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Future models - Volvo - T6 Roadster

First look: Volvo lets its hotrod hair down

Outlandish: T6 Roadster borrows largely from Volvo's luxury S80 flagship.

Volvo lands its first ever hotrod concept at the SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas

11 Nov 2005

VOLVO has pierced its navel, donned black leathers and gone all funky. Out go the cardigans and in comes the T6 Roadster, the company’s first hotrod.

The swish Swede used the SEMA event to unveil its very own Happy Days hand-built hotrod to an enthusiastic crowd used to more mundane motors from the once stolid car-maker.

Even though the mean machine has been around for almost a year, SEMA was its first North American outing.

Based on Volvo components from the S80, the stunning show car uses a twin turbocharged 2.9-litre inline six-cylinder and other components from the more urbane S80.

The engine, rather than being housed under the bonnet, is in the back, just behind the supportive leather bucket seats that were also lifted from an S80.

The five-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, also off the shelf, sends power to the rear wheels.

To aid engine cooling, the bootlid automatically lifts when a preset temperature is reached inside the engine compartment.

Up front is a small compartment containing the mechanicals for the ABS brakes and premium sound system. Like real hotrods, the Roadster uses a custom fabricated, hand-formed tubular steel frame with rear subframes, again from the donor S80.

18 center imageThe fabricated stainless steel A-arms are a work of art for the fully independent front and rear suspension systems, which have carbon-fibre leaf springs.

To make sure it handles, remote-reservoir Ohlins performance shock absorbers are used all round. The rear coil-over shocks, incidentally, are centrally mounted in the engine compartment. Braking up front is handled via six-piston calipers and 330mm discs while the rear discs are carried over from, you guessed it, the S80. At least the wheels are unique to the car – massive 20-inch liquorice sticks up front and 22-inch treads out back.

Inside, the T6 Roadster looks production ready.

Aside from the seats, it shares instruments, headrests, shifter handle and pedal assembly with its S80 donor.

The steering wheel is an S60 unit while the instrument panel has been hand fabricated to locate the gauges centrally on the dashboard.

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