Another winning combination in Volvo’s S40 range

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  • Powerful yet economical 4-cylinder engine in award-winning S40 body
  • Comprehensive list of standard equipment, including leather seats
  • New entry-level sedan in Volvo range at R215 000

Volvo Car South Africa has launched another winning combination in its popular S40 sedan range, adding a powerful yet economical 2-litre engine to the S40’s award-winning shape – with a comprehensive list of standard features that will appeal to discerning buyers in this segment.

The new S40 2.0 promises to offer outstanding value and makes the S40 range even more competitive in the segment for compact luxury sedans.

At a launch price of R215 000 the S40 2.0 fulfils the requirements of dynamic, younger customers who aspire to the Volvo brand, but expect a comprehensive and affordable motoring package.

Volvo Cars mainly aims at a target market of singles or young families – living in or around a city and with an active life. They do not need a big car, but a cool car that suits their lifestyle: social, active, busy. And they can afford to pay for a premium brand.

Value for money was an important attribute of the S40 2.4i that earned it the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists’ Car of the Year award for 2005. The same approach to offer exceptional value at the price was followed when the business case for the S40 2.0 was compiled.

This resulted in the addition of leather seats, which is also a new standard feature in the S40 2.4i, to the already extensive list of standard equipment that can be found in the S40 2.0.

This list of standard equipment includes inter alia:

  • A rain sensor;
  • Remote control buttons on the steering wheel;
  • Electronic climate control;
  • A newly designed, wider auto-dim rear-view mirror;
  • Fog lights;
  • A trip computer;
  • A Performance sound system;
  • The award-winning Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS); and
  • Full-length curtain airbags for protection in side impacts.

Added in this package is the Volvo Plan that covers all standard service and maintenance costs for 5 years or 100 000 km, whichever expires first, to ensure an enjoyable ownership experience, and three year’s Automobile Association membership for roadside emergencies.

Latest technology for a clean-burning engine
The main change in the S40 2.0 lies with the four-cylinder petrol engine that is mounted transversely and delivers its power through a five-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels.

The 1 999 cc engine, with twin overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, delivers its maximum power output of 107 kW at 6 000 rpm, and maximum torque of 185 Nm is obtained at an engine speed of 4 500 rpm.

A variable intake system and an ignition system with direct ignition coils ensures that the torque is raised within the entire engine speed register while fuel consumption is reduced. In combination with the five-speed manual gearbox the S40 2.0’s engine’s emissions falls within the strict levels set by the European IV control standards. The S40 2.0 will only be available with the five-speed manual gearbox.

A realistic fuel consumption figure of 7,4 litres/100 km was recorded in a mixed European test cycle (combination of open roads and urban traffic). That gives the S40 2.0 a long-distance range of close to 750 km with its 55 litre fuel tank.

The double platinum coated spark plugs can operate for 60 000 km before they need to be replaced, and an oil change has to be done at the regular service intervals of 20 000 km.

The cylinder block and head are light – made from an aluminium alloy – with light metal alloy pistons that are graphite coated to minimize friction, noise and vibration. The camshafts are driven by a crankshaft with a chain, which does not need replacement during the service life of the engine.

In order to allow higher power output, torque and thus improved drivability, the plastic intake manifold was given a variable length that works in conjunction with the variable intake system throttle.

At a higher engine speed of approximately 4 500 rpm, the variable intake system throttles open to ensure maximum airflow to the inlet ports. Optimum combustion is further enhanced by earlier fuel injection which already takes place on the inlet stroke.

At lower engine speeds the swirl throttle reduces the inlet ports’ cross section area to provide a swirl formation for the intake air. This swirl formation of fuel and air ensures improved ignition capacity, which leads to lower fuel combustion and exhaust emissions.

A catalytic converter, fitted directly onto the exhaust manifold, together with an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system helps to deliver cleaner emissions.

EGR technology lowers the exhaust temperature by using a valve to direct a certain amount of exhaust gases through the EGR cooler before it is recirculated to the combustion chamber. This is done to reduce NOx emissions.

Centre panel a design icon of Volvo S40
The exterior of the new Volvo S40 that was launched in 2004 in South Africa is an evolution of Volvo’s modern body design, while the interior similarly features clean design lines combined with functionality, as found in the free-floating centre stack that elegantly links together the tunnel console with the instrument panel.

