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A sojourn in engineering tradeoffs.......<p>I recently purchased an 05 V70R which is in unusually good condition for its age and mileage, is well maintained and bone stock, to replace a car that was totaled when I was hit from behind at a red light. I bought the V70R under some time pressure, having driven two on brief test drives, and thought it was the perfect blend of performance and utility for me. However once I purchased the vehicle, I found myself somewhat disappointed. During normal-everyday driving the turning radius is somewhat difficult to deal with in my normal routine. I also discovered to my chagrin that the front air dam scrapes on my driveway entrance which has some pretty steep angles in it, and on the entrance to my garage, as well as the entrance to work unless I remember to ease in very carefully due to a drainage grate that is unusually low. <p>I had driven several XC70's, and thought that the turning radius was decent, or really didn't notice it, unless compared to an Outback. Almost every comparison spec I have read says the XC70 and V70R turning radius is essentially the SAME. So I was puzzled about why i didn't remember this being a problem when I had driven the XC's. <p>So I went to a local dealer and drove the same year 05 XC70. I went to an area where there was a new office park with new roads being built out to check the turning radius. First I found a three lane wide road and pulled a u-turn by first getting as far right as I could, and successfully negotiated the turn. Then I pulled into a parking lot and pulled around the island curb at the end and pulled into the first space. It seemed much more maneuverable than the V70R, but I thought it was my imagination. So I went back to the dealer, got my R and repeated the same tests. Sure enough, the u-turn required backing up part way through. When I pulled into the parking lot on the same line, I was only able to swing in the second space, not the first as the XC70 had done. This meant that the two cars had about a 5-6 foot difference in turning diameter, or 2-3 foot in radius depending on how you look at it. For the record, both have stock suspensions and tire sizes, the R has Bridgestone Pole Position's. Not huge difference, but noticeable for sure in my typical everyday usage.<p>The test drive of the two vehicles was interesting. The XC70 was obviously slower than the R overall, though I wouldn't consider it slow by any means. The XC70 actually has better torque at first off idle for about the first 1000 RPM. The R is a little slow at the same range at the very first but after that, no comparison. The suspension was the other telling difference. The R handles like on rails, however the 4c suspension can feel a little harsh at times on rough pavement. The XC has a nice compliant ride, but the handling can feel somewhat mushy when pushed a little harder and steering response is vague. The R in the same condition comes into its element. The XC70 brakes are good; the R's are smooth, perfectly progressive and stellar. In the end I wished for a combination of the two, but that basically doesn't exist. Twin sons of different mothers.<p>I have seriously considered trading the R for an XC, but would probably have to do sway bays and an IPD softloader on an XC to keep from missing the R too much. Down side is there really aren't any good shock/strut options for the XC other than stock. Though the XC70 is available in some years with the 4C, I've never seen one, and are rare enough to be nearly a non-option. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/frown.gif" BORDER="0"> I actually thought about trying to raise the R a bit (I'll pause here while the hard core R guys curse, throw things, and otherwise react.....................) but this isn't realistic either with the 4C. What I wouldn't miss about the R is the lack of ground clearance and turning radius for my particular normal use. However, if I lived on a more rural road, or where I could drive the R more in its element, I would be in heaven. <p>So I thought I would post here in case anyone had suggestions on how to build an XC70R which would be the best of both worlds for me. And also so that if someone is on the fence trying to choose between the two, this comparison might be of value. It's kind of ironic actually. I have had a number of performance cars through the years, and thought the R would be the end-all for me. But in the end, my needs have changed apparently to the point where the typical tradeoffs associated with performance cars have lesser value to me. And in my particular day to day usage, I seldom have the opportunity to have the R in its element, and its almost a crime not to be able to enjoy its potential. I hardly ever go anywhere here locally that I don't see one or more cops (a good thing actually=low crime rate). Also most anywhere I go there is moderate traffic at least. So the performance potential of the R is held in tight rein almost always, and can seldom be enjoyed or appreciated. And I find that the extra clearance and lower turning radius of the XC, coupled with a decently quick engine is something that is more attractive to me as beneficial a majority of the time, every time I drive.<p>In the end I am seriously considering trading the V70R that previously has been my dream car for some time for either an XC70 or a second XC90. I also looked at the V50 since it has exceptional turning radius, but basically its nearlly impossible to find a V50AWD T5 in a six speed. Actually the Subaru Outback XT seems like it might be a good compromise to an "XC70R" at a slightly lesser price, and more near optimum (for me) out of the box. Other alternatives might be Tribeca, or Nissan Xterra or Pathfinder if I go the SUV route.<p>Just thought my experience might be of value to others facing similar decisions, fwiw. And also so that others with more experience might see an alternative not apparent to me. Open discussion welcome.<p> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"> <p><i>Modified by Synesis at 12:04 AM 4-14-2009</i><p><br><i>Modified by Synesis at 8:49 PM 4-14-2009</i><p><br><i>Modified by Synesis at 8:55 PM 4-14-2009</i><BR><BR>
<i>Modified by Synesis at 8:56 PM 4-14-2009</i>
 

