Apparently no one wants to share the spotlight during the Paris Auto Show because many automakers have decided to spill the beans about the vehicles they will be debuting just a week before the actual event. Volvo is no different as they have just revealed details on an R-Design package for both their S60 and V60 models. Both models will go on sale in the autumn of 2010, with the US market only getting the S60 R-Design.
The R-Design models will be distinguished by a redesigned front with a grille painted in glossy piano black, color-matched body components, details in matte special finish, and a hexagonal pattern that is repeated both front and rear. The sedan will also get twin exhaust tailpipes and unique five-spoke 18-inch Diamond cut wheels. Both models will be painted in Passion Red. The interior will get sports seats, special leather/textile upholstery, special steering wheel, gear selector, sports pedals, and floor-mats.
As for the technical details, the R-Design models will get a strut brace under the bonnet, monotube dampers, the shortened (by 15mm) front and rear springs, and a new Corner Traction Control system.
Under the hood Volvo will place a range of petrol and diesel engines, starting with an economical DRIVe version producing 115 HP and going up to a high-performance turbo version with 304 HP.
Press release after the jump.
Following in the tracks of the all-new Volvo S60 and V60, Volvo Cars’ chassis experts are now taking the next step on the road to car enthusiast paradise.
The result is the Volvo S60 and V60 R-Design - even sportier, even more dynamic and even more exciting.
"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. He adds:
"The driving experience should be so connected and compact that it feels as though the car has been milled out of a single block of aluminium."
After developing the all-new S60 and V60, which are Volvo Cars’ most dynamic models ever, the chassis team focused on further refining a number of details.
"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." relates Stefan Sällqvist.
Strut brace gives more direct steering feel
The chassis team fitted what is known as a strut brace under the bonnet, that is to say a bar that ties together the suspension strut towers. This is a classic method of stiffening up the body structure. "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 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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.
The new Corner Traction Control system 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 DSTC anti-spin system.
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 understeering tendency.
The DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) 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 very 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. 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.
Wide range of engines, with new petrol and diesel engines
R-Design can be combined with a range of petrol and diesel engines, from an economical DRIVe version producing 115 horsepower to a high-performance turbo version with 304 horsepower. All the engines have been designed to meet high expectations on driving pleasure combined with competitive fuel consumption.
The all-new Volvo S60 and V60 R-Design will be introduced in autumn 2010. Their biggest markets are Great Britain, the USA (only the S60 R-Design) and Central Europe. "R-Design has already helped increase our sales and lower the age of our customer base. We believe that the all-new S60 and V60 R-Design will give this trend a substantial boost," comments Magnus Jonsson.