Volvo pulled the wraps off of the updated 2014 S60 and XC60 models at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, but has used the New York show to debut the sportier R-Design variants of the two models. The facelifted R-Design variants take the same tack as the outgoing models – compared to the standard S60 and XC60, the R-Designs are a little more style, a little more power, and a little more driver-focused.
Visually differentiating the top-spec cars are frameless, matte-black grilles complemented by bright LED running lights, an aggressive rear diffuser, and unique wheels – 19-inch on the S60 and 20-inch on the XC60. Inside, the R-Design models gain a raft of subtle touches to differentiate them from the lesser sedan and crossover models in Volvo’s range. The configurable gauge cluster shows blue dials in Elegance mode, recalling the Volvo R model trademark look, and the cabin is accented by blue embroidered “R” logos.
While performance hasn’t changed – both the S60 and XC60 use a turbocharged I-6 good for 325 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque – Volvo has optimized the six-speed automatic’s shift times to increase acceleration. In sport mode, the R-Design models now make the sprint from 0 to 60 mph a little bit quicker: the S60 is improved by 0.2 seconds, doing the run in 5.3 seconds; while the XC60 makes the sprint in 6.2 seconds, a quicker time by 0.4 seconds over the 2013 model. Thanks to stiffer monotube dampers and a 15-mm-lower chassis, the S60 and XC60 R-Design models will continue to feel confident and sporty from behind the wheels. Enhance this feeling of secure sportiness on the XC60 R-Design is a new Corner Traction Control system that uses torque vectoring to help the crossover out of corners.
In addition to the S60 and XC60 R-Design models, Volvo is also adding a V60 R-Design to the U.S. lineup, in conjunction with the launch of the standard V60 wagon for North American consumption. Expect the details of the wagon to mirror that of the S60 sedan.