Yamaha V8 for the Volvo SUV

XC90 will be fitted with the 330 HP engine at the beginning of 2005 -- small off-roader will follow in 2008

Gothenburg. At the beginning of 2005, Volvo will offer the XC90 with a 330hp engine with eight cylinders for the first time. The Swedish Ford subsidiary is using an engine designed by Japanese manufacturer Yamaha, which also will manufacture the engine. Yamaha also supplies Lexus. The engine will later be used in other models.

Customers -- particularly in the U.S. -- demanded a high-torque engine specifically for the XC90. Volvo expects an annual sales volume of 20,000 units in the U.S. Forecasts for German sales are much more modest: a volume of only 750 units of the XC90 with a V8 engine is expected.

Despite the parent company's strict austerity program, the Swedish company continues to push forward. "By 2008 we will have renewed and expanded our complete product portfolio," said Michael Gerber, head of product marketing at Volvo Germany. By the end of June the medium sized sedan S60 and the station wagon V70 will get a facelift. The four-wheel model XC70 will also be slightly restyled.

At the end of 2005 a variation of the S40 with a folding hard top will become the successor to the C70 convertible. In 2006 a new model will replace the Volvo flagship S80 and a new bottom-of-the-range model might also be launched.

Currently, the design team in Gothenburg is working on a coupe-like, compact three-door model, the design of which is based on the "Safety Concept Car," which was presented at the Detroit Auto Show two years ago. The facelift for the XC90 is planned for 2007.

According to Gothenburg, no additional compact SUV is expected before 2008.

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