Volvo XC90 R-Design Revealed

Volvo has unveiled the R-Design variant of the new XC90, with the aim of adding a hint of sportiness to its recently-released large SUV.

Following on from the success of the First Edition variant – whose 1,927 units sold out in an astonishing 47 hours – the R-Design boasts several features that lift the appearance above that of the regular model, with the aim of enticing customers away from cars such as the BMW X5 M Sport. Do you think it has what it takes?

The R-Design will sit beside the Inscription trim level at the top of the XC90 range, with the former focusing on sportiness and the latter offering a more luxury-focused alternative.

On the outside, the upgrades include 20-inch alloy wheels, silver wing mirror covers with matching roof rails, a new grille and a subtle body kit finished off by chromed twin tail pipes. It looks like Volvo is starting to realise it has the vehicle that can start taking swipes at the sportier Audi SUVs, such as the SQ5. Which is a very good thing.

The interior benefits from similarly subtle tweaks: sports seats, perforated leather on the steering wheel, and wheel-mounted shift paddles all contribute to the sporty feel.

The R-Design retains the huge 12.3-inch touchscreen that negates the need for all of the buttons you’d otherwise find scattered across the dash. No interior shots are available yet, but if you look at the jaw-dropping interior of the standard new XC90 you can get a good idea of the sense of wellbeing you’ll get.

Engine options for the new trim level include 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Illustrating how times have changed, though, the most sporting variant will be the 390hp plug-in hybrid, which despite the grunt produces an impressively tiny 60g/km of CO2 emissions.

An official release date is yet to be confirmed for the R-Design, but expect it to go on sale at the same time as the rest of the range.

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