Undisguised new Volvo S40 pictures - SjB {P}
Just sent to me.

I wonder if someone's scanned the Volvo press release material before the press release, and posted it on the web?

www.8ung.at/werner-beinhart/ (Can be slowish, even with ADSL)

My opinions?

Well, yes, it is predictable an S60 shrunk in the wash, and the front looks a bit dumpy (may be camera angle, but should look great as a T5 on steroids), but the back is fabulous.
Very cohesive use of shape from the rear quarter light back.

The instrument shroud is too Lexus 200, and the centre console is fine apart from that horrid metal-look panel. Apparently, the reason for it is to make everything look more '3D', a theme carried out throughout the rest of the cabin which we cannot see yet.

Only other comment is on the ignition 'key'.

It looks like this is of the 'pseudo key' type as fitted to the likes of the new Benz E, and I guess it is dashboard mounted to help get four stars at NCAP. If I recall correctly, this is not allowed, regardless of how the car actually performs, when steering column mounted, because of risk to knee in a heavy collision. Apparently even not having an audible seat belt reminder automatically precludes four stars, and whether NCAP is contrived or not, it does sell cars.

Will be interesting to see what Volvo have done with the V40 replacement, the V50.

Undisguised new Volvo S40 pictures - Dan J
Already had the following but not the pictures so thanks for that SjB. As I see someone else has also managed to get hold of it on the vvspy website I reproduce it here in all it's glory. It is a Volvo corporate press release which was intended for release on the 8th September - someone accidentally uploaded it to the website and it was obviously caught before it was removed...

8 Sep 2003, IDnr. 392

The all-new Volvo S40: Innovative interior with large-car feel

• Crisp, fast lines
• Revolutionary interior design based on several layers
• Innovative upholstery inspired by sportswear accessories
• Shorter, but wider and taller than its predecessor
• Short bonnet and marked cab-forward design
• Boat profile creates a compact and athletic impression
“Ready for take-off! The new Volvo S40 is designed to express power and performance!”
These are the words of Henrik Otto, Volvo Car’s Design Director. He emphasises the crisp, sporty lines of Volvo’s new medium-size car. It is a compact four-door sedan with a dynamic design and premium-car feel.
Henrik Otto and his team obtained their inspiration from classic Scandinavian design with its clean shapes and open surfaces, airiness and intimate interplay between form and function.

Exterior evolution - interior revolution
The exterior is an evolution of Volvo Car’s modern body design, while the interior is something of a revolution. Minimalism maximises the large-car impression despite the compact exterior dimensions.
The interior is built up of several visual layers. The first layer shows as an edge trimming around the entire interior, along the side windows and the windscreen. The impression is of being safely ensconced in a cocoon.
The next layer is the instrument panel. It has a clean, uncluttered layout, with air vents and other details positioned as islands in an otherwise free area. The instrument panel has a new type of surface, a texture conveying a feel of cutting-edge technical innovation rather than classic leather-trimmed furniture. This special surface texture separates the instrument panel visually from the cabin’s outer edge trim.
The main instrument features two round gauges, surrounded by contrasting metal bezels. This design gives a sporty and three-dimensional vision.

Elegant and spacious
The most distinctive new feature in the passenger compartment is the unique, super-slim free-floating centre stack that elegantly links together the tunnel console with the instrument panel. The centre stack constitutes the interior’s topmost layer. It is further described in a separate press release.
There is another console in the roof, echoing the centre stack and continuing the theme of the car’s central nerve system.

T-Tec upholstery
The interior is available in a choice of three shades: dark grey, lava grey and dark beige. Each interior colour is available together with a range of matching upholstery colours.
Leather is one of four upholstery alternatives. The most innovative upholstery is Dala, a ribbed textile with T-Tec elements and visible light-coloured seams.
T-Tec is a material specially developed for Volvo Cars and inspired by sportswear and modern travel accessories. The contrast between T-Tec and textile - along with seams in a different but matching colour - reinforces the car’s dynamic appeal.

Fold-down backrests
The cab-forward design, the long wheelbase and Volvo’s architecture of transverse engine installation combine to give the new Volvo S40 a spacious cabin.
The cabin can be rearranged in the same flexible manner as in the larger Volvo models. The rear seat splits into two sections and the backrests fold down. The front passenger seat can also be specified in a version with a fold-flat backrest. With the seats folded down, the load floor is entirely flat.

