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Volvo S60 R Review: R you R-ready?

When dad said “work hard and get yourself a good car one day”, he was probably referring to a car like the S60 R…
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
14 Jan 2007

Volvo fans and owners alike are simply put, unique. Unique in a good way of course, as they recognise the true value of excellent build quality paired up with humanely effective mechanical. It’s not that Volvos are in anyway humdrum, once you erase memories of their boxy early-90s models. Think Volvo 850 onwards, and you’ll get what yours truly is trying to say here. The major brand remake certainly gave the Volvo brand a totally new image that, successfully, caused fan base to grow.

Flashback again to 2001, when the Volvo S60 made its world debut - the automotive industry went into such a buzz. It was good publicity for Volvo itself as it never had a particular model that can face off the likes of the German 3-series and C-Class. And with the different engine variants, our local market welcomed the S60 – the 2.0 litre Turbo model proving to be the most popular around. And not forgetting the fact that the S60 was generously equipped, and pricing wise, undercuts its German competitors.

The current crop of Volvos answers to a diverse market segment, and this S60 R, especially, deserves some attention. Fast.

Volvo confessed that the S60 R is the fastest car they’ve ever built. Five-cylinder 2.5 litre turbo-charged engine with twin intercoolers mated to a quick-responding 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission sounds impressive by any standard. Power output stands at a potent 300bhp @ 5,500rpm, with the torque peaking at an impressive 400Nm @ 5,250 rpm. All these resulting in a century sprint timing of 6.7 seconds!

Stopping power is provided by (who else?) Brembo. Like the saying “a powerful car needs equally powerful brakes”, the S60 R is equipped with aluminium four-pot brake callipers packaged with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Braking Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) – all these should be assuring enough already.
You just have to love the brilliant engineers, simply because they’ve done such a commendable job to the S60 R’s ride and handling department. The suspension setting can be chosen conveniently on the dashboard – either “Comfort”, “Sports” or “Advanced”, depending on the driver’s mood for the day. The “Advanced” mode proves to be the most engaging drive, as the S60 R’s suspension system is set lower and harder, giving the driver a better feel of the road and the ability to negotiate corners very confidently.

And lets not forget the all-important All Wheel Drive (AWD) with Instant Traction that distributes power among the four wheels evenly to prevent unnecessary wheel spins and ensures grip in any sort of conditions.

There’s just a distinct Volvo-ness about it, and the tenacious grip exhibited by the S60 R with almost zero body-roll certainly impresses.

“Like wolf in sheep’s clothing”, that’s exactly what the S60 R is. To the unnerving driver, the S60 R looks like any other ordinary executive sedan. Interior-wise, it might look dated, but even after all this years, it still remains as one of the best ever built, with supportive seats and generous boot space being a bonus.

Removing the “executive sedan” label, it takes an experienced driver to fully exploit the potential of the S60 R. Practical for daily drives, and even more appropriate for weekend (legal) track sessions, the well-equipped S 60 R surely justifies the asking price.

Boyracers, be prepared to be blown away.

Credits: Story and pictures by Azfar Hashim

Volvo S60 R
Cars in this article
Volvo S60 R 2.5 2007

Volvo S60 R 2.5 2007

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