PSA - Sport Chassis
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    1. #1
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      PSA - Sport Chassis

      Hey all…maybe I got too much time on my hands, but I got this itching feeling that something needs to be said…so I'm going to say it ;-)

      This is a Public Service Announcement for you, a potential future Volvo S60 or V60 owner in the US. You might be searching here, to understand about what options and equipment are available on the S60/V60 models and what other folks like. If you are interested in the CC model, or you are looking at the Momentum or Inscription Models, you can see yourself out, nothing to see here. If you are thinking about the R-Design trim, read on, because you need to know what I am going to tell you. My point is that if you are going to buy the R-Design model, you should seriously consider the "sport chassis" option before you buy. I'll do this as a Q&A that can help you figure out if this option is for you.

      What is "Sport Chassis?" - It is an option on the V60 and S60 T5 and T6 R-Design. It's a mere $200 and consists of different springs, shocks, and front anti-roll bar. As the name implies it's a more handling based setup. It also sits about 1/2" lower than the standard suspension.

      Why isn't it standard on the "sporty" model? - Who knows, it is standard equipment in the rest of the world on the R-Design, and optional in many markets on the other models even. In the US the "dynamic chassis" is standard on the R-Design. It was actually standard on the early 2019 models, but Volvo made it optional in the US shortly after launch.

      Why only $200? - Well it's "free" in the rest of the world on the R-Design! But option games are how the product planners drive extra profits, so it makes sense they wouldn't just give it away.

      At $200 it can't be spectacular right? - As much as sporty stuff can be about expensive technology, springs and shocks and such are much about tuning. The cost to Volvo for this option likely approaches $0. It's like buying a mattress, do you want soft or firm? They cost the same, it's just a preference.

      The "sporty model" has no "sport"? - Pretty much. You have the seats and the trim. It's not nothing, but the other models all share the "dynamic chassis" with the R-Design so there is nothing much in the driving experience to differentiate the models.

      How much difference are we talking here? - Specifics aren't known, but I've done some research and driven both and like what I see with the sport suspension. It's a bit stiff for sure but also "takes the edge off" of crappy roads like good premium European cars seem to do. Plus if you like the subtle look of a slightly "lower" car, the 1/2" makes that difference. The internal equipment code name is actually "SPORT CHASSIE LOW"

      I'm not trying to race here, do I need that? - Handling is as subjective as it is objective. How a car feels to you is important, how it makes you feel. I'm not talking about objective performance, the sport chassis option doesn't change out the all-season tires. The lack of body roll contributes to driving confidence, the wheel control of the sport shocks keeps you planted on most any road. It's just a great feeling. If you want the R-Design trim, it is highly likely that you might want the sport chassis

      Yeah but seriously, Volvo is not a race car… - No street car is a race car. "Track packages" and such names are marketing terms. We are talking about a slight tuning of a Volvo here, it's not extreme in any sense. It just delivers on what the R-Design look promises.

      If I wanted handling I'd buy a BMW/Alfa/etc. - Sure but you like the Volvo right, that's why you are here? And you want the sporty trim? You should get the suspension tune that was supposed to go with it! Remember we are talking about subjective stuff. Competitors are offering "track" packages with sticky summer tires that bolster their reputations. That's a different game (winning "track battles"). This is about your satisfaction with your Volvo.

      Meh Volvo is still not a handling car - You sure about that? Being the smallest and lightest SPA platform car, the S/V60 has a very wide track, double arm suspension, aluminum components throughout, and sizable brakes. The sport chassis is very suited to this chassis.

      I can't find a car with the option? - It does seem that Volvo dealers are not stocking many S60 models with the sport chassis. If you aren't ordering that can be a problem. Since the major appeal of the S60 it seems is the well stocked dealers and the discounts that go with that, it may make it hard to find what you are looking for with the sport chassis. Not impossible though.

      But I have such a great deal lined up on this one car without it! - Well that's up to you. I suggest at least driving both w/sport and w/out and see how you feel about it. I can say that new cars are a commodity to the dealers and this particular option is of little consequence to them as far as any dealer hording one. I used a broker to line up a fantastic lease deal at the same time I figured out I needed the sport chassis. I told the dealer the 3 options I needed (including sport), and let me know when you find one close to that. They called back the next day and had a transfer inbound, same deal as the "in stock" unit.

