Volvo S70

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Volvo S70
Volvo S70 -- 02-29-2012.JPG
Manufacturer Volvo Cars
Production 1996–2000 (242,916 units)
Model years 1997–2000
Assembly Torslanda, Sweden
Ghent, Belgium[1]
Halifax, Canada (VHA)
Designer Peter Horbury (exterior)
José Luis Diaz de la Vega (interior)[2][3][4]
Body and chassis
Class Compact executive car
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout Front engine,
front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
Platform Volvo P80
Engine 2.0 L I5 (petrol)[5]
2.3 L I5 (petrol)
2.4 L I5 (petrol)[6]
2.4 L I5 turbo (petrol)[7]
2.5 L I5 (petrol)[8]
2.5 L I5 turbo (petrol)[9]
2.5 L I5 (diesel)[10]
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,664 mm (104.9 in)
2,654 mm (104.5 in) (AWD)
Length 4,722 mm (185.9 in)
Width 1,760 mm (69.3 in)
Height 1,402 mm (55.2 in)
1,448 mm (57.0 in) (AWD)
Curb weight 1,380 kg (3,040 lb)
Predecessor Volvo 850 saloon
Successor Volvo S60

The Volvo S70 is a compact executive car marketed and produced by the Swedish manufacturer Volvo Cars from 1996[11] to 2000.[12][13] The S70 was essentially a facelifted 850 sedan. The S70 was replaced with the Volvo S60.


Introduced in Europe in late 1996 for the 1997 model year and later in the U.S. for the 1998 model year, the Volvo S70 sedan was an updated version of the Volvo 850 saloon. The S70's body style was more rounded, as was the interior. According to Volvo a total of 1800 changes were made.

Volvo S70, rear view
Volvo V70, rear view

The six trim levels were: Base, SE, GL (Grand Lux), GLT (Grand Luxe Touring (No turbo)), T5 (5 cylinder Turbo) and R (exclusive to Europe). The exterior has new headlamps and a reshaped hood as well as a rounder front end. The new interior included dual front and side airbags.

New electronic brake modulation helped optimize performance in normal stops. Volvo's traction-control system now included throttle (99-00 (US) only) as well as brake intervention . A starter interlock was added to models with manual transmissions, while automatic transmissions gained "adaptive" shift logic. Engine immobiliser became standard. Dashboard airbags received new two-stage sensors that matched deployment force to road speed and belt use; they also automatically unlocked doors after the bags triggered. For a 700 dollar upgrade, the S70 came with a Dynaudio sound system[14]

In the 1999 model year, the Volvo badge was changed. For the 2000 model year (2001 in the U.S.), the S70 model was discontinued and V70 was replaced by a completely new car with same model designation. The newcomer was built on Volvo's new large car platform that is shared by Volvo S80 (the first that was to be available of this series) and Volvo S60. Also, seat-mounted side airbags were modified to improve protection to the head and chest in case of impact. Newly standard was Volvo's WHIPS system, designed to move the front seatbacks and headrests rearward (not quite true.. headrest first moves forward to support the head) in a rear-end collision, to minimize whiplash. The S70 Base models gained an all-new five-speed automatic transmission, which required a synthetic-based transmission fluid. .



As had been previously achieved with the 850 series, the S70 continued Volvo's exploration of its high-performance five-cylinder FWD high-pressure turbocharged models, known commonly as the "T-5". Volvo's initial ethos of the T-5 was to produce an engine that would give serious performance when needed while also giving unparalleled reliability and solidness from a high powered turbocharged engine. A new larger Mitsubishi 16T turbocharger was incorporated into the new design, giving an adequate power improvement to the 850 engine. There were two engine options available: the ultra rare 2-litre B5204T3 (originally only produced for the Italian market for tax purposes) producing 230 hp (172 kW) and the 2.3-litre B5234T3 producing 240 hp (179 kW).[citation needed] Aside from top end speed, due to the difference in bore and torque, both offered practically identical performance with the manual version of the B5234T3 S70 capable of accelerating to 60 mph (97 km/h) in just under 6 seconds and with a maximum electronic limited speed of 155 mph (249 km/h).[citation needed]

At the time of its release, the S70 T-5 was one of the fastest accelerating production saloon cars in the world, and despite its boxy,understated appearance, it had a distinct advantage over the 4x4 performance cars of the same era such as the Mitsubishi Evolution and Subaru WRX in mid-high range speed. This led to the UK Police Traffic Corps exclusively using the S/V70 T-5 models for high speed pursuits where standard issue cars would not be as equipped.[citation needed]

S70 AWD[edit]

From model year 1998 to 2000 an (AWD) S70 was offered. It used the same drivetrain as the AWD estate, with the exception of the rear self-leveling suspension being an extra cost option. The only available engine was the 193 bhp 2,4L turbo that was either coupled to a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual gearbox.

S70 R[edit]

A S70 'R' version was introduced in 1997 for the 1998 model year. It offered the highest performance of all S70 models. The engine was an extra-tuned edition of the 2319 cc unit, rated 250 horsepower (186 kW; 253 PS) and 350 newton metres (258 lbf·ft) for models fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox and limited slip differential. Models fitted with a four-speed automatic gearbox rated 240 horsepower (179 kW; 243 PS) and 330 newton metres (243 lbf·ft). Only FWD versions were produced.The model was only available in Europe and few select other countries.

