13 November 2004

Volvo astounded visitors to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show last week with three modified models. The Las Vegas-based show has begin to attract major manufacturer interest and the Swedish company’s jaw-dropping models were the biggest pull, especially the hot XC90. Called XC90 PUV (Power Utility Vehicle), the concept car is powered by a ‘work in progress’ supercharged version of the V8 engine that could eventually pump out an astonishing 650bhp, compared with the production version’s 311bhp. Modifications include a 50mm drop in height, quad tailpipes, a huge air intake, flared arches and an aggressive bodykit.

Volvo North America was responsible for the PUV, but the special vehicles department in Gothenburg was behind the 340bhp V50 SV. A five-cylinder 2.5-litre turbocharged engine is mated to four-wheel drive and a close-ratio six-speed manual ’box.

And a hot S40 was built by Evolve, a Volvo-specific US tuner that brought two tweaked S60 Rs to last year’s event. It gets an estimated 400bhp from its 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine.

Paul Barker

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