S60 R and V70 R - the most technologically sophisticated models ever produced by Volvo. And the most potent, too!

Volvo's S60 R sedan and V70 R wagon have a significantly more distinct driver's car character than the earlier R variants of the 850 and V70. Performance, drivability and driving pleasure are a very high priority in the new S60 R and V70 R.

The S60 R and V70 R are the most advanced models ever produced by Volvo with leading-edge driving dynamics, subtle styling tweaks, and expectedly high Volvo-standards for occupant protection and environmentally-concerned manufacturing.

They are modern high-performance cars with enhanced turbocharged performance, intelligent all-wheel drive and an active chassis which instantly adapts the character of the car to the driving situation.

Volvo introduces the Active Performance Chassis based on FOUR-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) technology. FOUR-C is a joint-venture development between Volvo and Ohlins Racing AB.

Three buttons on the centre fascia panel let the driver choose the chassis character according to personal mood and the road ahead. Those three settings are: Comfort, Sport, Advanced.

Volvo finds a growing niche for R models
Limited volume +óGé¼GÇ£ Volvo will produce approximately 9000 Rs this year of which 60 percent will be the S60 R. Australia's initial allocation of 30 has been sold. Volvo Car Australia is predicting an annual volume of about 100 per year.

The mission of the S60 R and V70 R is to give Volvo an even firmer presence in the 'driving excitement' category.

"Almost a decade after Volvo launched the yellow T5 R in 1995, this time the message is much stronger since the technology level in the new R models is much higher," said Hans Nilsson, Car Line Manager R, Volvo Car Corporation. "Our previous R models were focused on extreme estate cars. This time we are also showing that we mean business with a sports sedan."

S60 R and V70 R +óGé¼GÇ£ subtle variation of a thrilling theme
Not as contrasting as black and white, the R-rated sedan and wagon present marginal differences. The S60 R naturally has a slightly stiffer structure, lower centre of gravity and shorter wheelbase than the V70 R, so it gives a slightly more distinct behind-the-wheel experience. But when overlooking the obvious wagon dimensional attributes, the differences are marginal. The V70 R is by no means a softer option. The V70 R defines in terms of dynamics, comfort, and styling the very essence of the modern performance wagon.

Uniquely R +óGé¼GÇ£ form follows function
The exterior of the S60 R and V70 R differ subtly from the standard models with which they share sheet metal. Although these differences are visually quiet, the sporting temperament of the S60 R and V70 R has been accentuated. More importantly, the reasons for these exterior tweaks are totally functional.

The newly-designed lower front with large intakes enhances aerodynamics and improves air flow to the engine radiator and two air-to-air intercoolers. A great deal of windtunnel work has gone into fettling the body changes to increase air-flow efficiency around the body to heighten performance and to stabilize S60 R and V70 R at higher speeds. The resulting Cd 0.29 (S60 R) is impressive in that it is only a fraction higher than the standard S60 2.4 while reducing lift at the nose by about 25 percent.

The S60 R and V70 R have a unique front which is more rounded than their standard counterparts. The nose of S60 R extends forward 30mm to make space for the larger efficient cooling system and intercoolers.

On the trailing edge of the boot, S60 R wears a discreet spoiler to reduce lift by about 20 percent. The V70 R wears the V70's standard spoiler (at hinge point of liftgate). A more dramatic rear spoiler is available as an accessory.

Once function was satisfied, Peter Horbury (design director for R program and PCC concept) and Jose Diaz de la Vega (interior design director for R program) then set about finishing the Rs with their distinctive smaller grille with mat silver surround. The Bi-Xenon headlights are finished with a surrounding mat silver finish. The interior is highlighted by bright blue instruments and unique colours and materials. Jose made sure there was no way the R could be described as conservative.

Exterior colours:
Passion red +óGé¼GÇ£ solid
Silver +óGé¼GÇ£ metallic
Black sapphire +óGé¼GÇ£ metallic
Titanium grey +óGé¼GÇ£ metallic
Flash green +óGé¼GÇ£ metallic (unique to R range)

Interior leather colours:
Off black with beige door trims and carpet (std)
Nordkap blue with Nordkap blue door trims and carpet (no-cost option)
Gobi beige with Gobi door trims and carpet (no-cost option)
Atacama Aniline with Atacama door trims and carpet ($2500 option)

All R cars are trimmed with aluminium door and glovebox inlays. Dash and centre console are dark grey on all R variants.

Driver touches and sees
The front R-line seats (a no-cost option) are an improvement on the S60 sports seats. In keeping with the Rs athleticism, the front R-line seats are deeply dished with firmer lateral support. Both front seats are also electronically adjustable (with memory) with manual lumbar adjust.

