Volvo has announced the all-new, third generation Volvo V70 premium wagon, which is said to offer a "perfect balance of luxury, versatility and safety." With this model Volvo is looking to bring a new level of design and comfort to modern luxury wagons, and hopes to broaden the model's appeal beyond families with growing children to include active people that demand everything of their cars. In targeting the premium end of the market, Volvo has added a six-cylinder engine for the first time, an efficient 3.2-litre inline-6 which generates 175 kW / 235 hp. No mention is made of the fuel economy in the press release with the focus clearly on the V70's leading safety features that Volvo claims make the V70 to safest car in its segment.
Safety features on the V70 include highly efficient energy absorption thanks to its patented body structure and the latest generation of side airbags and whiplash protection. Usable storage space has also been increased to add flexibility to the vehicle.
Analysis: As Saab goes down the path of flex-fuel and ethanol vehicles, and Volkswagen pursues high fuel economy diesels, it seems that Volvo is continuing to focus on safety. I am surprised that Volvo didn't even mention fuel economy or emissions in its press release for the V70 at a time when Volvo trucks are leading the way in reducing emissions. I want to see more details on this model though before I pass judgement.
Full press release after the jump.
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ALL-NEW VOLVO V70: Staking its Claim as a Segment Leader
Geneva, Switzerland – (March 6, 2007) – As a leader in the wagon segment with 54 years of continuous refinement and improvement, Volvo introduces the all-new Volvo V70 at the Geneva Motor Show. With its perfect balance of luxury, versatility and safety, the all-new Volvo V70 sets the standard for premium wagons.
"This segment has been our specialty ever since we invented it back in the 1950s," said Volvo Cars President and CEO Fredrik Arp. "Our competitors can count on us remaining number one in the future, too. In the all-new V70, rear passengers and luggage both ride in first class."
In Europe, the wagon segment is growing and the demands on this type of vehicle are increasing as more and more sedan owners come to appreciate the added versatility wagons offer. But while the overall concept of a wagon hasn't changed, the buyer has. Today's wagon intender will not compromise on design, comfort or driving dynamics.
"The attitude towards the modern wagon has undergone a significant change. With greater focus on design and comfort, the all-new V70 is both luxurious and practical. It's not just for families with growing children but also for active people that demand everything of their cars. In fact, we expect that half of all V70 buyers won't actually be families with children," Arp said.
Completely new vehicle architecture
By using completely new vehicle architecture, Volvo's designers and engineers have gained a number of advantages over the current V70:
- For the first time a six-cylinder engine will be offered beneath the sculpted hood of the Volvo V70 – an efficient 3.2-liter inline-6 making 235 horsepower.
- Space in the rear seat has increased compared with the current V70. Families with young children now also have access to a world breakthrough: dual built-in child booster cushions that can be adjusted in two stages. Providing further protection, the inflatable curtains have been extended by 2.3 inches. Combined with the new booster cushions and the strong body side structure, the all-new V70 provides children of varying sizes with effective protection in a side impact.
- Driving comfort has been considerably enhanced, with superb seats and ergonomically designed instruments. This naturally also includes the elegant, super-slim center console and, in typical Volvo fashion, a world-class audio system.
Stunning design inside and out
Volvo's wagons are strongly linked with the brand's development. They have been changed through continuous refinement since 1953 when Volvo launched the PV 445. What was originally a focus on the practical application of the wagon as a modern tool for modern families has evolved. Today's all-new V70 combines a spacious interior with exclusive comfort and dynamic driving properties that put it in the same class as large luxury sedans.
A number of intelligent and functional details allow the V70 owner to individually adapt the car to suit his or her specific needs. The rear seat's 40/20/40 split makes it the most flexible in the segment. The lightweight design of the rear backrest and the simple folding mechanism are other examples of improved functionality for passengers. Other smart examples include an optional power tailgate, sliding load floor and a storage compartment under the luggage area floor that locks when the tailgate shuts.
The front of the all-new V70 incorporates a unique soft nose with a black egg-crate grille featuring chrome in the vertical bars. This gives the all-new V70 a distinctive, athletic stance when viewed from the front. The climbing waistline also contributes to the forward-leaning, dynamic posture which is further reinforced with the help of the black pillars between the side windows.
The rear of the all-new V70 features artfully sculpted lines that are more dynamic than the current car. The Volvo name on the tailgate features more pronounced lettering with wider spacing than before; a retro feature first resurrected on the XC60 Concept. Viewed from behind, the tailgate makes a strong visual link with the new C30. All the lights above the waistline are LED brake lights. The fixed-position lights on the body sides take on an added role as supplementary brake lights if the cargo is so large that the driver has to drive with the tailgate secured partly open. Another smart detail is that the tailgate's glass window goes further down at the sides to give the driver added rearward visibility.
Inside and out, the all-new V70 is a premier example of Scandinavian design.
Every detail has been designed to focus on clean form and intelligent functionality.