Volvo's "Ultimate Expression" of the S60 lands at 2011 North American International Auto Show
Detroit, Mich. (January 10, 2011) - The Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design arrives in Detroit as the ultimate expression of the S60 sport sedan. On display at the North American International Auto Show January 10 - 23, 2011, the S60 R-Design is set to arrive in Volvo retailers during the second quarter of 2011.
The S60 R-Design follows closely on the heels of the launch of the S60 T6 AWD sport sedan that arrived in Volvo retailers in late September, 2010. The S60 R-Design takes the already sporty character of the S60 to the next level in terms of handling performance. Final pricing has not yet been announced. VCNA plans to announce pricing closer to the vehicle's availability at Volvo retailers.
"It would be nice to simply rest on our laurels after the launch of the S60 T6," said Doug Speck, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, LLC. "The S60 R-Design, however, pushes the performance envelope and is a car that demands to be recognized. It's going to cause more than a few headaches for the competition."
After developing the all-new S60, which is Volvo Cars' most dynamic model 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," says Stefan Sallqvist, manager of vehicle dynamics at Volvo Cars. Taking the S60 R-Design to the next level required a critical dissection of the already capable chassis and the addition of a number of performance enhancing sub-systems.
The chassis team fitted a strut brace under the hood that ties together the suspension strut towers. This is a classic method of stiffening up the body structure and to improve steering response. At the rear, the S60 R-Design features monotube dampers. Unlike the twin-tube dampers used in the S60 T6, 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.
The front and rear springs have been shortened by 15 mm to give the car more visual attitude. What is more, spring stiffness is 15 percent higher compared to the dynamic chassis in the S60 T6. The bushings with which the rear dampers are attached to the body are 20 percent stiffer compared with the Dynamic chassis found in the standard S60 T6. 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.
Ride control and confidence inspiring handling are nothing without the appropriate muscle and the S60 R-Design won't disappoint. The turbocharged T6, displacing 3.0-liters, is the most powerful six-cylinder engine currently offered by Volvo. It now puts out 300 horsepower and a stout 325 lb.-ft. of torque. Maximum torque is achieved from just 2,100 rpm and remains available throughout the rev range. Power is transmitted to the wheels via Volvo's second-generation six-speed automatic Geartronic transmission. New valves and lower friction mean faster gear changes than before. Similar to the S60 T6, the S60 R-Design will be offered standard with Volvo's electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system and Corner Traction Control with torque vectoring.
Corner Traction Control uses torque vectoring for smoother cornering. This technology is a further refinement of the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC). When cornering, the car's inner driven wheel is braked while at the same time more power is transmitted to the outer driven wheel. This allows the driver to take the corner more tightly while reducing any tendency to understeer.
Helping to set the S60 R-Design apart from the S60 are a number of visual design cues. On the outside the cars have an imposing redesigned front clip with a grille painted in glossy piano black. The sporty stance is further enhanced with color-matched body components, details in matte finish and a hexagonal pattern that is repeated both front and rear. Distinctive twin exhaust tailpipes and unique five-spoke 18-inch diamond cut wheels emphasize the sporty overall appeal. The introductory color is Passion Red but the Volvo S60 R-Design is also available in choice of another four colors.
Inside, a number of new features help to further differentiate the S60 R-Design. The driver and front passenger sit in sports seats in which the highly supportive backrest from the S60 is matched by an all-new seat cushion with deeper side bolsters. The standard upholstery will be offered in off-black leather with an embossed R-Design logo across the front-seat backrests. Special leather/textile upholstery with contrasting stitching will also be available. The interior also features a special steering wheel, gear selector, sports pedals and floor-mats. The S60 R-Design is much more than a mere appearance package.
On the safety front, the S60 R-Design is available with Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake. This driver assistance system consists of a newly developed radar unit integrated into the S60's grille, a camera fitted in front of the inside rearview mirror and a central control unit. The radar's task is to detect any object in front of the car and to determine the distance to it while the camera determines what type of object it is. The system helps to avoid hitting a pedestrian at up to 22 mph. At higher speeds, the system helps to mitigate the severity of the impact.
The function is also programmed to respond to vehicles in front that are at a standstill or are moving in the same direction as the car fitted with the system. Thanks to the newly developed dual-mode radar's much wider field of vision, pedestrians about to step into the roadway can also be detected early on. The camera has higher resolution than the previous-generation unit. This makes it possible to detect the pedestrian's pattern of movement.
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (www.volvocars.com/us) is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Corporation of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCNA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, and oversees Volvo operations in Canada.
James Hope or Daniel Johnston
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC