Volvo XC90 R-Design (2015): first pictures

Published: 18 September 2014

The new Volvo XC90 was shown in August 2014 - and now a month later the Swedes have shown the new XC90 R-Design. Think of it as the SUV that’s popped down the gym at lunchtime and come back in a tracksuit.

R-Design is a trim level in Volvo parlance and it won’t come as a surprise to you to hear that the XC90 R-Design follows the format of other more sporting Volvos.

You get a bodykit and a smattering of extra kit in your R-Design package, which starts production in May 2015. Expect the first right-hand drive UK cars in July.

What do I get on my Volvo XC90 R-Design?

You’ll spot the gently sporting XC90 by its bodykit first; this is merely a cosmetic upgrade, with no mechanical tinkering. The grille and deeper front spoiler are new at the front, while the roof rails and door mirror caps are matt silver.

Look closely and you’ll spot the silk-effect metal window surround while the twin exhaust pipes are integrated into the rear valance.

Naturally, it rides on whopping 20-inch alloy wheels to give the big-rimmed look so beloved of buyers trading up to sporty trims (and damn the ride quality). It’s rare that we champion such models as the best choice.

Inside the Volvo XC90 R-Design cabin

More gripping Contour sports seats are fitted inside, there’s a perforated leather steering wheel and gearknob and R-Design branding is blunderbussed around.

It’s telling that Volvo has whipped out the R-Design pack so early in the XC90’s life. Proof, if it were needed, that customer upgrade packages are an important profit centre nowadays; punters want to stand out and will happily pay handsomely for the privilege.

It’s a tactic that’s worked for BMW (M Sport), Audi (S Line) and Mercedes-Benz (AMG trimline). Now Volvo’s liberally offering on its range of hatchbacks and SUVs, too.

Read our review of the last Volvo XC90 R-Design here.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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