Rumors about the all-terrain vehicle of the Swedish company Volvo have been circulating in the foreign press and various interviews of responsible persons for about two years now. And therefore, his appearance should not be something unexpected.

Alexander KRASNOV

Author's drawing

Automotive specialists and historians are aware of many all-wheel drive special Volvo cars, let's say, a featherweight class, which today could well compete with any of the most sophisticated off-road vehicles. These are representatives of the TPW series of 1943, the TR of 1950, and some others. There is nothing to say about army all-wheel drive technology - many of the copies at the age of 40 years and more are still in operation! As you can see, the experience with Volvo in this area is quite rich. And all-wheel drive cars of recent years have allowed the company not only to expand the range, but also to declare itself as a potential manufacturer of high-class off-road vehicles.

However, at the Geneva Motor Show this year, only one of the new passenger SUVs, built on the platform of the S60 / V60 model, is presented. A full-fledged jeep will appear only in a couple of years. Work on this car began more than a year ago. The project is encoded by the “X1 +” index.

What is the future off-road vehicle? First of all, we note its significant structural difference from the “Ford” brothers - the carrying body. Such a design can significantly reduce weight and simplify the process, and therefore reduce the cost of the car. The rejection of the frame should not weaken the body and its operational capabilities: the bottom “X1 +” has two developed subframes (front and rear) to which the main components and assemblies are attached.

Another significant difference from the "Americans" - the rejection of springs, springs and torsion bars in the suspension. The role of the elastic elements will be assumed by pneumatic cylinders, which, in addition to their direct functions, allow you to stepwise change the ground clearance. A switch on the console instructs the actuators, and the car can occupy three different positions relative to the road surface. The adjustment range is 75 mm. Such a suspension, providing high comfort, also allows you to change the pressure in the “on-board” cylinders with sharp rolls of the car in turns at high speeds, and this significantly increases safety. Fluctuations will extinguish gas-filled shock absorbers.

Externally, “X1 +” will be similar to the current flagship of the lineup - the representative “Volvo S80”. The bodywork can be either five-seater with two rows of seats, or seven-seater with three rows. The legendary safety of Swedish cars is “reinforced” in the “X1 +” by side diagonal inflatable elements. There is no need to talk about more familiar pillows. The power scheme of the body will allow you to distribute in the right directions the energy of strong side or frontal impacts.

In the transmission, we will not see a viscous clutch or mechanical interaxle differentials with locks - the all-terrain vehicle will be equipped with an electronic system similar to the Mercedes ETS, which monitors the rotation speed of each wheel and instructs the brake mechanisms to brake the stalled wheel, redistributing the torque. The electronic traction control system allows differentials to do without locks.

There are two engines for the new all-terrain vehicle prepared: a six-cylinder in-line with a volume of 2.9 liters and a capacity of 205 liters. with. and he is in the version of "Twin Turbo" (272 hp.). Interestingly, the location of the engines under the hood is transverse.


Volvo has no direct “paternal” (or “maternal”?) Line. All-wheel drive “feather-wheels” of the TPW and TR series do not count - they were all the same for special purposes. Army equipment - even more so. The closest relatives of the novelty in the past are station wagons, by the way, glorifying the company no less than passive safety devices.

Model 445/210 was built on the basis of the PV44 sedan in 1949. The original body attracted buyers, although many recognized the significant inconvenience of having only one pair of passenger doors - in front. However, the fashion for such bodies, and with them for a more active (mobile) lifestyle, has not yet arrived, and business and practical people are usually not comfortable: more would go into the trunk … By the way, about comfort: “Volvo 445/210 "was first equipped with a standard heater. For 20 years (!) Wagons rolled off the assembly line, gaining more and more fans not only in Europe but also overseas: with this model, the quite successful export of Volvo to America began.

The successor - the P120 model appeared on the market in 1962. The new station wagon finally received an additional pair of doors and its own, very memorable name, "Amazon." The model had a carrying body and - for the first time in the world - full-time seat belts for rear passengers.

The premiere of the epoch-making Volvo 142/144 took place in 1966. Why epoch-making? In less than a decade, the model’s production exceeded 1.3 million. The successful design was only slightly updated with “cosmetics”, and very often. The picture shows the 145 model of 1968.

In 1975, a new model appeared - 240. The body externally remained almost the same (look at least at the sidewall), but the bearing part and suspension changed, which provided an even higher level of comfort and safety. The station wagon with the interior of an expensive sedan provided the buyer with a truly fantastic luggage rack: in Europe, it was time for family cars suitable for long-distance travel. The Americans, who already know firsthand the Swedish brand, did not disregard the novelty. Soon there was a variant with a six-cylinder engine, another front end solution and index 265.

Series 740/760, published in 1982, raised to the dignity of its predecessor. The salon acquired an air conditioning system, the body - a new power safety cage and natural ventilation for inaccessible cavities. In 1990, the "seven hundredth" was replaced by even more luxurious "nine hundredth" models (the picture shows the 940 Estate version), and in 1995 the all-wheel drive station wagon Volvo 850 (850AWD) debuted, marking the beginning of a whole galaxy of analogues from different firms.

The latest innovation, the Volvo V70 XC Cross Country, has essentially become a transitional step from a station wagon to a full-size SUV. Increased by 25 mm ground clearance, "jeep" attributes, a somewhat aggressive look, combined with traditional reliability and a high level of passive safety - an excellent "cocktail" for lovers of difficult roads and just directions …

Volvo 210, 1949

Volvo Amazon, 1962

Volvo Amazon, 1962

Volvo 245DL, 1975

Volvo 265DL, 1977

Volvo V70 XC AWD Cross Country, 1999