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2018 Volvo S60 & V60 Polestar Champion Edition

2018 Volvo S60 & V60 Polestar Champion Edition

Go faster, Swedish style

Volvo took a title win in the FIA World Touring Car Championship this year thanks to the efforts of Cyan Racing and its S60 Polestar TC1 racer. Leading the charge was driver Thed Bjork, who also managed to grab the Driver’s Championship, making him the first Swede to “win a motor racing world title” according to Volvo. In recognition of that, the brand is releasing upgraded iterations of the S60 sedan and V60 wagon dubbed the Polestar Performance World Champion Edition.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar Champion Edition.

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2017 Volvo S90 Excellence

2017 Volvo S90 Excellence

Luxury sedan gets a super luxurious interior

Volvo is moving the production of the S90 from Sweden to China with the promise of making the luxury sedan the most “premium car ever made” in the world’s biggest automotive market. It’s a lot to live up to, but Volvo is confident that it’ll work, or at least confident enough to announce a top-of-the-line trim that pretty much includes anything and everything that Volvo has to offer. The model is called the S90 Excellence, and if the name sounds familiar, that’s because the car’s breathtaking interior was already previewed in concept form back in April at the Beijing Motor Show.

It’s not a concept anymore because the S90 Excellence is going to hit the market in 2017. The Chinese market is expected to get first dibs, but since the model is going to be exported all over the world, there’s a possibility that the U.S. and European markets will get theirs too at some point in the future. In the meantime, the S90 Excellence, together with the standard S90, will make its debut at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show later this month.

So what makes the S90 Excellence a major step up in luxury for Volvo? The short answer is “Lounge Console,” which is basically the same interior we saw in Beijing as a concept, only it’s actually set to be used in production form. Care for a rear-seat touch screen control interface, handmade crystal glasses, and a built-in refrigeration compartment? Yep. That’s what you get – and many more – with the Volvo S90 Excellence.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Volvo S90 Excellence.

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2017 Volvo V90 R-Design

2017 Volvo V90 R-Design

A sportier V90 - the estate that you’ve been waiting for

It’s only been four short months since the 2017 Volvo V90 made its debut at the 2016 Geneva International Auto Show, and Volvo is already dropping details on its respective R-Design performance model. Under the R-Design name, the V90 gets a little sportier, with a new set of wheels, new front fascia, a new radiator grille, and some new exterior trim elements. Inside, the car gets new pedals and mats to go with new trim inserts and a new steering wheel. According to Volvo, the interior also gets a “high-level interior illumination package that radiates attention to detail.” But although the V90 R-Design is “performance inspired,” no upgrades were made under the hood.

Regardless of the lack of performance specs, the exterior package does give us some things to talk about. It wasn’t that long ago that the word “sporty” and “Volvo” could never be found in the same sentence, but Volvo has upped its game in recent years and is now pushing to compete with the big boys of luxury. And that is oh so evident looking at the R-Design package on the new V90. That might mislead you to believe there is massive change over the standard V90, but don’t be confused, because there really isn’t much. There is, however, just the right mix of aggression and sports appeal – at least for a wagon, anyway.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at the V90 R-Design and go over all the fine details. It may very well be the model that turns your attention back to the all-but-dead station wagon segment.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo V90 R-Design.

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2017 Volvo S90 R-Design

2017 Volvo S90 R-Design

A sportier alternative no matter the engine

Having struggled for many years to compete with products from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Volvo has recently switched to a new strategy and came up with a new design language for its models. The results can be seen in the second-generation XC90 and the brand-new S90, which replaced the S80 in the lineup. The new sedan is gorgeous to look at, features never-before-seen luxury on the inside, and uses efficient yet powerful four-cylinder engines.

For the first time, the SUV also received the brand’s R-Design treatment, and Volvo plans to expand the package to other vehicles too. One of them is the new S90, which just got the sporty update in addition to the Polestar Performance Optimization upgrade earlier in 2016. The R-Design package for the S90 is essentially identical to the one seen on the XC90, consisting of a sportier exterior body kit and a handful of unique interior features, but no drivetrain upgrades.

Updated 06/22/2016: Volvo dropped the official details on the S90 R-Design - a version that offers updates to both the exterior and the interior, but comes with no changes under the hood.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo S90 R-Design.

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2016 Volvo XC90 T8 With Polestar Performance Optimisation Package

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 With Polestar Performance Optimisation Package

Hybrid SUV gets more power, retains impressive fuel economy

Unveiled for the 2015 model year, the second-generation XC90 is a significant departure from its dated predecessor. Built on the company’s brand-new Scalable Product Architecture platform, the SUV also debuted the brand’s new design language, new interior layout with added luxury features, and the four-cylinder-exclusive engine lineup. Like its forerunner, the second-gen XC90 comes with both gasoline and diesel engines, but also gained a hybrid drivetrain.

