NAIAS 2015: Volvo

2015 NAIAS Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design

The 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design was announced a few months ago, but the 2015 North American International Auto Show marks it US debut. Finished in a striking matte blue, the R-Design adds some style, but no engine upgrades above the standard model. The aggressive front end, giant 20-inch wheels (22s are optional), silver trim, and the dual exhausts are the R-Design giveaways.

The XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid is on display, along with details of its twin engine layout. Between the 2.0L 4-cylinder and two separate electric motors, it produces 400 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful 7-seat SUV.

Two new versions of the S60 are also being shown, the S60 Cross Country and the S60 Inscription. Volvo has used the Cross Country name previously on their V70 wagon, turning it into a crossover before crossovers were cool. This is the first time applying it to a sedan, however, and the segment-first is a four-door version of their recently announced V60 Cross Country wagon. This time they are applying the Cross Country moniker to a standard S60 that has been lifted 2.5 inches and fitted with Haldex all-wheel drive. It will be interesting to find out if they are too far ahead of the curve this time with making crossover sedans cool.

The Inscription badge has been around a while, but this is the first time the S60 has received the upgrade. The S60 Inscription offers some luxury interior finishes, and 3.4 inches additional rear legroom thanks to its stretched wheelbase. This extended S60 has been available in China as the S60L since last year, and it marks the first Chinese-built car to be sold in the US.

Absent from the show was a limited edition Polestar S60 or V60. Although they are sold out for 2015, it was recently announced that there will be a few more available for 2016.

Also missing was an XC60 of any kind. It would have been nice to see the XC60 Ocean Race Edition which was announced for the US market back in November. Since its initial debut, Volvo has not said much else about this special edition, but they should be hitting dealerships any day now.

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