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Dec 14, 2006:
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Volvo S70 T5


Remaining as the sole survivor of the traditional boxy-Volvo lineup, the S70, more specifically the go-fast T5 version, is also the quickest car in the Swedish car maker's stable. The S part of the S70 T5's nomenclature stands for sedan, 70 is Volvo's current midsize front-wheel-drive platform while T5 represents the turbocharged five-cylinder engine under the hood. The 2.3-litre, four-valve-per-cylinder, DOHC, turbocharged and intercooled powerplant develops nearly 240 horsepower at 5100 rpm. While it gives up a little in smoothness and refinement to 6 and 8 cylinder units, the I5 engine is still a quiet cruiser and only becomes rowdy when applying a lot of throttle near the limit of adhesion in turns.

If its traditional looks imply sluggish performance, just take a look at its numbers. The S70 triumphs over both of its main competitors, the Audi A6 and Saab 95, it the 0-60mph (Audi 8.7, Saab 7.2), 1/4 mile (Audi 16.6, Saab 15.4), 60-0mph braking (Audi 131, Saab 124) and 600ft slalom departments (Audi 63.8, Saab 66.0), at a price only a few hundred dollars higher.

While the S70 is still no road-going rocket and trails similar competitors such as the BMW M3 in all performance categories, its "Who, me, officer?" styling makes for a sedan that is still a lot quicker than most people will think, it provides the standard Volvo safety features and real room for five passengers and the price is a downright bargain. This should persuade you to show some respect for the next Volvo driver you see. - by Traian Popescu

Specifications

Base Price, USD 34,010 Engine Type DOHC turbo I5
Powertrain Layout Front engine, FWD Displacement, cc 2319
Horsepower@rpm 236@5100 Torque, lb-ft@rpm 243@2100
Curb Weight, lb 3272 0-60 mph, sec 6.4
1/4 mile, sec@mph 14.9@96.7 600 ft slalom, mph 66.4
70-0 mph, ft 123 Top speed, mph 150