Demise of Volvos R Cars

By: Glady Reign

Through the years, car manufacturers have been developing high performance cars to add to their lineup. These are given different badges to indicate that these are designed for high speeds and can even perform well on race tracks. Volvo is one of these car makers which offer a high performance version of their standard models. In Volvo's case, they assigned an R for these high performance track and road cars. Sadly though, Volvo announced that they will no longer be producing these astounding R cars.

Volvo's stint in the high performance specially-badged vehicle market started in 1995 and that has been12 years ago. The R first came into being with the 850 T-5R. Just like any Volvo during that time, the first R car is boxy but it offers a high power output thus making it faster than any Volvo during that time. The first R car provides a high performance that Volvo even entered the 850 T-5R in the British Touring Car Championship. While the said R car did not achieve to get the championship at the BTCC, it marks the start of Volvo's reputation of being capable of producing track-worthy vehicles.

In 1998, the Volvo S40 R driven by Rickard Rydell won the cup cementing Volvo's name as one of Europe's top car brands.

But before the S40 R's win, the 850 R came into being. It followed the 850 T-5R as the second Volvo R car. The 850 R is made more aerodynamic than its predecessor and was made even faster. Other models which have been offered with the R badge include the Volvo S60 and the Volvo V70.

While the engines of these vehicles are smaller than the competition, Volvo made use of turbocharging to increase the power output of their R cars. For example, the current S60 and the V70 are equipped with smaller engines compared to BMW's M3 or Audi's S4 but with the high-pressure turbocharger it is equipped with produces 300 horsepower. While these R cars from Volvo offer high performance, they also give comfort to consumers. The comfortable seats can keep a passenger relaxed even on extended trips. These are also known for their high performance parts such as and other components.

One of the foremost reasons for Volvo's decision to retire the R line is due to the line's declining sales. This is evident in the case of the S60 R and the V70 R. Volvo aimed to sell at least 3,800 of these vehicles but only managed to deliver 1,600 units combined. In the United States, Volvo traditionally enjoyed good sale of these high performance cars but recently, sales are declining as consumers look for smaller cars for their next purchase.

While the R car ear for Volvo may be over, there are still high performance Volvo cars even without the R badge. Volvo is still using turbochargers on their vehicles which provide a good power output. Aside from turbochargers, Volvo is now offering select models that are equipped with V8 engines.

Volvo's Chief Executive Officer Fredrik Arp said that while they are still developing performance models, consumers should not expect a car similar to the R line to roll out of their factories in the upcoming months.

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