Volvo could revive its legendary R nameplate for the V60.
Over the years, Polestar has pumped out numerous high-performance versions of existing Volvos. Times have changed, however. Polestar is now a standalone carmaker with plans to unleash a new range of high-performance cars over the next few years, starting with the Polestar 1 in 2019. That makes these two prototype Volvo V60s spotted by our spies rather puzzling. Our spy photographers immediately noticed their beefy brakes look similar to the last-generation V60 Polestar, featuring big slotted rotors and six-piston calipers.
The sporty prototypes were also sitting lower to the ground than the standard V60. But if Volvo is working on a hotter version of the V60 wagon, it obviously won’t be branded as a Polestar. Instead, Volvo could revive its legendary R nameplate to distinguish high-performance models. Volvo’s R-branded cars were supposed to be the Swedish carmaker’s answer to BMW M and Mercedes-AMG, but never quite got the same recognition. The fact that Volvo is more commonly associated with safety than performance probably didn’t help, so the R models were discontinued in 2007. Volvo’s R-Design range has replaced them ever since, with a focus on style rather than performance.
The camouflage does a good job of hiding the prototype's styling, but we expect the V60 R will have some aggressive design cues like the Polestar V60 before it. Potential powertrains for the rumored V60 R remain a mystery for now, though. Engine options for the new V60 include a range-topping T8 hybrid that produces 390 horsepower, which is even faster than Polestar’s 362-hp model, but we would expect the new V60 R to be even more powerful. An output of around 400 horsepower would enable it to rival the BMW M3 Touring outside of America.