2015 Volvo V60 Sports Wagon R-Design
2015 Volvo V60 Sports Wagon R-Design. Click image to enlarge

Preview by Paul Williams, photos by Paul Williams, Jonathan Yarkony and Volvo

The big news from Volvo at the 2013 New York International Auto Show is the pending arrival of the V60 Sports Wagon. Already available in Europe where it is a sales success, Volvo Canada thinks our market will be particularly receptive to the sleek mid-size wagon.

“The V60 marks a beautiful evolution in design and direction for Volvo,” said Volvo Cars of Canada President and CEO Marc Engelen, “Many Canadian consumers have been asking us to bring this exciting sports wagon to the Volvo lineup and we listened.”

Although numerous versions of Volvo wagons have featured prominently in the company’s lineup for decades, the V60 will be the first wagon introduced in Canada by Volvo since the V70 was withdrawn three years ago. Introduced in New York wearing the new R-Design livery, expect the V60 to debut in Canada at the 2014 Montreal International Auto Show, and to go on sale in January, 2014 as a 2015 model.

The V60 is a real head-turner that should generate some attention for Volvo, although wagons remain a very niche product. Prejudices against wagons aside, this one’s sleek and appealing; nothing like Volvo’s square-edged wagons of old. At the show, photographers lingered long after the Volvo press announcements, a sure sign that this is a car of interest, at least aesthetically…

The day before the Volvo press introduction, a white V60 occupied the stand. It was a finalist in the World Green Car awards program, its plug-in diesel hybrid powertrain making it a sell-out in Europe where it costs close to $70,000. The Tesla Model S won the award, and the Volvo was quietly removed (replaced by the red V60 R-Design) and thoughts that such an advanced vehicle might make it to Canada were sympathetically redirected.

2015 Volvo V60 Sports Wagon and R-Design2015 Volvo V60 Sports Wagon R-Design
2015 Volvo V60 Sports Wagon R-Design. Click image to enlarge

We expect engine lineups for the V60 to reflect the current S60 range, which offers a base 2.5L five-cylinder turbo (T5) making 250 hp and 266 lb-ft or an upgraded 3.0L six-cylinder turbo (T6) rated at 300 hp and 325 lb-ft, the basis for the current R-Design models. However, we also wouldn’t be surprised if Volvo limited the selection in North America to the upgraded T6 and its R-Design option as the wagon will likely represent a far more limited share of sales.

There’s also talk of Volvo completely abandoning its five-, six- and eight-cylinder engines over the next two to three years, offering variations of four-cylinder engines across its vehicle range. Volvo Canada President Marc Engelen confirmed this in discussions at the NY Auto Show.

The first model to utilize the exclusive 4-cylinder VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) will be the 2015 Volvo XC90, which will be the first model constructed using Volvo’s upcoming SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture) platform.

The cabin and design also follow the S60’s lead, with the V60 wagon’s natural cargo advantage offering greater flexibility without stepping up to Volvo’s larger XC70 crossover, the only vehicle resembling a wagon in their current lineup. Currently, the V60 offers 430 L of cargo capacity in the trunk, which can be expanded to 1,241 L with the 60/20/40 rear seats folded.

Additional news from Volvo at the New York show centred around the global launch of R-Design versions of the new Volvo S60, V60 and XC60, which blend a sporty appearance, a performance chassis, and engine output up to 325 horsepower with the Polestar performance option.

2015 Volvo V60 Sports Wagon R-Design
2015 Volvo V60 Sports Wagon R-Design. Click image to enlarge

“The new R-Design models are a perfect match for performance-minded individuals with a passion for exquisite details. In the new S60, V60 and XC60 R-Design, we have turned up the visual volume of these popular models with meticulous attention to detail,” says Doug Speck, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group.

The three new R-Design vehicles feature a unique new front that incorporates a frameless matte black grille and R-Design emblem and will initially be available with five- or six-cylinder engines.

“The front wheel arches are small design gems that enhance the car’s (sic) sporty aura. The rounded end of the front bumper ‘wraps’ around the dynamic “Ixion” wheel, which is now available in a redesigned 19-inch version for the S60/V60 and a 20-inch for the XC60,” says Fedde Talsma, Design Director, Exterior.

At the rear, the vehicles feature a unique diffuser flanked with R-Design tailpipes.

Inside, a new sports seat comes standard in the R-Design cars, featuring a blend of black Nubuck textile and perforated leather. Full leather seats are available as an option.

Connect with Autos.ca