Swedish carmaker Volvo continued the success of the Volvo 850 with the introduction of the Volvo S70 in Europe in 1996. The foreign sedan arrived on the shores of Unites States in 1998 and lasted for two years until its final production in 2000. Although the S70 had a shorter lifespan compared to its predecessor, it was the continuation of Volvo's T5 exploration, and it had some significant innovations during its four-year existence.
1996 - 1997: The continuation of the T5 engine
From its compact and executive-styled predecessor, the Volvo S70 was reshaped into a mid-size luxury car with a new headlight and hood design. Its new interior also has dual airbags in front and on the sides. Primarily, the S70 had three trim levels: the Base, GLT, and GLT SE. The Base SE and S70-R trim levels were included later on, but the latter was only released for the European market.
Volvo continued its T5 engine exploration with the S70. The company first used a 2.4-liter double-overhead camshaft, straight-five engine on the Base model. The model was able to produce a maximum output of 168 horsepower. To top that hp output, the GLT model was released, and it had a turbocharged engine that had a 190-horsepower output. The T5 exceeded both models and produced a maximum output of 240 horsepower.
1998 - 1999: The addition of vehicle optimization features
From Europe, the Volvo S70 was introduced to the US market in 1998. The focus now for the Swedish carmaker is vehicle optimization. The new electronic brake modulation is an additional feature, along with brake intervention, and the optional traction control system for the throttle. The TRACS traction control system was offered in the US S70 models in 1999 and 2000. The Volvo S70 GL and GLT were among the first cars to have side airbags in the United States, and the side airbags have became an option for Volvo models to date.
2000: Engine modifications for better HP
In the final year of the Volvo S70, the Swedish car company released the S70-R in Europe. The S70-R's engine offered higher performance from its predecessors. It was modified to gain a 250-horsepower rating for models with five-speed manual gearbox and limited slip differential. The S70-R wasn't released in the United States, although in the same year, an all-wheel drive GLT model was finally produced. The S70 was discontinued in 2000 and was replaced by the Volvo S60.