Volvo S60 T6 AWD

 

By Tim Saunders

Performance enhancing drugs have been favoured by a small number of disgraced sports personalities. Most notably former world champion cyclist Lance Armstrong and athlete Ben Johnson.

The equivalent of steroids in the world of motoring are external changes that include lowered suspension, alloy wheels and low profile tyres, a distinctive finish and twin exhausts for good measure. Manufacturers can’t stop there though because it’s what’s under the bonnet that must be tinkered with to deliver gut wrenching, eye-watering performance.

And that’s exactly what Volvo has done with its S60 T6 saloon. Boy, this is a fabulous car, a real boyracer’s delight – such an untypical Volvo as you can see in the video at testdrives.biz.

If you have ever driven the standard S60 it is a pleasant enough experience and an enjoyable drive. But that is an entirely different kettle of fish to this bright blue Swede with its black alloy wheels. Push the accelerator just a little and the force is enough to push you forcefully back into the leather upholstery. Under pressure the engine emits an attractive, raspy tone further adding to its sporty credentials.

This package is enough to unnerve even the most hardened BMW M3 driver. For that matter the power available from this 300bhp monster reminds me of the old Jaguar XJR, which when new cost the thick end of £50,000 and the rest with extras. All of which makes this sub-£40,000 Swede particularly attractive.

This all-wheel drive beast grips the road well, too. Consider that a £90,000 plus Maserati GranTurismo hits 0 to 60mph in 5.2 seconds, this Volvo is only a shade over half a second slower. Quite an achievement.

Consider too, all the pioneering safety features that Maserati ignores. The S60 has a sophisticated cruise control coupled to a radar that automatically keeps the Volvo a safe distance from the car in front. It’s also a reliable system, keeping the car at a set speed regardless of hills. This Volvo will also automatically brake and accelerate and there is a helpful blind spot alert. There’s a camera to aid reversing.

Inside, driver and passengers are treated to electrically adjustable heated leather front seats, air conditioning, all round electric windows and wing mirrors.

Car experts Parkers, write: “The previous Volvo S60 came close, but not close enough to unseating, or even unsettling the German’s dominance of the small exec class. This time could be very different. The 300bhp T6 has four-wheel drive instead of the front-wheel drive of other S60 models. It’s quick and grippy.”

The temptation when driving such a vehicle is to floor it at every conceivable opportunity because it’s such a joy. Other motorists are forced to make a double take because they cannot believe that it is a Volvo. By far one of my favourites.


Volvo S60 R-Design T6

New price range: £39,865
Used price range: £26,251
0-60mph: 5.9secs
Top speed: 155mph
Power: 300bhp
Economy: 28mpg

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