Great looks, inspiring performance.

Boat Test #1484

Forward thinking, forward design and the forward-facing Volvo drive makes the all new Formula 270XS a boat that creates memories by providing adventure and family fun for all ages.  Whether it is slalom skiing or wake surfing the 270XS is an Xtreme tow boat for any water sport.

The 270XS has the quality, sleek design and all the amenities that you would expect from a Formula bowrider. However, it’s what’s under the motor hatch that separates this boat from all others in the market.  Volvo’s forward-facing drive hit the waters in 2017 and has been propelling forward ever since.  

Volvo’s forward drive positions the propellers away from the normally exposed position and places them under the hull of the boat.  This provides safety for swimmers and keeps the exhaust under the water away from those being towed behind the boat.  The design also produces a killer hole shot with the dual props, increases acceleration and gives you good fuel economy.  The forward design also creates a faster and tighter turning radius.  

Having tested a lot of inboard ski boats over the years and comparing them to stern drive applications, I was starting to develop the opinion that only a ski boat designed specifically for watersports would be the most effective way to get me out of the water since I am not a small guy (weighing in over 250 lbs.). In the past, stern drives have always struggled to pop me out of the water compared to an inboard, until now.  I did not personally, get in the water to test Volvo’s forward drive from the end of a rope, but from behind the wheel, there is a true difference.

The hole shot and quickness in turns felt different with the forward drive.  Even though the 270XS is a 27-foot boat, she performed and handled like a smaller version of itself. This is attributed to Formula rich history in designing responsive hulls, but also to the fact that the Volvo’s drive gives the boat a different angle of lift when coming out of the water.    

Formula’s engineers didn’t stop at the water line as the layout of the 270XS is functional, stylish and inviting for all ages.  The most notable design on the top deck is the extended swim platform gives provides skiers with more than enough room to suit up.  The large sun pad in the back is spacious and functional.  

There are two potential conversational seating areas everyone to enjoy.  The U-shaped bow can seat at least four adults comfortably and has the ability add a small round table.  The L-shaped seating to the rear also has the ability to add a table for evening cocktails or giving the kids a snack while spending the day at anchor.  

The wakeboard tower is nicely designed onto the boat and doesn’t look like an afterthought.  Home to a pair of high powered speakers and wakeboard storage on either side, the black powder coated tower has a sleek design. It is also refreshing to know that I didn’t have to duck each time I walked past the tower.    

Whether you choose Midnight Blue Metallic, Expresso, Morning Sand Metallic or Midnight Red, the choices in colours and graphics are endless to ensure that you will turn heads cruising around the lake or tied to the dock. From looks to performance, the 270 XS has the functionality and ability to create endless memories for you and your family for years to come.

By Chris Kourtakis