Volvo V40 R-Design (2012) first offical pictures

Published: 12 September 2012

Volvo has shown off its V40 family hatch resplendent in R-Design trim for the first time. The pack comprises sporty body addenda and wheels, tweaks to the interior and an optional sports chassis.

Similar to the M Sport or S-line packages offered by BMW and Audi, R-Design is expected to be specced on 25% of UK-bought V40s.

What exterior mods do Volvo V40 R-Designs models get?

The Volvo V40 might be the safest car Euro NCAP has ever tested, but Volvo has decided not to play it so safe with the R-Design styling. The rear gets twin exhausts, a cheeky diffuser arrangement and silver highlighting, while at the front you’ll spot a deeper front bumper and LED running lights.

V40 R-Designs ride on 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, but 18s can be specced as an option. The show car heading for Paris in a few weeks is the same shade of ‘Rebel Blue’ you can see in these pictures, but if don’t fret you’re not a fan – there’s other exterior hues on offer.

And on the inside of the 2012 Volvo V40 R-Design?

Unique to the R-Design cabin is branded part-leather upholstery, a sports steering wheel and pedals, and aluminium trim inlays.
 
Upgrade to to the R-Design Lux and you get full-leather , adaptive xenon headlights with headlight cleaning system, rain sensor, cruise control, keyless start and rear ambient lighting.

So what’s this sports chassis – on a Volvo?

Yup – it’s actually been developed with input from Swedish racing driver Robert Dahlgren in the Volvo Polestar Black R team. Polestar, in case you need a refresher, are the skunkworks team responsible for squeezing 400bhp into a C30, and then building a £300k 560bhp S60 for an American customer, which CAR drove earlier this year.
 
Choose the sport chassis for your V40 and you get a 10mm ride height drop, and firmer springs and dampers. Beefed-up anti-roll bars also feature to keep the car flat in hard driving. Clearly it’s the UK that Volvo sees as its most dynamics-focused customers: 25% of V40s are expected to get the R-Design treatment here, compared to 10% worldwide.

I’m one of the 25% – when can I buy an R-Design V40?

Prices will be announced in early October, with dealers taking orders immediately.  Customer deliveries are expected to start during January 2013. You can spec R-Design on any V40 in the range regardless of engine, though you know the one you really want is the 254bhp T5 turbo…

 

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish

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