Volvo has chosen advanced technology to deliver high performance and driver control for its new 'R-concept' S60R and V70R models which make their world premiere at the motor show in Paris in September, and UK debut at the British show in October.
The S60R and V70R deliver the sort of intelligent, high performance, driver's car promised by Volvo's recent Performance Concept Cars.
Sharp steering generates a superb amount of information to the driver, while the advanced, active 'Four-C' chassis technology takes care of maximising driver enjoyment and control, without compromising safety, and delivering a unique character to the car's performance.Chassis And Suspension: Four-C Technology
Advanced electronics of Volvo's unique 'Four-C' (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) technology allow all of the car's dynamic systems to communicate and work in unison.
The car's speed, wheel movement and steering are continuously monitored via Multiplexed control systems that update the suspension settings 500 times per second and monitor the electronic control of the AWD system for maximum traction, road-holding, stability and safety.
For 'performance on demand', three buttons on the dashboard give the driver a choice of types of handling and driving pleasure:
Sport - standard mid-setting for sporty driving
Advanced Sport - uncompromising sports car handling, prioritising maximum driving pleasure using 'direct road contact' control technology
Comfort - optimises ride comfort using 'Sky Hook' control technology to make the car feel like it is suspended from an artificial horizon.
A 5-cylinder, 2.5-litre turbo engine produces 300 bhp of performance and 400 Nm of torque from just 2,100 rpm - enough to seriously worry potential rivals such as the Mercedes C32 AMG and BMW M3, when combined with the advanced chassis and AWD system.
A new six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, with the option of a five speed 'Geartronic' automatic with sequential, manual shift.
Preliminary figures show the S60R capable of 0-62 mph in 5.8 seconds, and capable of going on to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, while powerful four-piston aluminium Brembo brakes complement the powerful performance of the car.
Being Swedish, Volvo has kept the 'R-concept' styling clean and sharp yet modestly restrained:
"There is nothing which doesn't fulfil a function, no unnecessary design clutter," says Peter Horbury, Vice President and Chief Designer at Volvo Cars. For example, the rear spoiler of the S60R: "Some people might think it's rather too discreet, but its task is to reduce the rear lifting forces by 20 per cent - and it does precisely that," he continued.
Other subtle tweaks include a new front nose for both the S60R and V70R, including new matt silver bi-xenon headlights and lowered grille, front sports bumper with deeper spoiler and larger air intakes for the two intercoolers. The R range also offers 17in or 18in alloy wheels carrying a discreet 'R' logo and shod with Pirelli's P-Zero Rosso 235/45 or 235/40.
The interior has also received a stylish makeover with deep-contoured seats trimmed in exclusive, (optional) untreated 'aniline' leather, plus revised, clear blue, silver-framed instruments on the dashboard.
Limited production and delivery of the S60R starts in spring 2003, along with the V70R for those wanting performance with the added practicality of an award-winning estate. Interest and demand for the new R range is high and a number of UK orders have been taken already.
Prices and full specifications will be released this autumn.
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