Volvo R cars - ultimate driving experience with intelligent functionality
Volvo's new R cars - the limited-production Volvo S60 R and Volvo V70 R - are true performance cars, but that doesn't mean you need the skills of a racing driver to appreciate them, says Hans Nilsson, Car Line Manager R, Volvo Car Corporation.
The Volvo S60 R sport sedan and V70 R sport wagon, which go on sale in spring of 2003, have been designed for the ultimate driving experience, says Nilsson, without compromising the intelligent functionality that is the hallmark of Volvo.
"In the R car, you can feel like a racing driver, but you don't have to be one to control it," he says.
Accordingly, Volvo has insured that the driver has easy access to the extremely sophisticated technology that sets the S60 R and V70 R apart from all other vehicles, one of the world's most advanced active suspension systems. The driver needs only to push one of three control buttons - Comfort, Sport and Advanced Sport - to turn the new R car from a relaxing family car to either an extremely competent sports car or the ultimate performance machine.
"If you are interested, you can immerse yourself in the technology and learn all about the features," says Nilsson. "Alternatively, you can just use your finger to choose which type of driver you want to be."
One thing is for sure, though, he adds. Whatever button you push, the S60 R or V70 R "will give you the time of your life."
All previous R cars - going back to the first yellow T-5R in 1995 - have been conceived to help make driving enjoyment a prominent Volvo virtue. Nilsson says the mission of the new R concept is to give Volvo an even firmer presence in the "driving excitement" category.
"This time, the message is much stronger since the technology level in the new R concept is much higher," says Nilsson. "Our previous R models were focused on extreme estate cars [wagons]. This time, we are also showing that we mean business with a sports sedan. We have enhanced the driving experience in the S60 R, which is an exceptionally fun-to-drive car even in standard form. We therefore expect to sell more S60 R than V70 R models."
Sales of the new Volvo S60 R and Volvo V70 R start in spring, 2003. Volvo plans to sell 7,000 R cars a year, and expects the five largest markets to be the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan and Sweden.
"This type of car attracts a younger buying group in Europe. Here, it's more about posing and performance, while the American buyers have a more relaxed attitude. They look for a top-of-the-line car that is fun to drive," says Nilsson.