Volvo S60 R-Design

From Volvo press: S60 R-Design - an even sharper and more exciting Volvo drive. Following in the tracks of the all-new Volvo S60, Volvo Cars' chassis experts are now taking the next step on the road to car enthusiast paradise. The result is the Volvo S60 R-Design - even sportier, even more dynamic and even more exciting.

The chassis team fitted what is known as a strut brace under the bonnet, that is to say a bar that ties together the suspension strut towers. This is a classic method of stiffening up the body structure. The car now has a more solid feel to it, which in turn helps make the steering feel even more responsive with a distinctive contact with the road.

At the rear the S60 R-Design features monotube dampers. Unlike the twin-tube dampers previously used, the monotube system features compression and return damping via the same valve. This gives shorter, faster fluid flow, which in turn means the damper responds more quickly. This higher operating speed takes care of the initial roll tendency that can be felt just when turning the steering-wheel. It's an effective way to improve the response and the connected feel.

The front and rear springs have been shortened by 15 mm to give the car more attitude. What is more, spring stiffness is 15 percent higher compared to the dynamic chassis in the S60. "This makes the car easier to control and reduces any tendency to lurch. This is an area that requires true fingertip sensitivity in order to find the right blend of dynamics and comfort. If you go too far the car feels bumpy even on smooth surfaces. We've invested a whole lot of time and effort in finding the ideal balance," says Paul Welander.

The bushings with which the rear dampers are attached to the body are 20 percent stiffer compared with the dynamic chassis in the S60. The front tie-blade bushing, that is to say the attachment in the rear of the car, is a massive 400 percent stiffer than before to counteract wheel bouncing and shaking.
"The stiffer the bushing, the less oscillation and roll. Movements are more controlled. This is clearly noticeable inside the car," says Paul Welander.

Just like in the standard version, the chassis in the S60 R-Design is backed up by a range of electronic systems that sharpen the sporty driving experience still further. Corner Traction Control is a new feature that uses torque vectoring to make for smoother cornering. The technology is a further refinement of the DSTC anti-spin system. When taking a curve, the car's inner wheel is braked so more power is transferred to the outer wheel. This gives the driver a tighter line in the curve, with reduced understeering tendency.