It is a matter of ergonomics, and for that reason there are several other interior tweaks.

Normally, the V70 centre console is low slung. To better align the driver's arm with the gear stick (either six-speed manual or five-speed Geartronic), the V70 R is fitted with the S60's taller console.

S60 R and V70 R get unique bright blue instrumentation with aluminium surrounds.

The three-spoke steering wheel in both Rs is grip-moulded and leather-wrapped. The manual gear stick is trimmed using the same leather texture to maintain symmetry of feel.


Body rigidity is a key factor in providing a stable frame for the suspension. The Rs are capable of carrying high G loads during cornering, and the principle reason is because the rigid body limits any changes in wheel geometry. The driver feels the effect in that the car behaves consistently during high-load cornering.

S60 R weight distribution: 55 percent front, 45 percent rear
V70 R weight distribution: 54 percent front, 46 percent rear
(with two occupants in front seats)

The configuration of the R models, with transverse aluminium-alloy engine and all-wheel drive, gives uniform weight distribution. The car responds with stable, safe behavior on the road and precise steering responses.

The chassis of the R models is lower relative to Volvo's other AWD models. This gives a lower roll centre and centre of gravity. It also improves aerodynamics and driving stability at higher speeds.

Ground clearance V70 R (front/rear)
compared with V70 -10/-4mm

Ground clearance S60 R (front/rear)
compared with S60 AWD -16/-23mm
compared with S60 -6/+7mm

Turn of the tiller
As of March this year, Volvo began using ZF's Servotronic steering system, offering Servotronic as an option on XC90 and S80.

Servotronic (speed dependent) power steering is standard in S60 R and V70 R; in addition, the R uses a tighter rack and pinion ratio and a unique computer algorithm to achieve a distinct, accurate, direct feel. The R variants are also fitted with an extra steering fluid cooler to stop any chance of boil over when thoroughly enjoying the R on a ribbon of challenging road.

In the R models, the steering gear, bushings, tyres, wheel alignment settings and FOUR-C system have been optimised to achieve precision and a well-balanced steering gain at all driving speeds.

Brembo brakes put an end to the rush
Powerful brakes with predictable feel were never an option. They are a necessity on the most potent model Volvo has ever produced. Large 330mm vented disc are gripped by Brembo four-piston calipers to stop the R in as short as 36 metres from 100km/h.

Each caliper is R marked and painted dark silver and sits prominently behind 18x8-inch five-spoke wheels and 235/40-series Pirelli P-Zero Rosso performance rubber. These wheels are specific to R.


In Volvo's R models, the rapid-acting FOUR-C damping control has been combined with all-wheel drive and DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control). These three systems interact in a very advanced and intelligent way to maximise traction, deliver ultimate driving safety and an enthralling driving experience.

FOUR-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) is an incredible system. It is NOT a simple three-setting damper. FOUR-C monitors the action of each wheel as often as 500 times per second, and it is able to adjust each shock absorber independently in 5-15 milliseconds. The damping settings may change many times before the driver is even aware that any changes has happened.

FOUR-C takes readings from several on-board sensors to decide on the appropriate damper setting.

The sensors measure:

  • Longitudinal and lateral acceleration and yaw rate
  • Vertical motion of car body (roll, pitch, heave)
  • Vertical position of each wheel and the speed of the car
  • Steering wheel position and how fast the steering wheel is turned
  • Engine torque, throttle pedal position and engine rpm
  • Degree of braking

The signals from all sensors are processed by the control unit. It calculates the longitudinal and lateral movements and roll of the car body and adapts the damping force of the shock absorbers so that the body movement and balance (oversteer and understeer) are controlled.

Comfort, Sport, Advanced
Comfort +óGé¼GÇ£ the softest setting. In this mode the chassis 'floats' over the bumps in the road surface. The shock absorbers soften the movements of the body with the ride quality of a Grand Touring sedan.

If the car is in Comfort mode when the ignition is switched off, the same mode is activated when the car is restarted.

Sport +óGé¼GÇ£ the damper settings stiffen to reduce roll during hard cornering. Ride comfort is slightly reduces to improve overall driving dynamics.

Advanced +óGé¼GÇ£ FOUR-C optimises the chassis for maximum road grip and performance. Ride quality is sacrificed for out-right road holding, and because of this Advanced is recommended only on very smooth asphalt.

Drive-by-wire throttle response is more immediate in Advanced chassis setting.

Cornering +óGé¼GÇ£ entry, apex, exit
FOUR-C works in total co-operation with the electronically-controlled Haldex II coupling to achieve a chassis that answers the driver's commands. The S60 R and V70 R are true driver's cars.