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Re: V70R vs. XC70 turning radius and clearance (Synesis)

Is AWD a must? If so, a 2004 V70AWD will give you more suspension options and a slightly better starting setup than the XC70, with the same 2.5T engine. Unfortunately, 2004 was the last year for these in the US, so you won't find one newer (sales numbers were also low, because buyers flocked to the plastic-clad XC70s).<p>You could buy back a little of the R's turning radius by going to a thinner tire (i.e. 225/45R17). You may or may not have to adjust the steering stops to allow tighter turn-in with the new rubber.
 

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Re: V70R vs. XC70 turning radius and clearance (Synesis)

Welcome to the R world of 3 pt. battleship like turns!<br>Learn to deal with it.<br>If you modded an XC, lowered it, etc the turning radius would wind up to be the SAME.<br>These cars were not designed for wide wheels and tires thus the steering stops are different and have to be adjusted WAY out to prevent rubbing.<br>Either buy an XC, chip it and install sway bars or keep the R.<br>The XC turning radius is not that great but it IS better (<B>but by no more than 2-3 ft</B>) than an R
 

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Re: V70R vs. XC70 turning radius and clearance (JRL)

Do what I did - keep the R and get the XC too.<p>Seriously, comparing the two is tough. It will come down to your lifestyle and how much you love the R. <p>Owning both I can say that I love each for what they deliver and if I had to choose one, it would be the XC. Reason being that with my family and the way my wife drives (aka rally style) the R would be a total mess is short time. <p>Making the XC into a R will only make the XC less capable like JRL said. You could chip it, DP it and exhaust it, to get more ponies but it will never handle or feel like the R.
 

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Re: V70R vs. XC70 turning radius and clearance (JRL)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>JRL</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>buy an XC, chip it and install sway bars</TD></TR></TABLE><p> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: V70R vs. XC70 turning radius and clearance (wingdo)

<br>Can anything be done to make the ride less "floaty". Figure I'll do the sway bars, but the car has a bit of "bounce" to it and the steering feels a bit vague.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: V70R vs. XC70 turning radius and clearance (ashvo)

