the R-Design chassis we've sharpened the steering, the agility and the solid overall impression still further compared with the dynamic chassis in the all-new S60 and V60," says Stefan Sällqvist, manager of vehicle dynamics at Volvo Cars.

Redesigned front

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

The exteriors have been re-designed where subtle features combine to present an imposing stance. Glossy, piano black grille, colour-coded body components, matt black details and a hexagonal pattern front and rear combine with distinctive twin exhaust pipes and bespoke 18-inch diamond cut alloys to emphasise the overall sporty appearance.

The introductory colour is Passion Red (as seen in the accompanying images) but the Volvo S60 and V60 R-design will also available in choice of another seven colours.

Sports seat with new seat cushion

All-new sports seat cushions for front seat passengers will offer more side support than in previous R-Design models.

"The seat cushion shapes itself to the occupant's body but is nonetheless firm, thanks to a combination of two layers each with a different degree of hardness. As a result, drivers of different sizes all enjoy the same excellent side support," explains Magnus Jonsson.

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

Chassis development

Following in the tracks of the all-new Volvo S60 and V60, Volvo Cars' chassis experts have taken to next step to deliver an exciting product that is enjoyable to drive. The result is the Volvo S60 and V60 R-Design - sportier, more dynamic and more focussed than ever before.

"Refining a chassis is a bit like being an athlete looking to break new records. Once you're beaten one record, you're immediately focused on the next. In the R-Design chassis we've sharpened the steering, the agility and the solid overall impression still further compared with the dynamic chassis in the all-new S60 and V60," says Stefan Sällqvist, manager of vehicle dynamics at Volvo Cars.

"The challenge was to boost the dynamics without making the chassis feel raw. If the chassis is too firm, even smooth tarmac can feel bumpy. We wanted a distinct yet plush feel," he added.

Strut brace gives more direct steering feel

To stiffen the body structure the chassis team fitted a strut brace under the bonnet. "The car now has a more solid feel to it, which in turn helps make the steering feel even more responsive with a distinctive contact with the road," explains Stefan Sällqvist.

Monotube damping at the rear

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.

Shorter, stiffer springs

The front and rear springs have been shortened by 15 mm to give the car more attitude. What is more, spring stiffness is 15 per cent higher compared to the 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 whole lot of time and effort in finding the ideal balance," says Stefan Sällqvist.

Even firmer bushings

The bushings with which the rear dampers are attached to the body are 20 per cent stiffer compared with the dynamic chassis in the S60 and V60.

The front tie-blade bushing, that is to say the attachment in the rear of the car, is a massive 400 per cent stiffer than before to counteract wheel bouncing and shaking.

"The stiffer the bushing, the less oscillation and roll. Movements are more controlled. This is clearly noticeable inside the car," says Stefan Sällqvist.

Corner Traction Control provides even smoother progress in curves

Just like in the standard versions, the chassis in the S60 and V60 R-Design is backed up by a range of electronic systems that sharpen the sporty driving experience still further.

Corner Traction Control is a new feature that uses torque vectoring to make for smoother cornering. The technology is a further refinement of the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) anti-spin system.

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When taking a curve, the car's inner wheel is braked so more power is transferred to the outer wheel. This gives the driver a tighter line in the curve, with reduced understeer.

The DSTC system has several functions that improve driving and safety properties, such as Advanced Stability Control. With a new gyroscopic roll-angle sensor it is possible to identify any skidding tendency at a early stage. This means that the anti-spin system can deploy faster and with greater precision.

Advanced Stability Control provides a huge improvement in driving properties and in emergency avoidance manoeuvres during dynamic driving involving considerable lateral forces.

Engine Drag Control is another function of DSTC and it prevents the wheels from losing their grip during engine braking on a slippery surface.

The DSTC system also has a sports setting that makes it possible for the driver to drive more actively. By disabling the anti-spin function, the car allows more pronounced oversteer.

Younger target audience

"The all-new S60 and V60 mark the beginning of a new approach to our successful R-Design. We've gone one step further this time, with our sights set on creating a cohesive whole, an integrated blend of sporty looks and an exciting drive. They take our quest for authentic sportiness another step forward," says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President Product Development at Volvo Cars.

"These cars have been specially developed for buyers who want to put their very own stamp on their car. And with R-Design, we are attracting a younger target group. We expect that 10 per cent of all S60 and V60 customers will choose the R-Design option on markets where it is available. We aim to win over one-third of these customers from competing brands," says Magnus Jonsson.

Australian Availability

The Volvo S60 and V60 R-Design models will be launched in Australia in the first half of 2011. Pricing and specification will be announced closer to that time.


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