The S60 R-Design definitely brings an increased level of performance back to Volvo, although it does so in a typically understated Scandinavian way. Think of it as a high performance sports sedan for the more rational, practical person. Starting at a little over $43k, the S60 R-Design is also quite rational in terms of price, given that an Audi S4 will set you back at least 4 grand more.
I only hope that the S60 R-design means that we’ll see more performance oriented Volvos in the future, and perhaps some that throw practicality out of the window in favor of truly raw, unbridled performance. Although there is a market for safe, reliable, and practical cars (see: Toyota), a little bit of extra driving spice sure doesn’t hurt, especially in such a competitive marketplace where everyone is paying attention to reliability, safety, and quality design.