Sacramento, California – The 2012 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design AWD sedan is a car you can get lost in … literally and figuratively.
Mashing the gas gets you lost in a hurry via a 3-liter, turbocharged, in-line 6 producing a maximum 325 horsepower. More about that in a minute.
The other thing is you can get lost just trying to describe the car.
OK, let’s give it a go: The S60 received a serious makeover for the 2011 model year, and yes, that was a mission well done by the Volvo engineers. Then for 2012, we get something called the R-Design model. That was my tester, starting at about $42,500.
So, break it down: It’s a Volvo. It’s a 2012. It has a turbocharged, six-cylinder engine. It has all-wheel drive. And it’s an R-Design. Got it?
So what’s an R-Design?
Well, you get upgraded, auto racing-style sport seats in the front, enhanced steering and handling perks. Oh, and you get an “exterior styling kit” that enables you to spice up the Volvo’s skin and undergarments.
Is all that worth it? Well, sure, I like a sporty, good-looking car, but the true pleasure in this test drive was the S60’s on-road performance. Pretty close to spectacular.
Most impressive was the tester’s ability to instantly accelerate into small holes, whether it was doing that from a standing start or blazing from 50 mph to 70 mph with a snap of the fingers. I was so impressed by these sprint maneuvers that I kept trying them out over and over, probably looking like something of a madman to my fellow motorists.
But it was just too perfect – and fun – to walk away from. This Volvo has the capability to zip around some very pricey, horsepower-heavy cars … and it does so in quiet, rock-steady fashion.
The rush is backed up by the usual blizzard of Volvo safety, comfort and convenience features. Learning some of the tricks of the audio system/display takes some time, but once mastered, it all works pretty well.
All in all, I feel like I had the $60,000 car experience in a $42,500 model. Quite the steal, I’d say.