In the spring of 1997, Volvo S70 was launched as a premium midsize sedan. It was the one of the two models released (the other one is V70 station wagon) by Volvo after they pulled out the 850 from the production line. The S70 is basically an 850 with some improvements. It has a new styling and better suspensions. At first, the S70 is offered in Base, GLT, and sporty T5 versions, all front wheel drive, and in V70 R and XC (Cross Country) wagon form with all-wheel drive. An AWD GLT sedan joined the lineup in 1999. The engine is capable of producing 236 to 247 horsepower in an R wagon. Features include electronic brake modulation to help optimize performance in normal stops, traction-control system with throttle and brakes intervention, starter interlock for manual transmission and "adaptive" shift logic for automatic, and an engine immobilizer. An intelligent dashboard airbag that deploys and matches the road speed and belt use is included. All these are new or became standard in the S70.
The base model was powered by a 2.4-liter dual-overhead-cam 5-cylinder engine with 168 horsepower. The GLT had the same engine in a turbocharged version capable of producing 190 horsepower. T5 and R used a 2.3-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder. Only Base and T5 models were available with either 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission; the rest were automatic.
The 2000 model year of the S70, the base AWD and T5 versions were dropped. The R AWD engine was improved to 261 horsepower in the same year. Safety features were also improved with the addition of the Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) seat technology to provide protection in the front seat in a rear impact. Volvo also adds Stability and Traction Control (STC) and RACS traction control technology with Dynamic Stability Control.
With these improvements, the Volvo S70 performs well both in fast and normal speeds. The ride is stable and the comfort is top notch depending on models. Is has a good acceleration for turbo models though road noise is significantly noticeable. Climate and radio controls are easier to use and other gadgets like power windows and door locks switches are located on the door armrests for better control. The S70's last model year was in 2000 but the model, with a brand name that is known for its durability and power, continue to perform on the road. And after 5 years, the S70 is still a mark of excellence as other Volvo models.