Monday, February 15, 2016

Estate Planning: A Visual History of Volvo Station Wagons

When it comes to station wagons (a.k.a. estates or tourings), few manufacturers have remained as dedicated to the vehicle type—and advancing the species—as Volvo. An innovator in the realm of safety, performance, and design, Volvo claims to have sold more than six million wagons worldwide to date, a number it will add to with the debut of the all-new 2017 V90 Estate. To honor that new model, the company released a set of images of its classic wagons, so let’s take a look back at some of the high points in the maker’s long history of long-roofs.The Volvo wagon story begins with the Duett. In addition to being one of the first Volvos to be imported to the U.S., it was honored in its home country of Sweden on a postage stamp in 1997.The name Duett was reportedly chosen to play up that the vehicle could be used for work all week and then put into comfortable duty for family activities on the weekends.Note the split windshield and kickin’-rad whitewalls.Nearly 60 years after its introduction, the classic two-door Duett wagon has lost little of its appeal.With classic rear barn doors and a roof rack, it’s hard to believe that resurrected Duetts haven’t become the go-to vintage vehicle among hipper members—read: snowboard, surf, and ski enthusiasts—of the outdoor-sports community.The PV445 was replaced in 1960 by the mildly revised P210 Duett (not pictured). The very last Duett was produced in February of 1969.The P220 made its debut at the Stockholm Motor Show in February 1962, and it was a significant driver of the brand’s growth outside of Sweden.Known as the “Amazon” in Sweden, the P220 was based on 121/122S sedan and featured dramatically improved levels of equipment and refinement in comparison to its predecessor, the Duett.In contrast to the Duett’s rear barn doors, the Amazon switched to a more-traditional independent-upper-window/lower-tailgate setup. Shame.The Amazon ushered in the era of four-door Volvo wagons.Initially powered by a 109-cubic-inch inline four-cylinder, the Amazon later saw its engine bumped up to a robust 121 cubic inches.Early Amazons had drum brakes front and rear, but later models made the transition to discs.Introduced in the autumn of 1971, the 1800 ES was essentially a comprehensive refresh of the 1800 sports coupe. Known for its large glass hatch, prominent hinges, and glass-mounted lift handle, the P1800 ES exemplified the elegantly minimalist quality of Swedish design.Powered by a 130-hp 121-cubic-inch inline-four in U.S. spec, the P1800 ES offered a trio of transmission choices: a four-speed manual, a four-speed manual with overdrive, and a three-speed automatic.Unlike the Amazon, the P1800 ES featured disc brakes at all four corners.Due to its large amount of glass, including the big hatch panel, the ES model earned the nickname Schneewittchensarg, which means “Snow White’s coffin” in German.The Volvo 1800 ES was produced for two model years: 1972 and 1973. The car reportedly was discontinued due to increasingly rigorous safety requirements globally, and in the U.S. in particular, as the cost of bringing the car into compliance would have been prohibitive. According to the Volvo Owners Club, a total of 8078 P1800 ES models were built.For most Americans over the age of 40, the 245 station wagon is what immediately springs to mind when someone says, “Hey, remember that Volvo wagon from when we were growing up?”The 245 remained in production for almost 20 years, having been manufactured from 1974 to 1993.When the turbocharged version of the 245 arrived in 1981, Volvo proclaimed it to be one of the world’s fastest estates.Developed with rigorous safety requirements in mind, the Volvo 245—as well as the entire lineup of 200-series cars—allegedly were used as the standard for safety-regulation development by U.S. government authorities.The 245 received two facelifts during its two-decade run, once in 1981 and then again for the 1986 model year.The 245 also was available with a V-6 engine, although in that guise, it was known as the “265.” Diesel versions also were on the menu.Introduced in 1990, the Volvo 960 introduced a number of new safety features, including a three-point inertia-reel seatbelt and adjustable head restraint for the middle rear seat. An integrated child seat built into the rear seat’s center armrest could be specified as an option.Powered by an all-new inline six-cylinder engine, the 960 replaced the outgoing 760.The 960 received a comprehensive redesign for 1995. In addition to a new fascia, the 960 inherited the sedan’s multilink rear suspension.When the 960 went out of production in 1997, it was among the final rear-wheel-drive cars produced by Volvo.Volvo raced the 850 TR-5 in the British Touring Car Championship in 1994. The experience helped inspire the production 850 TR-5 wagon.Launched as a limited edition, the T5-R was sold in the U.S. only as a 1995 model, making it something of an instant collector’s item.With 240 horsepower, the Volvo 850 T5-R managed a 6.9-second zero-to-62-mph time, according to Volvo.Powered by a turbocharged inline five-cylinder, the Volvo 850 T5-R was available only in black or this special T5-R yellow.Yellow. Black. Wagon. What else do you need to know?---(And if you’re wondering about the recent XC70, Volvo considers it a crossover. But it’s really a wagon—just don’t tell them.)
from Car and Driver Blog

No comments:

Post a Comment