Volvo’s limited-edi­tion Sprint nifty but noisy

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - NEW: FORD FOCUS ST - CHRIS RI­LEY

THE limited-edi­tion Sprint cel­e­brates Volvo’s con­tin­ued suc­cess in V8 Su­per­car rac­ing.

Based on t he entr y- l evel Ki­netic model, it is avail­able as a hatch or sedan, with $4000 of ad­di­tional equip­ment f or a drive-away price.

Just 100 ex­am­ples of the V40 and S60 hatch and sedan will be pro­duced.

The S60 T4 Sprint Edi­tion sedan, the sub­ject of our re­view, i s priced f rom $ 54,888 drive away.

It has a 1.6-litre tur­bocharged petrol en­gine with 132kW of power and 240Nm of torque, paired with a six- speed du­al­clutch st yle au­to­matic, with man­ual chang­ing avail­able via t he ge a r s e l e c t o r — b ut no change pad­dles.

Drive is to the front wheels. The dash from 0-100km/h takes 9.0 sec­onds and top speed i s 225km/h.

Also of note is the R-De­sign sport chas­sis that comes stan­dard with the Sprint. It low­ers the car 15mm and is tuned for more dy­namic driv­ing, with quicker steer­ing, 15 per cent stiffer springs and a front strut brace.

Be­ing a Volvo, it scores a full five stars for crash safety from ANCAP, with six airbags and a rear-view cam­era, as well as dy­namic sta­bilit y and t rac t i on con­trol as stan­dard. There is also City Safety au­to­matic brak­ing to pro­tect against rear en­ders. The seats are com­fort­able and the chunky steer­ing wheel is one of the best.

There’s plenty of head and leg room both front and back, with la r ge, c om­for t a bl e RDe­sign sports seats fin­ished in leather. Auto lights, wipers and rear-vi­sion mir­ror are com­ple­mented by cli­mate air, rear park­ing sen­sors, a dig­i­tal dash with a c hoice of t hree t hemes and power-ad­just driver’s seat with mem­ory.

The Sen­sus eight- speaker au­dio sys­tem in­cludes a sev­eninch colour screen, blue­tooth au­dio stream­ing, USB, AUX and full iPod con­nec­tiv­ity.

The only t hing miss­ing i s satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion, which is a $1600 dealer-fit op­tion.

We thought the test car was a diesel as it was so coarse. But it was ac­tu­ally the tur­bocharged, di­rect-in­jec­tion 1.6-litre petrol en­gine.

With 240Nm of torque from a low 1600 revs and a flat torque curve right through to 5000rpm, it goes well enough.

And the six-speed Pow­er­shift dual clutch-style auto is a great match and per­sonal favourite.

But the whole setup could do with some re­fine­ment.

Then there’s the noisy tyres. The noise in­side the car grew con­sid­er­ably when we en­coun­tered a patch of coarse bi­tu­men, cour­tesy of the Bridge­stone Poten­zas fit­ted to the 19-inch rims.

But don’t get the wrong im­pres­sion. The Sprint is not all bad, with a de­cid­edly sporty feel that is en­hanced by de­light­fully di­rect steer­ing.

Volvo c l ai ms a 7 per c e nt im­prove­ment in fuel con­sump­tion with the twin-clutch trans­mis­sion, with ac l a i med 7. 4 litres/100km from the 67-litre tank. We were get­ting 7.9.

Like the car, es­pe­cially the dis­tinc­tive looks of the S60, but the noisy 1.6 wouldn’t be our first choice of en­gines. Three stars out of five.

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