Volvo used the New York auto show to quietly unveil a performance upgrade for the 2012 S60 R-Design and 2012 XC60 R-Design. That’s a new addition, considering Volvo’s R-Design packages have traditionally offered only modified cosmetics and chassis tuning.
Both R-Design models are powered by Volvo’s T6 engine -- a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six -- bumped up to 325 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The T6 is rated at 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet in all other configurations, serving as an upgrade engine in the S60 sedan and XC60 crossover, as well as many other Volvo products. Despite the R-Design’s sporty intentions, the T6 in both the S60 R-Design and XC60 R-Design models is equipped only with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Apart from the power boost, the XC60 R-Design and S60 R-Design are otherwise unchanged for the 2012 model year. In addition to the power, the S60’s handling benefits from a 0.6-inch-lower ride height, a front strut-tower brace, retuned rear dampers, and firmer rear suspension bushings. Visual differentiation for the S60 comes on behalf of unique wheels, twin exhaust tips, a gloss-black front grille, trunk spoiler, bolstered sport seats, and abundant R-Design badges. The XC60 R-Design bowed for 2010 with firmer suspension, unique 18- or 20-inch wheels, aluminum accents, sportier seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The 325-horsepower versions of the two cars go on sale later this summer. The S60 R-Design model costs $43,150 and the XC60 R-Design stickers for $44,025, including $875 in destination.