Volvo Refines S40 & V50
12th October, 2007
Volvo will increase the visual difference between the S40 sedan and the V50 wagon:
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
"Here, we've created visual vertical elements to further emphasise the new grille," says Harper.
Slimmer tail lamps
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
"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 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
"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."
Australian deliveries of the new S40 and V50 are now underway.
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