Friday, June 14, 2013

The $15,000 Question: Volvo S60R

Volvo positions their S60 as the   "naughty" car in their lineup.  Naughty and Volvo go together about as well as  the cast of "The Big Bang Theory" in leather chaps.  But in the case of the  S60R, it works.  Anyone who's read Stieg  Larsson is familiar with Lisbeth Salander,  the brilliant, sociopathic woman who is  one of the central characters in his  novels.  The S60R is Salander after a stint  in charm school.  

From a distance, the S60R looks like a  normal Volvo.  There are no spoilers, no  flared fenders, no aggressive body  cladding.  Only small visual details like the larger sport wheels, Brembo brakes, and blue faced gauges on the instrument panel provide clues of its raucious side.  Like any normal Volvo, you get scads of safety features, seats that are all day comfortable, and good looks.    

The Volvo S60R is not a track day weapon or a car to show off at the local cruise night.  Those needs are better served by a BMW M3 or Shelby Mustang.  But for all around versatility and occasional mischief, it is a very good package.  For that reason, it reminds me in many good ways of the original Ford Taurus SHO.  Like the SHO, the S60R is a serious sleeper, one you won't notice unless you drive it.  

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