The new "R-Design" versions of Volvo S60 and XC60, which made their global debut at the New York International Auto Show, feature a blend of renewed sports appearance, an updated chassis and an engine output of 325 horsepower (hp).

"The S60 R-Design with lowered R-Design chassis, T6 engine and the optional 19-inch wheels hits all the right notes," said Doug Speck, senior VP marketing, sales and customer service at Volvo Car Group. "The new sport seat embraces you while you enjoy the intense driving experience."

Both R-Design cars feature a redesigned face. The frameless Tech Matte Black grille has high-gloss black stripes, a silk metal diagonal and a refined R-Designed emblem. The DRL lights in the outer corners reinforce the low, road-hugging impression.

"The rounded end of the front bumper ‘wraps' around the dynamic Ixion wheel, which is now available in a redesigned 19-inch version for the S60 and a 20-inch for the XC60," said Fedde Talsma, exterior design director.

Adaptive Digital Display allows drivers to switch between three themes with different configurations and functionality: Elegance, Eco and Performance. In the R-Design versions, the Elegance theme boasts the iconic blue instrument dials.

The new sport seat featuring full leather upholstery is standard in the R-Design cars. The embroidered R-design logo with a blue "R" confirms the sporty aura. Full leather seats are available as an option.

"By blending inlays with a perforated look, black leather and contrasting stitching, the design team has created an interior with all details in perfect harmony, crowned by the black headliner," Speck said. "The new stainless steel tread plate with a bright blue ‘R' in the R-Design emblem is another exquisite detail."

In addition to design changes, Advanced Quick Shift (AQS) provides transmission optimization software that improves the speed of each gear change. This new feature is available on all T6 engines and activated when the transmission is set to sport mode or when using paddle shifters. Gear changes are faster by as much as 50% between first and second, and as much as 30% on gear changes two through six, according to the automaker.

For the chassis, the R-Design Sport chassis is lowered 15 mm compared with the Dynamic chassis in the standard S60 and spring stiffness is 15% higher compared to the dynamic chassis in the standard S60, Volvo said.

Corner Traction Control

Corner Traction Control, which uses torque vectoring to provide for smoother cornering, is now also standard on the XC60. The DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) system also has several other functions that improve driving and safety properties, such as:

  • Advanced Stability Control. With a gyroscopic roll-angle sensor the anti-spin system can deploy faster and with greater precision.
  • Engine Drag Control prevents the wheels from losing their grip during engine braking on a slippery surface.
  • The DSTC system also has a sports setting that makes it possible for the driver to disable the anti-spin function.

Read more about the standard versions of the 2014-MY S60 and XC60 here.