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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there all! Been lurking for a few months and decided to start posting. Thanks to all for the tips; I know know a bunch of things to chat with my dealer about once I head in; mostly getting my Sensus updated and pushing for a new Sirius module to get rid of the frequent cutouts.

Anyhow, I'm heading down to VIR on Thursday for a track day. I'm mainly going to be tuning up my Spec Ariel Atom for the race season, but I'm also planning to take out the S60 for some laps for the first time. I love how it runs on the street; this is a chance to see how it handles at the track. Since I'm not planning to do much with it, I'm staying with stock tires and brakes. If I have too much fun, though, I may end up needing new rubber. :)

Anyone have track tire or brake upgrade recommendations? Aside from a dual clutch paddle or fully manual transmission, a brake upgrade is something I would have expected for Polestar to have done for the R.

Thanks, and thanks for the great forum!
 

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Cool. Have fun. I think it'll be a great track car other than the brakes (according to reviews).

I've been on here for months and I don't remember anyone saying there's a better Sirius module available to help with cutouts. Did I miss it? Mine might need that, not sure.

Oh, and don't call an R-Design an R or some folks on here will go nuts! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Let 'em go nuts, R-Design. My Volvo is a fun daily driver; my track car is an Atom SRA. If there's a Volvo R (or R-design) that can keep up with even the small engine non-blower version of the Atom, I haven't seen it yet. (Of course, the Polestar S60 TTA might be a challenge... ;))
 

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Cool. Have fun. I think it'll be a great track car other than the brakes (according to reviews).

I've been on here for months and I don't remember anyone saying there's a better Sirius module available to help with cutouts. Did I miss it? Mine might need that, not sure.

Oh, and don't call an R-Design an R or some folks on here will go nuts! :cool:

When I read his post I was thinking this, but didn't even want to mention it.... off to the bomb shelter I go.... and watch :facepalm: this thread unravel as the other ones have!!:beer: :D


But, I look forward to hearing how the car does on a track.. until this nice white cold stuff leaves the ground, I won't be able to get mine anywhere near a track for as couple months! Jealous! :thumbup:
 

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Cool. Have fun. I think it'll be a great track car other than the brakes (according to reviews).

I've been on here for months and I don't remember anyone saying there's a better Sirius module available to help with cutouts. Did I miss it? Mine might need that, not sure.

Oh, and don't call an R-Design an R or some folks on here will go nuts! :cool:
Oh yes, the "real R owners" are about to go sideways with that comment! You have just unleashed the beast!! Damn you!
 

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Real R owners who have 300 HP, AWD, and 4C and... wait... Isn't that just a normal T5 nnnn... I mean uhhh...

TRY OWNING A T-5R WHEN THE S70 T5 COMES OUT, THEN WE'll TALK!
 

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Brakes and rubber would be my first 2 changes. Heico have a BBK but I think it's outsourced from someone else. Not sure who? Last time I checked Brembo and StopTech had nothing for the new S60 as yet.

Mark, quick off topic question. Did you buy the Atom from TMI? Have you been happy with it so far?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just packed my Nomex for the track, so I'm prepared for a flamewar if one erupts... some people get too serious about these kind of things. Sure the R-Design is more design than mods, but it's still Polestar chipped, lowered and suspension tuned. Would I have appreciated better brakes & tranny? Sure. But Volvo reached a nice compromise between performance and cost, lots of fun per dollar. Anyhow, enough of that.

Yes, I bought the Atom SRA from TMI so I could join their spec series, and I love it. The race series has been a lot of fun- solid car, plenty of action on the track, great competitors on and off track, and amazing support from TMI. One example- stuffed the front end into a tire wall after a slight error when the track started getting wet mid-session; they had me up and running with a new rad, upright, tie rod and a few other things for the next session about 90 minutes later. An expensive racing lesson, but I don't think there's many places where you can have the guys who built the car there as your race support, with the factory right next door if you need parts. I'm racing with them again this year, as well as getting the Atom set to do a few SCCA regional races. Is the SRA the fastest Atom? Definitely not, but (much like the S60RD), you'll be hard pressed to find as much fun for close to the same price point.
 

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Hi there all! Been lurking for a few months and decided to start posting. Thanks to all for the tips; I know know a bunch of things to chat with my dealer about once I head in; mostly getting my Sensus updated and pushing for a new Sirius module to get rid of the frequent cutouts.

Anyhow, I'm heading down to VIR on Thursday for a track day. I'm mainly going to be tuning up my Spec Ariel Atom for the race season, but I'm also planning to take out the S60 for some laps for the first time. I love how it runs on the street; this is a chance to see how it handles at the track. Since I'm not planning to do much with it, I'm staying with stock tires and brakes. If I have too much fun, though, I may end up needing new rubber. :)

Anyone have track tire or brake upgrade recommendations? Aside from a dual clutch paddle or fully manual transmission, a brake upgrade is something I would have expected for Polestar to have done for the R.

