We think it???s a little lame but Volvo have decided to abandon their performance ???R??? models and instead offer customers an R-DESIGN option, which will be available on the C30, S40 and V50 models.
Yes, we are saddened by the demise of the performance ???R??? models and while the new R-DESIGN offers some attractive cosmetic touches it seems a little Gold Coast casual to us. The sort of car driven by tanned gents with white shoes and gold chains. Maybe its just all of that cream interior trim???
Initial prejudices aside, there is some good kit on offer when you choose the R-DESIGN option. The R-DESIGN cars all feature revised satin matt-finish grilles, colour coded bumpers a rear or roof spoiler and satin silver matt-finish door mirrors. Choose one of the ten exterior colours available, throw in the unique R-DESIGN badging and exclusive five-spoke alloy wheels (17in or 18in available as options) and it all starts to look rather reasonable.
On the inside the R-DESIGN pack features a neat blue backlit instrument cluster and gauges. There is also an R-DESIGN leather bound steering wheel and sport pedals. Aluminium is used on the unique centre stack, door inlays and the gear selector. Last but by no means least is the non too subtle two-tone cream and black seat trim with contrasting stitching???yum.
The whole R-DESIGN concept is best summed up by the folks from Volvo:
"R-design is entirely in line with the accelerated focus on making our cars more extrovert and emotional. It gives the buyers the opportunity to spice up the already distinct personality of these car models," says Steve Mattin, Senior Vice President and Design Director at Volvo Cars.
While the R-DESIGN Volvo looks alright we would have preferred the performance ???R??? models to have hung out at Volvo a little longer. A bit more zing and a little less bling.