The only shock/strut I have found for the XC70 is the Sachs unit offered by IPD, which is the same as the OEM according to other threads. Some say its worth replacing the units on higher mileage cars. However the XC70 I drove with only 26k miles was still floaty. <p>Apparently the longer range of motion demanded by the raised suspension of the XC70, coupled with a relatively low number of XC70's makes this market cost prohibitive for the aftermarket shock manufacturers. The Subaru Outback, a similarly raised version of the Legacy platform faces a similar problem. I recenty saw, though, that KYB is introducing an application of their low pressure GR-2 gas shock for the Outback, so maybe they might see similar potential in the XC70 direction. <p>Another possibility might be an adaptation of the more universal adjustable Bilstein or Rancho off-road offerings (hint, hint). I saw in one thread where someone had used coil-over units on the XC70, but this was to lower the car, and would give away the clearance of the XC70, more similar to that of an R. <p>Some of the vagueness in the steering is flex in the relatively tall sidewall of the XC70 tire, normally on a 16" wheel on most XC70's. Boston Volvo's site shows several 17" wheels for the XC70, ranging in with from 7 to 7.5 inches wide. This might allow use of a shorter side wall to make the steering feel more precise, but at the expense of ride comfort. Some have used the Pegasus wheel, but these are 8" wide, so the tradeoff there would be reduction of turning-radius, againapproaching or equaling that of the R.<p>If I got an XC70, my highest priority would be to get the IPD sway bar kit. On my test drive, curves that would be a piece of cake for the R had the XC70's tires howling in protest with pretty severe lean. The side to side motion would also get old as well. For me, the sways would be almost considered essential, and I think your money would be well spent. This would also reduce the susceptibility to cross winds that the XC70's higher profile presents. Since the suspension on the XC70 is higher, the increased leverage puts greater stresses on the suspension. For this reason replacement of the sway bar end links with heavy duty parts would be almost mandatory with any upgraded sway bar, since it is already a weak link on the cars with normal height geometry. <p>So with the exception of the sway bars, the mods that might make the XC70 handle better require tradeoffs that would move it toward the engineering tradeoffs chosen for the R, and compromise clearance and turning radius, as observed by JRL. It's almost like he might have done some of this before. <p>Unless I could find that mythical XC70 with a 4C suspension, this all has me considering an Outback as a potentially better blend of trade-offs for my particular needs - maybe with some of those KYB's. Tuning Subarus is apparently a logical growth path for IPD, so I think I'm not the only one that has walked down this path and couldn't find an XC70R. And not the only one with a Subaru on one side of the garage and a Volvo on the other.<BR><BR>
<i>Modified by Synesis at 12:41 AM 4-17-2009</i>
 

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Re: V70R vs. XC70 turning radius and clearance (Synesis)

Here's my XC70 with some R goodies.. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <br>With the MTE Stage 3+ tune, it'll give a Stage 1 V70R GT a good run for its money. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>The good thing about the Coilover suspension is that you have a stiffer setup and also the choice to lower it or raise it back up to stock height whenever you feel like it. <p>And FWIW, the turning radius are the same with the 3 following suspension setups on my XC70:<br>- Stock XC70 ride height<br>- Lowered with V70R springs<br>- Lowered with coilover (2.5" drop) <p>And same with the following tire setup that I've used, they are almost identical. (My parking spot is a solo spot that requires a 90 degree turn, so I pay a lot of attention to turning radius)<br>- Stock 16" Tellus w/ 215/65/16<br>- 18" Pegasus w/235/50/18<br>- 18" Pegasus w/245/45/18<br>- 19" IWC w/245/40/19<p><IMG SRC="http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o12/ifnt420/IMG_6500Large.jpg" BORDER="0"><p><br>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: V70R vs. XC70 turning radius and clearance (ifnt420)

<br>So you have a coil-over unit you can run at stock height? Can you give more details on the coil-over unit you are using? I hope you are not going to give a part that is unavailable in the USA.<p>Your comments on how the use of Pegasus wheels did not result in a reduction of turning radius has me puzzled the as to why the difference in the XC70 and R. I wonder if it has to do with Brembo brake setup? <p>The potential to use 17" or 18" Pegasus wheels with a more responsive tire, and coil-overs at stock XC70 ride height sounds pretty interesting. Just to confirm, have you done that exact combination with no wheel well clearance problems? <p>How do the spring rates for the coil-over compare to stock specs? Are the dampers adjustable? If the spring rates are higher than stock, are the stock sway bars then adequate with the cumulative increased spring rate, or have you changed them as well?<p>To be frank, I had seen your post but dismissed it because I assumed you had used the coil-over primarily to reduce ride height, which I was not looking to do. Your solution offers the possibility of dialing in in exactly what you need for a given condition, and being able to change it when desired. Oh, the other thing...what is the cost on the coil-over unit? <p>Reference: <A HREF="http://forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread?id=114069" TARGET="_blank">http://forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread?id=114069</A><p>Thanks for sharing. <br><BR><BR>
<i>Modified by Synesis at 7:25 PM 4-17-2009</i>
 

