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Introducing the 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design

Introducing the 2012 S60 T6 R-Design

  • Volvo's most powerful sedan begs to be driven hard
  • Horsepower increase, torque increase
  • Lower ride height, firmer suspension, improved driving dynamics
  • Unique design inside and out
  • Tremendous value at $42,500*

Ahead of you lie the rolling curves of desire; black and undulating and wicked, it serpentines over the horizon like an anaconda. It's wild and unruly and will take you apart in a heartbeat should you not attack it with the right weapon.



Introducing the 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design.



Based on the same turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 found in the S60 T6 AWD, the S60 R-Design is the perfect tool for those wanting to take driving pleasure to the next level. The S60 R-Design features Volvo's most powerful production engine ever. Generating 325 horsepower at 5,400-6,500 rpm and 354 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000-3,600 rpm, the S60 R-Design will reach 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds and deliver a smile to the driver's face all the way to its 6,500-rpm redline. The S60 R-Design rockets to 60 mph 0.3 seconds faster than the S60 T6 and produces 8 percent more horsepower and 9 percent more torque.



The S60 R-Design gets its mettle through performance tuning to the Engine Control Module (ECM). Provided by Polestar, a Swedish racing and performance products company partnered with Volvo Cars, the tuning optimizes engine output in a variety of ways. More air and fuel are funneled into the combustion chambers and spark timing is advanced, creating the performance gains driving enthusiasts demand. More importantly, the S60 R-Design's estimated fuel economy ratings don't suffer. The S60 R-Design achieves 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, for a combined average of 21 mpg.



Power is transmitted to the wheels via Volvo's second-generation six-speed automatic transmission with Geartronic and Sport mode. This new-generation automatic gearbox quickly fires off gear changes, while Sport mode remaps the transmission's shift points, holding shifts deeper into the torque curve. The driver may also shift gears manually. The S60 R-Design is offered standard with Volvo's electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system with Instant Traction® 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. 


With the R-Design's engine enhancements looked after, the chassis team focused on further refining the car's ride and handling characteristics. "The challenge was to boost the dynamics without making the chassis feel raw," says Stefan Sallqvist, manager of vehicle dynamics. 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 the body structure and improves 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 rear suspension bushings 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 the S60. The increased stiffness helps counteract wheel bouncing and shaking.


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 lower front fascia 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.  Incorporated within a sporty rear exhaust baffle are distinctive, 90mm twin exhaust tailpipes. Unique R-Design five-spoke 18-inch diamond cut wheels emphasize the sporty overall appeal.  The R-Design's exclusive color is Passion Red but it will also be available in four other colors. Additionally, the S60 R-Design features a rear trunk spoiler and standard active dual Xenon headlights.


Inside, a number of new features help to further differentiate the S60 R-Design.  The driver and front passenger are ensconced in sports seats. The highly supportive backrest from the S60 is matched by an all-new seat cushion with deeper side bolsters. The standard upholstery is off-black leather with contrasting stitching and a sport-oriented textured leather accent with an embossed R-Design logo across the front-seat backrests.  The interior also features a sport steering wheel with R-Design logo, gear selector, sports pedals, floor mats and the iconic blue watch-dial instrument cluster.


On the safety front, the S60 R-Design comes standard with City Safety, a low-speed collision avoidance/mitigation system first seen in the XC60 premium crossover. City Safety is active at speeds of up to 19 mph. If the vehicle in front brakes suddenly and City Safety determines that a collision is likely, the brakes are pre-charged. If the driver fails to respond, the car applies the brakes automatically. If the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is less than 9 mph then City Safety may help the driver to entirely avoid the collision. Between 9 and 19 mph the focus is on reducing speed as much as possible prior to the impact. 


Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake is available as part of the optional Technology Package.  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.  Up to 22 mph, the system helps the car avoid hitting a pedestrian.  At higher speeds, the system helps mitigate the severity of an 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.


Like every Volvo, the S60 R-Design is covered under Volvo's industry leading Safe+Secure warranty program. A complimentary program, Safe + Secure wraps a comprehensive list of benefits into one package.  Volvo has combined additional time and mileage limits on warranty repairs and roadside assistance coverage, and has increased wear-item and factory scheduled maintenance coverage. Specifically, it provides:


  • 5 years/50,000 miles of New Car Warranty
  • 5 years/50,000 miles of Complimentary Factory Scheduled Maintenance
  • 5 years/50,000 miles of Wear and Tear Coverage
  • 5 years/Unlimited miles of Volvo On Call Roadside Assistance



Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, ( 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. For more information please refer to the VCNA media website at:, and follow Volvo's blog at:



* Price does not include destination charges of $875.



James Hope

Product Communications



Daniel Johnston

Product Communications

(800) 977-0888


Old S60, 2012
Descriptions and facts in this press material relate to Volvo Cars' international car range. Described features might be optional. Vehicle specifications may vary from one country to another and may be altered without prior notification.