A comet on the move
The new Volvo S40 is shorter, but at the same time wider and taller, than its predecessor, creating more interior space. The bonnet is short and there is a pronounced cab-forward profile. This eager stance, as though the car is constantly urging ahead, creates a sensation of speed even when at a standstill and at the same time creates additional space for a long passenger cabin and generous rear-seat legroom.
“Anyone looking at the Volvo S40 from the side gets the impression of a comet on the move. The gently rounded nose, the sweeping lines and the abrupt tail generate a vibrant sensation of speed,” comments Henrik Otto.
The track and wheelbase have been extended, virtually putting a wheel at each corner. This contributes to the sporty appearance and gives the car stable on-the-road behaviour. The long wheelbase also makes it possible to fit conveniently wide rear doors.

Boat shape
Viewed from above, the body resembles the shape of a boat hull, with a rounded prow, a broad midship section and a narrowing stern. Together with the broad shoulders, this hull shape forges a compact and athletic impression, and it also contributes to the car’s excellent aerodynamics.
The doors of the Volvo S40 are convex in profile, unlike the concave shape of the doors on the larger Volvo models. This convex curvature reinforces the compact appearance and enhances the cabin’s width.
The windscreen wipers are of an entirely new type, concealed under the trailing edge of the bonnet. There are turn indicator repeaters integrated into the door mirrors, easily visible from the sides.
In order to further emphasise the sporty nature of the Volvo S40, the car can be equipped with a design package consisting of more pronounced sill mouldings and spoilers.
A number of newly designed aluminium wheels are available on the options list. The sportiest wheels are 18 inches in diameter and are shod with ultra-low profile 215/45 tyres.

Exterior Sport Styling
The all-new Volvo S40 will also be available with an Exterior Sport Styling concept - special styling accessories that further accentuates the sedan model’s sporting prowess and dynamic image.
The Exterior Sport Styling concept includes spoilers front and rear, side-skirts and a bootlid spoiler - all painted the same colour as the rest of the body. A lowering kit, that reduces the height of the car with 20 mm, and contributes to the driving experience, is also included.

Genuine Volvo identity
The new Volvo S40 has a profile of its own - yet maintains a clear Volvo identity.
The grille with its familiar diagonal has a horizontal mesh pattern in a dark-grey metallic colour, echoing the Volvo S60 and S80. The bonnet has the traditional V-shape. The body’s contour lines - the classic Volvo “shoulders” along either side of the body - are also inherited from the rest of the Volvo family.
Those broad shoulders are a modern Volvo feature that signal power and safety. From the rear, the distinctive tail lamps show with the utmost clarity that what lies ahead is a Volvo.

A brief comparison
The new Volvo S40 is shorter than its predecessor, but it is larger in every other respect:
Length 4468 mm (48 mm shorter than the previous S40 model)
Width 1770 mm (54 mm wider)
Height 1452 mm (44 mm taller)
Wheelbase 2640 mm (78 mm longer)
Track front 1535 mm (63 mm wider)
Track rear 1531 mm (57 mm wider)
Undisguised new Volvo S40 pictures - J Bonington Jagworth
" Innovative upholstery "

Er, who believes this marketing drivel, apart from a few delusional execs? What this says to me is that the most interesting thing they can find to say about the car is that they have done something marginally different (and probably hideous) with the interior.

As with the Vectra indicator 'loudness' control, it simply suggests an absence of original thinking, but instead of shutting up about it and letting the car stand on its own merits, the publicity guys have to justify their existence by writing this bilge.

Why not just publish a picture and invite people who like it to come and have a drive? Curiosity usually attracts, but hyperbole invariably disappoints...
Undisguised new Volvo S40 pictures - Morris Ox
The point you're driving at, JBJ, is that there is nothing original you can say about the car. It's a compact three-box saloon with the usual suspects under the bonnet bought by anyone who drives a three-box saloon with the usual suspects under the bonnet but really wants to push the boat out a couple of inches and have a Volvo badge.

Sorry to sound so sarky, but I blathered on about this a couple of weeks back in a thread about the death-by-tedium approach of most mainstream designs.

I guess the styling is obviously Volvo in this case, but that's where the conversation about this one evaporates...

