Volvo Cars Australia has given its refreshed S80 a visual edge by making the company's R-Design package a specific model in the refreshed S80 lineup.
The sassy look is just cosmetic at this stage with no engine tuning part of the enhancements. However, full-blown factory-fitted R-Design engine performance improvements are destined for the S80 and other Volvos and are likely to replace the Heico Sportiv-inspired cars here.
Initially the more driver-focused R-Design S80s will get 18-inch wheels, lowered, sports-tuned suspension, colour-matched rear spoiler, matt silver grille and exterior mirrors, and chrome exhausts. VCA spokesperson, Laurissa Mirabelli, says R-Design is aimed at enthusiasts who now have families.
"The luxury sedan segment is also so competitive the S80 needed some differentiation," she says. C30, V70 and XC90 buyers can already specify the cosmetic R-Design enhancements, which are optional. Prices for the 2010 S80 remain unchanged, starting at $79,950 for the D5 and twin-turbo T6, topping out at $98,950 for the V8.
Adding R-Design to a D5 or T6 costs $1500 extra over the standard car and $2500 more in the V8. Visually the 2010 changes bring the big sedan inline with the XC60 and new S60, with a new grille and larger Volvo insignia.
The D5 gains a new 151kW twin-turbo diesel and adds all-wheel drive as standard, the same as the T6 and V8. The range-topping V8 adds lane departure warning with driver alert control, blind spot information system, adaptive cruise control with collision warning and auto brake function as standard.
Inside there is a new four-spoke steering wheel with deco inlay, more ergonomic switchgear and alloy cabin trim. Like the XC models, the S80's all-wheel drive system employs a Haldex clutch to distribute power between front and rear wheels according to road and driving conditions.
The system can automatically move a small amount of torque to the rear wheels when starting on slippery surfaces. As with all Volvo's the S80 has a comprehensive active and passive safety features.
The car's navigation system is now more user friendly. Volvo is hoping for a better year with the revised S80 and expects the D5 to be popular. Last year it sold less than 100 S80s. The company is hoping that the R-Design will make up 50 per cent of S80 sales this year.