Swedespeed

For the Volvo Enthusiast

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20 September 2015

Since the departure of the 2010 V70 R-Design, U.S. Volvo enthusiasts yearned for the return of a sports wagon. The second generation S60 arrived in 2011 but the U.S. continued without the V70 and V60 wagons. Volvo Cars North America may have lost its way for a few years but recently recognized that wagons are part of the heritage that captivated Volvo owner loyalty for decades. For model year 2015, Volvo returned to the U.S. market with the V60. The V60 delivered sport sedan handling with the versatility of a wagon. We test-drove the V60 R-Design earlier this year and you can read our initial impressions.

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Our more recent project cars have been refurbishing well-worn Volvo models to their former glory and more. To do an older project car takes time and money for a proper and thorough restoration. Staying with in a budget has always been my issue because I want my projects to literally be like new. When you take the time to do it right, the results can be amazing. Both my 2000 V70 XC and 1998 V70 T5M are still going strong with its current owners and my former 2006 Sonic Blue V70R rolls on with less than 100k miles. The current owner knows he has a buyer when he is ready. Last year I restored a 2006 Electric Silver V70R that I would still be driving today but the offer was to good to pass up. It was a very tough sell but it did allow me to begin the search for another project car.

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For my next project I wanted to start with something that was either new or just a few years old with a Volvo Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) warranty. For several months I kept an eye out for something interesting and my local Volvo dealer, Don Beyer Volvo, would call when interesting cars arrived. I looked at a variety of Volvo models to include 2013 C30 Polestar with a six-speed manual transmission, but regrettably I did not purchase. In hindsight, I should have! But good things come to those who wait and when the call came I knew I was going to need my checkbook.

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I start with a new 2015.5 V60 R-Design Platinum coated in the very vibrant Rebel Blue, or as our friends in Sweden call it, Swedish Racing Green. For 2016, Rebel Blue will be a Polestar model exclusive color. Having driven the 2011 S60 T6 AWD and 2013 S60 T5 AWD as long-term models I had a pretty good idea what to expect as a daily driver but what I really wanted was the additional cargo capacity of the V60. Starting my next project with a new vehicle eliminated the time, frustration and expense of getting an older vehicle to a solid Stage Zero.

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My 2015.5 V60 R-Design arrived equipped with the Platinum package ($3,400), Climate package ($1,550), Blind Spot Information System ($900), and the optional 19-inch Ixion II wheels ($750). Add the destination price of $925 for a MSRP total of $52,675.00. The 2015.5 model year added Sensus Connect with six-month subscription, Volvo On-Call for six months, Sensus Navigation with Mapcare and power lumbar support.

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Why didn’t I get the V60 Polestar? There was certainly no lack of desire, having driven the Polestar models on and off the track, I knew the potential but the honest answer is my budget was not there. MSRP vs MSRP, the difference was about ten thousand dollars but with discounts and incentives, the delta grew closer to fifteen thousand. At the time, dealers were not discounting the Polestar models. Plus, the need to purchase a 19-inch wheel and winter tire package would add at least another two thousand dollars. From our previous long-term S60s, I have a set of 18-inch wheels and snow tires, as well as a set of 19-inch HEICO Sportiv Volution VII mounted with Michelin PS2s. The Polestar larger front brakes discs limit the wheel choices for Polestar owners and I wanted greater flexibility. There are so many enhancements to the V60 Polestar that still has me wondering if I made the right choice. The fact that Volvo is also offering Polestar engineered S60 and V60 models for 2016 is not helping.

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So, another project is underway. Aftermarket performance parts for the “P3” platform are growing and I am hoping to find a few new options to explore. My vision for this project is not to make a Polestar clone but to elevate performance and styling while staying below the Polestar cost. This sounds like a simple goal but if my previous project cars are any indication, my greatest challenge will be staying within the budget.

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If you have been following swedespeed on Instagram and Facebook, you already know some of the parts and Volvo accessories we have been enjoying. If you have some ideas for the project, drop me an email.

And so it begins (again).

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