Volvos are some of the world’s most amazing machines. From classics like the P1800 and Amazon, to the universally accessible hot rod that is the 200, to the latest high-tech offerings, Volvo is proof that safety first doesn’t have to mean style and performance take a backseat.
If you’ve never owned or driven a Volvo, you’re missing out. Seriously. Put it on your bucket list. These are some of the smoothest, most comfortable platforms in the world. You can choose between a restomod classic, a frankenstein, twin-turbo-LS-swapped wagon, or a modern sports sedan like the S60R we have with us today.
It’s an amazing machine!
[tgp] Introductions: My understanding is you live in Sweden and love Volvos. Is that correct? Anything else you’d like to mention?
[Ronny] Yes, that is true. I live in Sweden and I love Volvo’s R models. Everything from the 850 T5-R (in T-yellow) to the last year model of S60R/V70R.
My car is a 2007 S60R, so it is the last year model of Volvo’s R-cars. 300 horsepower, four-wheel drive, manual transmission (M66), Atacama interior, Volvo’s own skirt package with front splitters, lowered with Elevate springs, 3” exhaust, and 20” R-rims (Pegasus copies).
Little facts about the S60R:
My car has a slightly quiet history. My car was bought new in the USA by a Swedish ice hockey player (Michael Holmqvist) who played in the NHL. When he stopped playing in the NHL, he moved back to Sweden and then he took the car home as moving goods. So my car lived in the USA for about a year and five months before it came to Sweden.
On the S60R…
[tgp] The most important automotive opinions are those of real, actual owners. As an S60R owner, could you share a little unvarnished truth with the rest of us? What do you love about them? What do you not love about them?
[Ronny] I really like unusual Volvos. And there were three different interiors for the S60R/V70R—Gobi Soft Leather, Nordkap Blue, and Atacama. When I saw an S60R with this interior called Atacama for the first time in my life I just thought—WOW! ]What a different interior! It is as different as it can get, but I love that interior so much I thought I would have to own such a car at some point in my life.
Another thing I also like about the car is the adjustable shock absorbers. You can change between three different modes—comfort-sport-advanced—with a simple push of a button from inside the car. [Editor’s note: The suspension system on the S60R/V70R was co-developed by Öhlins and Monroe and adjusts to road, cornering, braking, and traction conditions every other millisecond. It’s pretty badass.]
I also like that the S60R/V70R has its own bumper; that it does not look the same as a regular S60. With the R-bumper, the S60R/V70R gets a more unique look. It simply does not look like any other car.
The only sad thing about the car that I come across is that it is a bit bumpy to ride with a lowered car and 20-inch rims with low-profile tires on Swedish roads. But I have chosen that so I must blame myself! 🙂
[tgp] How did you end up a Volvo enthusiast? Why have you stuck around as long as you have? (Are Volvos very popular in Sweden?)
[Ronny] My dad worked at Volvo as a mechanic when I was a little boy, so it’s on that road that I got my interest in Volvo. And when I saw a Saffron Yellow Volvo V70R for the first time in my life, my interest in Volvos only got even bigger. I really like the Saffron Yellow color so much!
There are quite a lot of Volvos on the roads here in Sweden. Most of them you see are newer Volvos like XC60, XC70, V60, S60, V90 and more. Volvo R-cars are more rare on the roads here in Sweden. The R models have become collector cars here. It is usually real enthusiasts who own a Volvo R car today. Some may not only have one R-car but perhaps several. and most people only drive the car in the summer, as the roads here in Sweden are salted in winter.
The Volvo community…
[tgp] How’s the Volvo owner community doing these days? Where do you hangout, share tech, and whatnot?
[Ronny] I’m a member of a car club called NordicR. Our website is NordicR.com. There we have a forum where I can find other R-owners and information about Volvo’s R-cars. NordicR is a very good car club. And, in the summer, I usually go to some car meetings. There I also meet a lot of people with whom you can share thoughts and ideas.
2020 has been a very boring car year here in Sweden. All car [shows] have been canceled due to the coronavirus. It has not been permitted to arrange car meetings due to the risk of spreading the infection. You can compare with 2018. Then I was at six different car meetings with my car, and also won four prizes for the car that year at various car events.
This gearhead life…
[tgp] When you think about automotive culture in general, what stands out as being the biggest issue we should be working on together? What’s your biggest concern and what should we be doing about it?
[Ronny] I love going to car shows with my car. I think it’s fun to look at other people’s cars to see how they have built their cars, and to get some inspiration for my car.
But there is a group of people here who behave badly at some car meetings. They play very loud music, they are drunk, they litter, they drive carelessly—sometimes it is so messy that people who are not interested in cars call the police. This group of people is ruining things for us who want to organize and go to serious car meetings. Because when those who are not interested in cars see how people behave at these rogue car meets, they think that this is how it works at all events. Which means it will be much more difficult to get permission to arrange serious car meetings in the future.
Shout outs… @titanium_s60r
[tgp] Who’s made the biggest difference in your life with cars? How so?
[Ronny] My dad has always stood up and helped me with the car if there is something I have wanted to rebuild or fix. As I said, he has worked at Volvo as a mechanic so he has great knowledge of Volvos. My dad also took me to some car meets when I was little so that’s probably where I got my interest in car shows.
I also have a friend who works at Volvo today here where I live.
And then all the friends in the car club NordicR.
Who needs a new family truckster?
I’m not sure if you know this—or if it’s even a secret at this point—but the Volvo S60R was a US$40,000 car new, back in 2007. That’s a little over US$50,000 in 2020 money. So what we’re looking at here today is a $50,000 sedan that ticks the following boxes:
- 300-horsepower, turbocharged engine
- 6-speed manual gearbox
- Full-time, Haldex AWD
- Adjustable, Öhlins/Monroe suspension
- Brembo brakes.
- That interior.
- Volvo Safety.
(Also available in a wagon.)
And they’re US$2,000 to $10,000 when you find them for sale. Who needs a new family truckster?
Would you like to know more?
Find Ronny on Instagram: @titanium_s60r
Learn more about the Volvo S60R, V70R, and other Volvo R models on Wikipedia. Car & Driver shared their first impressions back in 2003. And help keep car culture alive by visiting the community Ronny mentioned—NordicR.com. Aside from being something interesting and different to look at, it’s always nice to know where to direct a fellow gearhead in need.