Rockleigh, NJ - With the advent of R line models in 1995 and each model thereafter, Volvo created new levels of luxury and performance. The 2000 V70 R AWD holds well to that tradition with increased performance through a more powerful engine.

That would be the logical conclusion from a browse through the specifications -- or drive on the open road in the new Volvo V70 AWD R, everyone’s favorite Volvo wagon. For model year 2000, the V70 AWD R gains a boost in performance and an array of comfort and convenience features to go with it.

Since 1981 Volvo has produced turbocharged, fun-to-drive wagons that helped dispel the image of wagons as dreary suburban grocery-getters, and gave foundation to the term sportswagon. With the advent of the Volvo 850 wagon in T5 turbocharged configuration, the sportswagon concept made an easy transition from rear- to front-wheel-drive. When the V70 inherited the mantle from 850, an array of sporty wagons were developed with sprightly performance, spry handling and, increasingly, sure-footed all-wheel-drive.

The culmination of Volvo's experience to date building sporty wagons is the 2000 edition of V70 AWD R, now with searing performance from 261 horsepower and five-speed automatic transmission, wrapped in distinctive Scandavian style.

The 261 horsepower at 5700 rpm and 258 ft.lbs. of torque at 2400 rpm from Volvo’s proven 2.3-litre DOHC in-line five-cylinder engine make the V70 AWD R an instant over-achiever. The 20-valve engine, up-rated from an athletic 247 hp./244 ft.lbs. last year, integrates an intercooled high-pressure turbocharger, Continuously Variable Valve Timing, Bosch electronic fuel management system and dual exhaust to produce a highly responsive package.

New this year is a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with adaptive programming and selectable winter mode, which contributes both performance and drivability benefits to the powertrain. This application marks the first time a five-speed automatic has been integrated into a five-cylinder, transverse-engine design.

To keep apace of the enhanced power output, the V70 AWD R has larger brakes (16-in. vented discs) with power assist and ABS.

AWD Performance
Volvo’s proven AWD system is the perfect match for the engine/transmission combination. An intelligent system that automatically makes power transfer decisions, the design requires no driver input. When traction is good, as much as 95 per cent of engine power is directed to the front wheels, meaning the V70 AWD behaves like a front-wheel-drive car in most situations. But when the front wheels lose traction, power is diverted to the rear wheels via a viscous coupling. The differential in rotational speed between front wheels and rear wheels determines how much power is transferred, and where. When necessary, up to 95 per cent of power can be transferred to the rear wheels, all in fractions of a second.

An automatic locking differential in the rear drive assembly, and Volvo’s Traction Control System (TRACS) technology applied to the front wheels, work together to prevent wheel spin and ensure maximum control. Wheels are firmly in touch with the road through McPherson strut suspension with stabilizer bar in front and rear suspension that incorporates Volvo's multi-link design with coil springs.

In addition to the dual exhaust, only the 16-in. alloy wheels and performance tires testify to the secret life of the R model. To attract a little more attention, buyers can specify bright Laser Blue from the available color selections -- a choice sure to turn heads.

Comfort and Safety
Performance should not compromise comfort, so V70 AWD R comes with a complete list of the features that add to the driving experience, including electronic climate control with pollen and dust filter, leather interior trim and steering wheel, premium sound system, integrated rear cargo net, cruise control and many other standard features.

Standard, too, is the full array of Volvo occupant safety innovations such as the Side Impact Protection System (including SIPS II side impact air bags with head protection), Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) front seats and driver and passenger side Supplemental Restrains System (SRS) airbags with two-level triggering. Personal security features include Home Safe Lighting, optional Homelink"!, remote keyless entry and security system, and immobilizer anti-theft ignition.

Like all S70 and V70 models, the V70 AWD R will be fitted with Volvo's Whiplash Protection System. There are two key parts in the WHIPS seat to prevent injuries. The first is a device between the seat cushion and the backrest. The second is a wire frame suspended in a set of springs in the backrest.

When a rear collision occurs, the WHIPS seat is activated in two steps. First the backrest moves backwards with the occupant to reduce G forces. In the next phase, the angle of the backrest folds back-up to 15 degrees-to catch the occupant and prevent a whiplash effect. In addition, the back-rest has six springs with limiters that give even support of the spine when it is pressed back into the seat.

Volvo has also designed the fixed headrest to remain close to the head. This reduces head movement and forces on the neck. Basically, the entire back of the occupant is pushed against the backrest in a controlled way. Volvo says its tests indicate the WHIPS system can cut acceleration forces in the neck by about 50 percent.

August 1999