As predicted by Autocar, Volvo's 'R' performance brand, founded memorably in 1993 by the 850 T5R estate, has been canned. It will be replaced, according to an interview given by Volvo's CEO Fredrik Arp to Automotive News Europe; "we are working on the next phase," he said "but it will not be immediate."Sources at Volvo had suggested that the feeling towards the future of the 'R'-brand was lukewarm at the end of last year. Back then, it was in connection with the possibility of a hotter, all-wheel drive version of the C30 hatchback, which was roundly dismissed by company insiders. More telling was the announcement that there would be no V8 power for the new V70 estate though, and therefore no successor for the V70R beyond the more conservative-looking 295bhp V70 T6.Slow sales, both in Europe and the US, have been blamed for the decision. With 'R'-badged versions of the S60 and V70 on sale in the States for the last two years, Volvo was expecting 3800 combined stateside sales in 2006; it ended up shifting little more than 1600 cars – and, according to Volvo, US sales were the highest of any country.