Though the 2015 Volvo XC90 SUV has only just been fully revealed in production guise, there are already ambitions to tune up both the design and performance. World Car Fans reports that a user from the SwedeSpeed forums posted a leaked image of a vehicle purported to be the 2016 Volvo XC90 R-Design.
As with previous R-Design Volvos, the enhancements are all aesthetic, leaving the mechanical bits well enough alone. This package has previously been applied to the Volvo S60 plug-in hybrid, which added sportier wheels, new front and rear diffusers, and an overall more aggressive look for the Swedish sedan. The picture reveals a different grille, as well as newer, sportier wheels and altered wheel arches on the XC90 R-Design, though the overall look is a bit tamer than hoped. The package is added to Volvos directly from the factory, and while it should make the seven-passenger XC90 look faster, the R-Design kit won’t actually make it go any faster.
That will be left up to Volvo’s preferred tuning house, Polestar, which has a history of turning these historically safe Swedish tanks into loud land bullets that put your balls in your throat. The latest example is the Polestar V60 plug-in hybrid wagon, which the tuning house tweaked to provide just shy of 500 lb-ft of torque from its 2.2 liter turbodiesel engine.
The R-Design package is the first step towards a Polestar version, and since the 2015 Volvo XC90 is available with a 400 horsepower Twin Engine plug-in hybrid drivetrain, the tuners have a wonderful foundation to build a monument to efficient and safe Swedish performance. It could also be joined next year by an ultra-luxury version of the XC90 with seating for four and lots and lots of legroom aimed specifically at the Chinese market.