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Project S60R Part 2: Body and Wheels

by: George Achorn

May 4, 2004 - 2:27:00 PM

There seems to be a general consensus on the looks of Volvo’s new R models. Most anyone will tell you that they’re highly attractive, albeit perhaps a bit understated. While we love the looks of our new Project S60R, there is always room for improvement, and exterior modifications will certainly do so quite effectively. As such, we opted for some tasteful body enhancements along with a different set of wheels in an effort to set the car apart from other Rs out there on the road.

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Body Enhancements

As part of its Sport initiative in Europe, Volvo has developed a body kit, not only for the S60, but also one for the R. These body pieces have been designed to accentuate the car without making it too extreme. In fact, this same kit was shown on the V70R Volvo displayed at last year’s SEMA show, though with modifications to fit the rear valance of the V70.

All parts for the S60R are available through your Volvo dealer, and with the exception of the rear bumper piece, should fit the V70R as well.

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Part Numbers for the Kit include (numbers and descriptions are as quoted by Volvo):

009998460 Complete Body Kit for S60
039985065 Trunklid Spoiler Kit Code 455
008694936 Endpipe
039998510 Door Moulding Lower LH FR 455
039998512 Door Moulding Lower RH FR 455
039998514 Door Moulding Lower LH RR 455
039998516 Door Moulding Lower RH RR 455

Of the list, we chose to all but two pieces. Since we’ll be upgrading to an IPD exhaust, we won’t be using the endpipe, which attaches to the end of the stock S60R exhaust.

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We’ve also opted to go with a different trunk spoiler design. Rather than the wing-style that comes with the Volvo kit, we opted for another design by a company called MS-Design and sourced through IPD (part number WS8065, $249.00).

The MS-Design version is much like the stock R lip-spoiler on the tip of the trunk, though it’s larger and slightly more aggressive looking than stock without going to a full wing design as does the spoiler that comes with the kit.

The S60R was taken to Kurz Automotive Restyling (7505 Rickenbacker Dr, Gaithersburg, MD 20879, phone: (301) 990-6314 ) for installation of the parts. While there, we opted to go one more step by painting the black side mouldings and bumper inserts on our R.

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Because the pieces are textured and plastic, Kurz Automotive first had to remove the mouldings and sand them with 180 grit sandpaper. They were then primed with Spies Hecker's Vario primer with flex additive. Once dry, they were then wet sanded with 600 grit paper. After that, three coats of Titanium Gray base were applied and followed by two coats of clear coat. Finally, they were wet sanded once more with 2000 grit, and buffed and polished with 3M polish compound for dark color paint.

When doing a job like this, Kurz Automotive recommends repeating the initial sanding steps as necessary until the surface is completely smooth for better paint adhesion and better surface appearance.

All of the additional body pieces attached with adhesive, with no need for drilling. Presumably, this will mean relatively easy removal should we ever wish to do so.

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Wheel Upgrade

One of the most significant upgrades you can make to a car in terms of look is wheels. Having had positive experience with HRE with previous applications, Kai opted to return to the brand. He installed the 546R series wheel in an 18x8.5 with brushed aluminum face and polished lip. Both surfaces are clear-coated, and HRE also provided a set of handsome matching etched center caps.

Not changing the size, Kai was able to retain the factory Pirelli PZero Rosso tires in their 235/40/18 size.

Summary

Overall, we’re quite happy with the outcome. The R has been transformed to a more aggressive look without going overboard. The MS Design spoiler fits nicely with the Volvo-sourced Sport body kit. That’s not surprising as we hear MS-Design is the OE Manufacturer on the Sport body kit as well. At the four corners, the HREs also transform the car into something a bit more aggressive.

Next up: We’ll be upgrading the R’s power levels to match its new, more aggressive looks.




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