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Volvo to drop V70, alter North American engine lineup for 2011


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Volvo to drop V70, alter North American engine lineup for 2011

03/25/2010, 12:56 PMBY ANDREW GANZ

According to a leaked 2011 dealer document, Volvo will drop its mainstream V70 wagon and slice the engine offerings in the rest of its sedan and station wagon lineup for the new year to better reflect product demand. Despite middling sales, the V70 has been a Volvo icon for a decade, but the Swedish automaker says it will instead offer a front-wheel-drive XC70 wagon in a bid to increase sales.

Jalopnik has obtained a Volvo “Product Update Bulletin” detailing changes to the 2011 Volvo lineup. Headlining the document is Volvo’s plan to drop the V70 and replace it with a mechanically identical front-wheel-drive XC70, which will offer a slightly higher ride stance and some “rugged” styling bits. Volvo did not specify if the front-wheel-drive XC70 will match the V70’s fuel economy, but it did say that the new model will “take away any key reason people choose V70 over XC70.”

The V70 will continue to be offered in markets outside of North America, however. Volvo has slated the last North American-spec V70 for production on May 14, 2010. Last year, Volvo sold about a third as many V70s as it did XC70s.

The Swedish automaker plans to drop the S40 and V50’s base 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated five-cylinder in favor of the currently optional 227-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder in the T5. All S40 and V50s will be only offered with front-wheel-drive for 2011; the slow-selling all-wheel-drive T5 will be dropped. Volvo plans to badge all S40 and V50 models as T5s to reflect the new engine. It’s unclear if Volvo will adjust the S40’s base price to compensate for the larger engine.

Finally, Volvo also will cease sales of its range-topping S80 V8 AWD in favor of a more robust and fuel efficient turbocharged inline six-cylinder. Currently, Volvo’s mid-level S80 T6 AWD eclipses the larger V8’s sales figures despite being down on power. The 311-horsepower V8 will give way to a 300-horsepower T6 for 2011, which will match the outgoing V8’s 325 lb-ft. of torque. Volvo promises a fuel economy increase of as much as 9 percent over the current T6, which means we should expect fuel economy ratings of 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Volvo also indicated that the base S80’s 3.2-liter inline-six will also see a performance and fuel economy upgrade, although the automaker did not specify any technical figures. The automaker’s XC90 SUV will continue to offer the Yamaha-designed V8.

Volvo does not break out engine options when it reports annual sales, although the V8-equipped S80s are rare on dealer lots.



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