Having already received the highly efficient T8 version and the more luxurious Excellence model, the XC90 is set to gain some improvements in the performance department as well. These are scheduled to arrive via Volvo’s performance division, Polestar, but it turns out that the Swedish brand is in no hurry to pump significantly more oomph into the SUV. Instead, Volvo rolled out a Polestar Performance Optimisation Package, which improves performance without impacting fuel economy.

Launched just a week after the introduction of the S90 and V90 optimization, the package is now also available for the XC90 T8 hybrid. Volvo claims that the SUV is as fuel efficient as the standard model, despite the power increase. Like all Polestar Performance Optimisation packages, this one was also developed in collaboration with Polestar Racing driver and four-time Scandinavian Touring Car Championship winner Thed Bjork.

”It is amazing for me as a racing and development driver to be able to work with the same kind of technology and philosophy for the XC90 as with my S60 race car. While an SUV like the XC90 might be far from what we usually work with, the core of the optimisation is the very same thing. It is about creating driving pleasure and usable performance, something I definitely think we have achieved,” said Bjork, who drives a Volvo S60 Polestar TC1 race car.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo XC90 T8 With Polestar Performance Optimisation Package.

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2016 Volvo XC90 Excellence

2016 Volvo XC90 Excellence

Since going under the control of China’s Geely, Volvo has been steadily making improvements. We already know all about the new XC90, but at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, Volvo showed off a super-luxurious version of the new SUV that it dubbed the XC90 Excellence. With its 2+2 seating and bottle chiller, this Swedish luxo-cruiser looks prepped to take on the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce.

From its debut in the 2003 model year through 2014, the XC90 remained nearly unchanged, as Volvo’s focus was mostly on making the model as safe as possible. For the 2016 model year, however, the SUV underwent a complete overhaul, making it more luxurious and dynamic than ever before.

Can this decked-out version of Volvo’s largest SUV really make it as a contender to the two stalwarts in the super-luxury segment?

Updated 03/25/2016: Volvo released pricing details for the XC90 Excellence when it debuted at the New York Auto Show. It will be produced in limited numbers, and will have a starting price of $104,900.

Continue reading my full review of the 2016 Volvo XC90 Excellence to find out.

For more information on the standard 2016 Volvo XC90, you can read our full review here.

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2017 Volvo S60 Edition

2017 Volvo S60 Edition

Special Edition variant of the S60 sedan debutes for 2017

The Volvo S60 was designed as a replacement for the Volvo S70 and has seen just one generational change since its debut 16 years ago. That second generation came in 2010, with the new S60 taking styling advice from the Volvo ECC Concept and the Volvo S80. The look was fresh back then, but today it’s starting to look a little aged, and it’s about time Volvo steps up its game and ushers in a new Generation. So far, we haven’t heard anything about that, but for 2016 Volvo is releasing a special edition of its premium, midsize sedan.

Björn Annwall, the Senior Vice President of marketing, sales, and customer service for Volvo, said, “The S60 and V60 are drivers’ cars. Our focus with the Model Year 2017 Edition is to take this winning concept even further with a combination of fresh design features.”

So, what he’s basically saying is that instead of designing a new generational model for the six-year-old model, Volvo decided to offer up a special edition that features some options as standard equipment. Not that it is necessarily a bad thing, but after six years a fresher look would be nice. Some minor changes take place inside in out. Some new wheels and new body colors are available for the exterior and a few things to talk about on the inside.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at what we know about the Volvo S60 Edition and what will make it stand out in the lineup. For those of you interested in Volvo wagons, the five-door V60 Estate has also received the same treatment – you can read about that model here.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo S60 Edition.

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2017 Volvo V60 Edition

2017 Volvo V60 Edition

Probably the final special-edition V60 before a brand-new model arrives

In 2014, Volvo launched the second-generation XC90, a vehicle that showcased the company’s new styling language and its new range of fuel-efficient, four-cylinder engines. The Swedish overhaul continued in 2015 and 2016 with the introduction of the S90 and V90, which act as Volvo’s range-topping sedan and wagon, respectively. In the meantime, the rest of Volvo’s lineup has either remained unchanged or received mild facelifts. This will change in the next few years when all its vehicles will adopt the new design and technology, but until that happens, the Swedish brand is trying to improve sales by building various special-edition models. The latest nameplate to receive such treatment is the V60, which will be sold with an "Edition" badge in Europe starting 2016.

Just like any special-edition out there, the V60 Edition received a few extra features inside and out, which should add "an additional splash of dynamism" to the wagon. Customers will get to pick between new colors and wheels, and enjoy a better equipped vehicle with several options now offered as standard equipment.

There’s no word whether an Edition package is planned for the V60 Cross Country or not. Should that happen, the update will find its way into U.S. dealerships as well. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the wagon version below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo V60 Edition.

