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Performance Specialists Since 1963

Volvo XC70 (P2)

2001-2003 V70XC - 2004-2007 XC70 - P2 Platform - 2.4T, 2.5T, Ocean Race

These days, an XC70 is almost the archetypal "soft roader" or "tall wagon", but the market was a brand new space in the late 90s. The first-generation, P80 V70-based V70 XC proved to be an unexpectedly strong seller for Volvo, despite the P80 platform's age. With the launch of the upcoming P2 platform (including a new, P2-based V70 midsize wagon), Volvo's engineers knew the next V70 XC would be a hit...if it was well-executed.

The resulting new car, branded the V70 XC at its launch in 2001, was a more thorough transformation from its standard V70 bones:

  • Over 8 inches of ground clearance (compared to the prior P80 V70 XC's 6.5)
  • Unpainted plastic front and rear bumpers, including special lower bumper guards
  • 5-speed AW50-55 automatic transmission and (in the USA) "white block" 5-cylinder light-pressure turbocharged engines
  • Standard AWD
  • Unique exterior and interior trim

The viscous coupler AWD system, developed for Volvo by transmission and driveline specialists GKN, was meant to be a simple and maintenance-free system. In practice, however, the plates within the viscous coupler could fail, and the special dilatant fluid which thickens when the front and rear axle plates spin at different speeds would "shear down" over time, becoming thinner with age and causing slower and less consistent lockup in low traction situations.

In 2003, Volvo partnered with Swedish company Haldex Traction to remedy the shortcomings of the VC AWD system. This new Haldex AWD system used a multiplate clutch and the car's own ABS system: when the ABS wheel speed sensors detect the front wheels are spinning faster than the rears, it opens valves in the Active On-Demand Coupling ("AOC") and pressurized oil clamps down on the clutch to transfer power. This system was not only more reliable than the VC, but much faster as well, with the electrohydraulics able to pull wheel slip data off the P2's CAN-BUS high speed data network and fully engage the clutch within 1/4 of a wheel revolution.

In addition to Haldex, 2003 brought other changes to the V70 XC, such as a name change to XC70 (slotting it below the new XC90 SUV), a new 2.5L light-pressure turbo using a less troublesome Bosch throttle body, and some minor styling improvements.

Despite the nameplate change, at IPD we consider the V70 XC and the XC70 to be the same car, and we refer to even the early 01-03 V70 XCs as XC70s for simplicity's sake. 

This was a very popular car for Volvo, and in addition to the thousands of standard versions still plying roads and trails today, a few special cars have come out over the years, such as the Ocean Race edition in 2002 (and again in 2005-2006), commemorating Volvo's sponsorship of a 38000-mile sailing regatta of the same name. These all came in a special blue paint, had special badges and trim, and carried every available option in the XC70 sales brochure.

In 2005, Volvo partnered with IPD to build our own special XC70, designed to tackle any terrain out there. With huge tires and wheels, air suspension, body reinforcement, and a tuned V70R engine putting out over 400hp, this XC70 All Terrain wowed the crowds at SEMA and other shows, before retiring to Volvo's museum in Gothenberg, Sweden in 2007.

2007 would be the last year of production for all XC70s, with its P3-based replacement going on sale for model year 2008. The tall wagon, which the P2 XC70 typified more than any other car, remains one of the things that Volvo does best.

  • Based on Volvo P2 platform
  • Sold in the USA from 2001 through 2007 model year
    • Badged "V70 Cross Country" & "V70 XC" from 2001-2003
    • Badged "XC70" from 2004-2007
  • Four door lifted, crossover-style wagon, in the same class as the Subaru Legacy Outback or Audi Allroad
  • USA models have 5 cylinder light pressure turbocharged engines
    • B5244T3 "2.4T" (with Magnetti Marelli throttle bodies) in 2001-2002
    • B5254T2 "2.5T" (with Bosch throttle bodies) from mid-2002 onwards
  • USA models were AWD (All Whee Drive) and have AW50-55 automatic transmissions
    • Viscous coupling AWD from 2001-2002
    • Haldex AWD from 2003-2002

Model information is based on the USA vehicle market. Other model variations may exist outside the USA.

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