Steve Harper, chief platform designer for Volvo's most important range of cars-the mid-size S60 sedan and V70 and XC70 wagons-calls the 2005 model year changes "toning up." It's a novel spin on the phrase "mid-cycle freshening," but he has a point because all three cars look as if they have been for a bit of a workout.
The S60 in particular looks more muscular, with new front and rear bumpers, new head- and taillamps, and a more aggressive black egg-crate grille. Eighteen-inch wheels and tires are optional on U.S. market S60s, and there is a body kit available for turbocharged S60s. The V70 also has new lamps and bumpers. Volvo has affixed additional chrome to the grilles and bumpers, although the effect is more Harley Earle than Arne Jacobsen. The XC70 has a new grille, new wheels, brushed aluminum roof rails, larger door mirrors, and different bumpers containing extended front and rear skid plates that look like upturned silver tongues.
Inside all the cars, the door grab handles have been reworked, there are new seats that have a greater range of movement, the center console has been revised, and the radio has controls that are slightly more intuitive than the outgoing model's. The XC70's center grab handle is now made of real aluminum. All of the cars have a multi-functional center armrest that will appeal to pack rats everywhere.... Read full article