The S60 source car, built from 2000 to 2008, was Volvo's answer to the 3 Series and C Class. You'd never think so to look at it as it comes across as much bigger than either of them, but the coupé-ish looks are deceptive: it's actually quite a bit smaller than a Mondeo, as rear seat passengers with their knees up around their earholes will confirm.
The twin-intercooled, blue-engined S60 R was Volvo's answer to the M3 and S4, though again you might not realise that from the relaxed-feeling drive. For those in the front at least, it's a supremely comfy machine in the finest Volvo tradition, with electronically-controlled dampers, ultra-squidgy seats and a Skyhook active chassis system offering Comfort, Sport and er Advanced, which Volvo described as 'pure racing'.
Volvo didn't make many S60 Rs in the first place and you certainly won't find many for sale now at Shed money. In fact, a quick check online reveals no examples available for under £5,000, and some at very much more than that. Our Shed is just £1,250, so there are going to be a couple of catches. Well, more than a few if we're honest.
First, before we get on to the slightly difficult aspects of our Shed, let's look at the quirks any S60 R owner might encounter. Get one that's been properly looked after and you'll have an understated but deceptively quick compact exec with a hefty dose of five-cylinder character, but a more neglected one like, for example, our Shed, could easily turn into a rolling testament of the things that can go wrong in a complex and specialist car.
We'll start with the four-wheel drive system. Either the transfer case or the rear propshaft's splined sleeve can go west, so any potential buyers will want to make sure that their four-wheel-drive S60 R isn't just a front-driver. Either get it up on a lift that will let you run the car in gear to check for all-wheel rotation or just scrabble underneath to see if you can turn the rear prop by hand. You shouldn't be able to.
If you decide to have a punt on our Shed, you'll want to hear it start from cold. Any lumpiness at idle might suggest split cylinder liners, most common in tuned cars whose engines have become too hot at some point. This problem can also manifest itself in the form of coolant loss and/or a smoky exhaust.
The exhaust system itself will be a few hundred quid with the cats. Cambelt replacement is on a 10yr/115,000 mile basis and isn't a big job. Stick with the approved spark plugs as these engines are a bit fussy.
Now, let's have a look at this particular car. It's done 209,000 miles, 20,000 of them in the last year. Although the last MOT was clear, there are only two weeks to go before the next test and judging by the pics, it's a well loved car - a well somethinged car, anyway - with unspecified body damage which it is safe to assume from the pics will be on the driver's side. The vendor invites you to give him a call on this matter.
But who cares about any of that! It has 300hp! How often will you have a chance to experience this sort of performance in your life, at this sort of money?
According to the ad, our S60 R even has a parrot. On this occasion, we can say with total accuracy that this should be of the 'whoosh' variety. For two weeks at least.
Volvo S60 R AWD. 300 BHP 56 plate 4 Wheel Drive. 207k miles. Full leather interior, very high spec, sat nav, phone, parrot, 6CD multiplay. Has some bodywork damage. Very fast 5 second car!! Please call for additional information on body damage.