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AIMS: Volvo targets BMW M3 with hot S60

Red rocket: The S60 Performance Project's engine software upgrade - from Volvo’s motorsport partner Polestar - ups the 3.0-litre T6 engine’s power output by 18kW to 242kW.

Volvo creates red-hot S60 sports sedan concept just for Australia

4 Jul 2011

VOLVO Australia has created a piping-hot sports sedan concept to gauge local demand for a higher-performance version of its mid-size S60 four-door.

Based on the standard S60 T6 AWD R-Design sedan ($69,150 plus on-road costs), the ‘S60 Performance Project’ concept appeared at Friday’s Australian International Motor Show opening with a number of locally fitted performance tweaks.

They include an engine software upgrade from Volvo’s motorsport partner Polestar, which ups the 3.0-litre T6 engine’s power output by 18kW to 242kW while raising peak torque by 40Nm to 480Nm and delivering a claimed 22 per cent more performance “at various parts of the rev range”.

Courtesy of Germany tuning house Heico are unique 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero rubber and a specific exhaust system designed to accentuate the T6’s exhaust note.

Volvo Car Australia managing director Matt Braid told GoAuto the S60 Performance Project was a local initiative that could lead to limited production of a special-edition S60 sedan.

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“We’re looking at a small run before the end of this year, depending on demand,” he said, adding that initial volume would be restricted to about 50 vehicles that would command a price premium of about $10,000.

“Volvo is not traditionally recognised for performance in Australia, but that is changing. The S60 T6 already boasts excellent performance credentials and the S60 Performance Project takes that even further.

“With the extra power, torque and unique wheels and exhaust system, the S60 Performance Project really is a very special-edition S60.”

Like the standard S60 T6 R-Design, the higher-performance show car rides on 15mm-lower springs that are also 15 per cent stiffer than those of the standard S60 T6.

As with the R-Design, it also comes with monotube rear dampers, 20 per cent stiffer suspension bushes, sports seats, a leather-clad three-spoke steering wheel, aluminium-faced pedals and blue-ringed instruments.

Founded in 1996, Polestar has developed 850, S40, S60 and now C30 racecars for Volvo, while the Swedish brand’s relationship with Heico began in 1989 when Heico opened the Hedtke Volvo dealership in Weiterstadt, Germany.

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