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Aussie SUV craze ends V70 chances

Icon: The latest V70 continues a long tradition of Volvo Estates.

Volvo's slick new V70 may be passed over by Volvo Car Australia for its XC70 sibling

19 Feb 2007

VOLVO’S redesigned V70 Estate is likely to be a casualty of Australia’s love affair with crossover SUVs.

Announced in early February ahead of its global public debut at the Geneva motor show in March, the all-new V70 is only a slim chance of being released Down Under as Volvo Car Australia struggles to justify its existence here alongside the redesigned XC70, which will also make its world premiere at Geneva.

In Australia, Volvo’s twin-pronged XC models comprise 65 per cent of Volvo sales, which is almost the reverse of company’s European sales split.

"At this point we’re a little unsure about our handling of the new V70," VCA public affairs manager Todd Hallenbeck told GoAuto.

"The V70 is an icon for the brand and a stalwart in our range, but at this stage I can’t confirm whether we’ll take the new model."Mr Hallenbeck confirmed a business case was still being developed for the redesigned model, but its odds of being released here were far longer than that of the as-yet-unseen XC70.

"XC70 and XC90 are essential to out market. It’s the exact opposite to what the Swedes focus on," he said.

The new-generation V70 is claimed to be safer, more powerful, more dynamic to drive, and more luxurious and flexible inside.

18 center imageIn Europe, it will be available with a 210kW/400Nm "T6" 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo engine, the 175kW/320Nm 3.2-litre derivative that powers the S80 (and soon the XC90), a 147kW/300Nm 2.5-litre inline-five turbo, the 136kW/400Nm 2.4-litre D5 turbo-diesel and a 120kW/340Nm "2.4D".

Like the new S80, both the new V70 and XC70 are based on a stretched version of parent company Ford’s P1 platform, dubbed P2, and will leave the XC90 as the only Volvo model to reside on Volvo-developed underpinnings.

The XC90 has tracked along at around 1600 annual sales since its July 2003 launch to be Volvo’s biggest selling model Down Under.

Further afield, Volvo has confirmed production of the mid-sized XC60 SUV concept it revealed at the Detroit motor show in January, and is likely to reveal the production model at the same show next year.

Based on the same platform as the second-generation Freelander (from another Ford subsidiary, Land Rover) and set to rival BMW’s X3 and Audi’s upcoming Q5, it will feature a similar AWD system and the choice of five-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Expect it to arrive Down Under by late next year or early 2009.

Before then, Volvo Car will reveal facelifted examples of its compact S40 sedan and V50 wagon at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Revisions are expected to be mainly cosmetic and local sales are unlikely before 2008.

Read more: All-new Volvo V70 wagon surfaces

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