December 5, 2003

Volvo reveals new V50 sportswagon

The new Volvo V50 sportswagon will make its debut in Canadian showrooms in the fall of 2004.

2005 Volvo V50
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“The new 2005 Volvo V50 is a genuine premium car, with properties that appeal directly to young families on the move,” said Paul Cummings, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. “And, of course, being a Volvo, it offers outstanding safety features that are essential for young families.”

Volvo Car Corporation’s target is to sell 74,000 V50s a year worldwide, with 1,000 vehicles destined for Canada. Prices for the V50 range will be released closer to the cars’ appearance in retailers’ showrooms.

The V50 will be assembled at the recently upgraded Volvo Cars plant in Ghent, Belgium, along with the new S40 four door sedan. At full capacity, the Ghent plant will be Volvo’s largest manufacturing unit with annual production of 270,000 cars.

To gain more cargo space, the five-door V50 is 46 mm longer than the new S40. The track and wheelbase have also been extended, virtually putting a wheel at each corner.

2005 Volvo V50
Click image to enlarge

The Volvo V50 takes a new approach to interior design with a unique stand-alone, free-floating centre stack. An innovation in the auto industry, the design was developed specifically for the Volvo V50 and S40 following its recent preview in the Volvo VCC (Versatility Concept Car).

The top half of the control panel operates the audio system while the lower half controls the climate system. The audio system can be specified with the Dolby Surround Pro Logic II, the same level of high-class car audio technology introduced in the Volvo XC90.

The V50 will be powered by a new generation of low-friction, five-cylinder engines that are considerably lighter and more compact than previous engines of the same displacement. Their design and light weight allowed Volvo engineers to enhance the sportswagon’s performance, driveability, interior space and crash safety.

Volvo Cars of Canada will offer two versions of the new engine family. The standard engine is a 168-horsepower, 2.4-litre, normally-aspirated version producing 166 ft-lbs of torque. It will be mated to either a new 5-speed manual transmission or an optional
5-speed automatic with Geartronic.

The high-performance Volvo V50 T5 will be powered by a 218 horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-litre engine putting out 236 ft-lbs of torque. The T5 will be offered with either a 6-speed manual transmission developed for the Volvo S60 R and V70 R or a 5-speed automatic with Geartronic sequential shifting. The T5 can also be ordered with electronically-controlled all-wheel drive.

2005 Volvo V50
Click image to enlarge

“The new Volvo V50 has very high safety levels, both active and passive,” says Cummings. “Our aim is to attain the same high safety level as in the Volvo S80 and XC90, which is very high indeed.”

The front body structure of the Volvo V50 is divided into several zones, each with a different role in the deformation process that absorbs forces in frontal crashes. The outer zones are responsible for most of the deformation. The closer the collision forces get to the passenger compartment, the less the materials deform. To give each zone the appropriate crumple properties, different grades of steel are used in different areas. The slimmer engines create greater space between the engine and passenger compartment. In a collision, the engine can be pushed no more than 150 mm rearwards before the crankshaft is stopped by a cross-member near the bulkhead.

The new Volvo V50 also shares the same type of interior safety systems as those found on the larger Volvo models, including WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) and SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) with side-impact airbags and inflatable curtains, as well as dual-stage front air bags and three-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners. Because the Volvo V50 is 54 mm wider than its predecessor, the V40, added space is created for deformation in a side impact.

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