Volvo Cars of North America, LLC (VCNA) will pull the wraps off two exciting new concept cars at the 2005 Specialty Equipment Market Association tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two cars explore the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of just how far vehicle design may be pushed. Painted a glittering Saffron color reminiscent of a desert sunset, the XC70 AT (All Terrain) takes the production Volvo XC70 cross over wagon to the off-road extreme. The T6 Roadster takes Volvo to the drag strip with its 1930s inspired body, wide tires and low beltline.
The XC70 AT features a 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine that is normally found in the V70 R sport wagon. But where the V70 R makes an impressive 300 horsepower, the XC70 AT, with its Garrett GT2835R turbocharger and ipd/MTE Stage III software upgrade makes 408 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. Keeping the hot-blooded engine cool is an Aquamist in-cylinder intercooling system and an extra large top-mounted intercooler. Low restriction 3-inch stainless steel exhaust pipes emit a husky sound that would be more familiar coming from a Volvo XC90 V8.
Producing an amazing 398 lb-ft of torque at a low 4,000 rpm, the XC70 AT uses the same 6-speed automatic transmission that is standard in the XC90 V8 and the 2006 V70 R. Making sure all four wheels get the most of the broad torque curve is Volvo’s legendary fully automatic all-wheel-drive system by Haldex.
New on the production XC70 for 2005 is Volvo’s remarkable Four-C adaptive chassis ride system with Sport and Comfort modes. Taking this concept to the next level, ipd developed a custom fully independent air ride suspension offering 4-inches of adjustability via dash-mounted buttons. Add in the ipd designed 4-inch lift kit and the XC70 AT can ride up to 8 inches higher than the production Volvo XC70. To keep body roll in check, ipd 25-mm front and 28-mm rear anti-sway bars have been fitted.
Additional accessories include a 1,000 generator, high-lift jack, spare jerry can and tire and remote exterior battery terminal connections.
Has Volvo gone mad? Perhaps. But that’s about the only word to describe the hand-built hotrod based on Volvo components and a twin turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine from a car manufacturer more widely known for safety and functionality. But that’s what the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer Association’s annual trade show is all about. Drop in the glittering lights and over-the-top excess of Las Vegas and suddenly the Volvo T6 Roadster fits right in.
Where you find the engine, however, isn’t under the hood. It’s in back, located just behind the supportive leather bucket seats that were also lifted from a Volvo S80. The gearbox is a 5-speed Geartronic transmission that sends the power to the rear wheels. To help keep the engine cool, the rear decklid automatically lifts when a preset temperature is reached inside the engine compartment. Up front is a small compartment containing the mechanicals for the functioning ABS brakes and the top-notch audio equipment.
The custom fabricated tubular steel frame was hand formed and utilizes rear subframes from the donor S80. Leif fabricated stainless steel A-arms for the fully independent front and rear suspension systems. Volvo C70 spindles, custom carbon-fiber leaf springs and a shortened S80 steering rack can be found up front. Around back are S80 front spindles and lower trailing arms with remote-reservoir Ohlins shock absorbers. The rear coil-over shocks, incidentally, are centrally mounted in the engine compartment. Braking up front is handled via 6-piston calipers and 330-mm discs while the rear discs are carried over from the Volvo S80. The front wheels are 8.5 inches wide and 20 inches in diameter, the rears are a full 10-inches wide and 22 inches in diameter.
Inside, the T6 Roadster looks as if it rolled off the Volvo factory line in Torslanda, Sweden. Aside from the seats, the instruments, headrests, shifter handle and pedal assembly can all be found in the Volvo S80. A steering wheel from a Volvo S60 adds a sporty look, while the instrument panel has been hand fabricated to locate the gauges centrally in the passenger compartment.
Leif began building his masterpiece way back in 1998. He placed the engine and transmission on a chassis jig in his shop and built the tubular frame around the mechanicals. The body came next. Consisting mostly of 1.5-mm aluminum, the entire car weighs just 2,400 pounds. His idea with this project was to design and build a car utilizing different Volvo forms. The rear hood is shaped like the Volvo P 1800, the rear lights like the old Volvo PV 444, the grill like the new Volvo XC70, and shape of the sides like old Volvo Amazon and the new C70, S60, S80.
“It’s really exciting to have my car on display at SEMA,” says Leif. “This is such a great show, and it’s an honor to have the recognition from VCNA. If anyone is interested in a T6 Roadster for their own garage, look for me on the stand at SEMA!”