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Re: V70R vs. XC70 turning radius and clearance (Synesis)

I'll answer in your questions below:<p>So you have a coil-over unit you can run at stock height? Can you give more details on the coil-over unit you are using? I hope you are not going to give a part that is unavailable in the USA.<p>- They are custom made locally, I'll inquire if they are willing to export; but it would be better if you add the damper adjustability also, since I'm not sure what kind of ride you like. <p>Your comments on how the use of Pegasus wheels did not result in a reduction of turning radius has me puzzled the as to why the difference in the XC70 and R. I wonder if it has to do with Brembo brake setup? <p>- No, it's the wheel stopper on the control arms that the R uses. They prevent the wheel from turning all the way. <p>The potential to use 17" or 18" Pegasus wheels with a more responsive tire, and coil-overs at stock XC70 ride height sounds pretty interesting. Just to confirm, have you done that exact combination with no wheel well clearance problems? <p>- Yes, I'm even running a 10mm spacer in the rear with the 18" Pegs. Absolutely NO wheel well clearance problems.<p>How do the spring rates for the coil-over compare to stock specs? Are the dampers adjustable? If the spring rates are higher than stock, are the stock sway bars then adequate with the cumulative increased spring rate, or have you changed them as well?<p>- The spring rates are Heavier (We measure in KG), and the fabricators can make the coilover damper adjustable too. And I'm using upgraded VST sway bars, so I can't comment on the stock sways performance with the coilover. <p>To be frank, I had seen your post but dismissed it because I assumed you had used the coil-over primarily to reduce ride height, which I was not looking to do. Your solution offers the possibility of dialing in in exactly what you need for a given condition, and being able to change it when desired. Oh, the other thing...what is the cost on the coil-over unit? <p>- They cost was around ~US$1500 (with current exchange rate); the beauty of having custom coilover is that you can setup your suspension just way you like it, ride height, damping, spring rate... etc. <p>Hope this helps! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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A sojourn in engineering tradeoffs.......<p>I recently purchased an 05 V70R which is in unusually good condition for its age and mileage, is well maintained and bone stock, to replace a car that was totaled when I was hit from behind at a red light. I bought the V70R under some time pressure, having driven two on brief test drives, and thought it was the perfect blend of performance and utility for me. However once I purchased the vehicle, I found myself somewhat disappointed. During normal-everyday driving the turning radius is somewhat difficult to deal with in my normal routine. I also discovered to my chagrin that the front air dam scrapes on my driveway entrance which has some pretty steep angles in it, and on the entrance to my garage, as well as the entrance to work unless I remember to ease in very carefully due to a drainage grate that is unusually low. <p>I had driven several XC70's, and thought that the turning radius was decent, or really didn't notice it, unless compared to an Outback. Almost every comparison spec I have read says the XC70 and V70R turning radius is essentially the SAME. So I was puzzled about why i didn't remember this being a problem when I had driven the XC's. <p>So I went to a local dealer and drove the same year 05 XC70. I went to an area where there was a new office park with new roads being built out to check the turning radius. First I found a three lane wide road and pulled a u-turn by first getting as far right as I could, and successfully negotiated the turn. Then I pulled into a parking lot and pulled around the island curb at the end and pulled into the first space. It seemed much more maneuverable than the V70R, but I thought it was my imagination. So I went back to the dealer, got my R and repeated the same tests. Sure enough, the u-turn required backing up part way through. When I pulled into the parking lot on the same line, I was only able to swing in the second space, not the first as the XC70 had done. This meant that the two cars had about a 5-6 foot difference in turning diameter, or 2-3 foot in radius depending on how you look at it. For the record, both have stock suspensions and tire sizes, the R has Bridgestone Pole Position's. Not huge difference, but noticeable for sure in my typical everyday usage.