“Mamma Mia!” 2012 Volvo S60 R Design

2012 Volvo S60

The Italian phrase for “My Goodness” comes to mind as I test the Volvo S60 this past week.  It was a Passion Red all wheel drive four door sedan dressed out in the “R Design” configuration, fully loaded.  R Design refers to the special front styling, blue watch dial instrument cluster, increased horsepower, tuned suspension, special wheels, dual tailpipes, and trunk tail fin.  The 3 liter, 325 horsepower six makes this car the most powerful production Volvo ever, and is an in-line model setting crosswise under the hood of the car, providing a measure of frontal collision safety.  It’s turbocharged and provides 354 lb./ft. of torque with a redline of 7,000 rpms.  Coupled with a six speed automatic transmission, the zero to sixty and top speed numbers are reportedly 5.3 seconds and 134 governor limited miles per hour.  Fuel (premium) numbers are 18/26, and I have noted a readout of 22.7 mpg.  The car rides on 18” IXION alloy wheels fitted with 235/40ZR18 Continental Extreme Contact radials.

The M.S.R.P of the little Volvo was $46,875.00, including freight.  Also included was a Multimedia package ($2,700), and Climate package ($800), the two of which provided premium sound, rear park assist camera, navigation system, heated seats/headlight washers/windshield washer nozzles, and an upgraded interior air quality setup.  The R Design elements (see above) were included in the base price of $42,500.00.  Inside the car were Offblack leather buckets with double stitching, yummy aluminum inlayed trimwork all over, leather steering wheel with more aluminum, power moon roof, and sporty shift knob and pedals.  All the appointments that are to be expected in a loaded sedan are there including a console/stack with buttons I’m still, as of this writing, getting familiar with.  I’ll describe two: one to flop the rear headrests down for rear visibility in reverse, and another to activate the rear camera and peek at the plates on that vehicle that’s been tailgating you.

I referred to the Volvo as “little” because it’s only a bit over fifteen feet long.  It will fit in the garage and you can have a washer/dryer against the wall ahead of it.  Wheelbase is the same as a Toyota Camry, however, and the car weighs 3,863 lbs.  The engine positioning is the reason for the stubbiness.  I don’t care if they installed it upside-down in there, though, because this car flies!  And it’s an extremely smooth delivery of the power (quiet, too).  I took off for Wellington in the Volvo and found the ride to be firm, but compliant.  Steering is very light and responsive, as well.  If driving in the dark on winding roads, the Active Bending Xenon dual headlights do an excellent job of lighting the road ahead.  I actually don’t know how that all works – maybe chipmunks looking through the grill with a little control stick in their hands.  But I liked it.  My trip up north didn’t take very long, but long were the looks of people on the road admiring the Volvo with its gleaming red finish and somewhat jaunty, rakish styling.

I say, Mamma Mia, what a car!  Ironically, a musical by that name is coming to Greeley next month.  The play features music by the group ABBA, a bunch of Swedes that happen to have produced a great product.  Like Volvo.

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