The 1997 Volvo V70 XC is a remarkable car. Built on the success of the powerful 850, the V70 XC tried to bridge the gap between comfortable station wagon and rugged off-roader, with a certain degree of success. The Volvo V70 XC integrated a simple yet highly efficient all-wheel drive system more adapted to the type of car it wanted to be off-road, and better able to channel the engine’s power on road, improving the already excellent handling. The V70 XC saw itself as the perfect remedy to the scourge of SUV’s taking over America’s roads, but quite honestly, they may have overstated their ambitions, as SUVs remain as popular today as they were 15 years ago.
In terms of styling, the V70 XC offered fatter bumpers and better road clearance to attract the off-roaders and dirt-track enthusiasts, while losing none of the creature comforts that made it so popular. It was powered by a turbocharged, five cylinder inline engine of 2.4 liters, developing 193 horsepower. It made for a lively drive, with a top speed of 132 miles per hour and a 0-60 acceleration of 8 seconds.
The 1997 Volvo V70 XC brought refinement and luxury to a market segment more used to a rough-and-tumble approach, which can in part explain its great success. The other one, in my personal opinion, is that they look really, really good. Fast and mean!