Volvo S60 T6 Review
Swede Boost

Raymond Lai
18 Jan 2011
 

On paper, the range topping S60 model packs an impressive 304bhp punch. Raymond Lai finds out if the T6 has what it takes to compete in the sports saloon sector.

Introduction, styling

Volvo has a string of sports saloons through its history and one of their most memorable ones was the crazy 850 T5R from the late 1990s. The T5R wasn't exactly a great sports saloon - it was the epitome of torque steer and its handling was anything but dynamic, but the hot 850 oozes charisma like no other Volvo model and the first Volvo to portray a bad boy image and it was even used as a race machine in the popular BTCC touring car races in 1996.

Volvo's sports saloon history though, was tainted by the disappointing S60R that came after the T5R. The charming 850 T5R and the 240 Turbo before were immediately forgotten and critics started to think that the brand can't do sports saloons, so disappointing the S60R was at that time. Thanks to the woeful S60R, Volvo decided that it'll never do another R performance model and hence, now uses the R nameplate for its R-Design range of styling accessories for its cars.

Without a high performance R version, the most sporty and powerful new generation S60 model available is the T6. Volvo claims that their new S60 is the most dynamic it and sportiest model it has ever introduced so the T6 has its work cut out to meet the high expectations. Hopefully it won't turn out anywhere near disappointing as its S60R predecessor.

Outwardly, the T6 can be differentiated from the lesser 2.0T models by details like the larger, 18-inch alloy wheels, the sunroof as well as the ‘T6 AWD' badges on the boot lid. The car photographed here can be further distinguished from lesser examples by its optional body styling kit which together with the larger wheels, give the T6 an even more purposeful stance than other S60s.

All in all, the new S60 stays true to Volvo's contemporary design themes. Unlike many other cars out there, the S60's styling stays true to the Concept S60 design study that first appeared in Detroit way back in January 2009. A particular unique styling feature of the new car is its coupe-like profile that is further accentuated by the elegantly sloping C-pillar and the relatively short boot line. Traditional Volvo styling details like the egg crate inserts on the radiator grille and the sizable shoulders along the flanks are a reminder that it is still a Volvo despite its revolutionary silhouette.

 


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