There used to be a time when an “R” badge on a Volvo meant it was very special, a time when a former Formula-One racing team by the name TWR, tweaked a humble Volvo sedan and wagon into an autobahn missile.
More recently though, Volvo had ditched the idea of a true performance model and instead decided to turn its “R” division from racing to just cosmetics.
Now it seems Volvo is about to once again inject a bit more racing into its R-design products. For 2012, you’ll be able to order your S60 sedan or XC60 SUV with an R-Design package, and it will offer more than just a new pair of shiny rims and ground effects body work. No, this R-design package will come with some extra punch. Volvo has tweaked its T6 motor to now produce 325-hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. That is an improvement of 9% over the standard model. That might not sound like much, but any improvement in performance is always a welcome one.
With the added performance comes some added exterior styling thanks to ground effects, a new exhaust and a rear spoiler. Unique R-Design exclusive five-spoke 18-inch diamond cut wheels also set it apart from the regular version.
The interior also gets a boost of style with sports seats, a sport steering wheel, sport shift knob, sport pedals and some blue dials which first showed up on the last generation S60 R.
The S60 R-Design will have a starting price of $42,275 and the XC60 R-Design will start at $43,150. So if you’ve been waiting for a sporty Volvo, these might just do the trick.