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Confirmed: Volvo V70 Leaving U.S. This Year, Plus S40, V50, XC70, and S80 Changes
By by Stu Fowle
Mar 25, 2010, 10:52

We've heard rumblings about this for months now, but according to an official Volvo document posted at Jalopnik.com, the Volvo V70's death here in the US has been confirmed. That same document details the short-term future of a few other models as well, and we'll walk you through them all.

Starting with the V70, as we've said, it is dead, at least here in America. It's still quite popular overseas, and will carry on in other markets. The V70 was launched in 1998 as an updated, renamed version of the very popular 850 wagon. The V70 sold well, too, at least until the V70 XC was added after a short time. Later renamed the XC70, as it is badged today, that car has outsold the V70 in the States every year since 2001. While the V70 has gone on losing market share, the XC70 continues to gain it, with a current stat of 40 percent. Additions like the XC90 and now the new XC60 have contributed to the V70's downward sales spiral. Last month (Feb. 2010) Volvo NA sold 1923 combined units of the XC models, compared to just 93 V70s. That's what we call "writing on the wall." But to be fair, Volvo hasn't exactly helped the V70's case by chopping the offerings down to just one, a 3.2-liter I-6 with an automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Still, the North American V70s will cease production on May 14, with the last units expected to be gone by the third quarter. Those of you in the market should grab one soon, and you'll probably be rewarded with a great deal. Meanwhile, those of you with a V70 R-design--yes, both of you--now officially have collector's items. Be good to them.

Extending a peace offering to V70 loyalists, Volvo has decided to begin importing a simpler, less expensive front-wheel drive XC70 to our market. More information, including any possible fuel economy increases, will be announced when Volvo releases its full 2011MY change points.



On to the S40 and V50, where there's more bad news. A lot of chopping is about to happen with the small car model mix, as the non-turbo 2.4i models will be gone for 2011, along with the option of all-wheel drive and the standard manual transmission. Bummer for those looking for a budget S40, bummer for those in northern climes, and bummer for anyone who cares about driving. Rated at 21/30 mpg, the 2011 T5 will offer the same combined 24 mpg fuel economy of the 2010 2.4i, which is rated at 20/31 mpg. Like all V70s, production on 2.4i models, manual transmissions, and AWD cars will stop on May 14, 2010. There are also rumors that the V50, our market's last traditional Volvo wagon, will likely be killed next year with the arrival of a five-door C30 and XC30 counterpart. That's going to be a dark day for the brand that has kept the wagon flame burning here more than any other for so long. A V60 is in the works to join the Volvo lineup once the S60 has been released, but the odds of it coming to the US seem thinner every day.

Finally, Volvo will be killing the S80 V8 for 2011 as well. The car's T6 engine will get updated to 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, nearly matching the V8's 311 hp and equaling it in torque, making the thirstier V8 completely redundant. Unlike the other models here, you get no warning. S80 V8 production has already ceased, so if you want one you'd better head to the dealer right now. The XC90 is also offered with the V8, and will continue to be since that model doesn't offer a T6 option.

This is all pretty heavy news for Volvo fans, and we suspect that it isn't quite done yet. Expect more changes to come to light as the company prepares to announce its full list of model year changes for 2011. There might be more bad news, but we do expect that some good changes are on the way as well.


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