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First look: Volvo gets tough with new XC70

Rugged: New XC70 carries more ride height and more cladding than V70.

Volvo showed not only its new V70 wagon at Geneva but the XC70 crossover version too

16 Mar 2007

VOLVO not only unveiled its latest V70 wagon at Geneva last week – as previewed – but on opening day the Swedish maker also revealed its as-yet-unseen off-road-focused derivative, the redesigned XC70.

While the future of the V70 in Australia is under a cloud, the new XC70 will almost certainly come here before the end of this year. Like its predecessor, the latest XC70 is a higher-riding, tougher-styled, 4WD version of the regular V70 wagon.

The Geneva car sported a six-cylinder engine variant for the first time – a normally aspirated 175kW/320Nm 3.2-litre straight-six that was designed in Sweden but built in Wales.

The petrol six-cylinder engine is available with Volvo’s Geartronic six-speed automatic transmission only.

The XC70 also comes with the second generation 2.4-litre five-cylinder 24-valve D5 turbo diesel with double overhead camshafts, a maintenance-free particle filter, a refined multi-point fuel injection system and an enhanced engine management system. The D5 engine produces 138kW and 400Nm.

The D5 is available with a six-speed manual gearbox or with a six-speed Geartronic sequential-shifting transmission.

The XC70 is underpinned by the same chassis as the new V70 model but rides significantly higher and uses on-demand four-wheel drive to extend its capabilities.

18 center imageVolvo’s Instant Traction system uses an electronically controlled hydraulic clutch to instantly distribute torque between front and rear wheels when extra traction is needed.

The XC70 also incorporates hill descent control to a set 10km/h crawling speed on steep downhill slopes without the driver needing to touch the brakes or accelerator pedal.

The car uses chunkier bumper strips along the sides and bold protective wheel arch strips, as well as heavy-duty bumpers front and rear that incorporate chromed scuff plates for extra protection.

Volvo says the XC70 has a wading depth of 300mm and, via its increased ride height (74mm higher than the V70), an effective ground clearance of 210mm. With ramp angles of a 19.2-degree approach, 19.8-degree breakover and 24-degree departure, the new XC70 betters the outgoing model (16, 18 and 20 degrees) in all three areas.

The XC70 also has a hill-holder parking brake that helps prevent the vehicle from rolling back when starting on an uphill slope.

With Volvo’s Dynamic Stability and Traction Control system, as well as a new speed dependent power steering system, the XC70 is claimed to offer precise handling and high levels of active safety. Passive safety is taken care of by Volvo’s anti-whiplash front seat restraint system, a full complement of airbags and higher levels of structural protection for the central passenger carrying area.

Though not a great departure conceptually from the previous model, the styling borrows some cues from the XC60 concept vehicle shown at Detroit in January as well as the production S80 sedan.

Read more:

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