Volvo has innovated safety features over the years and has done a good job highlighting that in the of marketing of its cars.
But here's a different way to think of Volvo: a thrill-producing performance car.
With a base price of $42,500, the new S60 R-Design is a significant departure from the usual Volvo formula.
It starts under the hood with a tweaked six-cylinder engine, twin turbocharged to the tune of 325 horsepower. The suspension sits lower for better handling and big wheels with grippy tires get the all-wheel drive connected to the pavement.
There are also visual treats to go with the mechanical stuff. A front spoiler, rear splitter with exposed exhaust tips, special seats and steering wheel.
The safety stuff's still there as well. There are airbags everywhere and a system that can keep you from getting into a minor rear-end collision as well as prevent you from drifting into the next lane.
The R design is the most powerful car Volvo has ever built. There have been other souped-up models in the past, but what makes this one especially impressive is that it manages to be faster without being thirstier.
The extra horsepower of the engine was added in without an increase in fuel consumption. The S60 R-Design is rated at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 on the highway, the same as the regular turbo s60.
The S60 R-Design aims to move Volvo away from sensible and stodgy just a bit. The cars are also being raced in the SCCA World Challenge Series.
Safety still sells, but so does performance. Buyers looking for a combination of safety, comfort and performance might find the hot new Volvo a tempting choice.