Okay it’s been nearly a month since I picked up my V70R AWD manual. The V70 was introduced in 1997 as a facelift of the 850 series. This continued until 2001 when a massively face lifted version was introduced and Volvo started to shake off its boxy image. The AWD model uses a transversely mounted engine and box with a transfer box and viscous coupled prop to the rear, which is limited slip, so that whenever a wheel spins. The power is transferred to the wheels, which have grip. Which if you were its previous owner and put budget tyres on it...spins all 4 with relative ease! The AWD R as a model wasn’t made for a great deal of time. Late 97 all of 98 and early 99...about 18 months in total. Other options with AWD were available but I haven’t got the details for those to hand. Being a flagship model with a price tag of around 38k it wasn’t exactly cheap. And as such it didn’t sell in massive numbers. But the levels of equipment are fantastic. Even by today’s standards. There are some good little ideas in there. Some of which are very handy indeed. Heated rear quarter glass is definitely a handy idea. Heated seats with 8 way electric adjustment and memory functions on the drivers seat. Cruise control, Dolby 5.1 surround speaker system, dual climate aircon, electric tilt and slide sunroof, in fact just about everything is electrically operated!
The R came with 4 different drive train options. All were powered by a 2.3 turbo charged 20v 5 cylinder. (B5234T for the geeks among you the new ST and FRS use a B5254T, Which is basically a 2.5 litre version). With a standard 250bhp these were no slouches. The front wheel drive being the quickest on paper, with a 0-60 time of 6.2 seconds. Closely followed by the AWD manual at 6.5...The Auto front wheel drive is a shade slower at 7.1.and the AWD auto being the slowest at 7.8 seconds...now this may not sound like road burning figures and granted they are not. However. Mid range clout rolling starts are where this car is at home. With just over 330lbs ft as STD between 2700 and 5100 rpm and no real giveaway as to what your hustling under the bonnet it makes for some interesting reactions on the road. Its no B road weapon, That is not to say its a bad handling car...but at 15.5 feet long and at around 1500 kilos you are always aware its not a small car your throwing about. The suspension is self-levelling on the rear making lowering an expensive option at 400 odd quid just for springs! There is a distinct lack of roll even from standard. Yet the ride is still comfortable on less than perfect roads. But as an Uber cruiser it’s effortless. A shade under 600 miles in 2 days and it felt no more taxing than if I had just popped to the shops. The interior is trimmed in half leather half alcantara. Which means your bottom stays in the seats in high speed corners, the power steering is light with plenty of feedback however the budget tyres its wearing very shortly to be replaced do wash out with terrifying ease under greasy road and medium power applications. Running costs are not what you might expect. Coming in at insurance group 17 on the old rating system it’s not especially difficult to insure but it is a lot easier being over 25. As for fuel…once its been remapped its super unleaded all the way…and that’s 70 quid a fill. That will last anywhere between 300-400 miles the latter being easy to achieve on a motorway. My average is about 26mpg. Spare parts are reasonably priced if you shop around.
I have used standard power figures, whilst my car has been played with I’m not sure what power its actually running but I do know its quick enough out on the road to make people think WTF was that! As a car it’s very enjoyable to drive. Its fast. Comfortable but above all its stealthy. Nobody even gives it a second glance. Not even the police