Those of us who are fans of Volvo's previous sporty models will probably welcome the S90 and V90 R-Design trim levels with open arms. The Swedish manufacturer refers to the R-Design cars as "performance-inspired", with the key word being "inspired", not "performance". It's an appearance package with some sporty, "road-hugging" hardware in the chassis, but standard-issue 250 or 316 horsepower is as much grunt as it will get, if the R-Design package is applied on either the T5 or T6, respectively. Both of those engines are 2.0-liter four-cylinders.

The R-Design cars are instantly recognizable from the more aggressive bumper intakes and grille, and the newly designed five-spoke wheels with a diamond cut surface. Inside, most everything is bespoke to R-Design, from trim pieces to sports seats and steering wheel, and the feeling of a performance package is enhanced with a special interior illumination setup.

Earlier, there has been talk of the electronically assisted twin turbo Drive-E engine making as much as 450 horsepower, but the likelihood is that it will be reserved for a separate Polestar performance version if one should be created from the S90/V90. R-Design is at least a ladder below that, but Volvo is likely to respect its performance heritage enough to reserve some muscle for the 90-series cars. How would canary yellow suit them, instead of blue?

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