2016 Volvo XC90 R-Design Is Damn Sexy Swede

xc90rWhen the Volvo XC90 debuted earlier this year in Stockholm, we were floored by its super luxurious cabin and extremely smart PHEV powertrains that actually deliver huge horsepower — and mileage. The 400-horsepower T8 is far ahead of any other seven-seat hybrid SUV, and is the world’s first plug-in seven-seater.

But to be honest, the style of the normal two XC90’s — one body-colored and one with off-road pieces unpainted — seemed extremely frumpy and dull.

The XC90 R-Design helped a great deal in those stakes, but it is always hard to get a sense of a car from renderings, let alone actual photos.

Let me just say: now that the new XC90 R-Design has landed in Detroit, the style and sex appeal of the new seven-seater is without question. It is low, cool, modern and sleek, but also butch and functional.

We absolutely love the design — and think it shades the Audi Q7 S-line very easily on the style charts, to say nothing of the tired BMW X5 appearance lately.

 2016 Volvo XC90 R-Design

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Hooray for Volvo!

We are very excited for the XC90 launch and have a strong feeling that Volvo’s efforts in the cabin and with the ultra-modern powertrains will be a big hit with shoppers.

But if one thing was missing from the XC90 announcement last week — it might have been a bit of sex appeal. Where was the VaVaVoom of the Concept Coupe and Concept Estate? The new XC90 seemed a little too practical for its own good?

Luckily, the R-Design trim is now out and addresses many of these concerns. It looks hot — and even hotter when we add window tinting in photoshop.

Europeans, my theory is, do not get on-board with OEM window tinting that is dark enough. That is because Europe is grey and dark all winter long, so they cannot imagine how hot it gets elsewhere in the world.

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151949_The_all_new_Volvo_XC90_R_Designdsd The all-new Volvo XC90 R-Design ???????????????????????????????

Go deeper into the privacy glass, my Swedish friends!

We Americans like 20% tint levels — which is very, very dark.

2015 VOLVO XC90 R-Design

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Volvo Cars has released the first images of the R-Design version of the all new XC90, aimed at buyers looking for a head-turner that radiates a truly sporty and dynamic look.

“R-Design is created for people with a passion for things that add spice to life,” said Alain Visser, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service of Volvo Car Group. “It appeals to customers that love active driving and a personal, expressive design. Every single R-Design detail is designed to contribute to the individualistic and refined expression these customers desire.”

The visual promise of a dynamic ride is confirmed by the driver-centric interior featuring R-Design Contour sports seats in Nubuck and perforated leather. A choice of Drive-E powertrains offering up to 400 hp and the completely new XC90 chassis ensure an agile driving experience.

The release of the R-Design follows Volvo’s release of 1,927 individually numbered black First Edition XC90’s which were offered for sale exclusively online and sold out in 47 hours.??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

Distinctive R-Design detailing

The R-Design exterior includes a number of distinguishing details, such as grille, front spoiler, silk metal window surround, integrated dual exhausts, integrated silver roof rails and silver matt mirror covers. 20-inch R-Design alloy wheels complete the stylish, dynamic look.

Inside, gearshift paddles, plus the Contour sports seats and perforated leather steering wheel and gearshift knob are accompanied by special R-Design details, such as sports seats, pedals, floor mats and illuminated tread plates. The driver also gets an exclusive R-Design leather key remote control.

Tablet-like touch screen

The tablet-like touch screen in the centre and a 12.3-inch fully graphical driver display are of course included in the R-Design. The driver display also features a unique R-Design theme. The heart of the all-new in-car control is virtually button free and represents an entirely new way for drivers to operate their car and access a range of Internet and cloud based products and services.

New trim level strategy

The core of the new XC90 range will be the Momentum model. Above this sits two separate branches – for a sports-inspired look and feel, the R-Design offers exclusive features and design detailing. Meanwhile, for an elegant look and an even more luxurious experience, customers can opt for the richly equipped Inscription model.

“In principle, we have replaced the previous top level with the Inscription and R-Design versions. Both of them feature an elevated content, carefully chosen to emphasise each of their distinctive individual personalities,” said Alain Visser.

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The 2015 XC90 is official and it is fantastic!

At once both very futuristic and innovative, while also rebuilding on the Volvo luxury and family safety that have been brand pillars for decades.

The base price is $48,000 in the US market, where the first trucks will hopefully be arriving before year-end.

The two launch packages are likely one of the biggest choices to make when considering the new XC90:

— Urban luxury: body-color trims and 21-inch wheels

— Rugged luxury: grey body cladding and some very handsome 22-inch wheels

2015 VOLVO XC90 World Premiere


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World premiere: the all-new Volvo XC90


Months of speculation ended today after Volvo Cars unveiled its all-new Volvo XC90, delivering on its promise to introduce a visually striking, seven-seat luxury SUV with world leading safety features, advanced powertrain technologies, an unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency and a superlative interior finish.