      I'll just get this one without it, I can change it later, besides mods are fun! - Yes…except for cost and parts availability. Not so great on a Volvo, and the chassis design makes that part a bit difficult.

      Aftermarket will take care of it? - This car has a transverse composite leaf spring in the rear suspension. These are much more difficult to manufacture on small scale. There will likely never be an aftermarket rear spring for this car. Current spring kits on the market replace the front springs only, and swap a spacer in the rear spring mount to lower the rear of the car. Never mind the propensity of mainstream aftermarket to design for looks first…they have to design a spring to work with the dynamic chassis as well as the existing rear leaf spring and existing shocks. There will not likely ever be a matched set of sport springs and dampers made for this car.

      I'll swap the sport chassis parts later? - What costs you $200 now will cost you is about $2k in OEM Volvo parts. By all accounts swapping the rear leaf spring is an involved project, perhaps only for the dealer to tackle. It would be a time consuming and expensive road to go down.

      I'll get the Polestar Ohlins! - Good luck the shocks alone are $4k or more at discount OEM pricing, you would also need the springs and some other parts.

      Volvo will offer a Polestar kit! - They seem to be getting out of this business. Reference above for the likely costs anyways.

      I just can't find one - That may be what it is, it's 2020 now and perhaps the sport chassis will get more rare as dealers see buyers don't insist on it. As of this writing there are still a good amount of the "launch" loaded red 2019 S60 T6 R-D models left kicking around or off loaner duty, at some fantastic deals. Most of those show a no cost "sport chassis" listed on the sticker. If you're buying used, hey it is what it is, they are out there, but it is more difficult to find exactly what you are looking for, for options.

      I want a 2019 V60 T6 R-D with sport chassis! - Yeah don't we all ;-)

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    3. #2
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      Thanks for a summery on the sport suspension for all those future buyers who might prefer the improved handling of the V-60 and S-60 in the R
      the a no brainer upgrade for us. I was lucky to have been able to try the R in the MY 2019 with SS and compare it to the same year Inscription. It was a slam dunk for both myself and my wife that the R Design with ss was the car we wanted to drive. We bought it will all options except the B&W audio and the finicky auto parking assist We enjoy luxury but we like a firm well controlled suspension and the hip and back hugging seats are great. We ended up with a 2020 we bought in March at a dealer 1500 miles from home. It was worth the trip! The Pilot assist was fantastic too. BTW...Very happy with the T5. We get 30 mpg without the supercharger and without the extra weight of the AWD hardware the MY2019 V60 R Design was introduced into the US with by Volvo USA . And as a bonus regular gas is OK without the supercharger on the T-5 per Volvo-a huge money saver at the pump. We are crazy about our V60-RD.

    4. #3
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      IMO the sport suspension is a must. I wish my wife's XC90 had the option vs the Four Corner Air Bag option. My wife is someone who likes a comfortable ride and even she prefers the sports suspension feeling of my V60 over the dynamic suspension of her XC90. It just soaks up even/bad roads more evenly while her XC90 ends up feeling more bouncy.
      (Hers) 2017 XC90 T6 R-Design Polestar Optimized | Passion Red | Convenience | Vision | Climate with Heated Windshield | Carbon Fiber | Nappa Leather | Black Headliner |
      (His) 2020 V60 T6 R-Design Polestar Optimized | Bursting Blue | Premium | Premium Plus (HUD) | Sport Suspension

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    6. #4
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      Good write-up!
      You hit the nail on the head - it's truly a subjective choice depending on what kind of ride you prefer.
      I test drove a 2019 T5 R-Design with and without the sport chassis and it was a no brainier for me - I got the Sport Chassis and Polestar chip (among other options).

    7. #5
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      Thank you for the detailed write up!

      As someone who's now planning to install an Eibach Pro-Kit, the $200 for factory sport suspension is a bargain. The Eibach spring kit alone is about $250, installation $800, plus alignment ($175). This doesn't include matched dampers, or matched anti-roll bars.

