2013 Volvo V40 R-Design - front three-quarter studio shot in Rebel Blue

As if we weren't already jealous enough about Europe getting one of the safest and most stylish Volvo cars ever made, the Swedish automaker goes and drops the R-Design treatment on its new hatchback/wagon. Unlike some other R-Design models, the 2013 Volvo V40 R-Design doesn't get any additional power under the hood, but it does come with a more aggressive styling and a lower, firmer suspension setup.

Looking like the world's edgiest Smurf, the V40 R-Design receives restyled fascias, some slick five-spoke alloy wheels and this exclusive paint color, Rebel Blue – although this model is also available in six other colors. Opting for the Sport chassis gives the five door an even sportier look and feel with a suspension that has been lowered by 10 millimeters. Volvo has made sure to give the V40 R-Design a cabin design that fits the upgraded exterior styling with features like embossed seats with a blue R-Design logo, blue background on the interactive gauge cluster, unique aluminum dash inlays and a black headliner. All of the black leather throughout the cabin is also accented with contrasting white stitching.

The V40 R-Design does carry over the same engine outputs compared to the regular V40 models, but this isn't exactly a bad thing about the car. Buyers can still get the car with the efficient 115-horsepower diesel engine or they can choose the 254-hp turbocharged inline-five. For improved handling, the springs, shocks and sway bars have all been tuned specifically for the V40 R-Design in cooperation with the Volvo Polestar Black R race team.

With the V40 already targeting younger buyers, Volvo expects this sporty new R-Design model to account for about 10 percent of the model's sales.

Scroll down to view Volvo's official press release.
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Volvo Car Corporation launches V40 R-Design:

Dynamic look and agile drive for individualists with a fast pace


Launched in stunning Rebel Blue, the new Volvo V40 R-Design is a perfect match for those who want a head-turner that radiates a truly stylish and dynamic look. The visual promise of a life in the fast lane is confirmed by the driver-centric interior and an intense, agile driving experience with performance up to 254 horsepower.

"The V40 R-Design is designed around the performance-minded individual with a passion for those things that add extra spice to life. The meticulous attention to detail covers the expressive design as well as the agile, precise performance," says Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Car Corporation.

The attention-grabbing exterior has been specially developed for buyers who want to put their very own stamp on their car.

The unique R-Design front features a silk-metal framed high-gloss grille. The sporty stance is further enhanced with an ironstone diffuser, silk-metal finished details and twin exhaust tailpipes. The five-spoke diamond-cut wheels (17" or 18") complete the stylish, dynamic look.

On top of the Rebel Blue livery, the V40 R-Design buyer has a choice of six other exterior colours.

New generation R-Design interior with blue interactive dashboard

The interactive dash board in the all-new V40 has already got a lot of positive attention, both from media and customers. The possibility to switch between three layouts with different configuration and functionality - Elegance, Eco and Performance - is mirrored in the V40 R-design. But here all of the modes come in the same radiant blue colour.

"Inside, the new generation R-Design seats and interior details emphasize the distinctive Scandinavian design aura of the all-new V40. R-Design appeals especially to customers that love active driving and a personal, expressive design. We have talked to them a lot to ensure that every single detail contributes to the individualistic, refined expression they desire," says Lex Kerssemakers.

The seats feature a blend of black Nubuck textile and perforated leather, crowned by an embroidered R-design logo with a blue "R". Full leather seats are available as an option.

The comfortable, in-command driver environment also includes a specially designed steering wheel, gear shifter, handbrake and sport pedals. The unique R-Design aura is enhanced by a combination of new aluminium inlays with a perforated look, black leather, matching stitching and a black headliner.

Sporty drive with a wide range of engines

R-Design can be combined with all engines available for the all-new Volvo V40, from the D2 diesel with 115 horsepower and CO2 emissions at 94 g/km (3.6 l/100 km) to the high-performance T5 petrol turbo with 254 horsepower.

"Creating a driving experience that fulfils the R-Design buyers´ passion for a fast-paced life is not just about speed and acceleration. Agility and precision are equally important for these performance-minded individuals. Both the standard Dynamic chassis and the optional Sport chassis are designed to offer a class-leading, intense driving experience, no matter if you prioritise maximum fuel-efficiency or rapid acceleration," says Lex Kerssemakers.

Lower and firmer Sport chassis

The chassis has been developed in cooperation with Swedish racing driver Robert Dahlgren in the Volvo Polestar Black R team.

The optional Sport chassis is lowered 10 mm compared with the Dynamic chassis. Springs and shock absorbers have a firmer setting, resulting in responsive driving pleasure with full control. The front McPherson struts have 25 mm piston rods. The stiffness enables the structure to absorb lateral loads better.

At the rear the V40 has monotube dampers, featuring compression and return damping via the same valve. This gives shorter, faster fluid flow, which in turn means that the damper responds more quickly. Anti-roll bars with increased diameter also contribute to the sporty drive.

The standard Dynamic chassis' rigid body and low centre of gravity also promote an alert, quick-responding character that focuses on the driving experience, yet without compromising ride comfort.

"The V40 R-Design is agile, responsive and fun to drive. Both chassis offer the enthusiastic driver a feeling of total control. You get both that connected response that makes a winding country road so much fun as well as the precise, nimble moves it takes to stay on top of busy urban traffic," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Corporation.

Driver orientated appeal attracts younger buyers too

The new Volvo V40 R-Design will be available in all markets that sell the Volvo V40. Volvo Car Corporation expects that around 10 percent of all V40 buyers will choose the R-Design version.

"Previous R-Design models have played an important role for increasing our sales and for lowering the age of our customer base. We believe that the new V40 R-Design will give this trend another boost," says Lex Kerssemakers.

Note: Except for unique details mentioned in this press release, the new V40 R-Design is available with the same design and technology as the all-new Volvo V40. Detailed information is included in the Volvo V40 press releases about Design, Sensus, Driving and Safety & Support.