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Paris show: Volvo takes a walk on the wild side

Preview: The Volvo Performance Concept Car is a preview of the S60 T5R production car expected in 2002.

Paris plays host to a wild new Volvo concept

Volvo logo28 Sep 2000

VOLVO has unveiled a high-tech sports sedan based on the new S60, complete with four-wheel drive, a 224kW turbocharged engine and active suspension.

Called the Performance Concept Car, the wild-looking sedan revealed at the Paris show is confirmation that Volvo is well advanced in its development of a T5R version of the S60.

The production car is tipped to surface in 2002 and is expected to be part of a wave of hot R-spec Volvos.

"The work we have done with the Performance Car Concept helps us to choose the right path for a feasible high-performance model in the future," said project manager Mr Hans Nilsson.

Volvo's design boss Mr Peter Horbury said his team "wanted to provide a hint of what a future high-performance car with a Volvo badge could look like".

"The Volvo Performance Car Concept has a subtle racing-car appearance that conveys refined sporty appeal."While its hard to agree that the 19-inch magnesium wheels - sourced from the SuperTourer S40 raced in the British Touring Car Championship - and shod with 245/35 tyres are subtle, the PCC is not festooned with outrageous add-ons.

There are front and rear spoilers, twin additional air intakes and dual inset rectangular exhaust pipes. The car is finished in "Laser blue", with details offset in HSV-like silver-satin finish, including the spoiler aerofoils and the side skirts.

Inside, the sports image is continued with deeply contoured seats upholstered in leather and suede, while the pedals are made of ribbed aluminium, the instruments set in a panel surrounded by suede trim and the panel gauges in an exclusive shade of blue.

The subtly is eschewed in the engine bay where a turbocharged version of Volvo's 2435cc engine sits, producing 224kW and 400Nm of torque. It is mated to an in-house developed six-speed, four-shaft gearbox.

If the T5R appears with those figures, it will be the most powerful Volvo ever sold.

All that power and torque is channelled to the road by an electronic four-wheel drive system developed with 4WD expert Haldex. Volvo claims the system is characterised by extremely rapid engagement and disengagement.

The 4WD system is linked via the car's Multiplex electronic processor system to the unique "FOUR-C" continuously controlled chassis to provide optimum driver control.

FOUR-C collects information about the way the car moves and responds instantly by adjusting the damper characteristics to suit. The system offers three chassis modes - Comfort, Sport and Advanced Sport.

The Multiplex system also supplies information to the dampers to help them prepare for sudden events. For example, if the driver brakes firmly, this information reaches the dampers a few milliseconds before the brake pads actually grab the discs.

FOUR-C has been developed in conjunction with Swedish suspension expert Ohlins.

Further handling aid is offered by Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, although its assistance level varies depending on the chassis mode selected.

The high-speed stability of the car is enhanced by a smooth undertray front designed to minimise lift at speed.

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