      My guess as to why it's a $200 option? Volvo USA's product planners probably felt it was too firm for the avg American (premium) car buyers tastes, so they made it a low-cost option to ensure only people who really want it, order it. Most OEM's soften the ride for U.S. market (same reason 20 inch wheels are optional on S60/V60 Polestar in Europe, but not in the U.S.).

    8. #6
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      Thanks gents, I just wanted to leave something here for those who are planning to buy, to think about it beforehand. It's one of those things you think "eh it's just a $200 option" if I miss it I can address it later. I used to think that about Stereo systems when I bought a new car. I skip the fancy one for $800 then 2 agonizing years of research and hours spent ripping up the interior and $2k later I have a nice stereo.

      Sport chassis is just a simple cheap little option, that totally makes the driving experience for the right person, and if you skip it, you can't easily change it later.

    9. #7
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      Four-C is standard on Australian R-Designs and Sport is a AUD$750 option.

      Four-C is $1250 option for the Inscription which is AUD$4000 cheaper than R-Design and supposedly part of the value proposition of the extra cost of the R-Design. But Sport on the Inscription is still AUD$750.

      In short you still have to pay more for Sport on an R-Design even though you are foregoing the supposedly more expensive Four-C.

      From everything I've read and seen, there was no way I was going to touch the Four-C on the V60 and I have not seen one in Australia with Sport.

      I'm OK with the "Dynamic" coming on my Inscription as I have had some atrocious pot-hole incidents on my 40 profile tyres on 18"s and sport on our Merc with the crappy country roads I drive every week.
      2020 V60 T5 AWD Inscription- Denim Blue, Blond
      2015 B180 AMG Line - White, Black

    10. #8
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      There are an interesting number of variations around the world with Volvo. We don't get 4C here in the US, I think it was an option on the 2019 Inscription maybe but gone now. Just regular old shocks. I wonder if the sport chassis in AU means there is a 4C sport chassis combo? It's hard to think paying even more that deletes the 4C but who knows. That would be an interesting combo.

      We got some pretty bad roads here around boston, no bent 19" wheels for me yet and happy with the overall ride/handling balance.

    11. #9
      Junior Member madder's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Power6 View Post
      There are an interesting number of variations around the world with Volvo. We don't get 4C here in the US, I think it was an option on the 2019 Inscription maybe but gone now. Just regular old shocks. I wonder if the sport chassis in AU means there is a 4C sport chassis combo? It's hard to think paying even more that deletes the 4C but who knows. That would be an interesting combo.

      We got some pretty bad roads here around boston, no bent 19" wheels for me yet and happy with the overall ride/handling balance.
      Maybe you're right that the Sport is in conjunction with Four-C, which would then make sense, but given that countless reviewers have found Four-C pretty unforgiving, even in Comfort mode, this would be slightly insane.

      I managed to buckle both driver's side rims and damage both tyres in one pothole, at night, in heavy rain. Saw it way too late and it had just opened opened up on otherwise smooth and pretty new road at the bottom of a hill. Of course it had been patched up the next day and our state authority will not pay for the first $1300 of damage in a single incident. Luckily the great quality Merc rims sprung back into shape when tackled by a repairer. He was quite impressed, expected them to crack based on his experience with other brands. Now I have rim and tyre insurance on my policy.
      2020 V60 T5 AWD Inscription- Denim Blue, Blond
      2015 B180 AMG Line - White, Black

    12. #10
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      Agree that the R-design isn’t complete without the Sport Chassis option. I actually read one reviewer who said to skip it because the ride becomes too rough. I don’t find that to be the case whatsoever, and there hasn’t been one complaint from Mrs. Cincyspeedracer about a harsh ride... and she complained about my previous car all the time.
      2020 S60 T6 R-Design

    13. #11
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      Sport Chassis should be a required option for the R-Design. I would have gotten my car without it.

      Sent from my SM-G975U1 using Tapatalk

    14. #12
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      Power 6, would you happen to know if the Sport Suspension dampers can be fitted to non-Sport suspension?

      I'm installing Eibach springs, and I was planning to use Bilstein B4 dampers, but now I'm wondering if the Volvo Sport suspension dampers might be a better choice since they're designed for a lower ride height. The Bilstein B4 are stock replacement type dampers (gas).

