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<B>Source:</B><BR><I>AutoExpress.Co.Uk<BR>News Section<BR>By: Gavin Ward<BR>July 3, 2002</I><P><B>Fastest Ever Volvo Rockets In!</B><P> <IMG SRC="http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/picture_library/dir_11/car_portal_pic_5856.jpg?7315"> <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Abba, Alfred Nobel, the man behind the peace prize, the Swedes aren't known for their aggressive nature. But that's about to change. There's a new player in the super-saloon showroom, and it's ready to mix it with the big boys – the BMW M3 and Audi's forthcoming S4.<P>Feast your eyes on the latest new product from Volvo, the mighty S60 R. The styling is more subtle than its rivals', but don't be fooled – this car has lots to shout about. Set for launch at the Paris Motor Show in September, it's powered by a 2.5-liter engine delivering 300bhp. While that's less than the 333bhp of the BMW and the expected 350bhp of next year's S4, it still promises to set the tarmac alight. Laying claim to be the fastest Volvo ever, official figures quote the S60 R as having a 156mph top speed and a blistering 0-60mph time of only 5.8 seconds.<P>However, basic performance figures alone don't tell the whole story about this family-oriented rocketship. Owners will be treated to a unique driving experience thanks to a hi-tech handling package known as 'four-C' technology. Standing for Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept, the system lets drivers alter the setting of the active suspension between Comfort, Sport and Advanced Sport modes. <P>The first is aimed at long-distance cruising and day-to-day driving, while the others give a harder ride. Volvo says the most challenging settings will "transform the S60 R into an uncompromising sports car which prioritises maximum driving pleasure and direct road contact". <P>Development engineers are keen that as much of the power as possible is put to good use, so permanent four-wheel-drive is a standard fit to offer owners the best possible grip. There's 295lb.ft of torque at only 2,100rpm to provide effortless acceleration, and the choice of a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearbox.<P>The possibility of a hot S60 was first revealed at the Paris Motor Show two years ago, when Volvo unveiled the Performance Concept Car. Its striking lines and two-tone paintwork were a marked departure from the usual subtle, understated looks of previous fast Volvos. Customers clutching their deposits and heading for the nearest showroom might be disappointed with the production S60 R, though. <P>The designers have reverted to type, and many of the aggressive looks on the concept version have been axed. As our pictures show, there's only the faintest hint of a spoiler on the lip of the boot, while the front bumper has been specially reworked to allow improved cooling of the turbocharged five-cylinder engine. These changes, together with the addition of purposeful five-spoke alloys, available in 17 or 18-inch rims, are the only visible indications as to what this car is capable of. The S60 R will not be seen in the metal in the UK until the British Motor Show in October, and is set to go on sale at the beginning of next year. <P>The prospect of this, plus a hot R version of the V70, seems certain to divert sales away from BMW and Audi. A likely price tag of less than £40,000 will only add to the appeal.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>-Drew
 
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