We stopped in the Volvo stand today and were granted an interview with the head of developement on the R cars. It's VERY in depth (lasted about an hour) and it provided me with a bunch more info than we had before. I'm going to go over what I can remember now, and I'll be posting all of it in interview format very soon.<p>First, the Rs use a more aggressive Haldex program that can allow up to 70% to go to the rear wheels.<p>The transmission is an all new design. This six speed may look like the typical 5spd Spaceball, but it's different. It's set for higher torque rating, closer ratios, and shorter shift throws (both side to side and front to back).<p>The brakes are crazy. I can't remember the wear details, but I do remember him saying that at the recent press event at Paul Riccard Raceway in France, they brought a lot of extra brake pads etc. that went unused. They ran them all day by reporters and the brakes were fine.... no fade.<p>Rickard Rydell did give some input to the car's setup, as did some others. They tested the car at Anderstorp (with a chicane set up on the longest straight) to slow top speed in that section. I believe he said that the R and the M3 lapped it with the same best time. They also played with a '78 242 flathood that's raceprepped and run in a hobbyist's endurance series there (run by Volvo employees) and that nudged them both out (go 240! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0"> ).<p>The Atacama leather is only in the orange. The other two leather colors are beige and the dark blue (almost black he said). The seats are the same between all of them (only the leather hide differs).<p>18" wheels will not be offered as an option on the V70. That's mainly because they believe V70 drivers won't need them. Mainly, the most hardcore owners will order them, and if you read between the lines, they don't want cars out there ordered with the wheels and customers not realizing what they are getting into.<p>The new big brakes mean that 17" is as small as you can go on the Rs. Further, it's an even more aggressive offset than the S80/V70/S60, meaning other Volvo alloys (even 17s) may not fit, and R wheels may need spacers if you want to run them on your standard FWD or AWD Volvo.<p>Interestingly, the V70R on the stand has 18s on it.<p>That's about all for now. I'll do my best to get this interview up ASAP (possibly this week).