It hasn't taken long for Volvo to start taking liberties with its new XC60 crossover. An enthusiast-oriented R-Design variant based on the T6 AWD version will be making its first public appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and start turning up in Volvo dealers sometime during the first quarter of 2010. Distinctive visual touches on this latest R-Design exercise include matte silk metal finish on the mirrors, color-matched lower body trim, skid plates and twin-chrome tailpipe finishers as well as unique five-spoke Cratus alloy wheels in standard 18-inch or optional 20-inch sizes. Highlighting the R-Design interior enhancements are sport seats with unique leather upholstery and trim treatments, aluminum sport pedals, a sport steering wheel and blue Watch Dial-type instruments. While Volvo made no changes to the XC60 T6 AWD's standard 3.0-liter/281-horsepower turbocharged V6 engine, six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system, they did include a host of chassis tweaks that bring stiffer springs and shocks, and quicker, more-direct steering gear. Despite its more responsive handling character, ground clearance on the R-Design variant is unchanged, preserving its potential for light-duty off-road running. No word on pricing for the R-Design variant, but we expect it will start about $2,000-$3,000 above the $38,050 base price of the XC60 T6 AWD.