Chicago Auto Show: The Volvo XC70 SR Surf Rescue Vehicle, For When Hof Isn't SoberS

Somehow we missed this XC70 SR at the SEMA show last year, overwhelmed as we were with things covered in pink carbon fiber. Unless you've passed out due to blood loss from a shark attack, you'll notice the five-inch lift and 20-inch wheels. While the XC70 SR sports the ubiquitous (on concept trucks) LED lightbar, it also features a unique and attractive set of blue strobes integrated into the fog light assembly, the mirrors and the rear light clusters. With scuba tanks, oxygen tanks, a first aid kit and a resuscitator box integrated into the rear cargo, it's all you need to save drowning tourists. We like it, but we're a little disappointed that the lifeguards won't be forced to make slow motion runs into strong headwinds in order to save us.

XC70 SR Press Release

Las Vegas, NV (October 30, 2007) - Southern California's lifeguards have been glamorized by Hollywood for decades. While they share the spirit of adventure and camaraderie, these dedicated men and women are highly trained professionals who take safety very seriously.

Guided by the surfing lifestyle and casual beach culture, the XC70 SR's brilliant yellow and red paint scheme is authenticated by Catalina Island's City of Avalon official seal. The Volvo XC70 is capable of back-country emergency duty; all-terrain victim support services and a broad array of rescue missions that are critical to those in need.

"California's picturesque Catalina Island, and its historic city of Avalon, hosts tourists and sportsmen from around the world. Its unique deep canyon terrain, remote wilderness areas, deep water coves, secluded surf spots and hard-to-reach campsites and anchorages make rescue operations a top priority," said Catalina's spokesman, Wayne Griffin. "The impressive Volvo concept model is equipped to meet the real world needs of emergency service providers in Catalina and wherever all-access, fast response vehicular support is demanded. With high service demands here on the island, a flexible use rescue unit would be an asset; this concept vehicle could realistically meet our many unique evac demands including the many surf related incidents we respond to every year," he added.

The Volvo Catalina Island Rescue unit epitomizes the company's slogan and offers rescue operations specialists a glimpse of what is possible - a safe, comfortable and capable response support vehicle from a manufacturer committed to the idea that human life is to be celebrated and preserved.

Wrapped with eye-catching Surf Rescue graphics and City of Avalon insignia, the concept model can be easily seen on a crowded beach, in deep canyon terrain or from air support equipment. It sports a custom-crafted front fascia that wears a one-off milled aluminum billet grille. Front and rear skid plates and wider wheel lip cladding has been added for extra body protection from flying sand. The new fascias also reduce front and rear overhang, thereby improving approach and departure angles.

The chassis has been lifted an additional five inches from the stock ride height for improved ground clearance. It also makes way for a massive set of custom designed 20-inch wheels and Pirelli 275/45R20 tires sporting a unique tread pattern for increased traction. The rear subframe has been beefed-up for added ruggedness with milled aluminum billet components.

True to form, the XC70 SR is topped by a unique aerodynamically designed roof-mounted emergency light bar integrated with a rescue board rack. Not only does this treatment contribute to the stunning good looks of the vehicle, it also helps to reduce wind drag by attaching directly to the XC70's OEM supplied roof rails.

When it's time to respond to a call, the driver or front passenger can activate a barrage of flashing blue strobe emergency lights. In addition to the roof, they're neatly inset into the lower front valance panel, headlight and rear combination light clusters as well as the inside rearview mirror.

Lifeguards get wet and sandy on the job so the interior has been modified for heavy-duty use - without sacrificing style. The XC70's standard front bucket and folding rear seats have been recovered in wetsuit style neoprene fabric that's custom tailored in black and gray with bright yellow inserts. Decorative interior panels throughout the cabin are tinted yellow to segue with the spirit of the exterior hue.

Bulky emergency rescue gear housed in the cargo compartment can easily be accessed via the XC70's power rear tailgate. Secured to the neoprene covered floor are two scuba tanks, an oxygen tank, a small first aid kit, a resuscitator box and a large waterproof box containing additional medical supplies and surf rescue equipment.

The XC70's 3.2-liter in-line 6-cylinder normally aspirated engine produces 235 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. It's mated to a six-speed "Geartronic" automatic transmission that enables the driver to shift manually when desired. All-wheel-drive with Instant TractionTM is standard. Electronic Hill Descent Control (HDC) uses the vehicle's brakes and engine torque to crawl in bottom gear on steep downhill slopes.


[Source: Volvo]