Volvo S70 is First Produced
The Volvo S70 is a mid-size luxury car produced by the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1997 to 2000.
The S70 was the sedan and the V70 the station wagon; they both represented mainly new styling and revised suspensions from the 1993 through 1997 Volvo 850. The S70 was replaced with the Volvo S80.
Introduced in the U.S. for the 1998 model year, the first Volvo S70 sedan and Volvo V70 wagon were updated versions of the Volvo 850. The S70's body style was a more rounded version of the 850.
The six trim levels were: Base, SE, GL (Grand Lux), GLT (Grand Lux Turbo), T5 (5 cylinder Turbo) and R (exclusive to Europe). The exterior has new headlamps and a reshaped hood as well as a rounder front end. The new interior included dual front and side airbags.
New electronic brake modulation helped optimize performance in normal stops. Volvo's traction-control system now included throttle as well as brake intervention. A starter interlock was added to models with a manual gearbox, while automatic transmissions gained "adaptive" shift logic. Immobiliser became standard. Dashboard airbags received new two-stage sensors that matched deployment force to road speed and belt use; they also automatically unlocked doors after the bags triggered. For a 70 dollar upgrade, the S70 comes with a Dynaudio sound system.
In the 1999 model year, the Volvo badge was changed. For the 2000 model year (2001 in the U.S.), the S70 model was discontinued and V70 was replaced by a completely new car with same model designation. The newcomer was built on Volvo's new large car platform that is shared by Volvo S80 (the first that was to be available of this series) and Volvo S60. Also, seat-mounted side airbags were modified to improve protection to the head and chest in case of impact. Newly standard was Volvo's WHIPS system, designed to move the front seatbacks and headrests rearward in a rear-end collision, to minimize whiplash. The S70 Base models gained an all-new 5 speed automatic transmission using a synthetic based transmission fluid. The potent engine in the V70 R AWD now was rated 261 hp (195 kW).
The base engine was a 2.4-liter dual overhead cam straight-5 gasoline engine that produced a maximum output of 168 hp (125 kW). The GLT had a turbocharged version of that engine that increased the power to 190 hp (141 kW). The T5 had a more highly tuned 2.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with an output of 236 hp (175 kW). The Base and T5 models had an optional five-speed manual transmission, the GL and GLT were available with only an automatic transmission. An option on the S70 was the TRACS traction control system that would apply the front brakes to limit wheel slippage. All models had disc brakes and anti-lock braking system. These were also among the first cars in the United States to offer side airbags, an option that has extended to nearly all models today. Drive-by-wire was added starting with the 1999 model year, replacing the traditional throttle cable arrangement with an Electronic Throttle System (ETS); also added was coil-on-plug ignition, first featured on the Volvo 960, replacing the distributor and spark plug wires. Such cars can easily be distinguished from the 1998 model year versions by the presence of an ETS light on the instrument cluster. All-wheel drive was also offered with the GLT model in 1999 and 2000 years.
In 2000, the SE trim level was made available to the S70 "base" and GLT model. Therefore four trim levels were offered, Base, Base SE, GLT, and GLT SE. (Trim levels were named differently in Europe) Starting for the 2001 model year, the S70 was replaced by the S60, as the S80 had been introduced in 1998.
An S70-R version (which was not released in North America) was introduced later to offer higher performance. The engine was an extra-tuned edition of the 2319 cc unit, rated 250 hp (186 kW) and 350 N·m (260 ft·lbf) for models fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox and limited slip differential. Models fitted with a four-speed automatic gearbox rated 240 hp (179 kW) and 330 N·m (240 lb·ft).
The S70 is the mid-priced sedan in Volvo's lineup, fitting between the entry-level S40 and top-shelf S80. A station wagon version is available as the V70. Volvo previously has offered all-wheel drive on the V70 wagon, and this year it is also available on the S70 sedan. The AWD system is permanently engaged. All other sedan models have front-wheel drive.
Though the S70 is listed under small cars because its wheelbase is less than 105 inches (104.9 to be exact), the EPA calls it a midsize car based on interior volume of 111.5 cubic feet. There is ample room for four adults, but the interior isn't wide enough for three people without squeezing everyone. Trunk capacity is 15 cubic feet, and folding the rear seat increases capacity to 33 cubic feet.
Volvo has given some of its newer models, such as the S80 sedan and C70 coupe and convertible more flair and rounded lines, but the S70 maintains the company's traditional boxy look. The S70 splits the difference between the S40 and S80 not only in price, but also in size. At 186 inches overall, the S70 is 10 inches longer than the S40 and 4 inches shorter than the S80.
Under the Hood
The base S70 uses a 2.4-liter five-cylinder engine with new variable valve timing that boosts horsepower from 163 to 168. It is available with a five-speed manual or new five-speed automatic. The GLT and AWD models get what Volvo calls a "light-pressure" turbocharged version of this engine with 190 horsepower. The high-performance T5 model is the hot rod of the group with a 236-horsepower turbocharged version.
Standard safety features include side-impact airbags for the front seats, anti-lock brakes and Volvo's Whiplash Protection System, which moves the front seats rearward in a collision. The federally required front air bags deploy at two levels, with lower force used in low-speed collisions.