Volvo Slims And Trims: One Fewer Wagon, No More V-8 Engines

March 29, 2010

While its just-announced $1.8 billion sale by Ford to Geely won't close for many months yet, Volvo carries on selling cars and crossovers in the U.S.

But the Swedish make is slimming its model range before its overseas marriage, to focus on high-volume models.

Angular Rear Exterior View - 2010 Volvo V70 4-door Wagon

Angular Rear Exterior View - 2010 Volvo V70 4-door Wagon

2010 Volvo XC70

2010 Volvo XC70

2010 Volvo S80

2010 Volvo S80

2010 Volvo XC90

2010 Volvo XC90

Exit the V70

Volvo spokesman Dan Johnston confirms that the 2010 Volvo V70 station wagon won't be sold after this year. Why? Put simply, no one bought them. Or, more accurately, in 2009, a mere 1,800 people did.

That's a low enough number that it's not worth the cost of sales literature, spare parts, and so forth. If you want a wagon-like Volvo vehicle, you can still buy the compact V50 wagon.

Enter the XC70 FWD

Instead, said Johnston, late this summer, Volvo will introduce a front-wheel-drive version of its (formerly all-wheel-drive-only) XC70 crossover. And, truth be told, the XC70 crossover is just a V70 wagon with all-wheel-drive, some added body trim, and a higher ride height.

In other words, plain old wagons didn't sell, but the same car duded up to look more like a sport-utility vehicle did.

Subaru learned the same lesson; all their wagons are now Outbacks, which ride higher and have more butch appeal than the Legacy station wagon they're based on.

Exit Volvo's V-8s

Also exiting is the model of the S80, Volvo's largest luxury sedan, that comes with a 311-horsepower, 4.4-liter V-8 engine, sourced from Yamaha and mounted in an unusual transverse configuration.

While Johnston didn't confirm that Volvo's large XC90 would also lose its V-8, he said that crossover model would "probably" go away. Just 10 percent of XC90s are sold today with the V-8, he noted.

You can blame it on the greens, if you like. "From an environmental point of view," Johnston said, the V-8 model just "isn't needed," Johnston said.

Six just as powerful

Especially since an upgraded version of the company's turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six in the S80 will put out 300 horsepower, giving the V-8 very little edge on power but notably lower gas mileage.

The new, more powerful turbo-six engine isn't offered in the XC90, and hasn't been announced for that vehicle.



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