Rallying is driving to the limit, the drivers take all the risk possible to score the best time on special stages. What they do though, it’s not improvised, they meticulously drive the course in cars that are not the official one they use on the races, but modified conventional cars built to be safe but fast: the Recce cars. During recce of the stages, rally drivers like to see how close to the edges of the road they can get. They take risks on the recognition so they don’t have to with the WRC cars. These cars get a hard life. The purpose of them is to feel like a rally car to some extent, so drivers and co-drivers can make accurate notes during the stages preparation, and Drivers can see where they can go and how fast they can go.
The Volvo S60 might be one of the most legendary Recce Car of all time; this very car has been driven on rally courses by the best of the Ford team of the past, from 2002 to 2017 in fact, people like Colin McRae, Francois Duvan, Jari Matti Latvala, Robert Kubica, Mads Osberg to name a few, took the steering wheel of this monster. But why Ford Rally team used Volvo on World Rally Championship? Well, the S60 was the only 4wd car the Ford group had in they lineup in 2002, so the decision was made pretty fast and easily.
Before making them available to rally drivers, they went under the care of M-Sport. The preparation included a revised 2.4 5 cylinder Turbo making around 300hp, new competition dampers, a full underbody protection and a competition Fuel Tank. Seem welded body shell, welded in Roll Cage, OZ Competition Wheels, Competition seats & belts, coralba trip meter & intercom, upgraded brakes, new hydraulic handbrake, uprated engine mountings and suspension bushes completed the package. So it might look innocent, but it’s indeed a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’.
When you drive them today, they feel like rally cars, they’re reasonably fast, firm on the suspensions but very playable and fun to drive. We took this completely overhauled example on the hills around Pavia and Oltrepo Pavese, and the S60 didn’t disappoint us, making every turn, every oversteer and every jump (yes, we did jumps too) a joy.