S40 and V50 combine fuel economy and a premium drive with Volvo’s new Powershift gearbox

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Rising fuel costs, increasing traffic congestion and a growing emphasis on efficient, smaller engines with clean emissions are all reasons why the new Volvo S40 and V50 2.0D Powershift models are perfect motoring packages.

The addition of the 6-speed Powershift gearbox, which offers the features of an automatic transmission, but with the performance and fuel economy of a manual gearbox, has further enhanced these two derivatives in the S40 sedan and the V50 estate ranges of Volvo Car South Africa.

The latest upgrading of the S40 and V50 2.0D with the Powershift transmission follows the launch of the exterior and interior make-over of the two model ranges during the second half of 2007. The design changes and improvements to the Volvo S40 and V50 have resulted in an even better rounded and complete motoring package with enhanced premium quality.

At the time of the design changes, Volvo Cars was aware of the demand for an automatic transmission in the S40 and V50 2.0D models, which offered exceptional fuel economy through its turbocharged 2-litre diesel engine, and work had already started to satisfy this need.

The excellent performance of the 2-litre turbocharged diesel engine, with a relatively small cylinder capacity, made it a popular choice for customers who wanted these attributes combined in a car with Volvo’s clean, uncluttered lines and typical Scandinavian design qualities. The addition of the Powershift gearbox was a logical next step to round it off.

Soon after its launch in South Africa the S40 became the volume-seller of Volvo Cars in South Africa – a position it has been holding since it won the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists Car of the Year award in 2005.

The current generation of the Volvo S40 and V50 were introduced four years ago, and it presented to buyers the fine properties of the larger Volvo models in a more compact format.

Since then, clever improvements in exterior design such as a new front grille, front spoiler and bumper, new rear lights and rear bumper, and innovative interior design and improvements including a more functional centre console, have made the S40 – and its estate sibling the V50 ¬– even better equipped to compete in the market segment for compact premium sedans.

Volvo brand values embodied in S40 and V50
The elegant minimalism that forms part of the Scandinavian design philosophy which Volvo embraces is an important element in the creation of Volvo’s cars – and particularly evident in the S40 and V50. Its purpose is to bring quality to people’s lives, just as an interior designer can create harmony, beauty and functionality in a home.

Excitement, delivered through improved and inspiring road-handling and spirited engines, is another element in the S40 and V50 package that adds to this quality and celebration of life. Increasingly this has to be linked with important core values such as care for the environment.

Volvo Cars has embarked on an extensive programme to find alternative energy sources and more fuel-efficient powertrains with cleaner emissions for its model line-up.

Safety, another core value of Volvo, is still a priority in the company’s business strategy, and unique  preventive safety systems such as City Safety which was launched as standard equipment in the new XC60, will soon become a standard feature in Volvo’s smaller model ranges.

Five derivatives are offered in the South African S40 range, as well as in the V50. The engine derivatives, including three petrol and two diesel powertrains, are the:

  • S40 & V50 2.0, with the 107 kW / 185 Nm 4-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine;
  • S40 & V50 2.4i, with the 125 kW / 230 Nm 5-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine;
  • S40 & V50 T5, with the abovementioned 5-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, 169 kW / 320 Nm;
  • S40 & V50 2.0D Powershift, with a 100 kW / 320 Nm (at 2 000 rpm) 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine, now linked to a 6-speed Powershift gearbox; and
  • S40 & V50 D5, delivering 132 kW / 350 Nm from its 5-cylinder turbodiesel engine. This is the same engine as the 136 kW unit found in the S60, S80 and XC90 ranges, but delivering slightly less power and torque to match the 5-speed Geartronic gearbox.

Standard active safety features include Dynamic Stability & Traction Control
When it comes to safety, the new S40 and V50 are available with several active safety features. That includes the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system which helps the driver maintain control over his vehicle in difficult road conditions. This is a standard feature on the S40 and V50 2.0D Powershift.

Other safety features in the Volvo S40 and V50 include:

  • A Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) with airbags housed in the seatbacks of the front seats and a full-length airbag curtain that is deployed from the roof;
  • Volvo’s award-winning Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) to prevent and reduce the severity of injuries sustained in an impact from the rear;
  • The optional Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) that can warn the driver of another vehicle in the car’s blind spot;
  • Integrated booster cushions in the rear seat bench of the V50 to provide safer seating for children between the age where they have outgrown their child seats, up to the length of about 140 cm. The booster seats are standard features in the V50 and optional in the Volvo S40;
  • Optional Active Bi-Xenon headlamps that swivel the light beam in the direction of the road when the driver turns the steering wheel;
  • The car’s hazard warning flashers are automatically activated when the airbags are deployed, a feature that helps attract the attention of other motorists in the event of a single-vehicle accident in the dark, for instance; and
  • An Emergency Brake Lights function, which causes the lights to flash rapidly when the driver stamps hard on the brake pedal, so as to effectively alert traffic behind the car.

Audio systems of world class
The Volvo S40 and V50 can be specified with an audio system of world class. The most advanced of the three systems, Premium Sound, has a digital amplifier from Alpine, Dolby® Pro Logic II Surround and loudspeakers from Dynaudio of Denmark.

In the High Performance and Premium Sound systems it is possible to play CD discs with music in MP3 or WMA format. This means that the CD changer can store several hundred music tracks and give the owner access to his or her own private home music library even while on the move.

What is more, all the audio systems come with an Auxiliary socket (AUX) for connection of other equipment such as a portable MP3 player. USB and iPod connectors are available as accessories.

Increasing percentage of buyers under 35 years
The S40 appeals to both young families and young professionals who aspire to a premium brand. As always Volvo offers customers the choice of a brand that suits their individual style, reflecting their preferences and careful consideration of the brand’s core values of safety, quality and environmental care.

In the V50, which competes in a relatively small segment of the South African market, younger families are offered a lifestyle vehicle with great versatility and many options for using its interior space. The V50’s child booster seats in the rear seats – as standard equipment – adds to the safety features of the car. These booster seats are optional features in the S40.

The prices of the S40 and V50 ranges in South Africa are competitive and offer good value compared with similarly equipped model derivatives of our main competitors. The suggested retail prices are:

S40:

  • S40 2.0 R 251 500
  • S40 2.0D Powershift R 292 500
  • S40 2.4i R 272 000
  • S40 2.4i Geartronic R 282 000
  • S40 T5 R 304 000
  • S40 T5 Geartronic R 314 000
  • S40 D5 Geartronic  R 315 500

V50:

  • V50 2.0 R 256 500
  • V50 2.0D Powershift R 297 500
  • V50 2.4i R 277 000
  • V50 2.4i Geartronic R 287 000
  • V50 T5 R 309 000
  • V50 T5 Geartronic R 320 000
  • V50 D5 Geartronic  R 320 500