1 Feb 1997
The S – for sedan - 70 and V – for versatility – 70 wagon represented a new naming system for Volvo, as well as an excuse to comprehensively re-engineer and facelift the ageing 850 range.
With around 1800 new parts, the S/V70 boasted a new, more rounded nose, a completely redesigned interior and new tail-lights and bumpers.
The 106kW base S/V70 was now known (inaccurately, as the engine was still a 2.4 litre) as the 2.5, followed by the 125kW 2.5 20V, the 142kW low-pressure turbo 2.5T and the 2.3-litre 176kW T-5 high-performance variants.
A 176kW V70 R luxury wagon arrived in late ’97, along with the 106kW LPG-powered S70 Bi-Fuel and the 4WD V70 AWD, powered by the 142kW engine.
But that was overshadowed by the Subaru Outback-style 142kW V70 XC (Cross-Country), a jacked-up plastic-cladded 4WD V70 2.5 T released in February '98.
By October ’98 the range was culled of the base 2.5, T-5 and V70 AWD, while the V70 R upgraded to a 184kW turbo engine.