Nice review from Swedespeed
"S60 North American brand manager, Frank Vacca, says that its characteristics didn't match up well to the T6."
This in reference to the Powershift transmission.
That doesnt really add up to be honest.
The original S80 T6 has manual cars as development models but Volvo decided the character of the S80 T6 was suited to an automatic. This was a rapid but large, luxury car and not an R variant. Of course, Volvo could have pushed the S80 in that direction as per other sporty large cars since 1999.
Saying the Powershift isnt suited to the T6 suggests somehow the Geartronic is suited but that is contradictory to the fact the S60 is the sportiest Volvo ever. You can't push the sporty tag line and then say the car is suited to an auto. I think this is just to say something when there isnt a manual and the Powershift isnt ready.
You're right about the manual version. Indeed, volumes are too low to justify it even if the majority of that small % who want the manual frequent websites such as this and make it seem there is a massive demand.
I think it is more likely that the RNC, RN, D5 family and SI6 Powershifts arent ready yet. When the original Powershift was launched, Volvo even then said larger versions for the larger engines were in the works. Given the fuel consumption benefit, Powershifts will replace the current automatic gearboxes eventually.
VAG's DSG boxes come under a lot of critisism for rough changes up to 2nd, down to 1st or 2nd and also into reverse (even on brand new models, not just older ones). Whilst a concern of an automated manual box, hopefully Volvo-Ford-Getrag (three way co-development) have got it right. For the larger Volvo engines, that's a pure Volvo-Getrag project. Careful design and software can make a Powershift smooth so as to unworrying replace the potentially silky smooth fluid automatics (potential re depends which supplier it comes from!!).
Wet or dry cluthes and the electro or electro-hydraulic actuator of the Powershift are the key to getting good shifts. Once mature and refined these should replace conventional automatics across the product line.
The R design should step the S60 on another level and dealer installed ECU updates as options as per my comments here
would give you a R with very little effort.
Come on Volvo!!! (and launch the C30R whilst you're there too).