    15. #13
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      I would guess yes they will fit, all the parts like mounts, isolators etc. around the shocks are the same, so I think it safe to say it's the same damper just different tuning/valving for sport chassis.

    16. #14
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      Thank you sir!

    17. #15
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      FWIW I just purchased an S60 T8 R-Design without Sport Chassis because, as far as I can tell, it isn't available with that option. The website has no selection for it when building and of the new models I see online none have it listed as an included option. Is there some sort of difference on the hybrid?

    18. #16
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      It's not clear on the T8, early 2019 literature did show the sport chassis standard, as on the T5/T6, but that was quickly changed to optional. The T8 never had that option AFAIK, and the standard equipment since then shows the dynamic chassis. Most likely it was never offered. Maybe some very early 2019 builds had it.

      Do you have an early 2019 or is yours newer or 2020? Early 2019 would be something under 02000 last 4 digits of VIN.

      Maybe Volvo expects you to buy the Polestar if you want sport and hybrid ;-)

    19. #17
      Interestingly enough, it doesn't appear that it's an option for a 2020/21 model in the US right now, maybe its standard now?

    20. #18
      Junior Member MJEWETT's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Power6 View Post
      It's not clear on the T8, early 2019 literature did show the sport chassis standard, as on the T5/T6, but that was quickly changed to optional. The T8 never had that option AFAIK, and the standard equipment since then shows the dynamic chassis. Most likely it was never offered. Maybe some very early 2019 builds had it.

      Do you have an early 2019 or is yours newer or 2020? Early 2019 would be something under 02000 last 4 digits of VIN.

      Maybe Volvo expects you to buy the Polestar if you want sport and hybrid ;-)
      Quote Originally Posted by matalexander21 View Post
      Interestingly enough, it doesn't appear that it's an option for a 2020/21 model in the US right now, maybe its standard now?
      The Sport Chassis is still an option for 2020 models (not including the T8 or PE) and is available as an option on the "Options" area of the build site. I have a 2020 R-D T6 with the sport chassis.

      T8's don't get the Sport Suspension, and never did. Very early on for the 2019 model year, when the adaptive suspension (4C) was still an available option, it could be spec'd on the T8's as well. This was the only optional suspension regardless of trim for the T8 models other than the standard "dynamic" setup. The 4C option has since been removed, on all trims and engines, for only the US market. I have a feeling that the lack of the sport suspension option has something to do with both vehicle weight, along with the change in ride height. My thought is, though weight is probably a significant factor given the excess mass gained from the battery packs, that the change in ride height and dynamics played a huge factor in the limiting of the option.

      Seeing as how this would probably have a decent affect on overall MPG, it would probably have required an additional certification for combined MPG values. Given the excessive costs of certifications, which has been a limiting factor on many other Volvo's of the past for option limitations, and considering it would only be available on a single trim line, I think Volvo probably didn't think it would be worth it. I could be completely wrong though, maybe it has nothing to do with either weight or certification? And maybe the different suspension wouldn't even require re-certification?

      I don't know for sure. I do personally think though, that the sport chassis would be way too stiff for the weight of the T8's, and spring/damping rates would most certainly need to be adjusted specifically for the T8, differing greatly from the T5/T6 Sport chassis parts, as I could definitely see the T8 bottoming out in suspension travel pretty often if they did not.

    21. #19
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      That's a whole lot of speculation ;-) I don't think it's that difficult to certify, and not sure non-drivetrain changes even matter there. Suspension can be tuned for whatever weight and dynamics, that's why Volvo has chassis engineers ;-) If you look at parts, the S60 alone has 7 or 8 different front spring parts, which is typical even within 2 options for suspension tune, the different weights are being accounted for.

      My guess is, as ever, the US market where dealers buy cars and people buy them off lots, is not friendly to proliferation of options. Anything to reduce the total number of variations, within reason, will be done.

    22. #20
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      048809 are the last digits of my VIN, and it is a 2020. Really did consider going with a T6 Sport Chassis but with the $5,400 federal tax credit, and niftiness of being able to drive on electricity, I thought the power and tech were worth the trade-off.

      I'll say that you definitely feel the weight around corners and keeping weight shift in mind is super important. Slow in fast out!

