Swedish for sporty: Volvo S90 and V90 R-Design (2016) execs unveiled

Published: 22 June 2016

► R-Design trim added to S90 and V90
► Sporty chassis promises more fun
► Spiced-up looks for streetside posing

Until now Volvo’s new S90 and V90 range-toppers have done without a sporty-looking model to take on the ever-popular Audi S Line and BMW M Sport models in company car top trumps. The Swedes have fixed that with the new S90 R-Design and V90 R-Design, unveiled today.

It’s the predicted big seller in the range, with Volvo predicting that 45% of all cars ordered will come in R-Design trim

What’s new on the R-Design Volvo execs?

Volvo has nailed it with its latest design language – the XC90 ushered in the new look in 2015 and now the new S90 and V90 extend the family look into the executive saloon and estate territory.

Note the more gently sporting add-ons including tweaked front and rear bumpers, piano black exterior trim, a revised grille and some seriously big, pothole-unfriendly alloys. 

Inside R-Design's cabin

Inside, the changes are harder to spot, but there are a few clues to remind you you’re in a sportier Volvo, including leather sports seats, carbonfibre-style trim and R-Design pedals. The now-familiar portrait touchscreen takes centre stage. 

Are there any tweaks under the bonnet?

Unfortunately not. No engine details have been released yet, but we expect the range to mimic that of the rest of the 90 range (until a hot Polestar performance version arrives). 

So there should be D4 and D5 diesel engines, a T6 petrol and T8 plug-in hybrid, with diesel versions expected to make up the majority of sales. All-wheel drive is likely to be available, too, as with the rest of the S90 and V90 range.

Will it be more fun to drive?

Yes – according to Volvo, at least. The new R-Design models come with a tweaked chassis that’ll deliver a more ‘energetic, road-hugging drive’, but we’ll let you know if this is true when we get behind the wheel. 

How much will the S90 and V90 R-Design cost?

There’s no word on prices for the R-Design trim, but the XC90 R-Design undercuts luxurious Inscription models by around £1000, so we can expect the S90 and V90 to follow suit. That means an S90 D4 R-Design should be around £34,500 and the V90 £2000 more than that in line with the cars’ current pricing structure.

Volvo S90 and V90 R-Design models unveiled

By Tom Goodlad

Bauer Automotive's continuity editor and CAR contributor