Similar to the estate model the S70 R came with a unique leather/alcantara interior, special paint und special 16" or 17" alloy wheels. Production seized at the end of the 1998 model year.

Trim levels[edit]

In 2000, the SE trim level was made available to the S70 "base" and GLT model. Therefore four trim levels were offered, Base, Base SE, GLT, and GLT SE. (Trim levels were named differently in Europe) Starting for the 2001 model year, the S70 was replaced by the S60, as the S80 had been introduced in 1996.


The engine found in the 'base' model is a 2.4 litre double overhead camshaft straight-five petrol engine that can produce a maximum output of 168 horsepower (125 kW; 170 PS). The GLT is NOT a turbocharged version of that engine 168 horsepower (125 kW; 170 PS). The T5 has a more highly tuned 2.3 litre turbocharged petrol engine with an output of 240 horsepower (179 kW; 243 PS). The Base and T5 models had an optional five-speed manual transmission, the GL and GLT were available with only an automatic transmission (Not true, S70 GLT 1999 has five-speed manual transmission as standard). An option on the S70 was the TRACS traction control system that would apply the front brakes to limit wheel slippage. All models had disc brakes and anti-lock braking system. These were also among the first cars in the United States to offer side airbags, an option that has extended to nearly all models today. Drive-by-wire was added starting with the 1999 model year, replacing the traditional throttle cable arrangement with an Electronic Throttle System (ETS); also added was coil-on-plug ignition, first featured on the Volvo 960, replacing the distributor and hi-tension spark plug leads. Such cars can easily be distinguished from the 1998 model year versions by the presence of an ETS light on the instrument cluster, as well as the presence of side marker lights in place of the black and silver Volvo badges on the fenders. All-wheel drive was also offered with the GLT model in 1999 and 2000 years.

Petrol engines

model max. motive power max. torque at rpm engine displacement engine type engine configuration & notes 0-100km/h
2.0 126 PS (93 kW; 124 hp) 170 N·m (125 lbf·ft) @ 4,800 1,984 cc (121.1 cu in) B5202 FS straight-5 [ 12.3 s]
2.0T 163 PS (120 kW; 161 hp) 220 N·m (162 lbf·ft) @ 2,100 1,984 cc (121.1 cu in) B5204 T2 straight-5 low pressure turbo [ 9.5 s]
2.0 T5 230 PS (169 kW; 227 hp) 310 N·m (229 lbf·ft) @ 2,700 1,984 cc (121.1 cu in) B5204 T3 straight-5 high pressure turbo
2.4 (GLT specs) 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) 220 N·m (162 lbf·ft) @ 4,700 2,435 cc (148.6 cu in) B5244 S straight-5 [8.8 s]
2.5 144 PS (106 kW; 142 hp) 206 N·m (152 lbf·ft) @ 3,600 2,435 cc (148.6 cu in) B5252 FS straight-5 [ 10.7 s]
2.5T AWD 193 PS (142 kW; 190 hp) 270 N·m (199 lbf·ft) @ 1,800 2,435 cc (148.6 cu in) B5254 T straight-5 low pressure turbo [ 7.5 s]
Base 2.4 144 PS (106 kW; 142 hp) 206 N·m (152 lbf·ft) @ 3,300 2,435 cc (148.6 cu in) B5242 S straight-5
Base 2.4 SE 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) 213 N·m (157 lbf·ft) @ 3,300 2,435 cc (148.6 cu in) B5244 S2 straight-5
GLT (Not true specs) 190 PS (140 kW; 187 hp) 270 N·m (199 lbf·ft) @ 1,800 2,435 cc (148.6 cu in) B5244 T2 straight-5 low pressure turbo (NOT TRUE)
2.4 AWD 193 PS (142 kW; 190 hp) 271 N·m (200 lbf·ft) @ 1,800 2,435 cc (148.6 cu in) B5244 T3 straight-5 low pressure turbo
2.3 T5 240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp) 330 N·m (243 lbf·ft) @ 2,700 2,319 cc (141.5 cu in) B5234 T3 straight-5 high pressure turbo [ 5.9-6.4 s]
R 250 PS (184 kW; 247 hp) 350 N·m (258 lbf·ft) @ 2,700 2,319 cc (141.5 cu in) B5234 T4 straight-5 high pressure turbo [ 5.9-6.4 s]

Diesel engines

model max. motive power max. torque at rpm engine displacement engine type engine configuration & notes
TDI 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) 290 N·m (214 lbf·ft) @ 1,900 2,461 cc (150.2 cu in) D5252T straight-5 with turbo


model max. motive power max. torque at rpm engine displacement engine type engine configuration & notes
Bi-Fuel 144 PS / 128 PS (CNG) 206 N·m (152 lbf·ft) @ 3,300 2,435 cc (148.6 cu in) GB5252S straight-5 methane/petrol

See also[edit]

  • Volvo 850, preceding model, largely a pre-facelift version
  • Volvo V70, estate version based on the same platform and bearing the same design
  • Volvo S40, compact model bearing a similar front end design