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Car and Driver: Volvo Amps Up S90 and V90 with Sporty-Looking R-Design Trim

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2018-Volvo-S90-V90-R-Design-PLACEMENT

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“Sporty” trim levels that don’t include any major performance-enhancing hardware rarely get our hearts pumping, but gosh darn it if Volvo’s new R-Design trim package for the S90 and V90 doesn’t look smashing. Of course, it helps when you start with sedans and wagons as attractive as Volvo’s new 90-series range.

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As on the Volvo XC90, the R-Design package mostly consists of visual tweaks like five-spoke wheels with matte-black accents, a revised front end with a different grille treatment and a lower front spoiler, and some extra bits of black trim. Interior differences include silver “deco” trim, sport seats, and an R-Design steering wheel. It’s a nice upgrade that gives the already clean designs of the S90 and V90 a more athletic look.

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Volvo also says that the R-Design models come with a “sport chassis,” but doesn’t expound on what exactly that means. (We have an inquiry into Volvo for details.) R-Design models don’t include any powertrain tweaks, but we’re willing to bet that S90 and V90 buyers eventually will be able to combine the R-Design package with these models’ “Polestar Optimization” option. That package offers a power upgrade for the T6 turbo- and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, along with revised transmission and throttle tuning for better responsiveness.

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We haven’t yet heard U.S.-spec details on R-Design availability, but expect this model to be among the S90’s trim levels when it goes on sale later this summer. The V90 wagon, our pick of the two cars, will follow the sedan by a few months on our shores, arriving sometime in early 2017.

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