Volvo UK has announced the launch of R-Design models for the S60 and V60 wagon. These sportier cars should prove popular as apparently, R-Design variants account for up to 60% of some model lines, and 25% overall. For the S60/V60, R-Design is available across the range and not just for high spec cars, which means that it’s possible to have the economy of a 2.0-litre D3 with hot T6 looks, for instance. There are four petrol and two diesel options in the UK.

Looks wise, R-Design cars have a redesigned front valance while a distinctive diffuser houses twin tailpipes. Also included are unique five-spoke 18-inch Diamond cut wheels. Inside, a special leather/textile upholstery is available in off-black and ceramic light, or in all-black, both with contrasting stitch. The cabin also features an R-Design steering wheel, gear knob, sports pedals and floor mats.

The changes aren’t just skin deep. A strut brace under the bonnet stiffens up the structure and the rear features monotube dampers. Unlike twin-tube dampers, the monotube system features compression and return damping via the same valve. This gives shorter, faster fluid flow, which means faster response. The front and rear springs have been shortened by 15 mm and spring stiffness is 15% higher compared to the standard-fit dynamic chassis.

“This makes the car easier to control and reduces any tendency to lurch. This is an area that requires true fingertip sensitivity in order to find the right blend of dynamics and comfort. If you go too far the car feels bumpy even on smooth surfaces. We’ve invested a lot of time and effort in finding the ideal balance,” said Stefan Sällqvist, manager of vehicle dynamics at Volvo Cars.

Hi-res images after the jump.

[zenphotopress number=999 album=1524]