Entry +óGé¼GÇ£ FOUR-C balances the chassis for slight oversteer to give rapid steering response on turn-in. The AWD system biases power to the rear so the car hold a slight oversteer attitude.

Apex +óGé¼GÇ£ The AWD system balances power bias neutrally front and rear, and the chassis responds with a neutral attitude mid-corner. FOUR-C begins to reduce body roll and increase compliance to allow the driver ease of control through the apex.

Exit +óGé¼GÇ£ AWD now shifts bias to the front wheels to give maximum stability under full power load. FOUR-C controls the chassis to give an attitude of slight understeer and the best possible directional stability.

The short cut-in and cut-out times of the AWD system (less than 100 milliseconds) allow the driver to compensate for and control oversteer and understeer extremely quickly.

Switching off DSTC
When the road is right, sometimes the driver wants full control, and the S60 R and V70 R give the driver that option. DSTC can be disabled either partially or fully.

With DSTC partially disabled, the stability system remains active but will allow more oversteer +óGé¼GÇ£ up to approximately 10 degrees +óGé¼GÇ£ before politely assisting the driver without intruding.

With DSTC fully disabled, the safety system is shut down. The car will not correct itself from a slide. In this DSTC setting, the driver is in control and any mistakes will not be corrected by DSTC.

To fully disable DSTC, the car must be stationary and the DSTC button must be pressed five times in succession within a certain time and frequency. It may require several attempts before DSTC is fully disabled. The system is purposefully designed not to be disabled by mistake.

Left-foot braking and heel-toe downshifting?
The answer is yes. After all the S60 R and V70 R are driver's cars. What's more, handbrake turns can be made at speed under 90km/h with 10 percent throttle input. AWD is disengaged at this time.

The headline reads 220kW and 400Nm. To achieve these target performance figures, Volvo has totally revised its five-cylinder engine from bottom to top.

Swept capacity is 2521cc, a substantial increase in volume over previous 2.3-litre R models. Simply said, the new R engine shares nothing with the out-dated R engine last sold in Australia in 1998.

The new R engine is Volvo's most powerful and responsive engine. It is markedly different from the Volvo's low-pressure turbocharged T5 and T6 engines.

Zero-100km/h acceleration in less than 6 seconds and 220kW were top priorities from the S60 R. The fact that the V70 R is as near as quick, well, that's a very welcome bonus.

The all-wheel-drive R models are an impressive combination of power and grace, and are as drivable around town as they are hot-lapping the Phillip Island circuit.

A few facts about the engine:

  • Aluminium block and aluminium cylinder head
  • Cylinder head redesigned for better cooling
  • Twin camshafts with CVVT operating 20 valves (four per cylinder)
  • 20 percent larger turbocharger capacity than low-pressure Volvo engines
  • Maximum boost level +óGé¼GÇ£ 1.05 bar
  • Maximum 400Nm of torque produced at 1950rpm and held to 5250rpm (with manual gearbox)
  • Maximum 350 Nm of torque produced at 1800rpm and held to 6000rpm (with automatic transmission)
  • Twin air-to-air intercoolers reduce temperature of compressed intake air charge
  • Unique engine internals engineered to sustain high-boost pressure and 220kW
  • Aluminium oil pan with in-built windage tray to control oil pickup during high cornering loads
  • 6500rpm rev limiter allows 300rpm overrun (to 6800rpm) for three seconds
  • In Advanced chassis setting, the ignition timing at idle is changed to create a greater torque output for better off-the-line launch
  • Advanced chassis setting also alters the throttle ratio +óGé¼GÇ£ less pedal travel needed to open throttle butterfly
  • Stainless exhaust system
  • At full throttle, the A/C compressor is temporarily disengaged to provide maximum engine power to the driver

The turbocharged 2.5-litre engine is accompanied by a close-ratio, six-speed manual gearbox with Spaceball shifter. The throw between gears is short, direct and accurate.

A five-speed automatic transmission with adaptive Geartronic is also available at no additional cost. The software controlling the shift points is able to tune itself to the driver's style.

Performance Claims
S60 R manual: 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds
S60 R automatic: 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds

V70 R manual: 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds
V70 R automatic: 0-100km/h in 7.7 seconds

Top speed: 250km/h (limited)

Fuel consumption (EU 93/116)
S60 R manual: 10.7L/100km
S60 R automatic: 11.1L/100km
V70 R manual: 10.9L/100km
V70 R automatic: 11.3L/100km

For further information please contact:
Todd Hallenbeck
Volvo Car Australia Public Affairs
Phone: 02-9020 1613
Email: thallen2@volvocars.com