Three years in the making and part of an $11 billion investment program, the all-new XC90 marks the beginning of a new chapter in Volvo’s history, capturing its future design direction, incorporating its own range of new technologies and utilizing its new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology.

“This is one of the most important days in our history. We are not just launching a car, but re-launching our brand. This day marks a new era for our company. The XC90 paves the way for a portfolio of exciting new cars to come in the following years,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group.

Volvo’s new face

Symbolizing this historic day in Volvo’s 87 year history, the new XC90 will be the first of its cars to carry the company’s new more prominent iron mark logo, which has the iconic arrow elegantly aligned with the diagonal slash across the grille. Together with the T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” LED daytime running lights, the iron mark introduces an entirely new, distinctive and confident face for Volvo’s forthcoming generation of cars.

The XC90’s larger hood with its new topography, the beltline and the sharpened shoulders connecting with the tattoo-like, new rear lights are other important design signatures that will be mirrored across the range.

To add more visual muscle from the sides, the XC90 comes with a range of wheel sizes up to 22 inches.

“The overall impression, both exterior and interior, has a strong connection to the key elements of the Swedish lifestyle: the generous space, the celebration of light and the focus on wellbeing,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.

First SUV without compromises

The XC90 is firm evidence of the “designed by Volvo for Volvo and its customers” strategy. Its outstanding combination of luxury, space, versatility, efficiency and safety will bring the luxury SUV segment into a new dimension, just as the original XC90 achieved in 2002.

“SPA has enabled us to create the world’s first SUV without compromises,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development of Volvo Car Group. “You get the in-command feel, generous interior space and flexible capability combined with the agility and smooth comfort of a much smaller and lower car. The adrenaline rush that is key to true driving pleasure is delivered by powertrains that offer an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation. And since the XC90 carries the Volvo badge, world-class safety is standard.”

 Unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency

The all-new XC90 offers 316 hp, 2 liter turbocharged and supercharged AWD engine, which provides an outstanding combination of performance and fuel-efficiency.

The top of the range XC90 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, which combines a two-liter, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor, offers an unrivalled combination of power and clean operation: around 400 horsepower with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of around 60 g/km (NEDC driving cycle). This will be the world’s first 7-seat plug-in hybrid.

Most comprehensive standard safety package

The all-new XC90 offers the most comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package available in the automotive industry. It includes two world first safety technologies: a run-off road protection package and auto brake at intersection capability.

In a run-off road scenario, the all-new Volvo XC90 detects what is happening and the front safety belts are tightened to keep the occupants in position. To help prevent spine injuries, energy-absorbing functionality between the seat and seat frame cushions the vertical forces that can arise when the car encounters a hard landing in the terrain.

The XC90 is the first car in the world with technology that features automatic braking if the Volvo driver starts to turn in front of an oncoming car that is going quicker than expected. This is a common scenario at busy city crossings as well as on highways, where the speed limits are higher.

City Safety becomes the umbrella name for all of Volvo Cars’ auto brake functions, which are standard equipment in the all-new XC90. It now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, day and night.

“The new technologies will take us a significant step closer to our vision that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020,” said Dr Mertens. “Our starting point on safety is the same today as it was when the company was created almost 90 years ago: real-life situations. We study data. We crunch numbers. We innovate. The result is one of the safest cars ever made.”

Three focus areas will help Volvo Cars to reach Vision 2020: safety, connectivity and autonomous drive.

“With the XC90, we take the first step towards self-driving cars. A new function that automatically follows the vehicle ahead in stop-and-go traffic will provide a radically simplified, semi-autonomous driving experience,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management of Volvo Car Group.

 Luxurious interior

The XC90’s interior is the epitome of Scandinavian luxury. The most striking feature is a tablet-like touch screen control console, which forms the heart of an all-new in-car control system. This system is virtually button free and represents an entirely new way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services. It also helps create an interior that is modern, spacious and uncluttered.

“The new interior is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect. The simplicity is perfectly in tune with our Scandinavian design heritage. It opens up generous surfaces and gives us the opportunity to create a modern, luxurious interior architecture,” said Mr Ingenlath.

The new XC90 interior combines materials such as soft leather and wood with handcrafted details, including a gear lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, the famous Swedish glassmaker, and diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control. Craftsmanship has been in sharp focus during the whole development work.

The genuine seven seater features new, innovatively designed seats that also free up interior space for passengers both in the second and third seat rows. The third row seats were designed to accommodate passengers in class-leading comfort up to 5’7” inches tall.

One of the top audio systems in the world

The XC90 features one of the top audio systems available in the automotive world after Volvo Cars audio experts joined forces with their counterparts at the renowned British audio equipment company Bowers & Wilkins.

