For years Volvo has been trying to convince the world that its compact luxury sedan which is now the S60 is on par with its German and Japanese’s competition. Competition comes primarily in the form of the BMW 335i, Infiniti G37, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. When comparing these equally equipped German and Japanese models you don’t have to get far down the options list to discover that the Volvo S60 offers its drivers better out of the box value. However when the cars were measured up on a track or on twisty back roads the Volvo was always the knife caught up in a gun fight.
However Volvo has once again partnered up with its racing partner Polestar to create a race car for the street to take the German divisions of Quattro, AMG, and M Division head on. It has been three long years since Volvo has produced a vehicle that they have felt worthy of wearing its all mighty R badge. In 2012 that trend has ended as Volvo is dipping its toes back into the sporty pool with the 2012 S60 R-Design, a more powerful, more stiffly sprung version of the firm’s mid-size sedan.
The most obvious difference between the 2012 Volvo S60 T6 and S60 T6 R-Design is in the turbocharged 3.0-liter engine’s tuning. Volvo partnered with Polestar, a Swedish racing and performance parts company, to increase both air and fuel flow to the combustion chambers, as well as increasing the boost pressure produced by the turbo. The result is an impressive 325 horsepower without the aid of premium fuel. The 89 octane burning S60 R-Design is now slouch in the acceleration department as it can complete a 0-100 km/h run in 5.3 seconds and through the quarter mile in 13.9 seconds.
The car’s engine was not the only area the Volvo engineers focused their attention as every sports car requires a specific ride and handling characteristics that to be considered a true track worthy automobile. In order to improve ride and handling stiffer suspension bushings and springs were used these components were then combined with a front strut-tower brace and an 15 mm lower ride height contribute to the taut body control and quick steering reflexes.
Today the rumor is that Polestar is once again going to up the ante and create a version of the Volvo S60 that is truly worth of placing the companies name on. The Polestar or Volvo have not yet confirmed what engine may be lingering under the hood or which transmission will send the power to 2 or all of the wheels. Personally we are hoping to lift the hood up and come face to face with a Yamaha sources V8. You know the 4.4-liter one that they use in the Volvo XC90 as well as in the Noble M600. Of course that engine receives a pair of turbochargers that can dial the horsepower up to a mind altering 650hp.
We’d be happy with 450 hp but if the transmission and center differential of the all-wheel drive system can handle it then we say why not To find out for sure you will have to check back in with us on the 16th of this month, until then we hope that the teaser image above and the race in Gothenburg video below can hold you over.