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2015 Volvo V40 Carbon

2015 Volvo V40 Carbon

When talking about Volvo cars, performance isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Rather, Volvos are better known for their safety and excellent fuel economy. However, those looking to buy a car that’s a bit quicker than what Volvo usually has to offer can take it to Polestar, the brand’s performance division. Mostly known for delivering products similar to BMW’s M Performance and Mercedes’ AMG, Polestar has just introduced the "Performance Optimisation" package, which focuses on exclusive visual updates and mild performance enhancements. The first Volvo to receive the new package is the V40 hatchback.

Dubbed V40 Carbon, the five-door hatch features a bespoke exterior and interior and comes with a choice of two engines, gasoline and diesel. The good news is that both powerplants crank out more horsepower than their standard siblings, essentially bridging the gap between the regular V40 and the full-fledged Polestar edition.

More good news comes from the fact that the Swedes are planning to optimize other Drive-E engines as well later in 2015, meaning more vehicles are set to receive Polestar’s new package. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at the V40 Carbon below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo V40 Carbon.

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2015 Volvo Ocean Race XC60

2015 Volvo Ocean Race XC60

Volvo has received its fair share of criticism for building boring cars in the past. Sometimes, it deserves it. Sometimes, it doesn’t. But the Swedish brand does have one model that has consistently drawn admirers since it made its debut in 2008. That would be the XC60, Volvo’s entry-level crossover and the company’s best-selling model since 2009. The XC60’s popularity makes it the perfect vehicle to get a limited edition variant dedicated to a sporting event that has a certain Swedish automaker as its title sponsor. Hence, we have the Volvo Ocean Race X60.

The Volvo Ocean Race XC60 made its debut at the 2014 Miami International Auto Show, which runs from November 7 to 16. In keeping with the spirit of the triennial race, the Volvo Ocean Race XC60 carries special design elements attributed to the event, including a splashy “Ocean Blue II” exterior paint finish and a morsel of identifiable design pieces that are associated to the Volvo Ocean Race.

The limited-edition XC60 is available in the T6 Drive-E FWD and T6 AWD trims options and will be available at prices of $42,100 and $43,600 respectively.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo Ocean Race XC60.

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2015 Volvo XC90 First Edition

2015 Volvo XC90 First Edition

The Volvo XC90, first introduced in 2003, was a mega-hit, gaining MotorTrend’s SUV of the Year in 2003, and the North American Car of the Year award. Even Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson has famously owned three of the previous-gen XC90’s and has praised them for being incredibly practical and pleasant to drive. Those are some big shoes to fill for this second-gen XC90, but it seems Volvo is up to the task.

The second generation XC90 will debut in 2015 and is said to be brimming with the latest and greatest automotive technology. To celebrate the year Volvo was founded, the first 1,927 buyers who order their crossover online will get what’s called the First Edition XC90. These few lucky buyers will get a fully loaded XC90, with many exclusive items that won’t be found on the standard model.

If you want one of these First Edition Swede’s you’re gonna have to hurry. Alain Visser, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales says, “Those who want to be among the first ones to own the best SUV in the world have to act fast. The huge interest in the all-new XC90 indicates that the First Edition will sell out quickly.” Whoever gets one of these First Edition models will get to own a very special version of quite possibly the best all around SUVs on the market.

Updated 09/05/2014: The new XC90 is already a smashing success, as all 1,927 XC90 First Edition units were sold in just 47 hours. The model was released Wednesday, September 1, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. CET and in no time it was gone, with an average of 7 cars sold every minute.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo XC90 First Edition

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2013 Volvo V60 R-Design

2013 Volvo V60 R-Design

Volvo’s trio of R-Design models that we saw at the New York Auto Show are all interesting in their own right. No, you won’t see any radical changes nor will you see an interior cabin glittering in gold.

What you will see are subtle modifications and upgrades that makes the V60 look cleaner and more sophisticated while also improving the car’s handling capabilities and, for a little premium, performance credentials.

All that can be had with the V60 R-Design and the best part is, we don’t expect any significant financial repercussions that you’ll have to be responsible for should you decide to put money down on a Volvo.

Overall, the V60 R-Design fits right into what Volvo has become within the industry. It’s a reflection of a company that shuns the bombastic razzle dazzle in favor of something a little more functional with sprinkles of edginess mixed in between.

Find out more about the Volvo V60 R-Design after the jump

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2012 Volvo XC60 Inscription

2012 Volvo XC60 Inscription

Do you remember the Volvo C70 Inscription unveiled at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show? Now Volvo has applied the same treatment to the XC60. The new XC60 Inscription will add an extra luxurious, personal touch to the dynamic XC capability and is now available for order, even though an official public debut won’t be made until late June at the 2012 Leipzig Auto Show.

Just like the C70, the new XC60 Inscription will be fully upholstered in fine semi-aniline quality leather and will add a charcoal headliner, special effect paint, and a new set of 20" wheels.

"Many consumers we talk to have very exclusive, individual tastes. The Inscription version is designed around their preferences, by offering the opportunity to give the XC60 a highly personal touch," says Doug Speck, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Corporation.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Volvo XC60 Inscription.

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