RE: Volvo S60 R | Spotted

RE: Volvo S60 R | Spotted

Thursday 13th June

Volvo S60 R | Spotted

Because pale metallic green with orange leather never looked so good



The S60 R (and its V70 R sibling) don't fit very conveniently into the fast Volvo story. They didn't enjoy the iconic status of the mid-90s 850s because touring car regulations had changed by that point, and nor do they enjoy the cachet of the later Polestar-fettled cars. And they were too early for that Yamaha V8...

In the case of the S60 it was not helped by the strength of competition upon launch in 2003. The BMW M3 was at the height of its E46 pomp, the Audi S4 packed that stonking 4.2-litre V8, and the rally replicas were still readily available for the ultimate in four-seat fun. In that sector, the 300hp S60 couldn't quite cut it - not as fast as the Germans, not as furious as the Japanese. It just wasn't quite good enough.


Still, time can be kind. More than 15 years later and the S60 R looks a rare, stylish, quick and eminently tunable old Swedish saloon. Being different only gets you so far in a fiercely competitive new market; secondhand, though, when purchases don't have to be so rational, some quirky traits can come to the fore.

Which is where this particular S60 R comes in, because it's in the very seldom seen launch specification of light green metallic paint with orange leather. Which sounds horrific, but we'd argue works pretty successfully. If nothing else it's more interesting than the usual blues, silvers and blacks that Volvos are often seen in.

Moreover, this must be one of the most cherished S60 Rs in existence. A right-hand drive import (presumably from Japan), it has covered only 32,000 miles and looks as pristine as you might hope for an average annual mileage of around 2k. That vivid leather isn't too far from factory fresh, the metallic paint sparkles and those handsome 18-inch wheels don't carry a blemish. For a design almost 20 years old, this era of S60 has aged remarkably well.


As perhaps the nicest S60 R available, this car is also the most expensive, at £7,450. Some will be put off by the automatic gearbox too, given its less than favourable reputation in period. With infrequent and considerate use though, and without the harsh light of close rivals to drive back to back, it's surely something that could be tolerated.

Manual cars are available, as are cheaper versions but the spec has us sold on this S60 R. It'll be a talking point at meets and in club gatherings, and has a welcome injection of character for something could never be called the most exciting of cars. And while it will never be as iconic as something like Gul Yellow on T5 850s, there's something about a fast Volvo that dares to be just a little different. You won't see another one anytime soon, that's for sure...


SPECIFICATION - VOLVO S60 R
Engine:
2,521cc, 5-cyl turbo
Transmission: 5-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 300@5,250rpm
Torque (lb ft): 295@1,950-5,250rpm
MPG: c. 28
CO2: 256g/km
First registered: 2003
Recorded mileage: 32,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £7,450

See the original advert here

Author
Discussion

Billy_Whizzzz

Original Poster:

1,117 posts

85 months

Thursday
quotequote all
£15k? Bloody Hell.

can't remember

582 posts

70 months

Thursday
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Billy_Whizzzz said:
£15k? Bloody Hell.
Only if you're planning on buying two of them. It's up for £7450.

These are genuinely really quick, all weather, sleepers. No one expects a 15 year old Volvo to go like this.

Augustus Windsock

1,692 posts

97 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Around 3 years ago I owned a V70R one of these
Yes, the autobox wasn’t anywhere near as good as the manual imho but otherwise a great car for the money
Mine had one owner from new who had taken it to 200k and had it serviced every 3 (three!) months due to the miles he piled on
Before I bought the car he had the gearbox rebuilt, rear drive shafts sorted (common problem iirc and something to do with the splines?), new Turbo, new discs and pads and much more
I paid the princely sum of...£1200 for it.
Smoked it for a while and then sold it for £2400, and when I advertised it I had 20 responses within the first 6hours, all wanting to buy it unseen.
The featured car is nice but £15k? Hmmmn, I’ll pass, despite it probably being the best available

tosh.brice

158 posts

153 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Two silly typos in one short article? Not only does "yours for" show double, as mentioned, but it looks like an auto, the article says it's an auto, and the spec at the bottom of the article says it's manual!

ocrx8

737 posts

138 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Never driven one but the seats are cloud9 loved them from launch.
Advertisement

Axeboy

188 posts

62 months

Thursday
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Had a manual one in the same colour some years back and then a 335i just after it. The volvo genuinely felt more special and different compared to the Bmw. It was however horrific on fuel tongue out

aston addict

223 posts

100 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Rather like this, even the seat color. But those ugly daft wind deflector things on the top of the doors would have to go....

