It's a refrain that two-box enthusiasts have to be tired of hearing, but proper station wagons apparently remain a really hard sell in America. The latest casualty appears to be segment-stalwart Volvo, which, according to a leaked dealer document from an AB tipster (click here to view), is apparently giving up on its V70 estate in the U.S. As noted in a March 25, 2010 internal Product Update Bulletin, the move comes at least in part because of the success of the XC90 and XC60 "chipping away" at the V70's volume. In its stead, the Swedish automaker plans to add a front-drive version of its XC70, which is itself basically just a lifted version of the V70 anyhow. As it stands, production of Yankee-spec V70s is slated to end on May 14.
In another consolidation move, Volvo's S80 will no longer be available with a V8 engine for 2011. Changes to the six-cylinder T6 model will boost power to 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque – the outgoing eight-cylinder offers identical torque and a bit more horsepower (311), but with inferior fuel economy and added weight. Volvo expects the revamped six-cylinder will offer up to a nine-percent improvement in fuel consumption over its predecessor.
Finally, for 2011, Volvo is moving its smaller S40 and V50 models to a single-engine lineup, dumping the entry-level 2.4i (168 hp/170 lb. ft.) in favor of the turbocharged T5, which offers nearly identical fuel economy with significantly more power (227 hp/236 lb. ft.). While that's likely no big loss for would-be buyers (assuming pricing doesn't get out of hand), the range is also going front-drive and automatic-only, with T5 all-wheel drive and 2.4i models also going out of production on May 14. Top tip, Ian!