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2012 Volvo XC60 R-Design

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Swedish Model Goes To The Polestar Gym, Comes Back Stronger

2012 Volvo XC60 R-Design front 3/4 view

BMW has its M Division. Mercedes-Benz has AMG and Audi has a range of S- and RS-badged models. Volvo has... well, what does Volvo have, anyway? Yes, we're all familiar with the brand's sterling reputation for safety, and in recent times, for attractive Swedish design. Not long ago, with the introduction of the latest S60 sedan, Volvo even took a stab at injecting some so-called naughtiness into its machinery. And while all those adjectives are welcome, Volvo's reputation in the United States has never really included performance, despite some credible offerings like the 240 Turbo, 850R and S60R.

Interestingly enough, that's not necessarily the case in its home market of Sweden, where Volvo has been racing and winning in competition for years, oftentimes with the assistance of a tuning company known as Polestar. Since 1996, Volvo has been working with Polestar in an official capacity, and for 2012, the automaker is introducing its United States customers to a slew of Polestar-infused models.

Volvo's entire range of five- and six-cylinder models have been bolstered with performance updates from Polestar, and for the purposes of this article, we'll be taking a closer look at the XC60 crossover. As it turns out, this Swedish 'ute offers up plenty of reasons for consideration, even in the face of stiff opposition from Volvo's formidable competition in the entry-level luxury segment.

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2012 Volvo XC60 R-Design originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Mar 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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