Volvos are generally honest cars. Good-looking, practical, appealing, but above all honest. A Volvo is not a sports car. Volvo has never built a sports car. It has made some nice coupes and some fairly fast cars, but no sports cars.

Until now. Because according to the latest communication from Volvo's global PR outfit, Volvo does make a sports car. Is this a rare and welcome insight into a car manufacturer's future product plans? Is Volvo readying a light, smart two-door coupe for the Geneva show?

No. The car Volvo is describing as a sports car is the XC70. Now, you and I can spot the deliberate mistake: the XC70 is a tall estate with pseudo 4x4 cladding, but Volvo seems to think that it can convince us otherwise. I think at this point it's better to let Volvo use all the rope it's been given to hang itself.

"The words "sports car" can be interpreted in two different ways. You can consider the car itself as a piece of sports equipment - a sexy beast with more power and torque than most would dare to unleash. Or you can view the car as the thing that enables you and your gear to get halfway up a frozen mountain in search of an extreme challenge. As Johan Bexell, Sport Sponsoring Director at Volvo Cars says, "Volvo cars become an integrated part of your favourite adventures. That's what makes them the finest sports cars in the world."

Enough. The XC70 is not a sports car, Johan, and Volvo does not make sports cars so stop calling them sports cars. Call them nice big useful estates but do not try to convince us otherwise with your bizarre redefinitions.

And please, Volvo, credit us and everyone else who buys cars with enough intelligence to work out that you are talking rubbish. And don't ever use the phrase "sexy beast" in connection with a Volvo. Actually, don't ever use it in connection with anything because it demonstrates such a depressing lack of originality and grasp of how to describe your own product (or any product) that it makes it very difficult to take you seriously.

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