What is it?
On paper, it looks as though this new Volvo XC60 T5 R-Design Powershift could solve the shortage of entertainment and enhance the existing merits. Which would be good news because we like the Volvo XC60. We know it doesn't offer the level of driver reward that some might expect but its cabin is amongst the most aesthetically appealing in the class and it is generally an easy car to live with.
A new turbo'd 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol motor (a revised version of Ford's Ecoboost motor) putting out 237bhp and 236lb ft sits in the nose and sends power to all four wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox – a manual is not available with this engine. We tested the new powertrain in an XC60 complete with the R-Design chassis, which gets stiffer dampers and anti-roll bars as well as a sprinkling of styling chintz.
What's it like?
The result of all these changes is a car that does enhance the XC60's existing strengths. On the move engine refinement is excellent (though wind flutter can be a mild irritation) and the free-revving motor provides easy and swift progress. But for all that the on-paper figures build this XC60 up to be a sporting car, it doesn’t live up to it from behind the wheel.