The top-of-the-line system in the XC90 features a 1,400 Watt Class D amplifier and 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers. It also includes one of the first air-ventilated subwoofers in a car. Integrated into the car body, it turns the whole interior space into a giant subwoofer.

The latest sound processing software has been used to manage the timing of the sound and co-ordination of the speakers. This brings the emotional experience of a world-class live performance into the car.

Two main accessory themes

The all-new XC90 is available with a range of accessories that makes it possible for the owner to create a truly personalized car. There are two major exterior styling themes:

  • The Urban Luxury package combines a color coordinated body kit with polished stainless steel details, such as front deco frames, front and rear skid plates and side scuff plates. The 21-inch exclusive polished wheels complete the elegant look.

  • The Rugged Luxury kit enhances the ruggedness of the XC90 SUV with tech matte black exterior trim, stainless steel skid plates, running boards with illumination and integrated exhaust pipes. This version is supplemented by unique 22-inch wheels.


Full details on the pricing will be announced at a later date, but a well-equipped XC90 T6 AWD will have a starting price of $48,900. The XC90 T6 AWD will come standard with such luxurious features as Navigation, 19” wheels, a power laminated panoramic sunroof, state-of-the-art car connectivity and is expected to deliver best-in-class power and fuel efficiency.



All-new Volvo XC90: 1,927 limited First Edition cars available only via digital commerce


  • The initial series of 1,927 cars celebrates the year Volvo was founded 87 years ago


Volvo Cars is releasing a limited First Edition of its all-new Volvo XC90, which was launched today in Stockholm. The 1,927 individually numbered cars celebrate the year Volvo was founded and, for the first time in history, they will only be available for sale via digital commerce at www.volvocars.com.


The online store opens for business on September 3rd at 16.00 hrs CET.


“Those who want to be among the first ones to own the best SUV in the world have to act fast. The huge interest in the all-new XC90 indicates that the First Edition will sell out quickly,” said Alain Visser, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service of Volvo Car Group.


The online only First Edition is just one example of Volvo Cars’ revitalized approach to marketing activities and outstanding personal service.


“We are creating an online ecosystem that simplifies the process of shopping for, buying and owning a Volvo,” said Mr Visser. “We also see the introduction of the new XC90 as the perfect platform for introducing a new, outstanding customer experience, which we are rolling out globally.” 


Fully equipped

The First Edition cars, which have uniquely numbered tread plates and a distinctive badge on the tailgate, are powered by a high-performance petrol or diesel engine from Volvo Cars’ new four-cylinder Drive-E powertrains.


The supercharged and turbocharged T6 All Wheel Drive has an output of 320 hp and a maximum torque of 400 Nm, while the D5 twin turbo diesel engine has 225 hp and 470 Nm. The engines are teamed with a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission.


The electronically controlled air suspension has choice of five modes, including one where the driver is free to tailor the settings to his or her personal taste.


Black exterior and amber leather seats

The Onyx Black exterior and 8-spoke, 21-inch inscription wheels are combined with an interior featuring nappa leather seats in Amber, a Charcoal leather dashboard and Linear Walnut inlays.


The power-operated front seats are equipped with ventilation. The outer seats in the second row have heating and the two third row seats are power-operated.


The tablet-like touch screen in the centre is one of the most striking features in the all-new XC90.  It is the heart of the all-new in-car control system that is virtually button free and represents an entirely new way for drivers to operate their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services.


The Bowers & Wilkins audio systems features a 1,400 watts Class D amplifier, 19 speakers, one of the first air-ventilated subwoofers integrated in a car and the latest sound processing software, which brings the emotional experience of a world-class live performance into the car.


Most comprehensive standard safety package

The car offers the most comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package available in the automotive industry. It includes two world first safety technologies: a run-off road protection package and auto brake at intersection capability.


City Safety, which becomes the umbrella name for all of the Volvo Cars’ auto brake functions, is also standard. It now covers vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in front of the car, day and night.

Volvo Car Group in 2013

For the 2013 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 1,919 MSEK (66 MSEK in 2012). Revenue over the period amounted to 122,245 MSEK (124,547 MSEK), while net income amounted to 960 MSEK (-542 MSEK). Global retail sales for the year amounted to 427,840 (421,951) cars, an increase of 1.4 per cent compared to 2012. The operating profit was the result of cost control and strong sales and was further tangible proof of Volvo Car Group’s progress in implementing its transformation plan. For the full year 2014, the company expects to stay in black figures and predicts to record a global sales increase of a good 5 per cent.


About Volvo Car Group

Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 427,000 in 2013 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.


As of December 2013, Volvo Cars had over 23,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium) and Chengdu (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China).

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About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine. He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank. Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.