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Old 07-04-2002, 18:24   #1 (permalink)
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Smile No joke: Volvo to sell speed ... again

Article and pic from Drive.com.au

Not a bad looking car IMO.




The company that built its reputation on safety has revived its attempt to sell speed – and try to put an end to Volvo jokes once and for all.
The Swedish maker has built a car it claims will rival performance thoroughbreds.

The $100,000 Volvo is still a year away in Australia but the maker released details of the car in Europe this week.

The S60R (pictured) has almost as much power as a V8 Commodore – from a turbocharged five-cylinder engine which drives all four wheels.

The car is part of Volvo's strategy to extinguish a generation of Volvo jokes.

Ridicule had diminished in recent years until two months ago when a Queensland judge commented about Volvo drivers during a trial over a road rage incident.

Company spokesman Graeme Adam said he didn't think the comments had undone efforts to improve its image, but admitted media mockery had "crept up a bit lately".

"The judge did it," Adam said. "The talkback radio people picked up on his comments and you can see it [in the research]. There was a quiet period and then we were back in the media again."

Adam said talkback radio "lacks a certain amount of originality and choice of topics". Radio hosts "copy each other, plagiarise and copy something that was written up in a primary report".

"It [the judge's remarks] created a bush fire for a couple of weeks and then it died again."

Adam said Volvo's decision to sell speed would not damage the brand's safety image.

"Volvo has been doing this now for 10 years," he said. "It's an evolving process and fast (cars) are part of broadening the profile of the company.

"I don't think it's irresponsible. Driving is in the hands of the driver. People who buy high-performance cars are very responsible drivers. They know what skilful driving is all about."

Adam said the S60R was probably the limit for Volvo's performance threshold and he doubts the company will build a Ferrari rival.

Volvo expects to sell 50 of the new S60R sedans locally. Unlike the concept car, the production car has subtle styling cues. It looks like an ordinary S60 but has a revised bumper, unique wheels and a lower stance.
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Old 07-04-2002, 19:05   #2 (permalink)
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