Thanks, and thanks for the great forum!
I would highly recommend AGAINST running your R-Design at the track. The factory brake pads are documented to glaze with even spirited street driving, and who knows what would happen on a track. I'd recommend the Porterfield R4-S brake pads, which I'd characterize an aggressive street and light track duty pad compound:
http://www.vivaperformance.com/porterfield-r4-s-front-brake-pads-s60-v60-t6-awd/

We also offer front and rear brake rotor upgrades in either drilled/slotted, or slotted only configurations:
http://www.vivaperformance.com/front-brake-rotor-s60-v60/
 

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From one R Design to another, welcome to the group!
 

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I wouldThe factory brake pads are documented to glaze with even spirited street driving, and who knows what would happen on a track.
When they become glazed, they still work but squeak, right?
 

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Well several reviews have reported brake fade and even weak brakes, so I already knew about those problems.

I'm wondering if glazing adds additional problems, but I seem to recall glazing the brakes on my T-5R and just having them squeak under normal driving but still work A-OK when I needed them.
 

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I'm curious what performance and fade-resisting improvements can be had with pad/rotor changes only, w/o changing calipers....anyone know?
 

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I'm curious what performance and fade-resisting improvements can be had with pad/rotor changes only, w/o changing calipers....anyone know?
Technically, I think drilled rotors should dissipate heat better. Aftermarket pads that are meant to be tracked will probably help as well. If you are serious about tracking, I think you would really need to go bigger though. It's such a heavy car and to stop it with that size pad just creates so much damn heat.

Would have been nice if Volvo offered a Brembo option :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just typed up a lengthy post about my VIR track day only to accidentally close the window before sending. Will try again tomorrow after sleep and adequate caffeine, but bottom line? Fun, but not a track car IMO. More later...
 

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Welcome aboard!

I would imagine the RD is as much of a track car as the previous gen R, which is to say it's pretty heavy and understeers a fair amount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK, here goes again. I had a very fun day on VIR North Course. Had my Atom out for 4 passing sessions and took the S60RD out for two non-passing. The S60 suffers by comparison. :) Anyhow, here are my impressions; remember this is entirely stock- no brake or tire changes:

Head-turning: VIR is a track that attracts a lot of nice cars. The pace car is a Maserati, and an R8, a few Lotuses (Lotii?), and many other pieces of automotive eye candy were out while I was there. Nevertheless, I got a number of complements on how sharp the S60RD looked, walk-arounds in the paddock, and the like. Even at a place where great looking expensive cars come to play, the Volvo gets noticed. This felt good. :)

Acceleration: As expected, the car gets up and goes pretty well. I wasn't doing any 0-60 runs to check the reported times, but I was keeping up decently with the others I was running with (944, Vette, etc.).

Transmission: In Sport, it holds well to the redline and shifts decently, if not especially quickly. However, the car didn't really do downshifts as I'd like in braking. It was also prone to upshifting in the midst of accelerating out of turns while still tracking out, which is upsetting at the least and potentially dangerous at worst, especially with some of the off-camber turns (turn 7 on VIR North in particular starts with a steep uphill that falls off quickly). I quickly switched to the Geartronic. It works OK; I'd say it's no slower than I am with a manual and a clutch, though my footwork & shifts are nothing to write home about. It takes a bit of getting used to, and I'm sure I'd get more comfortable with practice. Something better would certainly be nice, but difficult at the price point Volvo's aiming for. Paddles would at least cut some of the hand travel, and I'm somewhat surprised they didn't go this route as it couldn't have been that expensive a change.

Brakes: I echo what's been said before- good initially, but lots of fade after a few laps to the point that I significantly changed my driving because I couldn't count on stopping power. I'm familiar with this track and it's got lots of room to go off safely at the big braking zones, but elsewhere I would have ended the runs much sooner because of this. What could be done? I'll leave that to those with more technical knowledge (pads alone vs. full upgrades), and confine myself to the observation that you've gotta be nuts to track or autocross this car without significant brake improvements.

Handling: Decent overall. A bit of expected understeer, but this is manageable. The AWD helps. Didn't try anything with DTSC on, so I can't compare. Steering lacked some feel, though that's getting to be the norm now even for the handling posterchild, BMW. Tires performed better than expected for stock A/S, though of course you would change those for anything serious.

Overall, I think the S60RD is exactly what I wanted for a daily driver- a spirited, fun car with plenty of creature comforts that would behave if I tossed it around a bit in normal driving. And it looks good. But I think that anyone who buys this car with plans to seriously track or autocross it isn't making a great call. The S60RD needs quite a bit of upgrading to make it a solid track car, and even then will still be burdened by the extra weight for all those amenities. My verdict? Buy it for a daily driver, take it to shows, cruise a bit if you want, and enjoy it. But if you really want to autocross or hit the track, buy something else to do it or play with a cheap older chassis that's lighter and easy to mess with (e.g., Miatas). You can make anything into a track car with enough cash (witness the performance of the Ford Fiesta Rally car on Top Gear USA, or what I expect Polestar will get from the S60 TTA), but mere mortals should enjoy their S60s & RDs in their natural environment- regular driving with a bit of fun thrown in. In the end, cars are tools, and my S60RD is a beautifully made tool that does what I want to do with it very well. For what it's worth, I think folks who buy an M3/M5, RS, or the like and then just commute to work in it are making the wrong call too; you can do that a lot cheaper and more comfortably in something else. Fit your tool to the job.

Anyhow, that's my $0.02.
 
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