Volvo is trying to further enhance the appeal of its new 2011 S60 sedan and V60 station wagon models with the presentation of a new R-Design styling and handling package that will be available in autumn 2010. The Swedish firm's take on the BMW M Sport and Audi S-Line kits combines sporty visual upgrades inside and out, and a tweaked chassis for a sharper drive.
"And with R-Design, we are attracting a younger target group. We expect that 10 percent of all S60 and V60 customers will choose the R-Design option on markets where it is available. We aim to win over one-third of these customers from competing brands."
On the outside, the R-Design treatment adds a front grille painted in glossy piano black, a more aggressive front bumper detailed in a matt black finish, a discreet boot lid spoiler (sedan) or roof spoiler (Estate) and a distinctive rear diffuser that houses twin exhaust tailpipes.
A new set of unique 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels shod in sport tires completes the list of exterior changes.
Moving into the interior, the package includes a pair of body-hugging sport seats up front, special leather/textile upholstery available in off-black and ceramic light, or in an all-black, both with contrasting stitching, plus an R-Design steering wheel, gear selector, sports pedals and floor-mats.
Underneath the sheetmetal, Volvo's engineers have given the S60 and V60 models stiffer springs (+15%) and bushes (+20%), a lowered ride height (-15mm), new monotube dampers at the back, and a strut brace under the bonnet.
Stefan Sällqvist, manager of vehicle dynamics at Volvo Cars says: "The challenge was to boost the dynamics without making the chassis feel raw. If the chassis is too firm, even smooth tarmac can feel bumpy. We wanted a distinct yet plush feel. The car now has a more solid feel to it, which in turn helps make the steering feel even more responsive with a distinctive contact with the road."
The R-Design package can be combined with all available engines, ranging from the 115HP DRIVe 1.6-liter diesel unit to a 3.0-liter turbocharged-six petrol with 304 horsepower.