Volvo S70

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Volvo S70
Volvo S70 -- 02-29-2012.JPG
Manufacturer Volvo Cars
Production 1996–2000 (242,916 units)[1]
Model years 1997–2000
Assembly Torslanda, Sweden
Ghent, Belgium[2]
Halifax, Canada (VHA)
Designer Peter Horbury (exterior)
José Luis Diaz de la Vega (interior)[3][4][5]
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
Related Volvo V70 (estate version)
Engine 2.0 L I5 (petrol)[6]
2.3 L I5 (petrol)
2.4 L I5 (petrol)[7]
2.4 L I5 turbo (petrol)[8]
2.5 L I5 (petrol)[9]
2.5 L I5 turbo (petrol)[10]
2.5 L I5 (diesel)[11]
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 1,428–1,510 kg (3,148–3,329 lb)[12] (FWD)
1,600–1,635 kg (3,527–3,605 lb)[13] (AWD)
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[14] to 2000.[15][16] 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 overall more rounded compared to its predecessor. Other changes included a redesigned front end with new lights, fully colour-coded bumpers and side trim, clear indicator lenses for the rear lights, and a redesigned interior. According to Volvo a total of 1800 changes were made.[17]

Volvo S70, rear view

Standard equipment was improved with remote central locking, heated & electrically adjustable mirrors, 4 airbags, power brakes with ABS and power windows being standard on every car. Trim levels varied for each market as did the equipment levels of the most basic trims. In the United States, the badging denoted the engine variant and to some extent the equipment level, were as in Europe engine and options could be chosen individually. On all markets more powerful versions usually received better or upgraded standard equipment. The T5 and R were the series high-performance models.

For model year 1999 a minor facelift was introduced. Apart from very minor cosmetical changes, such as a slightly different Volvo badge on the front grill and US models now being equipped with side markers on the front fenders, most changes were done to the mechanicals. Volvo introduced its second generation side airbag which increased in volume to offer better protection.[18] WHIPS, Volvo's system to minimize whiplash injuries, was also introduced as part of the standard equipment. New engine management systems with drive-by-wire replaced the mechanical throttle as well as bringing with them an upgraded traction control. Now including throttle as well as brake intervention it was renamed STC. The ABS was upgraded from a three-channel to a four-channel system, All-wheel drive models received thicker rear discs and redesigned rear calipers.
4-speed automatic transmissions were now equipped with adaptive shift-logic, replacing the previous 3-mode selection. A starter interlock was added to models with manual transmissions.

For model year 2000 a new 5-speed automatic transmission with adaptive shift-logic was introduced. It was only available on non turbo front-wheel drive models.



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 option rather than a standard feature. 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.[19] It offered the highest performance of all S70 models. The engine was an extra-tuned edition of the 2319 cc unit, rated at 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 at 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 that had diamond stitching on the seats. Further styling touches were a special front bumper, blue gauge faces for the instrument cluster, one special colours and a choice of unique 16" or 17" alloy wheels. Standard equipment was substantially upgraded over normal models with few options available such as a trunk mounted CD-changer, RTI navigation system or an upgraded stereo system. Production ended with 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)


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 low-pressure turbocharged version of that engine 190 horsepower (142 kW; 193 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 for most model years. 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.

Volvo Modular Engine (Petrol)

Model Engine code Year(s) Power Torque @rpm Displacement 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph)
2.0 10V B5202FS 1997-1998 126 PS (93 kW; 124 hp) 170 N·m (130 lb·ft) @4800 1,984 cc (121.1 in3) 11.7 s (Manual)
12.1 s (Auto)
2.5 10V B5252FS 1997-1999 144 PS (106 kW; 142 hp) 206 N·m (152 lb·ft) @3300 2,435 cc (148.6 in3) 10.2 s (Manual)
10.6 s (Auto)
2.5 20V B5254FS 1997-1999 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) 220 N·m (160 lb·ft) @3300 2,435 cc (148.6 in3) 8.9 s (Manual)
10.0 s (Auto)
2.5 20V B5254S[20] 1999 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) 220 N·m (160 lb·ft) @3300 2,435 cc (148.6 in3) 8.9 s (Manual)
10.0 s (Auto)
2.0T B5204T2 1997-2000 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) 240 N·m (180 lb·ft) @1800 1,984 cc (121.1 in3)
2.4T AWD
B5254T[20] 1997-1999 193 PS (142 kW; 190 hp) 270 N·m (200 lb·ft) @1800 2,435 cc (148.6 in3) 7.8 s (Manual)
8.2 s (Auto)
T5 2.0 B5204T3 1997-1999 230 PS (169 kW; 227 hp) 310 N·m (230 lb·ft) @2700 1,984 cc (121.1 in3)
T5 2.3 B5234T3[20] 1997-2000 240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp) 330 N·m (240 lb·ft) @2700 2,319 cc (141.5 in3)
B5234T4 1998 250 PS (184 kW; 247 hp) 350 N·m (260 lb·ft) @2700 2,319 cc (141.5 in3) 6.8 s
B5234T3 1998 240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp) 330 N·m (240 lb·ft) @2700 2,319 cc (141.5 in3)


Model Engine code Year(s) Power Torque @rpm Displacement 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph)
TDI* D5252T (MSA 15.7)[21] 1997-1999 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) 290 N·m (210 lb·ft) @1900 2,460 cc (150.1 in3) 9.9 s (Manual)
10.7 s (Auto)
TDI* D5252T (MSA 15.8)**[21] 1999-2000 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) 290 N·m (210 lb·ft) @1900 2,460 cc (150.1 in3) 9.9 s (Manual)
10.7 s (Auto)


Model Engine code Year(s) Power Tourqe @rpm Displacement 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph)
Bi-Fuel B5244SG 1998-2000 144 PS (106 kW; 142 hp) 206 N·m (152 lb·ft) @3300 2,435 cc (148.6 in3)
  • *Volvo used a modified version of the 2.5 TDI Audi engine
  • **For 1999 the engine management system was updated to comply with emission regulations.

Petrol engines

model max. motive power max. torque at rpm engine displacement engine type engine configuration & notes 0–100 km/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 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
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