Volvo S60 T6 R-Design Review
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Story and photos by Raymond Lai
16 Oct 2011

Volvo has sexed up its S60 range with the optional R-Design package. Raymond Lai checks out the S60 R-Design in range topping T6 form.

Introduction, styling

Back in 1995, Volvo, with a little help from their friends at Porsche, launched the mental 850 T5 R. The model went on to become the first of Volvo’s R models and was succeeded by the 850 R and then the 2004 S60 R. Early R models were pretty much a laugh to go quickly in – very fast in a straight line but the steering somehow managed to have a mind of its own when the road gets uneven or twisty. They were simply best in demonstrating what torque steer is all about (obviously Porsche wasn’t involved in the 850 T5 R’s dynamic then).

Expectations then were high when the S60 R appeared in 2004 together with the V70 R estate model – after all, the first generation S60 has proven to be thoroughly capable to challenge the likes of the BMW 3 Series in 2.0T and T5 forms. But the S60 R proved to be a major disappointment – the whole package lacked depth and many even touted it as a glorified all wheel drive T5 with just a tad more power. Even an early update in late 2005 didn’t help the S60 R win the hearts and minds of driving enthusiasts. Dejected by the lack of success of the S60 R, Volvo eventually announced not long later that it will never do another R model ever again and hence the birth of the R-Design packages and trim for those who want their Volvo to look and drive that bit sportier.

While R-Design is mostly a trim that Volvo customers can choose for their cars in most overseas markets, R-Design trim had been limited to range topping models over here like on the S80 T6, XC60 T6 and the V70 T6 models. Now though, Volvo distributor Wearnes is offering R-Design trim on all S60 models as a cost option.

First impressions of the S60 R-Design variant are extremely promising. Aesthetically, the R-Design model boasts a comprehensive aero kit and bigger alloy wheels on the outside. The exterior enhancements include a revised, more aggressive front bumper with a reprofiled radiator grille, Audi S-line style aluminium look for the wing mirror covers, rear bumper with a diffuser design and chrome exhaust tips underneath and last but not least, the 18-inch Diamond cut Ixion five-spoke alloys. An R-Design emblem sits proudly on the radiator grille just in case you still can’t differentiate a R-Design variant from a standard S60 model,

In standard form, the S60 is already a good-looking compact saloon. The R-Design design elements (bar the dummy air vent inserts on the rear bumper) together with its 15mm lower stance, have certainly made the S60 look more garang and give it an even more purposeful stance and look. The range topping T6 R-Design tested here is differentiated from lesser R-Design variants by its ‘T6 AWD’ badge on the boot lid.

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Engine Capacity 2956cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 6
Power 304bhp @ 5600rpm
Torque 440Nm @ 2100rpm
Power to Weight 177.7 bhp per ton


Acceleration 6.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 10.1 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type F4


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4628 x 1865 x 1484) mm
Wheelbase 2776 mm
Kerb Weight 1711 kg