Road impressions

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The Volvo 760 Turbo Automatic

I drove to this year’s very enjoyable Brooklands Society Reunion at the old Track in great comfort, having previously collected from the fine new premises Volvo is building in Reading opposite the Lex Brooklands garage, a 760 Turbo Automatic saloon. Volvo has built up a reputation for rugged reliability from its family of substantial motor cars and in the 760 Turbo lntercooler it has built-in high performance as well. Assembled in Belgium from many British components, this impressive car uses the four-cylinder 2.3-litre engine turbocharged to produce 177 DIN bhp at 5,700 rpm, which gives it ;a top pace of 124 mph and 0-60 mph pick-up in 8½ sec, all in commendable hush. There is no turbo-lag as speed builds effortlessly up, nor any sense of gear-shifting on the part of the four-speed automatic transmission of this top-model Volvo. It is all very soothing, but lacking in “character”.

For cosseted comfort, however, this is a car unbeatable at the price. It comes with automatic “climate control”, two-way electric sun-roof, independently-heated front seats, electric adjustment and heating of the door mirrors, central-locking, headlamps washers, and many other very acceptable items of equipment, at the all-in price of £17,120. The leather-covered seats, the commanding view, the easy control and acceleration, make driving this Volvo 760 very easy, and although I had little opportunity to try its ABS anti-lock brakes on really slippery roads they are very powerful, for low pedal pressures. The gear­selector worked a trifle harshly, the boot is commodious, with usefully divided partitions, for all except a couple of cabin trunks, and cornering quickly produced no roll. Fuel consumption appeared to be around 20 mpg and the tank holds 82 litres. I would have liked a longer spell for fully assessing what the maker calls the “Total Car Experience” but what I saw of it was impressive. – W.B.