Fine car, probably better than the last one, inoffensive to look at, quiet and refined, solid and safe, not as much fun as a Focus but getting there...just some of the phrases which will be appearing in a car magazine near you.

Think I'm going to change my name to Meldrew.
Undisguised new Volvo S40 pictures - Dan J
Here we are... Volvo has now "officially" released the S40 pictures. The following comes from the company intranet but it as will be posted outside the company so I see no issues. Can't link to the photos but the ones at


are the press release photos anyway - not sure how they got them a few days early...

Anyway, as I predicted - the initial engines are all the 5 pot Volvos though note the "4-cylinder turbodiesel with a power output of 136 hp" is the Mondeo engine with different ECU mappings. Later petrol 4 pots will be similarly lifted out the Focus.

Looking forward to seeing one in the flesh!


The all new Volvo S40 – compact with full-size virtues

Volvo Car Corporation is now releasing the first photographs of its all new sedan in the compact segment, the Volvo S40.
With a revolutionary interior design, class-leading safety, plus powertrains that encompass both five-cylinder engines and four-wheel drive, Volvo’s entry-level model is taking a confident and decisive step forward.
The new Volvo S40 has its premiere showing at Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The Volvo S40 is the first entirely new model from Volvo Cars following the success of the Volvo XC90, the car that redefined the SUV segment.

The all new Volvo S40 replaces the current S40 which was launched in 1995. It will be the entry model in Volvo’s S-range, which in addition consists of the larger Volvo S60 and S80 models.

“With the new Volvo S40, we offer our customers large car benefits in a compact format. This, combined with an exciting design and exceptional road manners, makes the new S40 a highly potent challenger in this segment,” says Volvo Cars President & CEO Hans-Olov Olsson.

Expanding the brand further down the age spectrum is an important part of Volvo Cars’ strategy – it is particularly important that the entry-level model should appeal to young buyers.

“We want to attract customers into the Volvo family as early as possible, and the new Volvo S40 will definitely appeal to younger buyers,” comments Hans-Olov Olsson.

From the outside, the new Volvo S40 is unmistakeably a Volvo, a modern evolution of traditional design language.

The interior is a revolution, with a slim free-floating centre console – the first of its kind in the automotive world – creating an aura of exclusivity, simplicity and space.

“The centre console is a design icon for the new Volvo S40,” says Henrik Otto, Design Director at Volvo Cars.

“We intend to pursue our position as inaugurators in the car design world, not looking at what our competitors are doing. It is therefore far more valuable to keep an eye on what they’re not doing,” continues Henrik Otto.

In the new Volvo S40, Volvo Cars continues its ground-breaking use of high-tensile steel. In the new frontal structure, four different grades of steel are used in a high-tech interplay to provide maximum safety for the car’s occupants.

“Naturally, our goal is that the new Volvo S40 should be the safest car in its class, offering precisely the same safety levels as our larger models but within more compact dimensions,” says Hans-Olov Olsson.

The new Volvo S40 is being introduced with a choice of 5-cylinder engines with the 220 hp T5 model topping the range, as well as a 4-cylinder turbodiesel with a power output of 136 hp.

The Volvo S40 T5 can also be specified in an AWD version, that is to say with Volvo’s electronically controlled four-wheel drive, and with a 6-speed manual gearbox.

In 2004, the engine range will be supplemented with 4-cylinder petrol engines.

The new Volvo S40 will be built in the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent in Belgium, which has been remodelled and modernised for this purpose at a cost of 340 million Euros.

Production gets under way this autumn. In 2003, the new Volvo S40 will only be sold in Sweden, reaching markets in the rest of the world in early 2004.

The sales target for 2004 is 70,000 cars, of which 20,000 are earmarked for expected demand from the USA, the largest single market for the new Volvo S40.

The new Volvo S40 is the first in a range of new Volvo models sharing common technology. Next in line is the Volvo V50, a sports wagon that will reach the showrooms in the first half of 2004.

Undisguised new Volvo S40 pictures - Dan J
For anyone interested in the new S40 our new public website is up. Should get much more interesting once the car has been officially launched at the Franfurt Show...

Undisguised new Volvo S40 pictures - SjB {P}
... And a V50 picture that appears to be at a styling clinic, or similar.

Undisguised new Volvo S40 pictures - googolplex
Like most modern cars it looks like a cross between selected others in the class: think 3 series, baby lexus...know what I mean?

Value my car