While it’s probably a title that Volvo doesn’t want to get rid of, the car brand known for being one of the safest in the world is taking a step in a new direction with a pretty good aesthetic and performance upgrade for the S60.
Under its performance line, R-Design, the Swedish automaker gave their resident sedan a welcome change on both its looks and engine output. Together with the XC60 R-Design, the S60 R-Design made its debut at the New York Auto Show and is set to go on sale later this summer.
"The jump in performance will re-define these two R-Design models," said Doug Speck, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America.
"Along with styling and suspension features that set them apart from other versions, our two newest R-Design models will have a higher ’fun-to-drive’ quotient. I see that as a positive thing, and so will car buyers."
You don’t need to convince us that the S60 R-Design just became a more interesting flagship sedan. How that translates to sales will be another matter, but the early returns are looking very promising.
Details on the Volvo S60 R-Design after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
While it might be a little difficult for some to differentiate the S60 R-Design from a standard S60, Volvo did its part by tweaking the former’s design elements to make it stand out from its traditional counterpart. Among the changes done include an exclusive Passion Red exterior finish and a redesigned lower front fascia with the grille painted in a glossy piano black finish. Enhancing the car even further are color-matched body components, details in matte finish, and a hexagonal detail pattern on both the front and rear of the car. The car’s exhaust has also been modified thanks to 90mm twin exhaust tailpipes and the final detail comes in a set of 18" five-spoke diamond cut wheels to nail home the sportiness with which the car is being pegged.
Inside the car, the differentiation between the S60 and the S60 R-Design continues with new sport seats for both front seats, each coming with its own supportive backrest and new seat cushions with deeper side bolsters. The seats also come with an upholstery offered in off-black leather with contrasting stitching and a sport-oriented textured leather accent with an embossed R-Design logo plastered across the front-seat backrests. The S60 R-Design also comes with a sport steering wheel with the R-Design logo, a gear selector, sports pedals, floor mats, and a blue watch-dial instrument cluster.
The S60 R-Design will be powered by the Volvo T6 turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that will produce 325 horsepower and 354 lb/ft of torque, an upgrade of 25 horsepower and 29 lb/ft of torque from the standard Volvo T6 engine.
Interested in the car? Well, if you have the urge to make the purchase, be prepared to shell out a base price of $42,275.
We love the upgrade on the S60 R-Design. That much we’ll make clear right now. Volvo’s work on the S60 R-Design looks enticing, but what really hits it home is that the performance numbers are right on par with what an Audi S4 is capable. It’s an interesting comparison, one that puts a Swedish brand known for being a ’safe’ car - for better or worse - going up against a German brand that has ’performance’ written all over it. Surprisingly, Volvo did enough of an engine upgrade on the S60 R-Design to make it competitive against the standard-bearing S4 and its 3.0T V6 FSI direct injection engine with 333 horsepower and 325 lb/ft of torque.
In terms of design, we love the upgrades done on the S60 R-Design. Dare we say, we actually like it more than the Audi S4. Yes, we said it.
- Cheaper alternative to competition
- Engine upgrade is a welcome addition
- Volvo’s designs - including the S60 - are much, much improved
- Engine upgrade could be more powerful
- If money isn’t a problem, you have more options to choose from
- Would’ve loved to see more touches done on the interior