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Volvo

Volvo For 1998

By Carey Russ

Just about everything in Volvo showrooms is new for the 1998 model year. New cars, new styling, and new names will be found. The S70 and V70 have been on sale since early in the 1997 calendar year, joined by the S90 and V90 in the middle of the year. The sleek C70 coupe, previewed in the movie "The Saint", is coming soon.

C70

"This time we threw away the box and kept the toy," said Volvo chief designer Peter Horbury of his new creation, the C70 coupe. This quick and stunning-looking car is the first Volvo coupe since the P1800 of the 1960s, and has the power to back up its looks. Under the skin, it is based on the new S70 platform, and shares the high-performance S70 T5's 236-horsepower turbocharged 5-cylinder engine. The interior has all of the comfort and convenience features expected in a sports-luxury coupe, and, being a Volvo, the C70 has all of the safety equipment expected of a Volvo.

S70 and V70

The 70 series replaces Volvo's best-selling 850, and, at first glance looks the same. Not so. The S70 sedans and V70 wagons share the more rounded hood and grille of the C70 coupe. The S70's rear bodywork is more rounded than that of the 850, while the V70 keeps the old 850 wagon's distinctive vertical taillights.

All 70-series Volvos use a transversely-mounted inline 5- cylinder engine. There are 3 levels of engine tuning: the 168- horsepower naturally-aspirated base model, the 190-horsepower low- pressure turbo GLT, and the 236-horse high-boost turbo T5. Base and T5 front-wheel drive models are now available with a 5-speed manual transmission as well as a 4-speed automatic. The V70 wagon is offered in 3 all-wheel drive versions, including the semi-sport-utility XC (cross-country) and high-performance T5. All are available only with an automatic transmission.

The interior of the 70-series sedans and wagons has been extensively redesigned for better ergonomics and comfort, with a full list of standard features. Safety is paramount -- these are Volvos, after all -- and all are equipped with both front and side airbags.

S90 and V90

Volvo's flagship 90-series is the evolution of the previous 960, and is available in sedan (S) and wagon (V) body styles. They are rear- wheel drive cars, equipped with a 181-horsepower 6-cylinder engine and multi-mode 4-speed automatic transmission. As the luxury cars of the Volvo line, they are comprehensively equipped with all of the expected premium trim and safety equipment.

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