VOLVO’S XC90 is the brand’s first all-new model under its Chinese owners, Geely, and this is the first spin-off since it was revealed earlier this month.
The R-Design, which has become so popular in Australia that it is now standard on many models, takes the ‘premium’ seven-seat SUV and converts it to ‘premium sport’ – shown here with the top-spec 300kW hybrid drivetrain.
The XC90 brings not only a new platform, engines and design philosophy, but a new trim range of its own. The base car will be called the ‘Kinetic’ (a stab at ex-owner Ford’s design language, perhaps?) followed by a mid-spec Momentum (something Volvo is keen to maintain).
Then there’s the luxury angle, covered by the XC90 ‘Inspiration’ and then the chest-beating R-Design performance flagship.
For XC90, it starts with the now traditional and not-so-subtle Rebel Blue paintwork, and while the R-Design rides on a set of 20-inch alloys, this car is show with the optional 22-inch rollers.
The R-Design has its own grille, with the chrome detailing swapped for matt-silver instead, which also caps the mirrors a la Audi S and RS models, while at the back twin-pipes will let you know you’ve been nailed by the flagship XC model.
Inside, there are R-Design sports seats wrapped in cloth and perforated leather but with better bolstering than the standard XC90’s, with R-Design pedals, shift-lever and door-sills. There’s also the 12.3-inch display with an exclusive R-Design theme, while the XC90 also offers Apple CarPlay.
The XC90 R-Design will be available across the XC90 range. The version of the SUV shown here is powered by the flagship ‘Twin Engine’, which is also likely to extend to other variants further down the model line-up.
Power comes from a 236kW 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder (hence the ‘Twin’ nomenclature) petrol engine, which is one of Volvo’s new Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) powerplants. There’s also a 60kW electric motor driving the rear wheels, with Volvo claiming a sub-7.0 second 0-100km/h time, yet with fuel use figures that rival a Prius.