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Volvo AWD - Sticks or not?

In a message dated 97-01-24 14:14:11 EST, peterhe@microsoft.com (Peter
Henriksen) writes, regarding the higher hp new Volvo products:

<< It'll be slush only in the 193hp and 220+hp versions :-( AWD or not,
 they're only offering a manual transmission on the 168hp base models. >>

Not entirely so.  Your information is valid only for the current 1997 model
year.  Things will reportedly be different with the new cars.  During their
press conference at the recent Los Angeles, the Volvo folks confirmed that
the new C70/V70/S70 will come with manual transmission versions as well as
automatics.  Not all flavors will be available at the initial launch of the
new products (beginning early in the second quarter of this year) but there
will definitely be sticks on the high hp versions of the new cars.
 <<  I can't believe nobody has picked up on the demand for the 91 200qw
      and 95 S6 wagons and started bringing in high performance wagons
      with stick shifts. Volvo have the prefect opportunity now that Audi
      doesn't have anything in that market and they have the models in
      Europe. >>

As noted above, the Volvo boys will be looking to meet some of that demand.
 And although it isn't going to come with a stick, Mercedes-Benz will be
offering a new E320 wagon with all wheel drive in the U.S. in the Fall.  It
will also include their new V6 (replacing the inline 6) and a standard
equipment "way-back" seat for 7 passenger capacity.