Volvo News

In addition to the software for the C30 R Design, Volvo recently announced a raft of model updates designed to entice the enthusiast driver in particular. First among them was the XC60, the second most popular model sold in the US behind the S60, and another reason why the brand is growing at such a rate.

As the original crossover, it attracted early adopters who display remarkable loyalty for its unique combination of versatility, design, performance and off-road ability. It competes with the Q5, X3, GLK plus Infinity and Acura models, but can claim to be the only true crossover in this SUV-populated market.

The XC60 range is updated for its third model year and is headed by the T6 AWD R Design model that starts at $43700. Like most of the top models in the US it gets Polestar software in addition to a unique bumper design, sportier steering ratio, 10% stiffer suspension and 20” wheels.

The 3.0L six-cylinder T6 engine is boosted from its stock 300hp to 32hp, while torque jumps from 325 to 354 lb-ft. Again, this is all done without affecting fuel economy or servicing schedules.

Of course, you can still get the entry-level 240hp XC60 3.2L model that starts at $33300 in 2WD layout. And while its gets all the XC60’s practicality, you should jump into the T6 AWD model at $39450 to get the four-wheel drive package and Four-C active chassis. Once you have the T6 engine, you can add the Polestar software yourself for $1495 fitted…

We had a chance to do some soft-roading in the XC60 T6 AWD R Design and it took everything in its stride. The sporty suspension designed to sooth its occupants at high-speed in this 325hp cruiser was magnificently adept at soak up bumps and ripples, while its ground clearance made light work of gradients, potholes and worse.

The Polestar software alters boost, timing and throttle response maps and is apparent above 2500rpm, where it delivers a significant shove, particularly in the mid-range for sharper acceleration out of corners. In fact, 0-60mph is reduced from about 7.1sec to an impressive 6.6sec. Below 2500 it’s relatively docile, ideal for towing or trails.

It’s an incredibly versatile machine with huge performance levels that will keep a smile on your face, while the cool Swedish interior is such a delightful place to be with its soft leather, warm wood and high technology.

We also tried the XC70 T6 AWD. There’s no R Design option on this model, but its 3.0L T6 engine had the optional Polestar software to boost it to the same 325hp.

Again, we found ourselves on dirt trails and again its combination of power, adaptability and comfort were a revelation. This was our first experience behind the wheel of Volvo’s off-road wagon and we were converts, instantly understanding why it generates such a loyal following. It adds luxury to Subaru Outback formula to create a charming and immensely capable alternative to conventional SUVs.

The final new model was the Volvo C70 T5 Inscription. This FWD convertible starts at $40450 and adds $3900 for the Inscription package, which comprises Polestar software as standard, developing the same 250hp/273 lb-ft as the C30. It also receives exclusive 18" Midir wheels with black spokes and polished faces, plus a gloss-black grille, active Xenons, LED DRLs, aluminum pedals and a leather-covered dash with contrast stitching. The car is only available in Black Sapphire metallic or Ice White and only 2000 examples will be available annually – represented by just 500 cars coming to the US in 2012.

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