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Re: Volvo competing with Audi

"Sean Ford" <sean@nwh.org> writes:

>Audi guy ramblings follow...

<full disclosure> Volvo guy ramblings follow...

>Ok, we all know that Volvo has a pseudo-awd system in place now (this
>system appears to raise the ride height of the vehicle). Volvo is also
>I-5 engines. Audi wannabe? Probably, who could blame them? Over the weekend I
>came across a Volvo V70 "Cross Country" wagon. For all intents and
purposes, the
>Cross County appears to be a slightly classier Subaru Outback with the
>SUV styling (or lack thereof) cues including raising the ride height even
>than is necessary. Is this a US only model? Have we here in the States
gone so
>SUV-wacko that we want all of our vehicles to display some retarded
ancestry to
>trucks? I just can't see this Volvo playing in the worldwide markets.


You haven't been paying attention to Volvo, Sean. Volvo worked with Porsche
(and has done so a number of times) to put together a pretty sophisticated
AWD system. It's not the same as the Audi...I believe it delivers 90% of
the power to the front wheels, except when it senses slip.

The ride height and the drive system are totally independent of one
another. You can get, in Europe at least, the T-5R version with ~250 hp
with AWD, or the light pressure turbo at 105 horsepower, and the only way
you can tell the difference between the AWD and FWD cars by looks is to
peek underneath. IE, no difference in ride height.

The Cross Country certainly represents Volvo's attempt to cash in on the
Outback successes. Problem with that? 

It got Subaru so pissed off that they put together a silly little ad that
has completely backfired on them...you know, the one that has the guy on a
crawler under a car saying "wow, didn't know Volvo made an AWD wagon." And
the sales puke saying that Volvo has one model (three actually) that has
it, unlike Subaru, which as AWD on all their cars...

Only thing this ad does is tell more people that if they want an AWD Volvo,
it's available. Doh.

Drive the Volvo. It's no Outback, thankfully. The Volvo is a tight, well
designed, well built product. The Outback, on the other hand, is a
reasonable example of econocar frugality WRT the design and manufacturing
process. Wouldn't be caught dead in one at 100K miles, or 10K for that matter.

>I was so dumbfounded by this particular bit of product planning that I
simply do
>not see how Volvo seriously hopes to compete head-to-head with Audi. If there
>was ever a notion that a Swedish Audi was in the works, well, you can
forget it.
>The Swedes appear to be setting their sites on Fuji Industries.... fine by
>leave us alone.

Your bias is showing, dude. Volvo is simply targeting a healthy segment of
the market. They didn't announce they're building yet another SUV, right?

And WRT Volvo targeting Audi...guess you didn't see the following:

>>The Detroit News 
>>Wed, Nov 19 1997 
>>Volvo AB is planning to tackle Audi's flagship A8 Quattro and its
>>high-performance sibling, the S8, with a new range-topping, all- wheel-drive
>>sedan dubbed S100. 
>>The uber-Volvo is due in 1999 and is expected to be equipped with a
>>270-horsepower 3.0-liter six-cylinder -- essentially a revised version of
>>engine that powers the current S90 (nee 960) sedan. 

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...