Turbocharged engine, 6spd manual, all wheel drive AND its a wagon? You've got to be shitting me!
That's right folks, today we shall take a look at a car which always trailed behind the Germans, the Volvo V70R. Although I guess it isn't really fair to say that Volvo's trail behind anyone, because they aren't really made to compete with anything. Volvo has always been a company to build a car that they want, not what the market segment depicts would be a good seller.
For those of you who didn't know that even the super safe Swede's can build fun cars at times, the Volvo V70R (and in sedan form the S60R) packs a 2.5L turbocharged Inline 5 making 300hp and 300tq. The last generation of R's (not that new R-design bullshit) ran from 2004 to 2007. The 04-05 cars had a 5spd automatic with torque limited first and second gear, while the 06-07 cars had a 6spd automatic. The 6spd manual was available on all model years, and that's what this wagon before us happens to be equipped with.
(I bet these were taken with an iphone)
The Volvo planted all its power down using the Haldex AWD system, which has been used on many cars, including the Bugatti Veyron! Next time you see a Veyron owner, make sure you mention how your Volvo wagon has the same AWD system as his million dollar supercar, I'm sure that'll go over well.
On the inside, this car looks well optioned out. It has a Nordkap blue interior with the pop up sat nav (who cares if the system is junk, that looks so cooooool!). Since it is a M66 manual, it has the glorious spaceball shifter. Love it or hate it, the spaceball is unique. The R's also have the leather wrapped steering wheel with blue stitching, and those amazing watch face gauges.
(Volvo really did an awesome job taking the boring S60/V70 gauge cluster and turning it into something classy)
The V70R also has Volvo's Four-C suspension (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept). This offered three settings for the suspension, traction control, and throttle sensitivity. Comfort, which was intended for daily driving, offered the smoothest ride. Sport, which was intended for spirited driving, stiffened up the shocks and lets the traction control act a little more lax. Advanced mode, which Volvo stresses is for track use only (I hope US Interstate 1 counts as a track, that's where I tested it in a S60R) stiffens the suspension up and sharpens the throttle response. The whole suspension can readjust shock pressure 500 times per second, and as Clarkson once stated "has more computing power than the CIA".
Aside from the 300hp inline 5 and the trick suspension, the R's also wear 4 piston brembos all around. 17" 5 spoke wheels were standard, with 18" wheels as an option. These cars also came with standard HID reflectors which, if I'm honest, look good, but the US spec housings function like crap. Most R owners try and swap to the euro housings which have a separate high beam.
So there you have it, an under the radar, practical family hauler that you can autocross on Saturday, and take the kids to church in on Sunday. Its a great blend of fun and responsibility. Which I would imagine Volvo was intending when they built this car, knowing that a few people who still buy the cars they build, haven't just given up on life completely.
Kudos, Volvo, for remembering that not all of us are dead inside!
This 2006 V70R can be found on ebay here, for a buy it now price of $11,995.