<p>The test drive of the two vehicles was interesting. The XC70 was obviously slower than the R overall, though I wouldn't consider it slow by any means. The XC70 actually has better torque at first off idle for about the first 1000 RPM. The R is a little slow at the same range at the very first but after that, no comparison. The suspension was the other telling difference. The R handles like on rails, however the 4c suspension can feel a little harsh at times on rough pavement. The XC has a nice compliant ride, but the handling can feel somewhat mushy when pushed a little harder and steering response is vague. The R in the same condition comes into its element. The XC70 brakes are good; the R's are smooth, perfectly progressive and stellar. In the end I wished for a combination of the two, but that basically doesn't exist. Twin sons of different mothers.<p>I have seriously considered trading the R for an XC, but would probably have to do sway bays and an IPD softloader on an XC to keep from missing the R too much. Down side is there really aren't any good shock/strut options for the XC other than stock. Though the XC70 is available in some years with the 4C, I've never seen one, and are rare enough to be nearly a non-option. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/frown.gif" BORDER="0"> I actually thought about trying to raise the R a bit (I'll pause here while the hard core R guys curse, throw things, and otherwise react.....................) but this isn't realistic either with the 4C. What I wouldn't miss about the R is the lack of ground clearance and turning radius for my particular normal use. However, if I lived on a more rural road, or where I could drive the R more in its element, I would be in heaven. <p>So I thought I would post here in case anyone had suggestions on how to build an XC70R which would be the best of both worlds for me. And also so that if someone is on the fence trying to choose between the two, this comparison might be of value. It's kind of ironic actually. I have had a number of performance cars through the years, and thought the R would be the end-all for me. But in the end, my needs have changed apparently to the point where the typical tradeoffs associated with performance cars have lesser value to me. And in my particular day to day usage, I seldom have the opportunity to have the R in its element, and its almost a crime not to be able to enjoy its potential. I hardly ever go anywhere here locally that I don't see one or more cops (a good thing actually=low crime rate). Also most anywhere I go there is moderate traffic at least. So the performance potential of the R is held in tight rein almost always, and can seldom be enjoyed or appreciated. And I find that the extra clearance and lower turning radius of the XC, coupled with a decently quick engine is something that is more attractive to me as beneficial a majority of the time, every time I drive.<p>In the end I am seriously considering trading the V70R that previously has been my dream car for some time for either an XC70 or a second XC90. I also looked at the V50 since it has exceptional turning radius, but basically its nearlly impossible to find a V50AWD T5 in a six speed. Actually the Subaru Outback XT seems like it might be a good compromise to an "XC70R" at a slightly lesser price, and more near optimum (for me) out of the box. Other alternatives might be Tribeca, or Nissan Xterra or Pathfinder if I go the SUV route.<p>Just thought my experience might be of value to others facing similar decisions, fwiw. And also so that others with more experience might see an alternative not apparent to me. Open discussion welcome.<p> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"> <p><i>Modified by Synesis at 12:04 AM 4-14-2009</i><p><br><i>Modified by Synesis at 8:49 PM 4-14-2009</i><p><br><i>Modified by Synesis at 8:55 PM 4-14-2009</i><BR><BR>
<i>Modified by Synesis at 8:56 PM 4-14-2009</i>
"XC70R!!!" LOVEit - thought the same thing all along, yet had never Typed it Out Loud -so, Well Put there, mHmm ;-}

Yep, yep, yep- over & over: "Agreed/ Lived with/ STRUGGL'D With/ Pondered all much of the same. Chk THIS:
***
"Be prepared for Yacht-like turning radius, & much embarrassment in parking lots... so wear comfortable shoes & park far away" -{a quote I'd found of the turning radius albatross in the Rmodel}-

. . . & Here's Why: it's the HD axles- more specifically them Beefy CV Knuckles with just a few degrees less of turn... multiplying that end result,,, to a minimum of "Your 2nd Parking Spot" out there in your abandoned testing facility.

.........We love, LOVE our Rs & the shocking threat we pose to the unwary M3s
- but yes, we all have learned - - - each of us, with our chosen Rmodel Comfy Shoes.
~M~
 
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