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<A HREF="http://www.bowleather.co.uk/sti/web/site/BridgeOfWeir/News/NewsVolvo.asp" TARGET="_blank">http://www.bowleather.co.uk/st...o.asp</A><p>Volvo's hard core 'R' cars go soft!<p>There is a subtlety to the confident, muscular stance of Volvo's new 300bhp S60 R and V70 R. Driver-oriented machines with athletic attitude they may be, but the inner self of each brings a certain civility not always associated with performance saloons and estates. At the heart of this feel good factor is what Volvo calls Atacama.<p>A companion to an already acclaimed and brilliantly executed interior design, Atacama is the name given to the soft, natural leather that is unique to the seats and door insert trims of the Volvo R derivatives. Atacama is a desert in Chile.<p>Bridge of Weir and the Swedish company worked together to produce a product that would incorporate all the great feel and look of high quality leather while offering the right balance between long distance comfort and lateral support to hold occupants in place during swift progress on more challenging roads. A full grain aniline leather was chosen. Aniline leather has a particularly natural appearance and is exquisitely supple to the touch. Its surface is protected by a water-based coating, allowing the excellent wear properties of normal high-grade automotive leather.<p>"Only specially selected hides from high quality Northern European beef cattle are used", said Bridge of Weir Leather Company Director, Jonathan Muirhead. Indeed even taking hides from the best herd sources, we generally consider that two in 10 are good enough to be processed for this application. The protective coating reveals most of the hides' natural characteristics. The Atacama leather process is designed specifically to enhance the naturalness of the leather. No two car interiors will be identical, giving each car an individual hallmark of quality. Around four cattle hides are used for the interior of each R-car model. They are organically tanned without any metal compounds, using pure, soft Scottish water. The dyes and oils are natural, not synthetic.<p>Redolent of traditional saddle leather of a bygone era, Atacama meets all the stringent technical demands required of a contemporary automotive interior material in an age of environmental awareness. Volvo is Bridge of Weir?s largest customer with leather supplied for all the large platform cars - S60, V70, XC70, S80 and XC90.<p>Bridge of Weir has supplied Volvo for two decades, starting with the 740/760 range.
 

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Interesting to read about this. My Gobi R is nice, but the Atacama R's I've ridden in just look so mmmm. Nice to learn that Volvo tried to make it better for the driver, and not just a different color.
 
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