Volvo’s new V40 range just got a lot spicier with the arrival of the Volvo V40 T5 R-Design.
For those of you not familiar with Volvo’s range, R-Design is a trim level that adds some sporting flair to Volvo’s models. Bigger alloys, twin exhausts and beefier bumpers, you know the sort of thing.
We’ve sampled and very much enjoyed the V60 T6 R-Design and C30 T5 R-Design on these pages before, but Volvo’s all-new V40 has just received the same treatment and I have to say it really works. The standard V40 is already a handsome hatchback but the R-Design takes it a step further.
At the front is a restyled bumper that incorporates LED running lights. At the back we have a diffuser-style bumper with chrome-tipped twin exhausts poking out from underneath. The 5-spoke diamond-cut wheels are 17-inch as standard but can be upgraded to 18-inch.
There’s a new colour unique to the R-Design, Rebel Blue, very much like the colour of Volvo’s Polestar tuning and racing division. Blue highlights are carried across to the interior where blue piping runs down the edges of the floating centre console, and the instrument cluster uses blue lighting for each of its display modes.
The seats in the R-Design, always a strong point in Volvos, are trimmed in black Nubuck textile and perforated leather, and feature an embroidered R-Design logo with a blue “R”. Should you prefer full leather seats, they are available as an option.
There’s also the optional R-Design Lux pack, which adds extra kit such as bending xenon headlights, rain sensing wipers, cruise control and keyless start.
Volvo V40 T5 R-Design
With the addition of the 254bhp T5 engine Volvo are set to make their mark on the hot hatch market. With a 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine the V40 is one of the few hot hatches left to have more than four cylinders, alongside the Audi RS3 and BMW 135i. Volvo are being coy about performance figures for the T5 but it’s reasonable to expect 0-60mph in around six seconds.
To go with the extra performance is an optional ‘Sport’ chassis. It sits 10mm lower than the current ‘Dynamic’ chassis and uses firmer springs and shocks to give the V40 even more control.
Prices are for the Volvo V40 T5 R-Design are not yet confirmed but will be announced in October, with cars expected to arrive in January 2013.