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Hi everybody, I'm a long-time RWD Volvo owner (with some FWD action and a P2 XC70 to boot) looking to get into the R I have wanted for so long. This will probably be the last car I buy for the next 5-10 years so I'm hoping to plan it out well. I currently daily drive a 2004 Land Rover Discovery (I guess I love cars that need constant attention) and I intend to keep two cars since I like being able to do my own work. I sold my modded 04 WRX 6 months ago and I want to go fast again, just more maturely and comfortably.

I'm searching for an 05+ V70R (my first choice, love that sleeper look) or S60R (my SO's first choice) with an MT. I want to make this R a visually subtle, project daily driver/occasional track car with the goal of 370-400 wheel HP (want a fast ride, will need a kid-hauler, can't have a 3rd car). I want to start with something on the cheaper side to save money for the mods (ie if I could find a cheap one in good cosmetic shape with a blown turbo, for example, that would be the dream starting point). There is a dearth of 06+ Rs near me but tons of 05s, and the 05s seem to be in better shape and are cheaper. I am wondering if the Haldex preload is something worth holding out for. Does it really make much of a difference? Are there other compelling reasons to go 06+? I don't care about entertainment system or nav since I'm going to go aftermarket on that anyway.

Can the 05 be upgraded via software or parts to preload the rear tires? I have a lot of experience making mods, designing custom parts, etc. If the work is possible, I can do it myself with confidence, I just don't know enough about how the Haldex system performs preloading in the newer Rs to know if that is realistic.

Regarding upgrades, I live in CA now and want to remain subtle and pass the smog sniffer as well as the computerized portion. I'm planning to stick with all stock-ish looking parts for the visual. Any opinions on parts or all of the following list would be appreciated both from a performance and a passing-smog perspective. Can I reach my goals on the following mods with pump gas?

Planned mod list (opinions on any of the following is appreciated):
Turbo
Intake
Intercooler
Hilton tune (dual map)
Injectors
Lowering springs
Sway bars (any opinions on IPD vs adjustable Elevate bars appreciated)
clutch (after I burn off what's left of the stock one)
upgraded collar gear (like this http://www.pdvmotorsports.com/products/m66-collar for when I break the stock one)
Cat back exhaust (run full time)
down pipe (probably catted, will swap for smog)

Thanks for your thoughts!
 

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I've been into these caRs for a few years now and my 04' Passionm66 which I bought in the end of 13' in Ca and just sold a week ago after driving the car 35000 miles in FWD. Damn the dealer for selling it to me like that. Sold it to a good buddy, he paid for the collar gear job, I kept my PVD collar gear for future R plans like th 06-07s. On to your ? I copied this from what awdwiki "Volvo calls Haldex 3 & 4 Instant Traction, because it will activate the rear wheels with just 15 degrees (1/24th) of a front wheel spin. And it sends 60 ft-lbs of pre-charged torque to the rear wheels instantaneously. This is an improvement over Haldex 2 which will send torque more gradually to the rear wheels after 1/7th (51 degrees) of a front wheel spin." hell idk if it's worth much as far as performance but I'll be able to tell you from experience as soon as I pick up my 06' this weekend.
 

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I was also a little leery of Haldex part-time AWD (came from something with Quattro), but in the real world, it hooks up just fine in snow/slush/ice from a stop and does glorious powerslides in snowy parking lots with DTSC reduced or off. What more could one ask for?
 

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Also, preload involves a different rear AOC (active on-demand coupling, the clutched unit which transfers power to the back) than 04-05 models, as well as software. I don't recall the exact post, but I remember reading once on here about someone who asked some clever Volvo engineers if 04-05s were upgradeable to Instant Traction, and the answer was no.
 

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It's 1/17 a wheel revolution vs 1/4 a revolution... Not bad either way. Good tires will make the difference unnoticeable.
 
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