Last night, I had a treat. A couple pulled into the motel parking lot in a Volvo V70 R wagon. When they pulled up to the office entry, the sunroof was open and everything looked perfect. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a good picture while they were here (hence the picture above). For some reason, I felt a bit awkward about asking to take a picture even though I met the owners.
The driver was a Swedish gentleman who insists that the manual transmission was the only way to go. He also agreed that the Volvo seats are very comfortable and good “for tall people like you.” He liked the car a lot but has been disappointed with some electrical problems and lights that appear on the dashboard. His goal is to get a car from the early 80’s without all the electrical components. (Maybe I should have given him my number for when he finally sells the thing.)
“The V70R was the last of the hotted-up wagons, and it lasted two generations before being discontinued with the third that launched in 2007. Lame. The body styles changed over the years, but one thing stayed consistent: a turbocharged five cylinder engine, in proper Volvo fashion. Depending on the year the car put out somewhere between 236 and 300 horsepower with as much as 295 pound-feet of torque. Best of all, the power gets put down by all four tires.”1
Why all the hype about a mid-size Swedish wagon? If you are wondering this, you have never driven one. This is a driver’s car. Volvo, whose reputation is based on its safety, surprised everyone when they introduced the R variants of the S60 and V70. As Car & Driver put it, “Volvo is bringing steak tartare to its normally vegan potluck.”2 While it may seem strange for a safety first company like Volvo to produce a sports car, you have to imagine that some of them enjoy a quick drive through the twisties, right? I know I do.
1 Patrick George in “Why The Saab Viggen And Volvo V70R Are The Next Great Future Classics.”
2 Aaron Robinson in “Volvo S60R/V70R.”