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How Does Volvo's New V90 R Design With 330hp Polestar Pack Perform In The Real World?


Designed to upset the German constabulary, the Volvo V90 is one of the most advanced station wagons on the market and, like so many of its rivals, is offered in an array of versions and models.

Jakub and Yuri from The Straight Pipes YouTube channel recently jumped behind the wheel of a particularly seductive V90 R-Design with the power-boosting Polestar Performance Optimization package to see what all the fuss is about.

The R-Design trim is unique from any standard V90 as it adds numerous styling and interior tweaks but doesn’t look to improve the vehicle’s performance, despite what the ‘R’ badge might suggest. In the U.S., the R-Design package can be grafted on to both the T5 and T6 all-wheel drive models and certainly looks the part.

What does improve performance is the optional Polestar package that increases output by 14hp on the 2.0-liter twin-charged four T6 that's reviewed here, from 316hp to 330hp. This is combined with other changes to offer faster throttle, gear and engine response.

No matter what powertrain a customer selects, all V90 models come equipped with what Volvo believes is the most advanced standard safety package on the market. Some of these key standard features are Adaptive Cruise Control, Pilot Assist II, Distance Alert, Lane Keeping Aid, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign Information, Lane Departure Warning, Run-off Road Protection, and large animal detection.

Unlike the freely available crossover-ish, high-riding V90 Cross Country, the plain V90 is offered only as a custom-order vehicle in the U.S. Prices start from $49,950 for the 250hp, FWD T5 and from $55,950 for the 316hp, AWD T6 V90, both in R-Design specification.

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