Sam Philip08 July 2009

XC60 gets R-der

Volvo lets its sort-of-sporty R-Design department loose on the XC60. Don’t worry, it still has many airbags

XC60 gets R-der

If you want a car that says, ‘I'm edgy, but within well-established and safe boundaries', help is at hand: Volvo has unleashed its sort-of-sporty R-Design department on the XC60.

The result, predictably, is the XC60 R-Design, and we have to admit we quite like it. The XC60 is a good-looking SUV, and the R-Design edition adds a bit of extra, er, something courtesy of metal-finish door mirrors, front grille and skid plates.

The R-Design's sill mouldings are finished in the same colour as the rest of the car - the standard XC60 gets black plastic panels - and you get a nice new set of 18-inch five-spoke alloys. However, we're pretty sure the car in the photo has the optional set of fat 20-inch wheels, which look most excellent but surely won't do much for the ride comfort.

Speaking of which, the R-Design is stiffer and has stronger dampers than the standard XC60, along with more direct steering. Thankfully, Volvo has resisted the temptation to lower the XC60 on its springs, which means you'll still be able to take it off-road should you so desire.

Unfortunately, the XC60 R-Design doesn't get any extra power. If you had visions of a lairy Scandinavian BMW X6M competitor... well, you might have to wait for Koenigsegg to start working its parental magic on the Saab 9-4X...

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