New Volvos Slicker, Smarter

A new and exciting design, even better safety features and enhanced comfort all characterize Volvo's recently introduced S70 and V70 models.

But the S70 and V70 are more than just two new names for Volvo, which unveiled the cars last year in Norway. More modern styling, an entirely new interior and no fewer than 1,800 changes make these cars an exciting continuation of the Volvo 850's winning concept.

The front and rear of the Volvo S70, the sedan, have been redesigned to give them a more rounded and elegant look. "The car now feels more complete," said Peter Horbury, Volvo's chief designer. "We were looking to create a design that felt more powerful and dynamic, a car that radiated the desire to move forward."

The design changes are attractive. The new sloping and V-shaped front hood merges with the upright grille, the new headlights and the new bumper. At the rear, the taillights are larger and the styling of the trunk lid looks more modern.

The changes in the interior are more visible. There is a feeling of greater space and in general it looks more "expensive" due to the improvements in the quality of the materials Volvo used.

The dashboard in the Volvo S70 and V70 is the same as the one in the exclusive C70 Coupe. As is usual for Volvo, the dashboard is characterized by simplicity and functionality.

It conveys plenty of information with just a few, clearly designed instruments. All the controls have been redesigned to make them easier to use.

The new front seats have an improved height adjustment, more effective heating and are upholstered in new materials.

When buying either car, customers can order it according to their preferences, needs and pocketbooks. They can mix and match interiors and options to create highly individualized vehicles.

One exciting feature of the S70 and V70 is Volvo's Road and Traffic Information, or RTI, system, an electronic device that gives the driver information on the route and traffic situation.

The RTI system is integrated into the dashboard at a position of maximum safety and comfort for the driver.

Using the Global Positioning System satellites to pinpoint the location of the car, the system directs the driver in a straightforward manner to almost any destination in Europe, including streets, hospitals, hotels, airports, Volvo dealerships and other important locations.

The system issues instructions over a loudspeaker (available in seven languages), telling the driver which way to turn, which lane to select and more. RTI also receives local traffic information, including current data on accidents and road construction from FM broadcasts.The maps displayed on the monitor are stored on six CD-ROM discs and cover most of Western Europe, including small towns and villages.

But that is not the only welcome feature of the models. Volvo is well-known for its attention to safety. Both the side-impact protection system and the collapsible steering wheel have been improved in these models.

The Volvo V70 AWD is equipped with the newly developed, light-pressure, turbocharged version of its well-known 2.5-liter engine with 20 valves and double overhead camshafts. Its performance is a perfect match for its sporty design. It goes from 0-100 kilometers per hour in 8.5 seconds, with a top speed of 220 kilometers per hour and an output of 193 bhp, and it has an outstandingly high torque at low engine speeds.