Volvo S60 T5 R-Design 2012 Review

February 8th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

We spent a very pleasant week which included a jaunt to Ruapuke and back for a Waitangi weekend camping trip. This was a great test for the Volvo – plenty of motorway driving, followed by some twisty blacktop and then gravel, all while laden down with the accoutrements of spending a couple of nights under canvas without decent toilet facilities.

The S60 T5 R-Design sits in a kind of middle ground between family sedan and luxury sports sedan. You could look at it two ways: it’s a safe and practical option for a sporty sedan, or it’s a car that stuck between those two markets and might not be big enough to be a family sedan or sporty enough to make your hairs stand on end.

It’s a Volvo so that means it comes with the aura of safety that is almost uniquely Volvo’s to emanate. That means it’s probably not going to appeal to young, affluent execs. No, despite the R-Design pack which gives you a sports-tuned chassis, a new grille and mirrors, a set of sports seats, floor mats, some stunning 5-spoke alloys, sat-nav and flashier gear knob, instruments and steering wheel, this is going to be a car which is bought by people who appreciate the sleek design and punchy overtaking power, but want it tempered with an air of sensibility and impregnable safety. Perhaps there’s a child, but no longer a ‘significant other’; perhaps it’s the need for an attractive corporate ride that’s a bit of a sleeper; perhaps it’s a couple whose children have flown the coupe [sic] so back seats are a mere convenience and not a necessity; perhaps they really just like Volvos but want something more exciting with better handling than an XC. Continue reading “Volvo S60 T5 R-Design 2012 Review” »

Volvo Australia reveals S60 ‘Performance Project’

July 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo is continuing its sporty aspirations with a new S60 prototype developed in collaboration with Polestar Racing and tuning company Heico. The one-off S60 is named the “Performance Project” and is based on the T6 R-Design.

Volvo’s Australian unit is responsible has built the special prototype that sees performance and cosmetic upgrades. Power has been increased to 242KW with 480Nm of torque an increase of 18kW and 40Nm of the standard vehicle. This was achieved by a revised ECU and a new exhaust system. The suspension has been reworked and lowered by 15 millimeters with monotube damping and stiffer springs. To help dress it up the go-fast Volvo is fitted with 19-inch alloys wrapped in Pirelli rubber. Continue reading “Volvo Australia reveals S60 ‘Performance Project’” »

Volvo to bring sportier R-Design vehicles to NZ

September 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo is introducing R-Design versions of its new S60 sedan and V60 wagon.

With more aggressive front styling and other body enhancement, the R-Design models also incorporate a specially developed sports chassis so the driving experience can match up with the sportier looks.

The S60 will be launched in New Zealand at the start of 2011 and the V60 will follow in the second quarter. R-Design versions of both cars will be available as part of the model range.

The R-Design range offers more dynamic and sporting models in the Volvo range, while retaining the marque’s legendary safe and sophisticated core values.

Volvo Cars’ chassis experts have taken the next step on the road to a more exciting and rewarding driving experience. “In the R-Design chassis we’ve sharpened the steering, the agility and the solid overall impression still further compared with the dynamic chassis in the all-new S60 and V60,” says Stefan Sällqvist, manager of vehicle dynamics at Volvo Cars.

The all-new Volvo S60 and V60 R-Design come with a range of upgraded design details both inside and out.

The exteriors have been re-designed with various features combining to present a more imposing presence. Glossy, piano black grille, colour-coded body components, matt black details and a hexagonal pattern front and rear combine with twin exhaust pipes and bespoke 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels to emphasise the overall sporty appearance. The R-design models will be available in a choice of eight colours.

Continue reading “Volvo to bring sportier R-Design vehicles to NZ” »

Volvo XC60 R-Design pack coming soon

July 8th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo XC60 R-Design fq

Volvo has just released details of its sporty R-Design variant of the XC60 crossover vehicle, and it’s more than just another styling package.

The body is now stiffer with modified dampers to increase the ride. The steering ratio has also been tightened up to quicken steering response. Roadholding is also enhanced by a set of 18-inch alloy wheels that are unique to the R-Design package, however Volvo owners who want to go big can buy a 20-inch set of the same design.

Exterior design is improved by colour-coded lower body panels, matte-silver exterior trim, twin chrome tailpipes and silver wing-mirror housings.

The interior hasn’t escaped enhancement too, with aluminium inserts on the dash, doors and steering wheel blinging up the XC60’s cabin. Alloy pedals and a more supportive seat design complete the R-Design package’s sporty theme.

The R-Design pack will be available as an optional extra across the XC60 range, with the new trim level poised to make its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Volvo New Zealand considering R-Design upgrades for local cars

July 30th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham


Volvo is currently evaluating the demand for its R-Design models with the arrival of a V50 AWD which is touring the country.

The R-Design upgrade is available on the C30 T5, S40 AWD and V50 AWD models and adds only $3500 to the cost of the vehicle.

“It’s a great value for money package,” said Mark Patterson, the General Manager of Volvo Cars. “R-Design is a comprehensive design package that accentuates the sporting capabilities of each vehicle.”

The R-Design kit includes:

* Unique front and rear spoilers and side skirting
* 17 inch Serapis Alloy wheels
* R-Design decals
* R-Design Instruments
* Milled alloy dashboard inlays
* White edged carpet mats
* Brushed aluminium sports pedals
* Unique front grille
* Unique instrument panel
* Alloy or leather steering wheel
* Alloy or leather gear knob
* R-Design trimmed upholstery

Hot 350hp Volvo C30 design could make production

July 21st, 2008 by Darren Cottingham


The Volvo C30 is a great looking car that doesn’t quite have the handling and performance of a MINI Cooper S or other hot-hatch, until now.

Volvo has added some raw power to the previously seen R-Design package in the form of a reworked version of the current 5-cylinder engine that it shares with Ford. The engine pumps out 350 fit Swedish horses to be coupled with AWD.

Unfortunately the hot C30 looks unlikely to make production with petrol prices being what they are at the moment, but stranger things have happened.

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