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Volvo’s All-New S40 to Showcase Ford Global Synergies

By Peter Robinson, Jul 28 2003

FRANKFURT – A 220-hp T5 version looks set to head a strong lineup when the wraps come off Volvo Cars' new S40 at the Frankfurt auto show in September.

The new S40—and next year's V50 wagon version – are the first all-new Volvo models developed since Ford Motor Co. bought the Swedish auto maker in 1999.

Ford, Mazda Motor Corp. and Volvo all contributed to the creation of Ford's new C1 platform that, at its peak, could total a massive 1.6 million Focus, Mazda3 and S40 variants annually.

Volvo's contribution to the development of the C1 is in crash performance, safety, structural design and virtual-building technology. Ford's input is in dynamics and diesel engines; Mazda in gasoline engines, powertrain and exhaust.

Commonality reaches 60% in shared components and systems, yet each brand has sole responsibility for its own styling.

Caught during hot-weather testing, a barely disguised prototype reveals the S40's new styling, similar to the S60: strongly tapered headlights and nose, powerful shoulders and high, squared-off tail.

Where the S40 differs is in a more rounded roofline that contributes to its elegant Volvo appearance. And behind the camouflage, there is a third window in the C-pillar.

Built on the same 104-in. (264-cm) wheelbase as the Ford C-Max, up 3 ins. (8 cm) on the current model for significantly improved interior roominess, the new S40 gets a strong lineup of 4-cyl. and, for the first time in Volvo's entry-level model, 5-cyl. gas engines.

They include a 100-hp and 120-hp 1.6L 4-cyl. engine; 140-hp 1.8L 4-cyl.; and 170-hp and 220-hp versions of the 2.4L 5-cyl. At launch, the car is expected to get 107-hp and 136-hp 4-cyl. diesels. The drivetrain choice includes 5- and 6-speed manual gearboxes and a continuously variable transmission.

Volvo also plans an XC50, to be positioned under the popular XC90 cross/utility vehicle, although there has been no official announcement.

The vehicle would use the same all-wheel-drive system developed for the next-generation Land Rover Freelander, which also will be built on the Focus/S40/Mazda3 platform.

And there also are plans for a convertible in 2006.

The new S40 is to be built at Volvo's Ghent, Belgium, plant and not at the Born, Netherlands, facility shared with Mitsubishi Motor Corp, now controlled by DaimlerChrysler AG.

1,134 Posts

Length: 4,42 m
Wide: 1,76 m
Height: 1,47 m
Wheelbase: 2,64 m

Golf V:

Length: 4,40 m
Wide: 1,76 m
Height: 1,48 m


Length: 4,25 m
Wide: 1,73 m
Height: 1,53 m
Wheelbase: 2,61 m

Dashbox (how do you call that?): 8 litre; biggest in its class
Luggadgespace: 300-635 litre

1.6: 105 hp - 145 Nm @ 4000rpm - 7,2 l/100 km
2.0: 150 hp - 187 Nm @ 4500rpm - 8,2 l/100 km

I'm putting the new Golf and Astra with it, because those are the newest competitors of the Mazda3 (also presented at the IAA in Frankfurt for the first time)
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