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Hot news for 2010: With the hustle and bustle of a rather busy 2009 model year, there’s mostly package fine-tuning for 2010. Ÿ New R-Design V70 model ratchets up the sport content.

Starting line

n It seems like just yesterday that there were two models of Volvo: a wagon and a sedan . . . and they were both square. With the arrival of the C30 hatchback two years ago and the XC60 tall wagon last year, the total now stands at 10, from small cars and mid-sized sedans to off-road wagons and sport-utility vehicles.

For 2010, the XC60 is now available in a 235-horsepower non-turbocharged six-cylinder front-wheel-drive model (225 horsepower for the Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle version).

With the turbo, Volvo claims the XC60 can hit 60 mph from a standing start in less than 7.5 seconds, solid performance for a vehicle that weighs close to 4,400 pounds. The positioning of the XC60 is that of a fully vested member of the “small premium utility” group that includes the Acura RDX, Lincoln MKX, BMW X3 and the Audi Q5. As such, Volvo has included dual-zone climate control, leather-trimmed interior with extra aluminum bits and pieces, eight-way adjustable power front seats and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with built-in audio controls.

Showcasing the XC60’s technology is a new system issues an alarm if the driver begins to fall asleep, while Personal Car Communicator, consisting of a remote control device with a 330-foot range, uses a built-in heartbeat monitor to alert you if an intruder is in the vehicle. While safety is an important aspect of any Volvo, there’s a certain sporty attitude lurking in the background. In the case of the V-70 wagon’s new R-Design model, it’s a little more in your face. You’ll get a rear spoiler, leather seats, metal pedals, 18-inch wheels, special trim and sport-suspension tuning. Sport handling was a big focus of change for the XC 90 sport ute last year with the addition of the R-Design models, however this year the V8 version has been replaced with a new Executive Class package featuring plenty of luxury appointments as well as larger wheels, upgraded heated leather seating (with massage and ventilation) and wood-trim inlays.