“So what” that the Volvo V40 R-Design is one of the safest cars in the world, argues my
associate. And “who cares” – he claims – that this small family workhorse has a pedestrian
air-bag that emerges from under the bonnet to cover the lower third of the windscreen. And
who “gives a monkeys” that it has composed handling, a pleasing equipment specification,
excellent build quality, and a respectable 335-litre boot. And, of course, the fact its cargo
capacity can be increased to 1,032-litres by folding the seats flat fails to stir his soul. This
odd attitude suggests he should have seen a doctor after banging his head last night.
now cares about, you see, is fashion and style - and that is why he loves the R-Design trim.
The all-new Volvo V40 – when equipped with the R-Design trim – is intended to appeal to
reasonably young fashion conscious motorists. Not people with mild concussion, though.
Highlights include the: silk-metal high-gloss grille, rear diffuser, twin exhaust pipes, and
the seventeen-inch five-spoke diamond-cut alloy wheels. The interior is special too thanks
to the embossed R-Design leather upholstery, sports steering wheel, sports pedals, and
aluminium inlays. These make my associate weak at the knees – or is that the bump on his
head? The R-Design trim can be combined with any engine in the range, from the 1.6-litre
115PS diesel to the 254PS turbo petrol. My associate can also have a sports chassis with
lowered and stiffened suspension. But not now, we are taking him to hospital for a check-
By Stephen Turvil
Tue, 25 Sep 2012