Higher roofline and driving position for V70 and V50
21 October 2008

The next Volvo V70 and V50 could be the first in a new generation of estates to scrap the conventional long roof and low driving position higher roofline and driving position.The conventional estate has long been a brand-defining vehicle for the Swedish carmaker, but many senior people within the company are now convinced that it is reaching the end of the line and is in urgent need of reinvention. See Autocar's renderings of the next Volvo V70 and V50Earlier this year Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s senior VP for brand, business and product strategy, told Autocar that Volvo had come close to giving the green light to a high-roof V70 design when the current model was signed off for production in 2004/5.The taller roof line of a typical crossover such as the new Volvo XC60 usually results in a more versatile loading bay, while the more upright seating positions allow the XC60 to be a useful 20cm shorter than a V70.The arrival of the Volvo XC60 compact SUV is expected to cut into the sagging demand for the V70, hastening the rethink over replacements for both that car and the Volvo V50.“Within Volvo we are re-examining the estate car and many people are currently scratching their heads,” a senior Volvo manager told Autocar at the recent unveiling of the XC60. “We’d be interested in your opinions.” The trend towards road-orientated ‘crossovers’ (such as the Ford Edge and smaller SUVs such as the Audi Q5) will hit Volvo hard, , especially in the important US market. It has had significant success with the XC70 in the US over the last decade.Volvo’s future model plans for the S60 and XC90 have also been shaken up in the light of significant losses and the axing of thousands of jobs.The S60 replacement is being redesigned, putting its arrival back from early next year to 2010. The ageing Volvo XC90 will not be replaced until 2012, getting a major makeover (including a possible diesel hybrid drivetrain) in 2010.

Hilton Holloway

Our Verdict

Volvo V70

The Volvo V70 is spacious, but suffers from vague steering and old engines

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22 October 2008

It would be good to see some serious investment in this brand and a product rethink is as necessary for Volvo as it is for any car manufacturer right now. However, I can't see Ford being the parent company that puts the required effort in to revitalise Volvo or it's product range.

The XC90 is a worthwhile product, if only for the fact that it is the only 7 seater in the range, but it is seriously long in the tooth and needs a major revamp already. Instead of chasing the 'premium' market and aspiring to be alternative Beemers or Audi's, Volvo should strengthen it's brand values for safety, practicality & responsibility. The world doesn't need another wannabe brand- leave that to the Hondas and the Alfas.

22 October 2008

[quote kerrecoe]Instead of chasing the 'premium' market and aspiring to be alternative Beemers or Audi's, Volvo should strengthen it's brand values for safety, practicality & responsibility.[/quote]

Completely agree. Every since Volvo ditched practicality in favour of style nobody has really known what they're about.

22 October 2008

Volvo was,is and will remain a premium manufacturer...that is totally irrelevant from their products' values.Volvo should make high quality,environmentally friendly,family oriented luxury products.It should also enhance its core values all these years;safety,reliability and practicality...by enhancing and promoting them does not mean that it cannot be a luxury brand....

22 October 2008

You obviously have a love of all things Volvo Tolis, judging from your previous posts, and I have to say I admire the brand myself. I would have to disagree with you though on the whole 'premium' thing...

The term 'premium', in the world of cars at least, refers to a perception more than any tangible quality- it's all about where people see the brand in relation to other brands. It is often (usually) little more than successful long-term marketing, for example, MB's were still considered premium in the 90's even when their product was appallingly badly made.

Pardon me Tolis, but you are wrong to say that Volvo always was a 'premium' brand. This is simply not the case- perhaps you aren't old enough to remember the 70's and 80's? Volvo has traditionally been a thoroughly middle-class brand but that doesn't make it premium.

The term 'premium' certainly is not irrelevant to their brand values and is separate from 'quality' even though it implies quality. Volvo CAN be a luxury brand if it so desires but why should it? It should be a quality product and this goes without saying.

Perhaps I should rephrase my previous comment- Volvo should stop trying to set itself up as a BMW/Audi chaser and concentrate on the qualities that made it a strong brand in the first place. It can be a DESIRABLE brand by following it's own path and enhancing it's own qualities. I think this would make it a real alternative to the usual German fare. It doesn't need to compete with them, it needs to offer something else.

22 October 2008

I've had the new shape V70 for a year having run the old model for 2 years. in total 200.000 km's trouble free motoring! I sort of prefer the shape of the old one and prefer the inerior of the new one. The idea behind this car is long distance motorway cruising and extra comfortable seats with room for bags,kids etc. To keep the same space inside and radically change car you'll have to shorten the bonnet, lift the roofline, stretch the wheelbase...and what do you get? MPV Zafira or the excellent S-Max!I used the S-Max for a week and thought it was truly excellent. However, I wanted a 5 or 6 cylinder diesel and Autobox so back to Volvo. S, if Volvo want my business at the end of the lease-make a car very similar to the S-Max,change the Grill, keep the dash from the Volvo V70, transfer D5 engine and Auto Box and install V70 seats. Surely, developement time won't take lthat ong as Volvo are still part of Ford Group. So maybe this article was just preparing us for the inevitable badge swap? Volvo V-Max 70!

22 October 2008

[quote Volvo V70]Surely, developement time won't take lthat ong as Volvo are still part of Ford Group. So maybe this article was just preparing us for the inevitable badge swap? Volvo V-Max 70![/quote]

That's about as much as we can hope for with Ford in charge...

23 October 2008

Does Volvo really need to follow the trend into niche marketing?

Everytime I read a review of the latest Mondeo estate and now the Vauxhall Insignia estate the test concludes they are fantastic family cars. In my view these verdicts are more resounding than those I read for the XC60 and its ilk.

Clearly many prefer an XC60 type vehicle because it is different but it seems to me that comes at the price of handling, ride and more particularly economy.

If Volvo would build an estate as good as the latest Mondeo and inject its brand values into that (along with the 7 seat option it is on the point of ditching) it should have a product that will sell even during an economic downturn. Any other course is a gamble which could be the end of the company.

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