August 27, 2003
New Volvo S40 unveiled
Goteburg, Sweden – Volvo Car Corporation has released the first photographs of its new entry-level model, the Volvo S40 sedan. The new Volvo S40 will make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The new S40 features a new interior design, more safety features, and powertrains that include 5-cylinder engines and all-wheel drive.
The sporty Volvo S40 is the first entirely new model from Volvo Cars since the introduction of the XC90 sport utility vehicle (SUV). The new Volvo S40 replaces the current model with that name, first launched in Europe in 1995 and introduced to Canada in 2000. The new S40 will be the entry-level model in the Volvo S (for sedan) range, and will take its place beside the Volvo S60 and S80 models.
“With the new Volvo S40, we offer our customers traditional Volvo virtues in an entry level sedan,” says Hans-Olov Olsson, Volvo Cars president and CEO, “This, combined with an exciting design and exceptional road manners, makes the new S40 a highly potent challenger in this segment.”
Expanding the appeal of the Volvo brand to younger buyers is an important part of the company’s strategy, and a sporty entry level model must appeal to young buyers.
The exterior design of the new S40 is a modern evolution of the company’s traditional design. The interior has a slim, free-floating centre console – the first of its kind.
“The centre console is a design icon for the new Volvo S40,” says Henrik Otto, Design Director of Volvo Cars. “We intend to pursue our own course as innovators in the design world, not look at what our competitors are doing. It’s far more valuable to keep an eye on what they’re not doing.”
Volvo Cars continues its use of high-tensile steel in the new S40. In the frontal structure, four different grades of steel are used in a high-tech interplay that provides maximum safety for the car’s occupants. “Naturally, our goal is that the new S40 should be the safest car in its class, offering the same safety levels as our larger models but within more compact dimensions,” says Olsson.
The new Volvo S40 will be introduced with a choice of engines, with the 220 horsepower 5-cylinder T5 model topping the range. A version of the S40 T5 will also be offered with electronically controlled all-wheel drive (AWD), and 6-speed manual gearbox.
The new S40 will be built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium, which has been recently revamped and modernized at a cost of 340 million Euros. Production begins in the fall of 2003.
Cars are expected in Volvo Cars of Canada dealerships in the summer of 2004. Prices have not been announced.
The new S40 will be followed by the Volvo V50, a sportswagon destined for showrooms later in 2004.