2011 Volvo XC60 R-Design: Quick Spin
I was pleased to get the opportunity to test drive the XC60-R. My first impression was WOW, this is a Volvo. The design of the R was impressive and sporty. Not that you wouldn’t expect anything other than the best in a Volvo, but this was so much more.
You could feel right away that this XC60 R has an attitude, one that I really liked. Volvo is expanding the lineup of its revolutionary XC60 Small Premium Utility for 2011. The new 3.2 R-Design brings the dynamic appeal of styling and sporty handling enhancements at a more attainable price.
The R-Designs 3.2-liter naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine puts out 240 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard while Volvo’s renowned All-Wheel Drive with Instant TractionTM is optional.
Those who relish the added thrust of a Volvo turbocharged power plant will welcome the news that the XC60 T6 AWD and T6 R-Design receive a power boost this year as well. The 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine now delivers 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque, for net gains of 19 hp and 30 lb.-ft. respectively. Mated to the standard 6-speed “Geartronic” automatic transmission and All-Wheel-Drive with Instant Traction, the T6 models can sprint from 0-60 mph in just 6.9 seconds.
The XC60 is designed to captivate a new generation of Volvo buyers as well as attracting those who are already loyal to the brand. From every angle, the XC60’s dramatic style takes Volvo design DNA to the next level by artfully blending muscular lower body cues capped off by a sporty coupe-like greenhouse. The XC60 features a charismatic strong shoulder-line with expressive design elements, front and rear.
For added distinction, LED taillights that illuminate the full shape of the shoulder line flank the rear lift gate.
Large 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels along with 9.1 inches of ground clearance enable the XC60 to traverse terrain that would be impossible in a conventional passenger car.
Enhanced Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) is standard along with Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) that helps provide more stable driving when towing.
The R-Design models give the XC60 an even bolder appearance. Standard features include 20-inch “Cratus” alloy wheels, color-matched lower body moldings and a metallic-themed interior with aluminum inserts in the steering wheel, door moldings and the iconic center stack. It also maintains typical R-design attributes like silk metal finish outside mirror housings, trim moldings, skid plates, twin chrome tailpipes and the R-Design logo embossed in the front seat backrests and displayed on the grille.
When it comes to driving performance, the XC60 R-Design is fitted with a stiffer chassis, featuring stronger damping and a more direct steering gear that allows the driver to benefit from more alert vehicle behavior and more precise communication with the road surface.
Continuing Volvo’s quest as a pioneer and leader in vehicle safety systems, the XC60 introduced a new world’s first. City Safety is a driver support system aimed at preventing or mitigating collisions occurring at speeds of 19 mph or less. It utilizes a closing velocity sensor to help determine whether a collision is likely. Depending on the closing speed, City Safety will either pre-charge the brakes or automatically brake the XC60 to help avoid a rear-end collision or lessen its impact.
The XC60’s cabin reflects the dynamic energy generated by the exterior. Volvo’s signature ultra-slim center control panel sports a fresh design. And beginning with late-November production, the XC60 will come standard with a 7-inch high-definition color screen located in the center console. The XC60 will feature its stable mate’s center console with an (optional) integrated navigation screen that’s angled slightly toward the driver. The refreshed design eliminates the “eyebrow” seen on the XC60’s dash on earlier models. Now, all audio, climate and navigation functions are found on the screen. Comfortable seats feature a pronounced X-theme to segue with the XC “Cross Country” moniker. Volvo’s first panoramic roof, standard on R-Design and T6 AWD models, offers increased light and an open-air feeling with two laminated glass panels.
The XC60 is Volvo’s first carline with standard HD Radio that updates radio signals to digital quality. FM broadcast quality equals the level of a typical CD while AM broadcast quality rivals the prior level of FM. The XC60’s standard high performance sound system includes AUX and USB inputs to allow connection and control of personal music devices such as iPodsTM, memory sticks and other media players.
SiriusTM satellite radio with a complimentary six-month subscription and Bluetooth hands-free phone interface are also standard. Audiophiles can select the optional Volvo Premium Sound System with a 650-watt amplifier, 12 premium speakers and Dolby Pro-Logic II® Surround.
2011 XC60 R-Design, has evolved from a mild-mannered CUV into a machine that wants to be driven and yet still wants to be practical. It wasn’t a Porsche Cayenne but it certainly was trying to be an Audi Q5. This CUV is an attractive offering that is fun to drive and will keep you loving it for years.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price
XC60 3.2: $32,400
XC60 3.2 R-Design: $38,050
XC60 T6 AWD: $38,400
XC60 T6 R-Design: $41,550