TORONTO (July 5, 2007) - A number of distinctive design cues undertaken by Volvo Car Corporation give the new 2008 Volvo S40 the company's new look for its S-range of vehicles, one epitomized in the recently introduced 2007 Volvo S80. At the same time, the 2008 V50 approaches the new V-range look introduced with the all-new 2008 V70. However, the design work on both cars was done without compromising the original compact and sporty attributes.
"When it comes to the exterior, we're aiming for increased differentiation between the two models," says Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin. "The interior refinements have focused on liberating smart storage space."
The 2008 S40 features a new front end that creates a broader, lower stance thanks to a new grille, 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," says Volvo Cars' Steve Harper, who has been responsible for the design updates to the new S40 and V50. "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 boost the dynamic appearance."
The 2008 V50 features a new black egg-crate grille and - similar to the S40 - a larger Volvo iron mark. The new headlamps and the three sculpted lower air intakes are other details that give the front an increased impression of solidity.
Slimmer tail lamps
The lower part of the tail lamp panel on both the S40 and V50 is 30 millimetres higher than the current model and the lamps have a new graphic layout. The brake lights are now lit with LEDs and the position marker lamps emphasise the car's shoulders.
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
When refining the interior, the design team focused intently on storage space.
"The criticism of the current models' limited storage space served as high-octane fuel when the time came to sketch the new interior of the S40 and V50," says Harper. "We weren't entirely satisfied until we felt we had exploited every single available cubic centimetre in an efficient way."
The team paid particular attention to two areas: the door panels and the centre stack.
The lower section of the two front doors' inside panels was redesigned. The audio system's loudspeakers were reshaped so the storage compartment had the space for a large book, an upright can of pop or water bottle to lie horizontally.
As an added bonus, the door panel redesign also enabled Volvo Cars to include an extra Dynaudio loudspeaker should the customer choose the top-level Premium Sound audio system.
Larger, more functional centre console
Volvo Cars' now iconic super-slim centre console is now available in additional trim pieces and the theme now flows smoothly with similar elegant soft curvature surfaces all the way to the rear seat.
The storage space between the seats has also been increased thanks to a new, more compact handbrake.
Sliding cover and flexible armrest
The sliding cover over the larger storage compartments, under which are also two cup holders, is complemented by an improved flexible armrest for the driver. This also has a built-in feature that the design team playfully calls the "hamburger table".
"We've even utilised the small spaces that are usually simply covered over when they're not housing controls for options or accessories," explains Harper. "Now instead, the 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. 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."
Volvo Cars of Canada Corp. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 43 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The company's product range includes the elegant C70 hardtop convertible, the versatile V70 wagon, the S60 sport sedan, the compact and sporty S40 and V50, and an XC-line of vehicles that includes the rugged XC70 and the award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle. For 2007, the company is introducing two new models: the redesigned S80 luxury flagship sedan and the stylish and sporty C30.
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