      Quote Originally Posted by Power6 View Post
      It's not clear on the T8, early 2019 literature did show the sport chassis standard, as on the T5/T6, but that was quickly changed to optional. The T8 never had that option AFAIK, and the standard equipment since then shows the dynamic chassis. Most likely it was never offered. Maybe some very early 2019 builds had it.

      Do you have an early 2019 or is yours newer or 2020? Early 2019 would be something under 02000 last 4 digits of VIN.

      Maybe Volvo expects you to buy the Polestar if you want sport and hybrid ;-)
      Last edited by drive90; 07-08-2020 at 01:02 PM.

    23. #21
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      I have VIN number 001884, and got it exactly a year ago. I thought it had the standard suspension for over a year, and had been telling people that it did not have it. This was due to not seeing the $200 option.

      After reading that it might have come with the car as a no cost option; I went out and found my window sticker and saw the Sport Chassis* with no price next to it. No wonder it gripped so well.

    24. #22
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      Welcome to the club! ;-) Sport chassis is the best. And we are a little closer to figuring out exactly where the cutoff is when it went optional.

    25. #23
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      My 2019 S60 T6 RD has VIN number 002290 and it also has Sport Chassis standard, no charge on the Window Sticker.
      2019 S60 T6 R-Design with Sport Chassis/Polestar

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      Free!!

      Y'all got it for free?! Picking up my CPO '19 V60 in a week and it has it listed as a $1000 option!

    27. #25
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      Stangest thing to me, thinking about my year of having the "Standard suspension," was the fact that I never thought it was harsh or firm enough to have been the sport chassis.

    28. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by Makers View Post
      Stangest thing to me, thinking about my year of having the "Standard suspension," was the fact that I never thought it was harsh or firm enough to have been the sport chassis.
      It's a really nice balance! Of course all personal preference, as noted by some of the mainstream reviews saying "it's too stiff" c'mon who are these people?? I might even want something a bit more aggressive but in the bounds of reality of what you get in a "premium" car made for a wider market than just me, it's pretty darn good.

    29. #27
      Is there a way to know whether or not the car has the Sport Chassis without the original window sticker? I called Volvo Cars USA and my 2 local dealers, (tried to) provide them with the VIN, but all 3 said they can't look it up and there's no way of knowing without the original window sticker / build sheet.

    30. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by KtrainHurricane View Post
      Is there a way to know whether or not the car has the Sport Chassis without the original window sticker? I called Volvo Cars USA and my 2 local dealers, (tried to) provide them with the VIN, but all 3 said they can't look it up and there's no way of knowing without the original window sticker / build sheet.
      There are two ways which I know at this time:

      Volvo VIDA: This is the Volvo diagnostic/service application. I don't know what the dealers are talking about but perhaps you are getting answers from sales or service people but an actual tech would know you can see the equipment on any car given the VIN? Of course they might be doing you a favor looking up cars for free so maybe you need a relationship there. You can also buy a subscription to VIDA yourself, for a short time, 3 days it's not too expensive I think $30 or so (you only need the lowest level of service manual access). I have looked up my car and others with just the VIN, you enter it in and it shows what equipment the car was built with. In the list it should be "SPORT CHASSIE LOW" and IIRC the equipment code is RA08.

      Measure the ride height: Volvo specifies the ride height in the service manual. As per convention in the industry, ride height is measured from the center of the wheel, up to the fender lip. Normal (dynamic chassis) S60 should be 382mm front, 385mm rear. If a car is equipped with the sport chassis, it should measure 370/369mm F/R. As you can do the math, this is about 1/2" difference so should be obvious, if you have physical access to the car with a tape measure you can check it. The difference is enough, I am pretty sure I can spot the sport chassis just looking at the pictures now, but of course you will want to confirm.

      There aren't any other outward ways to check, as only the springs and shocks and front sway bar differ, everything else is the same.

      I hope that helps!

    31. #29
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      I've never tried this, but maybe ordering a new monroney sticker would work? https://monroneylabels.com/ (first google result, maybe there are other services out there for this)
      2020 V60 T8 Polestar Engineered

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      Will probably not work at every dealer but I got the build order from mine.

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