The controls in the new centre stack have an ergonomic and functional design. Most are used for several functions, in a logical and convenient way. The top half of the control panel is used to operate the audio system and the optional integrated telephone, while the lower half controls the climate system.

Behind the centre stack is a practical storage compartment for personal items, easily accessible from both sides.

Cab-forward design gives spacious interior
The Volvo S40 is shorter, but wider and taller, than its predecessor, creating more interior space. The bonnet is short and there is a pronounced cab-forward profile.

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 stance, and contributes to the car’s excellent aerodynamics.

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.

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.

Patented frontal structure with several crumple zones
The Volvo S40 is a compact car with extremely high safety levels – both protective and preventive. Volvo’s intention was to reach the same high safety level as in the large Volvo models.

The frontal body structure of the Volvo S40 is divided into several zones, each with a different task in the deformation process. The outer zones are responsible for most of the deformation. The closer the collision forces get to the passenger compartment, the less the materials used deform. The intention is that the passenger compartment should remain intact in most collisions.

In order to give each zone the relevant properties, different grades of steel are used in different areas. Four different steel grades are used. In addition to conventional bodywork steel, three different grades of high-strength steel are employed: High Strength Steel, Extra High Strength Steel and Ultra High Strength Steel. The zonal system enables the collision forces to be absorbed in a highly ingenious and effective manner.

Engine bay lay-out contributes to crash safety
Since the engines in the S40, as with all Volvo models, are installed transversely, the reduced width creates greater space between engine and passenger compartment for the absorption of energy in a frontal collision.

The Volvo S40 also shares the same type of interior safety system as found on the larger Volvo models, including WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), SIPS (Side Impact Protection System), side-impact airbags and inflatable curtains.

Protection for other road users
The design of the Volvo S40 has a front characterised by clean, smooth surfaces and rounded corners. The curves and panels are shaped to help reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians and cyclists in the event of an accident. Furthermore, the front has an energy-absorbing structure ahead of the bumper so as to help reduce the risk of leg injuries.

The bonnet and front wings are designed to absorb collision energy. This helps reduce the risk of head injuries.

Stable driving properties
The body of the Volvo S40 is 68% stiffer than that of its predecessor, thanks to advanced body design. This torsional rigidity contributes to stable, predictable and consistent behaviour on the road. The car’s chassis design, with its broad track and long wheelbase, also has a positive effect on stability.

The suspension is independent all round, with spring struts at the front and a multilink system at the rear. The rear suspension provides a certain degree of passive steering to counteract any tendency to skid.

The Volvo S40 2.0 is equipped with Stability and Traction Control (STC), an anti-spin active safety system, as a standard feature. STC also comes standard with the S40 2.4i and 2.0D.

DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control), which uses inter alia the advanced braking system to correct the car’s progress and poise if there is any sign of it starting to skid, is a standard feature in the S40 T5, but can be ordered as a factory-fitted option for the S40 2.0.

The S40 has extremely powerful ABS brakes – with electronic brake-force distribution to the rear wheels and automatic panic-braking assistance – EBA (Emergency Brake Assistance). The front wheels feature ventilated discs that vary with engine power.

Chassis with large-car properties
The new Volvo S40 has been developed in the same spirit as the Volvo S60 and S80. The experience gained from the advanced Volvo S60 R formed the basis for the new compact model.

The chassis technology was also obtained from the larger Volvo models. Independent suspension with a multilink system at the rear provides a superb combination of comfort and consistent response. The wider track and longer wheelbase, compared to the previous Volvo S40 model, also contribute to the car’s stable behaviour on the road.

The steering is electro-hydraulic, with distinct and controlled steering feedback.

Careful selection of materials and technologies
As with other Volvo models the manufacturing methods for the S40, as well as the materials and substances used in its production, are selected so as to minimise the risk to health – both to production personnel and to people outside the plant.

And, as with all Volvo cars, the S40 is designed for a high recycling rate to conform with one of Volvo Cars’ core values – care for the environment. Recycled plastics are used, for example, in the S40 1.8i engine’s intake manifold.

Volvo Cars is also constantly researching new, sustainable and natural sources of materials that can be utilized and recycled without causing harm to the environment.

Adherence to this core value is also furthered by the use of the catalytic converter and the Exhaust Gas Recirculation system in the S40 in order to produce cleaner engine emissions.