Hot Volvo load-lugger won't be replaced; R-brand may be for the chop too
2 February 2007

Enthusiasts will have noted a significant absence from the new V70 range: it contains no direct replacement for the 296bhp V70R. Volvo says the new T6 model partly fills the hole left by that model; however it also says, for various reasons, that it won't be slotting its 325bhp Yamaha V8 into the V70 at all.

So what next for Volvo's 'R' brand? Volvo tends to limit the number of 'R'-badged models to one or two at a time. Once the S60R is discontinued next year, it could bring us a more fiercely-blown, Audi S3-chasing, all-wheel-drive C30R with more than 250bhp; alternatively, it might try an S40R using the V70's 281bhp T6 engine that, Autocar understands, has been specifically designed to fit under the S40's bonnet; finally, there's even the possibility of a headline-grabbing S80R motorway express with a more highly-strung version of that car's 4.4-litre V8.

The only barrier to the production of the last car in that list, according to one Volvo engineer we quizzed, would be developing a transmission capable of handing 'up to 400bhp'. However, when Autocar asked the same engineer which of these cars might be most likely to appear, our question was met with considerable pessimism. Perhaps that the 'R' brand will have no future at all beyond the current S60; the question is, will Volvo be any the poorer for it?

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