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Volvo Refines S40 & V50



12th October, 2007

Volvo S40

Volvo will increase the visual difference between the S40 sedan and the V50 wagon:

  • S40 front with lower, broader stance
  • New grille for V50
  • Slimmer tail lamps and new rear bumper
  • Larger and more practical storage space (front doors)
  • Scandinavian real wood inlay - Nordic Light Oak
  • No pricing change for Australia
  • Chameleon blue, Matt gold, Gekko green added to colour range
  • Trip computer added to S40 S and V50 S
  • Active headlamps available as an option across model range

A number of design cues position the Volvo S40 sedan a visual step nearer to Volvo's S80 large sedan.

"Specific to S40 and V50, we're aiming for increased differentiation between the two models. The interior refinements have focused on liberating smart storage space," says Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin.

Starting with the updated S40, the source of the inspiration can be seen clearly when the compact sedan is viewed from the front.

The new colour coordinated soft 'nose' provides a broader, lower stance thanks to a new grille with a larger Volvo Iron Mark, new headlamps and a lower air intake that sweeps across the entire front unlike the current model's three-part design.

"The new, lower and more horizontal appearance radiates smooth power. This impression is reinforced when the car is seen from the side. At the rear, it is the shape of the new tail lamps and the new bumper that further pushes the dynamic appearance," says Steve Harper, who is responsible for the design of the MY2008 Volvo S40 and V50.

Sportier V50 grille
The new black egg-crate grille with its larger Volvo Iron Mark emphasises athleticism. The new headlamps and the three sculpted lower air intakes are other details that give the new colour coordinated soft nose V50 front stronger visual presence.

"Here, we've created visual vertical elements to further emphasise the new grille," says Harper.

Slimmer tail lamps
The lower part of the tail lamp panel on both the S40 and V50 is 30 mm higher than before and the lamps themselves have an entirely new graphic layout. The brake lights are now of LED type and the position marker lamps emphasise the car's shoulders.

The new bumper features integrated reflectors in the lower corners and the lower, broader design language is supplemented with the more horizontal lines of the exhaust tailpipe.

"The improved shape and position of the exhaust tailpipes is a good example of how a little extra visual touch can create a highly potent impression," says Harper.

Freeing up storage space
When refining the interior, the design team transformed itself into something of a liberation movement for storage space.

"The criticism of the current models' limited storage space served as inspiration when the time came to sketch the new interior of the S40 and V50. We weren't entirely satisfied until we felt we had exploited every single available cubic centimetre in an efficient way," relates Harper.

The team concentrated its efforts on two areas: the door sides and the floating centre console.

The entire lower part of the front door inside panels was redesigned. The audio system loudspeakers were reshaped to free space for a new, larger storage compartment with space for an A4 format book, an upright soft drinks can or a water bottle lying down.

As an added bonus, space was also freed for an extra Dynaudio loudspeaker (only for Premium Sound), which adds even more clarity to the audio experience.

Larger and more intelligent centre console
The centre console is available in additional decor versions such as the Nordic Light Oak real wood inlay and the theme now flows smoothly with similar soft curved surfaces to the rear seat.

The storage space between the seats has been refined with the help of Scandinavian design tradition's most renowned hallmark - logical function. The handbrake has a more compact design, which in turn has freed space for more generous storage capacity within the centre console.

Sliding cover and flexible armrest
The sliding cover over the larger storage compartments, in which there are also two holders that provide secure support for large and small cups (or drink cans), is complemented by an improved flexible armrest for the driver. This also has a built-in feature that the design team playfully call the "hamburger table".

"We've utilised the small spaces that are normally covered over when they're not housing controls for options or accessories. Instead, this space has been converted into a handy compartment, for instance for a mobile phone. After all, the phone is not something we should be using while driving, anyway," explains Harper and adds: "And on the back of the console there is another little jewel: a flip-up holder for a 1.5-litre bottle within easy reach of passengers in the rear-seat."

New upholstery
New design details in the instrument panel and air vents also contribute to the interior refinement in the new S40 and V50.

Australian deliveries of the new S40 and V50 are now underway.

Other Volvo content: here.

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