Rahul Kapoor; Photography:
2.0 Litre 4 cylinder turbocharged Drive-E D4204T5 DOHC
Cetane Number min 48
Strut, Coil Springs, Hydraulic Shock Absorbers, Stabilizer Bar
Suspension with Coil Springs, Hydraulic Shock Absorbers, Stabilizer Bar
with ABS, EBD & EBA
Sporty and luxurious
sedans in India have always been synonymous with a place in Europe called
Germany. The names of the big three – Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi ----are the
ones that come to the minds of the Indian population when it comes to luxury
saloons. What if I were to tell you there is another place besides Germany?
Sporty, luxury sedans don’t always have to be German. I’m sure most of you
would be scratching your heads right now.
Yes, we have
always wanted to bring you something from Sweden. I am talking about the new
Volvo S60 R-Design.
In India, people
are slowly getting to know more about Volvo cars, and the ones who do have only
one opinion of it. “It’s a great car, it’s the safest car” and that’s it. This
has been quite a problem for Volvo in India where “Safest Car” isn’t
interesting in anyway. So what has Volvo
done to fix that problem? For starters, they fiddled with the styling of an
already strikingly pretty car and made it even more sport like. And then they
added the letter R in the name which everyone knows makes everything faster.
bonnet, Volvo has thrown out its old 5 cylinder diesel engine and screwed in a
humble 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder Drive-E diesel engine which send 181bhp and 400Nm
of torque to the front wheels through a new 8-speed automatic gearbox. So is it
any good? Is it really worthy of an R?
How about I
start by saying the new D4 engine is a peach to drive and the new 8 speed
transmission is so immediate on the up shift and even on the down. If you
thought all diesels sound like canal boats, try the sound track of the S60 R,
it's like a collection of greatest hits of a progressive rock album when you
play all the songs all together---the songs align perfectly all because the
engine ignition firing sequence is 1-3-4-2 which makes a massive gurgle of
sound as you drive along. The only problem was that if you wanted to turn the
traction control off, you’d have to go through the entire car settings menu to
response in normal mode is a bit sluggish, but there are no comfort or sport
modes to choose from. It’s a simple “it is what it is” kind of car. However,
you can be all sport by pushing the gear lever into ‘S’ and that changes
everything. It’s a different animal in ‘S’. The throttle becomes more alert,
the transmission shifts quicker with every flick of the paddle, the engine
becomes more louder and the steering gets even heavier despite its already
perfect weightiness and you can really feel the road in your hands. Despite the
fact that the competition is floating around with RWD cars, the Volvo sends
181bhp all to the front wheels and yet there just isn’t any kind of understeer
unless you get to about 150kmph, but where do you drive at 150kmph on Indian
The exterior of the S60 R gets subtle changes
from the standard ones. The front bumper is slightly different with a mesh
airdam instead of slats, and there is a newly designed fog lamp assembly. The
rear only gets a subtle appearance but a massive visual upgrade with a new
diffuser and mufflers which makes the car even more bold and sticking to the
eye. The Interior hasn’t changed at all apart from a few buttons from the
standard car and that is a really a good thing. The seats are extremely
comfortable and the leather and interior materials used have also been tested
for allergies. Who does that in this world these days? The instrument cluster
hasn’t changed and I did feel earlier that it was a bit overwhelming. Once you
get used to it, there is no turning back.
To sum it all
up, for Rs.40 Lakh, you could get yourself a German made sedan, and be a part
of the Tom, Dick and Harry clan, or go for the S60 R and dazzle people as you
drive along. Why go for the S60? The exclusivity factor is one definite reason.
To top it all off, when someone asks you what car you drive and you say “Volvo”,
it’s something that will make you feel really proud.
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