CarlosSainz100

57 posts

62 months

Thursday
quotequote all
I like that
Does this have the horrendous turning circle like the S60 though? That got quite tiresome in my S60 and spoiled things somewhat

ianwayne

2,306 posts

210 months

Thursday
quotequote all
There's a huge difference in performance between the manual and automatics though from that era. Orange leather isn't that rare either. That place in Lichfield has several of them it seems!

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201...


Gez79

79 posts

125 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Axeboy said:
Had a manual one in the same colour some years back and then a 335i just after it. The volvo genuinely felt more special and different compared to the Bmw. It was however horrific on fuel tongue out
Interesting, I've always liked the S60 and shortlisted an R but decided to go for a 335i instead at the time. It was hard to find a manual Volvo, I was scared off by the fuel economy and didn't quite feel old enough for one.

Still wonder if I should have bought one. I had a similar dilemma as to whether I should have got a V60 Polestar this time round but didn't take the plunge.


Augustus Windsock

1,692 posts

97 months

Thursday
quotequote all
CarlosSainz100 said:
I like that
Does this have the horrendous turning circle like the S60 though? That got quite tiresome in my S60 and spoiled things somewhat
Brings back memories of my ex-colleagues on ‘Traffic’ (as it was known then) in the early/mid 90’s
At the time, Notts was the car crime capital of England and the best, or worst, TWOC’ers lived on Bestwood Estate on the outskirts of Nottingham.
They would steal a car, scream around at warp factor 6 and after having gained the passing attention of the erstwhile traffic cops, would lead them on a merry dance before diving into the aforementioned estate. Which of course they knew like the back of their hands
The favourite trick to evade capture was to keep turning onto ever tightening roads and then spin round, screaming with laughter as their pursuers attempted a 7-point turn.

Dion20vt

250 posts

104 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Face lift manual V70R in sonic blue please tank

The later 2.4 S60/V70 T5's were very underrated cars, 90% of the performance of the R with half the running costs!

SweptVolume

343 posts

35 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Pretty sure that the auto in these is not only a rather sleepy slusher, but it couldn't handle the torque so the engine was artificially throttled in the otherwise fat mid range.

Still, as a manual at least, I always liked these as a left-field alternative to all the obvious contenders. It had active suspension back when saloon cars didn't get such things, so was pretty ahead of its time, too.

Matt Bird

1,068 posts

147 months

PH Reportery Lad

Thursday
quotequote all
Billy_Whizzzz said:
£15k? Bloody Hell.
Apologies, don't copy and paste spec boxes! It's £7,450. Will sort now...

Type R Tom

2,520 posts

91 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Minidisc player, still got a load floating about the house.

BricktopST205

500 posts

76 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Save a lot more money and get a Stage 3 Saab 9-5 Aero. Better looking cars as well in my opinion.

https://youtu.be/hn8JWJaZx3s

CallisKarting

14 posts

61 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Had one in the exact same spec, Flash Green and 'baseball' smile leather. Best seats and stereo i've had in anything but i couldn't cope with auto long term, sold the BMW 535d that came not long after it for the same reason. I think your either a clutch pedal person or not, i'm not *my column mounted auto Volvo Amazon aside - that was a fun car!
Sold the S60R with 185K miles on it for around £2k which was more than i paid, would happily have a V70R manual though, good cars for the money.

RedSwede

200 posts

136 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Had basically the manual equivalent of this car back in the day. Performance was decent for it's day - with a remap I don't think it was too different to an M3 because of the wider spread of power.

The 4C suspension was a pretty advanced setup for the time, adjusting to the road pretty quickly. It would smooth out the ripples in the road and stiffen it up nicely through corners. It was also just about fast enough to sense the big wheel movement dropping into any kind of pothole, and stiffen that up to maximum by the time it hit the rising edge... Would have been a really nice car with some good passive dampers.

As said above, the rare-as-hens-teeth 2.4 T5 Manual is the one to have.

sjabrown

1,274 posts

102 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Ordinarily I would say both the paint and leather colours are ghastly but somehow look rather good on that car.

Jon_S_Rally

337 posts

30 months

Thursday
quotequote all
Always liked these, but would take the V70R over the S60R every time. I think I would prefer one of the more subtle colour combos too.

The only thing that puts me off is the cost of purchase compared to a T-5/2.5T/2.4T and the horror stories you hear about the AWD system. I think I would probably plump for a nice 2WD turbo petrol one and then spend the money saved on some choice upgrades.

I did run a V70 D5 of this vintage for a while and it didn't seem as well built as the 850 I had. Bits were quite expensive for it too.

A V70R is still a car I would like to sample though!