AutoBild sportscars 04/2019

The link between Volvo and motorsport is probably not the first matter you are thinking about. In the nineties, the Swedes had a successful era in touring car racing - is Tuner HEICO SPORTIV able to give the new V60 a bit of racing flair again?


It is the last bastion for sporty Volvos: The German tuner HEICO SPORTIV regularly injects powerful DNA into the understatement Swedes. It is questionable how many sports genes will come from Volvo itself in the future. Since the end of 2017 the in-house tuning brand Polestar has also functioned as a division for electric cars, which will be the focus of attention in the future, Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson says. However, HEICO, the company from Weiterstadt in Germany, remains true to the tuning tradition; Volvo refining for motor sports and private customers for many years. The latest weapon: the V60 T6 AWD.

With the T6 four-cylinder HEICO dedicates itself to the strongest production engine (310 hp) of the Scandinavians. The two-litre turbo compressor has been upgraded to 340 hp. And the Hessian gym is definetly a step in the right direction: the exterior design is sporty, the quad tailpipe flap exhaust is formally well integrated and not exaggerated. The 21 inch wheels give the HEICO a rich look in combination with a coil-over suspension.

Unfortunately, the Volvo in the series version does not exactly come along as an ambitious touring racer. HEICO has again delivered very well for this. The 30 hp increase in performance and the 60 Nm markup, respectively, are clearly noticeable in the estate car. With 5.3 seconds, the tuning version is a whole second faster than the series at 100 km/h; from 0 to 200, the lead increases to 3.7 seconds. A technical optimization that is worth each cent in sporting terms.

So much for the longitudinal dynamics. If it gets twisty, the effects of the suspension become apparent. Although the V60 may hopp on the huge 21-inch wheels on short bumps, it steers more directly and develops more grip, a gain from a purely sporting point of view. 19- or 20-inch wheels would be better for rolling comfort. Especially since the 21-inch wheels are the second most expensive tuning feature of the car. HEICO offers alternatively wheels in 19 or 20 inch. The test car with the mounted Pirelli P-Zero, on the other hand, was convincing in its choice of tyres.

HEICO supplies upgrades that Volvo fans may not even know they can upgrade their vehicle - sporting ambitions that were lost by the manufacturer after the 850R of the 1990s. The tuner also has its own flap exhaust in its range. At low revs it entertains the driver with a sonorous sound, at the kickdown it turns into a hoarse hissing, without imitating with the help of acoustic tricks more cylinders under the hood.

Which target group does the tuner want to address? In terms of comfort, space and design, a V60 is certainly a very good choice. Anyone who upgrades it almost as sportily as HEICO offers it will find themselves in a price segment with BMW 340i xDrive Touring or Audi S4 Avant. There is the sportiness including fine-tuning but already ex works - six-cylinder included.

In view of the prices demanded, lovers of tuned Volvo should therefore have the necessary money at their disposal. But then they definitely drive something that is not ordinary!

FAZIT by Bastian Karl:
Tuner HEICO delivers what is no longer available from the manufacturer. With the tuning of the V60 T6 AWD the Hessian tuner has done a good job: Our measured values show a clear jump in performance. On the gearbox side, however, we miss shift paddles on the steering wheel. So HEICO's work could also find more resonance among sports car fans.