Volvo's limited presence in Detroit will be punctuated by the expansion of its in-house customization line with the release of the XC90 Sport R-Design. Volvo connoisseurs can R-ified their 'ute with either 19- or 20-inch matte wheels, dual exhaust pipes, brushed sill moldings and the removal of the CUV's roof rails. Inside, a blue-lit instrument cluster joins some additional badging, a leather wrapped steering wheel and an aluminum center stack to boost the premium feel of the XC90. They're all nice touches, but we still maintain that anything sporting the letter "R" should involve upgrades to both the visual appearance of the vehicle and its performance.

Volvo's press release is available after the jump.


PRESS RELEASE

VOLVO XC90 GETS THE R-DESIGN MAKEOVER

Volvo's new sports inspired R-Design package is now available on the Volvo XC90 and is given its first public appearance at the North American International Auto Show this month. Already a popular specification on the Volvo C30, S40 and V50 models the R-Design package is made for customers who want a car with refined and expressive attributes and one which makes a bold statement on the road.

The R-Design package for the Volvo XC90 is an extension of the XC90 Sport model that was introduced in late 2006 and maintains many of the same prominent features such as Sport chassis, details in silk matt finish, sill mouldings in brushed stainless steel and instrument dials with metal chronograph watch-style faces and blue lighting.

However, R-Design brings a whole new expressive dimension with 19-inch alloy wheels as standard with an option to upgrade to 20-inch, dual exhaust pipes, skid-plate, the R-Design badge in the grille and rear view mirror caps in silk matt finish. To further accentuate the sporty nature and to create a sleeker appearance, the car is not fitted with roof rails, although these are still available as an option.

Inside the car, the seats are covered in off-black Flex-Tec with the seat cushion and backrest in contrasting cream-coloured leather; the perforated leather and sports seats with additional lateral cushioning support the driver even in faster cornering. The R-Design logo embossed on the backrest and the contrasting stitching reinforce the interior's sporty appearance. Other R-Design interior details include the leather-trim steering wheel with its R-Design logo, aluminium pedals, specially designed aluminium centre stack and door inlays, gear selector and tufted dark sport floor mats with contrasting leather piping.

The R-Design package on the Volvo C30, S40 and V50 offers a range of unique sports-inspired interior and exterior details. These details include colour coordinated body kit, rear roof spoiler, silver matt finish front grille and wing mirrors, five-spoke 17" alloy wheels for Sport models and 18" alloy wheels for SE Sport; whilst the interior design features a two-tone black and cream upholstery with contrast stitching and embossed R-Design logo.

"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.